Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Playing with Alcohol Inks!

About two years ago, I became a huge collector of everything Ranger (and Tim Holtz created). First it was the distress inks and then the alcohol inks. I used them a lot in the beginning and watched dozens of YouTube tutorials on what to do with them. The distress inks were, and continue to be, one of my very favorite inks to play with...but I can't say the same about the alcohol inks. 

I recently signed up for Nathalie Kalbach's Creative Jump Start 2013, which is this great forum where she, and many other talented artists, have created videos showcasing their work and the mediums that they enjoy working with. In each video they focus on "3 ways to...." I've learned what to do with gesso, gel mediums, watercolor, and the other day.... how to use alcohol inks as backgrounds for stamping (among other techniques).

If that wasn't enough to motivate me, I recently saw a post on Jess Larsen's blog , where she used an alcohol ink background behind a cut letter Valentine's Day card. I've seen other cards with word cutouts, but using the alcohol ink background was a new twist and one that I decided to try out. (Be sure to check out her blog to see her beautiful designs).

It took me awhile to find color combinations that I liked. With alcohol inks you have to be careful not to include too many colors because they start to muddy together. You can apply the ink in bands, use a stipple effect, or swirl it on. Really the only limitation is your creativity (and for me, that can sometimes be a pretty big obstacle). Also, don't forget to use a glossy paper for the best effect.

The card that I created uses three different colors (Sail Boat Blue, Pool, and Wild Plum). I started applying the Sail Boat Blue in a swirling technique similar to how you'd apply distress inks. Next I pounced on some pool (changing pads with each color to keep them separate). And finally I applied a thin line of Wild Plum to a new pad and applied them in brush strokes. I really like the final effect! Once I had the background that I liked, I cut the top card out with My Favorite Things lowercase dies and used some dimensional adhesive to pop it off the background. With some leftover background paper, I punched out three balloons with my Martha Stewart punch.

There were a few other cards that didn't make the cut, but I had fun playing with my alcohol inks and will definitely pull them out again for other projects.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Of course it's okay Stacy! I don't think you CASE'd me — I like yours better! :-) Super cute balloons and love the banners at the corner! Great work!

  2. the color combo is gorgeous! Cool card!