4 ways to make your own alcohol inks


How to make your OWN Alcohol Inks

While there are some wonderful alcohol inks on the market, its not what most consider a mainstream art medium, as of yet.  Our rural artists and crafters thank goodness for online shopping, because they may not be able to invest the time or money to buy a full line of alcohol inks by mfrs like Ranger, or may not have fine art and craft stores nearby. Take heart, there are a few ways in which you can begin experimenting to make your own alcohol inks. As with any chemical, or pigments, take precautions in mixing and using. 

4 ways to make your own alcohol inks

  1. Use alcohol based markers such as sharpies permanent markers or Artline, and pull out the nib with small pliers.  Add it to a small bottle of 91% or higher alcohol, (approx 1 -2 ounces depending on how intense you’d like your color. Close lid carefully and shake well,  let stand until you see the color leave the marker nib and magically turn the clear liquid into the next fantasy pigment of your imagination!  *We’ve also found satisfactory results using whiteboard markers for the color. 
  2. Use RIT Dye. ( yes you know the kind to tie-dye your 70 themed party t-shirts. ) Its been noted that while the liquid works fine the powder form actually works better.  You may be able to apply similar technique using easter egg dyes, though we’ve not tested this.
  3. Add a small bit of acrylic paints to your alcohol… but know that you may not get the same translucent properties as with ink based colors and may find it hard to keep mixed.
  4. If you have access to regular india inks, you can add a small amount to make your own alcohol inks. They are usually rich in intensity, and now come in rich array of colors, but are water based, so use just a tiny bit.


Small spray or squeeze bottles or those from travel bags serve as good test tubes!  I’ve gotten some at the the 99 cent store or Dollar Days online. You will want quite a few for all your delicious color variations.  I always love walmart online. They seem to have just about everything… including professionally manufactured alcohol inks (and the ideal paper, called YUPO) should you decide to add to your homemade inks or step up after making your own alcohol inks.  Best price on Yupo paper – Walmart.com but feel free to compare on Amazon .

You might also like to explore this AI complementary medium, Encaustic Wax.  Save on Dorland’s Wax Medium 4oz – Walmart.com

CAUTION> Take care with skin, eyes,  clothing and furnishings when working with alcohol, pigments or hot wax.

Rubber Stamping & Scrapbooking at Joann.com!

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