At Play aka Homemade Alcohol Ink- 23

When I began to play with alcohol inks this month, I of course had to wonder how many different ways I could use them!In the course of my adventures, I wondered…

1) What can I use them on?

2) Could I make them?

I have explored putting them on canvas, over a gesso’d background. I have explored putting them on plain paper, cardstock and glossy specifically purposed paper.  I have even floated them in water.

With those things in mind, and having run out of glossy specifically purposed paper, I gave that concept a try on different glossy paper.

I used glossy photo paper!  Makes perfect sense right?!

alcohol ink on photo paper

So short answer is… no.  Alcohol inks do not run beautifully on glossy photo paper :).

I was looking for the paper to help the ink to run and spread.  It ran, but it did not spread.  It was nothing short of blah compared to what had been happening with the Ranger paper.

So, on to question 2.

There are a ton of videos on how to make your own inks if you google as such.  Two clear choices came forward as options.  You can either blend RIT dye with 91% alcohol or you can blend a permanent marker with 91% alcohol.   Since I found both of the latter at my local dollar store, I went with choice B!

alcohol ink with permanent marker

You will need:

A bottle with top (travel size)

A pair of needlenose pliers or the like

A permanent marker.  Knock varieties work too!

91% isopropyl alcohol

Basically, pop out the nib of the marker with your pliers.  Drop into the bottle.  Crack open the barrel of the maker and pull out the remaining ink pad.  Cut into chunks while holding over the bottle and drop them in as well.  Fill the bottle with 91% alcohol, about 1/2 way.  (Submerge.)  Give it a good shake and let sit for 24 hours or more!

Sounds easy right!  Well, it was!

Today I gave my home made inks a try.  (first on the photo paper… fail)  I actually was able to basically clean off a “practice” Ranger paper with the 91% alcohol.  I was shocked.  The ink was thick and layered and pretty much wiped off!  This my friends was the total difference between the 70% alcohol I had used on my peacock and the 91%.  It was amazing.

So, with a basically clean slate, I started to splatter and drip.  I let the ink run and the home made ink did run beautifully on the glossy paper. It spread and reacted to the 91% alcohol like I thought it would.

Then I added some of the Ranger ink.  The consistency and play were similar but the Ranger ink is simply deeper, thicker and slower and more vibrant.

home made alcohol ink

The blues and yellow are Ranger inks.  The pink and purple are homemade.  I think it turned out to be a lovely abstract… and I call it “at play.”

The homemade inks, I think, would make great backgrounds and they really make those other inks POP off the paper.  If I wanted that shade of purple with the Ranger inks, I would actually have to remove some- pull it off.  I also tried blotting/mottling as well as stamping the homemade ink onto card-stock and they showed up wonderfully!  They would be great and very vibrant for paper crafting and art journaling to be sure!!!

Do I think I will replace my Ranger inks anytime soon for “painting?”  I don’t think so.  I do think I will make a few more home made inks and use them alongside the Ranger inks.  The more tools in the creative arsenal the better right?

Thanks for reading!

4 thoughts on “At Play aka Homemade Alcohol Ink- 23

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