Have you ever looked at glass-stained windows and thought about how beautiful they look, especially when the sunlight hits them at just the right angles? Did you know that you can replicate that magical effect in your designs with alcohol inks?
No wonder most crafters have alcohol inks in their arsenal. There's just something about alcohol ink that makes everything look so pretty! So if you want to add a touch of glamor and sophistication to your paper crafting projects, we'll show you how to create gorgeous stained-glass-like looks with this versatile medium.
So read on and get ready for some fantastic, inky creations!
What Is Alcohol Ink and What Makes it Unique as a Medium?
Before we head on to making stained looks, aren't you curious about what gives alcohol ink art that distinct inky, marble-like look? Well, this feature can be attributed to its manufacturing materials. Unlike regular ink, which is made with water and dye, alcohol ink is made with denatured alcohol and pigment.
The ink is applied using an alcohol-based solution, which allows it to dry quickly and creates a brilliant, vibrant effect. Thanks to evaporation, the pigment left behind when the alcohol evaporates give it that bold and inky look. How cool is that – whoever said that science doesn't have a place in the art world? (Hello, Simply Scientific! *wink)
Did you know? Alcohol ink was specifically designed for paper crafting. Its use in the fine art world was only recently, with the first documented case of its use in 2006.
Nowadays, you can find a multitude of alcohol ink art, such as alcohol ink paintings. It even gave birth to an alcohol ink painting technique called “fluid painting,” which involves letting the ink move freely, releasing the artist's tight control over the artwork. Just go with the flow, indeed!
You can use alcohol ink with most surfaces, especially non-porous ones! When you want to use them on paper, it is best to pair them with Yupo paper. If you want to see these inky tools in action, take a look at this fun video by Amber:
How to Make a Glass-Stained Window Look with Alcohol Ink and Markers
To create a glass-stained window look with alcohol inks, you'll need the following supplies:
- Alcohol inks or alcohol markers (of course, choose the colors you want!)
- Brush or sponge for blending
- Any cover die with a fun, intricate pattern
For this look, we recommend the following cover dies for that ultimate glass-stained window look:
After getting your supplies, do the standard process when working with cover dies.
- First, cut your cover die on colored cardstock. Use white, gold, or black cardstock for best results since the die will serve as your outline.
- Next, color the negative spaces of your cover die with your chosen alcohol marker colors. You can choose to blend different colors, but if you want a more solid window look, choose one color to fill in each shape of your die.
- Finally, add a frame or border around the card to stick with the window concept. You can use washi tape or mat it on the same colored cardstock you used for the cover die.
The outcome of this technique will more or less look like this gorgeous design by Arjita. Doesn't it look like a beautiful glass design you'd have on your window or door?
Other versions of this technique use a much simpler design. If you want an inky background for your cards and projects, simply put a few drops of alcohol ink on your paper, and spread them using an ink air blower! It will give you a shiny, translucent effect as if your paper was smooth glass!
You can also try using alcohol inks on acetate before pairing them with a cover die on your card base. You can follow this unique “sandwiching” technique by cutting two copies of a cover die and putting the colored acetate in the middle. You can follow the process by watching Lydia’s video below:
How to Create Different Effects with Alcohol Inks
Alcohol inks are a versatile medium that can be used to create a variety of looks, from subtle to bold, colorful designs. The key to success with alcohol inks is to experiment and have fun!
You can use a paintbrush to blend the ink or opt for a more spontaneous approach and let the ink run wild on the paper, like the fluid painting technique. To create the marbled effect that alcohol ink is known for, use an ink air blower to spread and control the flow of the inks!
You can even add other elements, like embossing ink or glitter, to create unique and one-of-a-kind cards when coloring with alcohol ink. Did you know that you can also create watercolor looks with alcohol inks? Just look at this handy tutorial by Lydia to see how she achieved this effect with alcohol markers:
Here are more project inspirations to give you an idea as to how the vibrant and colorful nature of alcohol inks really amp up paper crafting projects.
Use Alcohol Inks for Some Lovely Faux Watercolor Looks
As stated in Lydia's watercoloring video, you can also create some faux watercolor looks with alcohol ink. Just do a combination of some normal coloring, two-toned blending, and dabbing techniques, and you're good to go! Alcohol inks are pretty translucent, so you can take advantage of this feature and use them as a unique faux watercoloring medium!
Experiment with Bold and Fun Pattern Backgrounds
Alcohol inks are perfect for creating vibrant backgrounds, dies, accents, and sentiments – go crazy with them! With endless creative possibilities, you can create a number of gorgeous designs, and nobody would’ve guessed that you only used one medium for them!
Use Floral Coloring Sheets as Card Designs
You can use elaborate floral images and color them in with alcohol markers. Make sure to choose florals that have a whimsical and hand-drawn design. This will make it look like your card is a page straight out of a beautiful coloring book!
Did you know? One of Altenew’s most loved products is our Artist Alcohol Markers! They are one of the best alcohol ink sets for coloring and blending on the market, so be sure to check them out!
Color Your Die-Cuts and Embossing Paste with Alcohol Ink
You can now create endless raised images without worrying about buying hundreds of colorful cardstock and paper packs for cutting your dies! With alcohol inks, you'll always have the colors you need for your die-cuts.
Plus, our alcohol inks can be used not only as refillers for our Artist Markers but also to color your embossing paste. Talk about an eco-friendly medium with lots of uses in the craft room!
So go ahead and give alcohol ink art ideas a try – you might be surprised at what you can create!
Have Fun with Your Inky Projects Using These Alcohol Ink Tips!
Alcohol ink art has been gaining popularity in the crafting world, and for a good reason – it's beautiful! The techniques we've shown you today are just some of the possibilities that await you when you start playing with this unique medium. Which of these techniques will you try first?
If you want more alcohol ink art ideas, try viewing the fun how-to videos on our Youtube channel! You'll surely pick up more inspiration by watching our talented Design Team make their crafty creations.
Make sure to also drop by our All About Crafting blog at Altenew for more cardmaking tips and ideas. We can't wait to see what amazing things you create with alcohol inks!