Pins I’ve Tried: Alcohol Ink Coasters

Pins I've Tried: Car Trash Can, Fly Repellant and Beauty Secrets
Pins I've Tried: Christmas Tree Cones

Unlike some of the pins I’ve tried on Pinterest that don’t work out, this one was definitely worth trying.

I saw this pin for alcohol ink coasters, as well as a few more like it, on Pinterest a few weeks back. I was immediately drawn to the vibrant colors and the fun designs.

Alcohol Ink Coasters

Via Artisan Des Arts via 52 Weeks Project

(to go to the original post, click on the picture above)

Before seeing this on Pinterest, I had never heard of alcohol ink. It’s crazy to think about all the things I’m missing out on!

So, when I first saw them, I thought it would be a great personalized Christmas gift that wouldn’t break the bank. It just so happened that my husband was at Home Depot when I first pinned it, so I called him to ask to pick up a few tiles from the tile department. I think they were $0.11 each, so for 16 it was less than $2.00.

For this project I used the following supplies.

  • Alcohol ink by Adirondack
  • Rubbing Alcohol (they sell a alcohol ink blending solution, but it’s basically alcohol, so why spend the $4 or $5 bucks if you don’t have to?)
  • 4″ x 4″ tiles from Home Depot
  • cotton balls
  • Q-tips
  • straws

I bought the ink at Michael’s. They came in packs of three for $9.99, and used a few of their coupons that saved me 40% on three packs. After making 16 coasters and about 10 larger pieces, they aren’t even close to being halfway empty, so I’d say it was money well spent.

How to: Just wipe your tile down with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol and drop some ink onto the tile. If you want to create lines, just run the tip of the bottle across the tile. If you want to make funky designs, use a straw to blow the ink in the direction you want it to go. That is about as fancy as I’ve gotten so far. I have seen some absolutely stunning pieces of art created by more advanced techniques, but I haven’t gotten past this stage yet.

While I was looking online for some ideas on how to use Alcohol Inks, I found a picture of a peacock by Karen Walker that absolutely took my breath away. You can check out that picture, and others that she created, at And this artist, Alexis Bonavitacola, has some beautiful pieces also – Their work makes mine look like my cats did it. LOL!

My son and I were the first ones to attempt to use the alcohol ink. At first, our attempts were just blobs. Then my husband tried it out and created more blobs.

Alcohol Ink coasters

My husband and son created these.

first attempts - alcohol ink

These were my first attempts – except for the one in the bottom right corner, my son did that one

And then, after watching a few videos on YouTube, we started to get creative.

Green tree - alcohol Ink - Pinterest Addict

Green tree on orange background

And even more daring…

alcohol ink

I tried to make it look like a sunset.

Then I tried to use straws to blow the paint around on the tiles.

Underwater moon, alcohol ink, sea grass

Underwater moon

On that one, I got really “fancy” and used a q-tip to clean a circle before adding a few drops of yellow to make the moon. I love how just blowing the ink around makes it look like seaweed and water.

On the occasions that the piece wasn’t turning out the way we wanted, we just wiped it clean. That’s the great thing about using alcohol ink on tile; if you don’t like it, you just wipe it off with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol and start all over.

This one is probably my favorite. I used slightly larger tile that was left over from a bathroom reno that was done before we moved in.

sea creatures, alcohol ink

Sea Creatures.

Love the colors in this one.

orange flower on water, alcohol ink

Orange Flower on Water

This one just seems angry.

Alcohol ink, red volcano

Red Volcano


Splotches, alcohol ink



By the way, I meant to give the coasters to my family for Christmas, however I never got to adding the cork to the bottoms. In fact, when the family came over for the holidays, we ended up making some together. It was kind of interesting to see how each person used the inks to create their masterpieces. My sister is going to use the ones I made for her on the wall in her bedroom, instead of as coasters. And the bigger tiles are currently being used as artwork on the mantle in the living room.

So my overall opinion of alcohol ink is that it can make even the most artistically challenged people feel like Picasso. I loved working with it. I liked watching the colors overlapping each other to create interesting shades and shapes, and figuring out how to make it take the shape I wanted it to with different manipulations. I have a ton of other tiles still in the garage and will definitely be doing some more, as well as trying out some new materials to use the paints on. (you can’t use alcohol inks on regular paper)


The only thing I would do differently next time is wear gloves. I got some of the ink on my fingers and nails, and it was a bear to get off my nails.

Have you tried Alcohol Inks?





Pins I've Tried: Car Trash Can, Fly Repellant and Beauty Secrets
Pins I've Tried: Christmas Tree Cones
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  1. says

    Thank you so much for the details in this share… It is an art I’ve been interested in but not taken a serious look at! NOW, with new year ^ new ideas, I’m ready!! :)

  2. Marlene says

    These are gorgeous! What a great job you did – you’ve inspired me to try. Question though, did you have to seal them somehow to protect the design?

    • A Pinterest Addict says

      Yes, I did seal them, but it speckled them and I didn’t want to recommend it. I will have to find something that works better and I’ll let you know.

      • Jill says

        these are beautiful. Have you found something to seal them with yet that does not speckle?- i’m having the same issue

    • A Pinterest Addict says

      I picked up some clear Christmas balls, and I’m thinking of trying the ink out on them. Let me know if you try them!

  3. says

    I pinned those tiles quite some time ago and you have inspired me to try them…I was wondering about sealing them also…hummmm…yours look fabulous!!!

  4. says

    Awesome! I’m so trying this tomorrow with my daughter. We already have alcohol ink from some previous projects. Did you use any certain type of tile? Like was it glazed or flat? And, did you coat the tiles in anything to protect them when you were done, like mod podge?

    • A Pinterest Addict says

      The tile was the 4″ x 4″ glazed tiles you find everywhere – cheap! And I used a spray coating to protect them, but it kind of spotted the paintings, so I won’t recommend it (or not recommend it by name either). Thanks!

    • A Pinterest Addict says

      Thanks! Yes, it flakes off when you touch them. I have never tried this on paper, just tiles, so I don’t know if it comes off of paper.

  5. says

    I realize this was an older post, but figured you might still be playing with the inks! To get the ink off your hands just wash your hair. Really. The coarse-ness of the hair rubs it right off and does not stain your hair. Also, if you need it off before that, try WD40. Alcohol inks are absolutely wonderful. Did you know that they can change the color of a metal piece (ie, costume jewelry)? Have fun

    • Jeanne says

      A product called ReDuRan sold by Dharma Trading Co. (on line) does the job in an instant. I use it for removing silk dyes from my hands so tried it with the alcohol ink stains and it worked like a charm.

  6. Edna Mishler says

    I am an alcohol ink addict also. The best sealant I have found is Parks Super Glaze Ultra Gloss epoxy sold at Home Depot and some craft stores. It is a learning process to get it right so practice first. You have to mix two different liquids and pour it over the tiles. I place my tiles on red solo cups on top of a disposable foil cookie sheet, to keep them from sticking to the cookie sheet. You can also use a high gloss spray varnish by Krylon followed by Pledge Floor Care for tile. Apply as many coats as you like. I agree that the spray can cause some changes to the ink.

    • A Pinterest Addict says

      Thanks for the tip! We might do some more of the tiles after Thanksgiving dinner with the family, so I’ll try it out then.

  7. Dee Karvasale says

    I love Alcohol ink…would like to know if you can use Poly Urethane spray on the coasters to seal them…I have been using Clear acrylic sealer and it does not work well. Thanks for all the info…love reading these post.

    • A Pinterest Addict says

      Thank you for stopping by and saying hi! I do hope you will come back :) I have not tried Poly Urethan on my alcohol ink pieces. Sorry that I can’t help.

  8. says

    So I have been making these and I’m going to try to sell them. But I want them to be perfect and not scratch off or wipe off. I sprayed mine with a clear coat spray. The ink scratched off still. So I threw them in the oven on 380 for about 10 minutes. It seemed to help. The ink isn’t scratching Off. I sprayed another coat on the tiles & letting them dry overnight. I don’t want to sell something to someone and the art wipe off. Has anyone tried the oven to set the ink?

  9. Andréa says

    Your presentation is very good. I did this technique is amazing, but I can not find something to finish it properly. I am having trouble with the coating. Can you help me, please?

  10. Summer says

    I use Krylon Triple Thick crystal clear glaze found at Walmart in the paint section. It works well. Use it very lightly then if you want to spray again wait for 1 hour and spray lightly again.

  11. says

    Came across the original pictures on Pinterest and had to find out to create these. I am sure glad to have found your site. Very interesting and the tiles would made beautiful gifts. Thanks so much for the variety

    • Summer Himes says

      I have been into this for awhile and I use Krylon Triple Thick Crystal Clear Glaze. You can get it at Walmart. I don’t remember how much it cost. You can lightly spray it then wait an hour and lightly spray it again. I wait five days for the alcohol ink to dry on the tile first. That way it won’t react with the alcohol ink and smear. There is another one called
      Rusteoleum Clear Enamel. It takes seven to ten days for these to cure. Don’t touch them before you may leave a fingerprint. There is a group on facebook called Alcohol Inks on Tile. I love this group they answer a lot of questions. They show their tiles and really inspire you. I hope I helped. I love doing it.

  12. says

    Last year I created coasters as Christmas gifts. For the sealant I used a gloss automotive enamel protective clearcoat that is typically used for car/truck engines. It works beautifully and makes the tiles, I would dare say, indestructible from high heat/cold temps, and prevents chipping.
    This stuff is AMAZING and a fraction of the price of other clearcoats!!


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