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.
(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
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 http://karen-walker.artistwebsites.com. And this artist, Alexis Bonavitacola, has some beautiful pieces also - http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/alexis-bonavitacola.html. 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.
And then, after watching a few videos on YouTube, we started to get creative.
And even more daring…
Then I tried to use straws to blow the paint around on the tiles.
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.
Love the colors in this one.
This one just seems angry.
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?