Alcohol Inks and Alcohol Ink backgrounds on Glossy Paper

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Hi there! I am revisiting Jennifer McGuire’s free 9-week class at Two Peas in a Bucket called Thinking Inking.

This week I will be revisiting Week 5 of Jennifer’s videos, about Ranger alcohol inks, which come in 48 translucent colors and 4 metallic mixatives. You will probably also need the alcohol ink applicator and felt, a bottle of blending solution, and a non-stick craft sheet to protect your work surface. Plus some glossy cardstock, acetate, or another non-porous surface to color with the inks.

Techniques in each Thinking Inking video

Each week in Thinking Inking, Jennifer shares at least 3 videos – but this week there are FOUR jam-packed full of techniques. I re-watched the videos and made notes for Week 5 about how Jennifer used alcohol inks.

Here is a list of at least 36 ways to use alcohol inks, plus other techniques:

Week 5 – Part 1: Basic Backgrounds

Part 1

1. The stuff: applicator & felt, glossy paper, blending solution, craft sheet
2. Applying alcohol ink to felt applicator
3. Dabbed alcohol ink background on glossy paper
4. Adding blending solution to lighten
5. Cleaning up with blending solution or Hero Arts Ultra Clean
6. Dabbing with alcohol ink and blending solution combined
7. Marbled look with metallic mixatives
8. Stamping with permanent ink (Ranger Archival or Staz-on)
9. Lining up stamps on a background

Part 2

10. Striped alcohol ink background on glossy paper
11. Stamping with permanent ink (revisited)
12. Stripes with alcohol ink and blending solution combined
13. Rainbow striped background
14. Bring dried alcohol ink felt back to life with blending solution
15. Swirling alcohol ink onto glossy paper
16. Dramatic background with metallic mixatives and blending solution
17. Swipe a background clean with blending solution & start over
18. Dropped alcohol ink background on glossy paper
19. Punched shapes or die cuts from alcohol ink background

Week 5 – Part 2: Alcohol Ink on Clear Products

20. Alcohol ink on Memory Glass on one or both sides
21. Striped background on acetate
22. Alcohol ink on Fragments by Tim Holtz
23. Dropping ink directly on clear product
24. Stamp on the uninked side
25. Mount clear products over white or text
26. Pearl mixative on back of Fragment, stamp on front
27. Copper mixative on back of clear buttons
28. Applying multiple colors on clear product
29. Rainbow on clear product
30. Kissing stamp with Ranger Archival ink & wipe to remove ink (resist)
31. Glue white paper to the back with Glossy Accents
32. Clean off clear pieces with blending solution or Hero Arts Ultra Clean
33. Alcohol inks on transparency or acetate
34. Alcohol ink on dry embossed acetate
35. Rub-on resist, then flip over
36. Stamp on uninked side (revisited)
37. Stamp on uninked side and heat emboss
38. Add details with black permanent pen

Week 5 – Part 3: Alcohol Ink Embellishments

39. Alcohol ink over Basic Grey rub-ons and baby wipes
40. Alcohol ink over Basic Grey rub-ons and blending solution
41. Metallic mixatives on white buttons
42. Alcohol ink on paper flowers
43. Combining colors and metallic inks on paper flowers
44. Folding paper flowers
45. Alcohol inks on pearls and gemstones
46. Alcohol inks in plastic bags

REVIEW: If you haven’t tried Ranger Archival ink, I would suggest you give it a try. It is my “go to” black ink – the black ink I use all the time. In fact, it stays out on my desk and never gets put away! I also like it because it is waterproof. So, I can stamp with black ink on watercolor paper and color with Distress Inks, watercolors, or markers and the black ink won’t run.

Have you tried alcohol inks?

I have made alcohol ink backgrounds and I’ve customized the look of embellishments using alcohol inks. But I’m glad I watched these videos again. There are so many different ways to use alcohol inks!

If you haven’t looked at alcohol inks recently, you might like to know that there are new lights and brights colors – some of which Jennifer used in her videos. Or, you might like to see Tim Holtz’ basic video about using alcohol inks or Tim Holtz’ alcohol ink splatter video that also talks about the new ink colors.

What about you? Have you tried alcohol inks? What is your favorite technique?

Thanks for stopping by!


This is a very old post that refers to a course originally offered by Jennifer McGuire at Two Peas in a Bucket, and, unfortunately, Two Peas has since closed. You can find links to these videos from Week 5 – and links to ALL of the videos in the original Thinking Inking series here: (The Message Board and Class links no longer work, since Two Peas has closed.)

{ 5 appreciated comments }

1 Patty August 30, 2010 at 9:33 am

I’ve used some alcohol inks and love the backgrounds you can create, but I need to experiment a little more. Thanks for sharing all the information! I love to visit you blog Anne, you always have such interesting posts!

2 mar August 30, 2010 at 9:47 am

jam packed full of information this post is!
you have outdone yourself with all the reference codes sending a person here and there
that alone is amazing…
well thought out and listed..
i love alcohol inks i have nearly every color they have made
they are terrific to use easy to use and vibrant…
if you haven’t used them yet or need to revisit them
this post should keep you in the glow for a long time!
thank you anne

3 Karen G August 30, 2010 at 2:03 pm

My first response when your site loaded & I saw that colorful alcohol inked picture? YUM! Love color, love the intensity of AI color and am loving a nice long list of what to do with them! :>:>

4 Lay Hoon August 30, 2010 at 5:45 pm

I still dun hav any of them.
But sure will explore in this fun stuff one day.

5 Anne Gaal November 7, 2011 at 4:46 pm

From talfonso on 4/1/2011: “I tried using AI’s on stick-on gems! They worked wonders and I recommend this if you don’t want to spend big on custom colored gems!”

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