Homemade Alcohol Inks

Alcohol ink crafts ALWAYS catch my eye on Pinterest. They are SO PRETTY, but the inks are SO EXPENSIVE. Luckily, I found a recipe for homemade alcohol inks and decided to give them a try. I’ve used it several times and it works amazingly.

8 bottles of alcohol ink in various colors with text "homemade alcohol inks"

I love home crafts. I love getting my hands dirty are making something beautiful. I have made some pretty awesome alcohol ink coasters with my inks. I have made them twice, about 3 months apart and from the same bottles of ink. Both sets were equally amazing.

Why homemade over storebought alcohol inks?

Price

If you want to just skip all this and get right to making amazing ink crafts, just skip this page entirely. The lowest price I found was around 3.00 per 0.5oz bottle. There weren’t many options at that price, though.

A pack of alcohol inks is likely to run you upward of around 60.00.

These inks, while no doubt amazing, aren’t anywhere as fun as the DIY version I am going to show you. You’re just going to end up spending a pretty penny for something that can very easily be made at home for a fraction of the price.

You also get a ton more ink from making them at home.

Color choices

Again, you can buy a pack of 24 and have most colors. But you can personalize your inks if you make them at home. What’s better than having your own personal alcohol ink colors for your projects and crafts?

Nothing. Exactly.

Kid Friendly Craft

While I don’t recommend this for any kids that don’t understand the basic principles of the word “”permanent”, this is a great craft for older kids and teens.

Just make sure you keep a watchful eye, otherwise the ink can ruin something permanently.

DO they work like the store bought brand?

Again, I have made coasters with my homemade inks. I have made them twice because they were so fun and I loved the end result. The inks worked really well for this.

I have never purchased alcohol inks, so I have no idea if they work any better. I have never needed to, and I choose not to spend money on things that I can make myself for cheaper.

In the near future, however, I plan to post an article about the differences between store-bought and DIY alcohol inks. I’ll keep ya posted.

What You’ll Need

Empty bottles – I have my inks stored in this bottles. I now also recommend these, however, because they offer less mess and more control over your ink.

Bottle of 91%-99% Isopropyl Alcohol

Permanent markers

Small knife (Exacto or box cutter works well)

A pair of disposable gloves (these are latex free and powder free)

The above supplies are recommendations that I have based on my experience.  This post does contain affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase. No additional cost to you, of course. You can read the really boring stuff about it here.

Steps to make homemade alcohol inks

Get your empty bottles and fill them about halfway with 91%-99% Isopropyl Alcohol. Keep in mind that the less alcohol you put in your bottles, the more vivid your inks will be.

This is especially important for the lighter marker colors.

Find the opening of your chosen markers and break them open. You may need plyers or a handy man. I had the latter.

Take the ink wadding out.  At this point you are going to use a knife and cut the outer wrapping on the wadding.  DO NOT CUT IT ALL THE WAY FROM TOP TO BOTTOM. It will make a huge mess and you probably won’t be able to get all of the floating pieces of wadding out of your bottles.

Also, make sure you cut the wadding on something, both to protect the surface of your table from scratches and to keep the ink contained.

Put the marker wadding down in the bottles, each color going in a different bottle. Unless you’re living dangerously, then you can make your own colors. If you’re that person, I like your style.

Let them set for at least a few hours, or overnight. I shook mine lightly every few hours. This isn’t a step, just a sign of my impatience.

When you’re ready to use them, take the marker wadding out and ring the excess alcohol ink back into the bottle. Use gloves for this step. Trust me.

You’re now ready to use your alcohol ink in all types of projects. Check out the alcohol ink coasters I did with the kids.

Let them sit for a while.

Frequently Asked Questions about homemade alcohol inks

Will regular markers work?

I have only used Sharpie brand permanent markers, so I cannot attest to this personally.  I have read other blogs that state they used regular coloring markers or a different brand of permanent ones.

My inks aren’t very bright. What did I do wrong?

Chances are you either used too much alcohol or the marker you used was too light in color. The lighter ones (light blues, light purples) don’t show as vividly as some of the other colors. I would recommend adding a secondary color and letting it sit for an additional few hours.

Some of my colors didn’t work very well the first go round. Next time I make these, I will probably add extra ink to each one. We’ll see how that works and I’ll give an update.

Rach, this sounds horrible. Just tell me where I can buy them.

OK, OK. If you’ve made it all the way through this article and you still want to buy them, I won’t try and stop you.

As always, I recommend starting with Amazon. These alcohol inks come highly rated and aren’t too expensive. Plus, if you’re a Prime member, deliver is free.

If you aren’t Prime, what are you doing with your life?

Missing out, that’s what. Check out Amazon Prime here. It’s a game changer, believe me.

Some of my favorite things

Here are the links again to what I used in this DIY recipe


5 thoughts on “Homemade Alcohol Inks”

  1. Hmmmm. I m looking at your post and would like to make a suggestion. Put some tinfoil over your baking sheets to work on your tiles. That way when you light them on fire they will be contained in a fire proof container and your ink spills will be contained. Just dispose of the foil when you are done for instant cleanup.

    Reply

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