Do you ever go to buy a craft item and realize you’ve already allocated your discount coupon to another item? And when you realize that you’ll, GASP, have to pay full price that this junk is stupid overpriced? It seems that I’m normally all too happy to pay for things but only when it’s already on sale or when I’m waving my phone around with a 40% or, jackpot, 50% off coupon. So when I needed alcohol inks but balked at having to pay $10 for 3 0.5 ounce bottles I realized that is about $6.67 PER OUNCE. That is freaking insanity my friends. Especially when you need a lot of this one thing.
So I got pissy and instead bought up some $4 plastic squeeze bottles. There were 6 and each held 2 ounces. I then ran to Target and got some of their cheapest markers. I think they were $0.78 but they were definitely somewhere in the seventy cent range. I was completely surprised that this was the cheapest I could find ANYWHERE. Cheaper than Michael’s or Hobby Lobby or even Walmart so snag up a couple packages from Target and keep this project nice and cheap just like we like it!
If you have lots of markers that have dried out, that’s even better as those are free! Raid the kid’s marker bins and be sure to toss yours somewhere to hang on to throughout the year and you’ll get quite a few of FREE markers that you can upcycle!
Hey, hey! Did you know that I wrote a book about crafting with alcohol inks that came out on January 10, 2017? It’s called “Crafting with Alcohol Inks“. I know, genius, right?! :) The book is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble and I’d just love if you checked it out to see if it’s something you might really dig!
And now, back to the tutorial at hand! For this project you will need:
- Bottles, squeeze tubes, jars, etc.
- Markers (the more the better the pigment)
- X-acto knife
Again, these are my cheapie markers and they work well. The more you use, the darker the pigment in your alcohol inks. I’d suggest starting with 3 and going from there.
To start release the ink cartridge from the inside of the marker. Using a pair of pliers squeeze and twist the plastic cap at the end and watch that sucker pop right on of.
It slides out so easily!
Add alcohol to your bottles or jars. My goal is to get at least 1.5 ounces of each color…
It took some experimenting but I realized that sliced open cartridges work the quickest. If you’re not in a rush no worries, just pop those things out of the markers and keep them intact. But here’s a quick tip DON’T do like I did and slice all the way down. Instead make a cut in the middle leaving the top and bottom of the cartridge alone. This way of opening up the cartridges make it a lot easier to get these guys out of your ink later on down the line.
The opened up cartridges start to disperse the ink into the alcohol super quickly.
Allow to sit at least for an hour or two before continuing. Overnight is really best to let the alcohol leach out all of the ink.
After your inks have sat for a while remove the ink canister. Since I opened my suckers all of the way they were a pain in the royal derriere to remove.
Use your fingers to milk all of the ink and alcohol out of the canister.
Yes this is messy. Yes this makes a huge difference in the saturation of your colors so it’s really worth it. And the color doesn’t last more than a day on your hands, really.
There we have our red alcohol ink!
Now these are my colors after using only 1 marker apiece. The color keeps getting more and more saturated with every marker I add and it’s fabulous. One marker really isn’t enough to make this much alcohol a viable replacement for commercially made alcohol inks.
So either decrease the amount of alcohol you use, again I was rocking about 1.5 – 1.75 ounces per marker, or repeat the process with markers until you’re happy with the results.
And don’t forget that you don’t have to buy new markers to do this either. Grab the dry markers from the kids, go through your marker stash and pull out the ones on their way out. It may seem like there is no ink left to be had when trying to draw using that worn out nub but I swear there’s a lot more in there that can be put to good use as an alcohol ink!
And just because I get asked what to do with alcohol inks quite a bit, here’s an answer I shared below to that very question:
Here are a few projects I have made: acrylic bangles, to dye resin (also to make bangles :)), to make a gorgeous tray and coasters! I hear paper crafters use them, too :)
Written by Allison Murray - Visit Website