You don’t have to be an artist to make this stunningly gorgeous DIY fired ink art! Learn how to make these colorful and totally unique DIY paintings!
About 2 weeks ago I woke up with a crazy sore throat and I had to remind myself that it wasn’t time to panic. It took me AGES to see a doctor and as soon as I did I was rushed to get tested. What I learned is that the test is extremely unpleasant and that I tested negative. Thank goodness.
The last 2 weeks have been foggy headed and just flat out dragging. I’ve got about 10 different projects in 10 different states of completion and I just keep flitting from one to the next. But I NEEDED to get something done for a blog post because, it’s like my job, right? And so since I didn’t get to pop fireworks this Fourth of July (so sad!) I decided to play with fire in a totally different way… by making fired ink art!
Playing with alcohol inks is so satisfying the way the colors blend and separate and I just LOVE them. And since I am just LOVING my new house these days, using this fun craft supply to make gorgeous DIY art for my walls was a no-brainer. And, spoiler alert, even feeling not so fabulous I was able to rock out FIVE different paintings in a little over half an hour. Are you excited to make your own?
How to Make Your Own DIY Fired Ink Art:
You might not consider yourself an artist but I bet you can make some pretty darn awesome glass abstract art! Ready to get after it?
- Picture Frames with Glass
- Ranger Alcohol Inks
- Isopropyl Alcohol (91 – 99%)
- Utility Lighter
- Inexpensive Cookie Sheet
- Fire Extinguisher or Water Sprayer
We’re going to be using fire for this project so you’ve got to be careful. I’d strongly suggest having a fire extinguisher on hand. A spray bottle filled with WATER works for little instances where you want the flame to go out more quickly than it is. But be sure to have a way to put out the fire quickly if you need to.
Not once did I have glass going flying any time glass did break but I’d strongly suggest wearing glasses to protect your eyes…. Crafting can sometimes get crazy, am I right? :)
So, the photo frames you choose is kind of a big deal if you don’t like glass breaking. My first SEVERAL attempts for this project I used frames I got from the dollar store. But the glass is too thin for it to not break when the flame starts. And I tried SEVERAL different frames just in case one would work over another. It was nothing but broken glass.
Trying to keep this project cost down to a minimum I decided to try a whole slew of slightly more expensive frames from other stores. The ones that worked? Hobby Lobby has a value set of format frames that work really well. In fact, that’s what you see in the photos for this tutorial. I cannot find them online to link to so if you want to use these frames you’ll need to get them in store. FYI – you find these near the art section rather than the decor/photo frame area at the 2 different stores I’ve been to.
Other frames that I tried and work well include the Belmont series from Michael’s and these Format Frames you can buy at Walmart or on Amazon.
Right now rubbing alcohol can be hard to find and so I’m using what I’ve already had in my craft stash. One of the greatest things about alcohol ink art is that if you work on a non-porous surface (like the glass of a photo frame) you can wipe clean the surface to start over if you don’t like it. But to do that you have to use alcohol which is expensive / in high demand.
Because I wanted great results the FIRST time I decided to use Ranger Alcohol Inks for this project. My homemade alcohol inks might have worked well for this project but since I didn’t want to chance it I haven’t tried. When things settle and Isopropyl Alcohol is more readily available I’ll make some fired ink art with other alcohol inks so you can see the difference.
Ink then Fire and Ink then Fire
Remove the glass from your frame and clean well using glass cleaner. Allow to dry completely and place on top of a non-flammable work surface, like a cookie sheet. Use something to raise the glass off of the metal, like the frame itself (backside up), rings from mason jars, a coaster, etc.
Apply drops of alcohol ink to the glass surface.
Pick up the glass and move around so that the colors merge and bleed into one another. You want to cover as much of the glass as you can in ink.
At this point if you want the colors to bleed even further, add a tiny squeeze of alcohol ink onto the glass.
Again move the glass to spread out the ink and alcohol.
Place the glass inked side up on your non-flammable work surface and carefully light the alcohol/ink. Use a long utility lighter to keep your hands safe.
Stand back and allow the flame to burn itself out.
Repeat the Process
Continue the process of adding ink and rubbing alcohol to the surface and lighting until you’re happy with the coverage. For each of my paintings I went 2 or 3 passes total.
Once happy with the design, allow the glass to cool completely and then frame. To make the colors pop, add a piece of white paper directly behind the glass. To make the colors blend, use a piece of paper in a similar color to the inks you used.
Decorate Your Space with DIY Fired Ink Art
I love how abstract art can be so versatile… Use them as landscape or portrait pieces, whatever works in your space!
Make them big, make them little, make a whole set!
Fired Ink Art
- Remove the glass from your frame and clean well using glass cleaner. Allow to dry completely and place on top of a non-flammable work surface, like a cookie sheet. Use something to raise the glass off of the metal, like the frame itself (backside up).
- Apply drops of alcohol ink to the glass surface. Pick up the glass and move around so that the colors merge and bleed into one another. You want to cover as much of the glass as you can in ink.
- Add a small drip of rubbing alcohol and move the glass so that the ink spread to cover as much surface as possible.
- Using a long utility lighter carefully light the ink and alcohol. Allow the flame to go out.
- Repeat adding ink, alcohol and flame until you're happy with the design. Allow the glass to cool complete and place back into its frame.