Homemade Alcohol Inks

Pin43.4KShare426Tweet43.8K SharesAlcohol inks are incredibly expensive. Save BIG BUCKS by making homemade alcohol inks. You’ll get vibrant, gorgeous alcohol ink at a fraction of the cost! I’m super excited because today I’m updating a post from way back in 2015. Almost 5 years ago I decided to start making my own alcohol inks. But I’m always working to improve things. So over the past 5 years I’ve tried all sorts of markers and bottles and methods and I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way. But I’ve also sort of streamlined the process. I’ve figured out how use less tools and make more vibrant and saturated colors. And I’m really happy to share with you a new and improved way to make alcohol inks at home… (original Alcohol Inks post can be found here) Why DIY when you can buy alcohol inks? Straight UP to save money. BIG money, in fact. I was needing a new set of alcohol inks and I wanted to have sort of a rainbow assortment. Because I was feeling supremely lazy I figured I’d just buy a set. On Amazon I found this Ranger Favorites Alcohol Ink Set and it had most but not all of the bright and cheerful colors I was hoping for. Plus each bottle was only half an ounce. At $60 for the set, that means each half an ounce costs $4 apiece. Now think about it this way… at $8 an ounce and with 128 ounces in a gallon, do you have any idea what the cost is per gallon? First let’s think of a few gallons to compare this astronomical price I’m about to show you… In my part of Texas I can get a gallon of milk for around $2.50. I filled up my car yesterday and paid $2.29 a gallon for regular grade gasoline. But if I wanted to order enough of these little bottles of alcohol ink to equal one gallon it would cost me $1,024. Wowzers, right? Ooh, and I didn’t even add tax. Silly me! That would be another $84.15 for a total of roughly $1108 per gallon of store bought alcohol ink. That’s about my grocery budget for 2 weeks spent on nothing but TAX. Now this was kind of silly, I grant you because who would ever BUY a gallon of alcohol inks? But I just wanted to bring home just how expensive this little craft medium is. And alcohol inks are a really FUN craft medium to work with. Unfortunately because of the cost a lot of crafters can’t afford them. That’s why I went DIY 7 years ago and never looked back. But first… Did you know I wrote a book about Alcohol Inks? I did, I totally wrote a book on Crafting with Alcohol Inks titled Crafting with Alcohol Inks which is soooo original, I know :) Quick plug, get your very own copy of Crafting with Alcohol Inks by Allison Murray (yours truly) online at either Amazon or Barnes and Noble! Back when I wrote this book in 2016, my publisher wanted me to use alcohol inks in the projects that others could purchase and so I did. Except for my very first use of alcohol inks when I purchased a little 3 pack that is the only other time I’ve ever spent money alcohol inks. Every single other use has been DIY. And, as I said, through the years I’ve managed to come up with much more vibrant and saturated inks to use than I did way back in 2015. In a nutshell, these DIY alcohol inks are amazing and, in my honest opinion, rival store-bought alcohol inks at a fraction of the cost. And also in my honest opinion, blow my previous version of alcohol inks out of the water. Supplies Needed for DIY Alcohol Inks Chisel Tip Sharpie Markers Strong Isopropyl Alcohol (91% or 99%) Precision Tip Applicator Bottles Glass Jars Paper Towels Disposable Gloves Craft Knife Protection for Work Surface Goo Gone for Clean Up The supplies list to make DIY super strong alcohol inks is really small. Gather strong Isopropyl Alcohol (91 or 99%) and really good permanent markers. As of today, Isopropyl Alcohol is a straight up nightmare to find because of the current global health situation. Right now I’m not going to link to the alcohol because online there’s rampant price gouging. I’ll admit the timing of this post isn’t exactly perfect but I’ve been working on it since way before the shortages. Please PIN THIS POST for future reference. This will be the perfect project when things settle down and rubbing alcohol isn’t being sold at a crazy premium. The Markers You Use Affect the Quality For this batch of super strong DIY alcohol inks I used Sharpie brand chisel tip markers. I initially purchased this set from Amazon but then was disappointed when I received them and realized there was no pink marker. Because I wanted a pink alcohol ink, as well, I purchased 2 fine point Sharpies individually from the craft store Michael’s. Later I found that Target carries a 4-count chisel tip Sharpie set that includes pink, lime green, bright aqua ,and purple. Flat out, there’s just A LOT more ink inside of the chisel tip Sharpies giving you a much stronger alcohol ink. I’d strongly suggest picking up your fat Sharpies from Target. They’re cheaper than online and you can get all of the basic alcohol ink colors you’d want. But if you cannot find a chisel tip in the color you want, you’ll need TWO fine point Sharpies instead of one chisel tip. If you’re not down with Sharpie, you can most certainly try to use any markers you please. Just make sure they aren’t eraser board markers because those won’t work. Washable markers will not work, either. Be sure that any markers you use state PERMANENT somewhere on them. And just know, I’ve used very cheap and very expensive markers in my journey and I … Continue reading Homemade Alcohol Inks