Make a Background with Alcohol Ink


Alcohol ink makes beautiful backgrounds for altered books, cards, scrapbook embellishments, or for any other craft project you have in mind. These acid-free, fast drying dye inks don't muddy the way some do, and they produce a beautiful, shiny surface. Use them on glossy paper, glass, shrink plastic, dominoes or other shiny surfaces.

card made with alcohol ink background
1. The inks are used to make the background in this card.
2. The supplies needed: inks, tool, felt and blending solution. You can get these at this Amazon link: alcohol ink
For best results, use with glossy paper. If your altered book has glossy pages, you can use the inks directly in the book.

Supply List

You can purchase alcohol ink and the related supplies at many stamping stores, or online at Amazon and many other web sites.

You will need:

1. Alcohol inks. I use Tim Holtz Adirondack inks. They are sold in kits of three. You need at least two colours to make a background, although many times you will opt for three or more colors. The card shown in Picture #1 uses two colours only.

2. A tool for applying the ink. The one in Picture #2 is sold where alcohol inks are sold. Alternatively, you could make your own with a block of wood, a bit of glue and some velcro.

3. Felt. You cut the felt in a strip, and attach it to the velcro on the tool. Use, remove and discard. Felt is inexpensive. It is available at Michaels Arts and Craft store, or at sewing shops.

4. Blending Solution. Sold where alcohol inks are sold. See Picture # 3.


1. This can be messy. Put down newspapers or waxed paper to protect your table top. Prepare your glossy paper by cutting it into the size you want, or by getting your altered book ready to colorize. If using directly on glossy pages in your altered book, protect the rest of the book with waxed paper.

2. Cut a piece of felt the size of your application tool. Attach it to the velcro.

3. Remove the top from your first bottle of ink. You are going to squirt a bit of ink onto the felt that is attached to the velcro. However, to avoid spills on your desk or table, place the felt side over the tip of the ink bottle, then invert. Squirt a small puddle of ink, invert again.

4. Repeat with as many colors are you plan on using. You will have little circular blotches of color on the felt. You don't need a lot.

5. When you have as many "blotches" as you wish, begin dabbing the tool (felt side down) over your glossy paper. You will get circular shapes of color.

7. Moving quickly, squirt some blending solution on your felt-covered tool, then smear the felt around over the dabs of colored ink on your glossy paper.

8. Experiment, add and dab as desired. Alcohol ink on glossy paper gives you a wonderfully, bright shiny background in a wonderful array of colors. Your only limit is your imagination.

If desired, stamp a design over your background, or decorate with other embellishments.

Alcohol Ink and Glass Slides

Alcohol ink dries beautifully on glass slides or other shapes of glass. Color your background glass using the same technique described above. Then, stamp a design with Stazon Ink, Brilliance Ink or VersaFine ink.

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