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Make your own Alcohol Inks!

Updated: May 31, 2020

As stores are closing and international shipping has become limited during the COVID-19 pandemic, art supplies are slowly becoming harder to find. Especially if you live far from a city or art store.

Even if you can still get your hands on all the supplies you need - this may still be a good little project for you to do while in self isolation in your home.

So, to make your own Alcohol Inks!

You’ll need:

  • 80-99% Alcohol. I use Isoprocol which a lot of people will already have at home but if you don’t, you can find a high percentage alcohol at outdoor/warehouse stores, chemists, supermarkets and some cheap stores.

  • Sharpie brand permanent marker/s. (A lot of cheaper permanent marker brands will not work for this project)

  • Jar

Once you’ve got those 3 things, the first step is to remove the ink tube from the Sharpie Marker. You can do this by using scissors or snapping the marker in half to pull out the tube.

Place the ink tube in your jar (you may have to cut it into pieces if the tube is too long)

In this step, you’ve got control over what colour you create. Example: put half a tube of blue Sharpie ink and half a tube of red Sharpie ink into your jar and it will create an Ultra Violet purple colour.

Tip: Use the Metallic Sharpies to create Metallic Alcohol Inks!

Next, add the high percentage alcohol to your jar to soak up the ink from the tube. Leave for 1-2 hours.

Tip: the less alcohol added, the more pigmented your ink will be. If your ink tube is soaking in a huge jar full of alcohol, you’re alcohol ink will be a translucent shade of the colour Sharpie used.

After 1-2 hours when the alcohol has become fully saturated in the ink colour, either tip the liquid (without the empty ink tube) into a small dropper bottle or just remove the empty ink tube from your jar and your alcohol ink is now ready to use!

And here are some substitutes for Yupo Paper that you can likely find lying around your home:

  • Photo paper

  • The glass sheet from a picture frame

  • Tiles (spare ones, not the ones on you floor 😉)

  • Laminated paper

  • Any smooth, non- porous surface such as glass/porcelain/ceramic (Example: add some colour to your sugar and coffee jars!)

*Remember before you start making art with your own Alcohol Inks, they give off toxic fumes and are highly flammable so it’s best to work in an open or well ventilated space.

And if you haven’t worked with this medium before, I recommend doing some research on Google to learn about safety and alcohol inks!

⭐️ Visit my page on Instagram @chelseavenzart

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