top of page

Basic Alcohol Ink Background Techniques

Hi everyone, today I would like to show you how you can create some fun alcohol ink backgrounds using different techniques. You can use all of these techniques on one background or only one technique, just what you prefer or how you background looks. One thing is sure, each background will be completely different!

Step 1:

What are the basic items you need to be able to create these kind of backgrounds?

- a work surface you can easily clean with alcohol (like a glass work mat), remember that alcohol inks will absorb in any porous surfaces like wood, and will leave stains!

- alcohol (at least 96%) and/or Blender solution, they each create a different effect, try out what you like best;

- a fine tip needle bottle, I transfer the alcohol to this bottle with a pipette;

- some Yupo paper (which is like a plastic (non-porous) paper, you can also try out photo paper, but the results might be different), you can cut the paper to card size from the beginning or work on a larger piece and cut afterwards;

- something to move the alcohol/alcohol ink around with, like a Ranger Alcohol Ink Air Blower (I prefer this tool over a straw to prevent breathing in the alcohol fumes);

- gloves to protect your hands;

- and of course your Spectrum Noir alcohol inks (on one project I usually mix colours from families that are close to each other to prevent creating a brown/mud colour).

Step 2:

There are a million ways that you can create alcohol ink backgrounds, this is just what I did for today’s cards: I added some of the alcohol (or use Blender solution) to the Yupo paper (that I already cut to a size, two sizes smaller than my card base) in a diagonal way using the filled needle tipped bottle. Next I added some of the red Spectrum Noir alcohol ink in DR2. Followed with some of the pink Spectrum Noir alcohol ink in BP3. Just add a couple of drops of each colour in random places within the diagonal line. You will see that it will mix on the Yupo paper.

When you have added a few drops you can let the ink do what it likes, or you can use the Air Blower tool to move the alcohol / alcohol ink mixture around, the air will also start drying the ink, I start drying the ink on the outside parts first, blowing it inwards, until it’s dry or you can set the Yupo aside to dry on it’s own!

Step 3:

Onto the different techniques, this is number one: what you can do when the Yupo paper is almost dry, but still has some sticky spots, you can add some metallic gilding flakes to the project. They will stick to the project where the sticky spots are, when dry you can brush the excess of.

Step 4:

Technique number two: what you can also do is run the Yupo paper, with an embossing folder, through a machine like the Gemini.

Step 5:

Technique number three: if you like, you can also add splatters onto your project using the Spectrum Noir Metallic Inks (let them dry on their own, Yupo paper doesn’t handle the heat from a heat tool very well).

Step 6:

Technique number four: create lighter spots on the Yupo using the pure alcohol to create splatters that you dab of immediately, using a kitchen paper.

Remember that you can use none, one, two or all of the above mentioned techniques on your project, my project felt very uniform in the middle area and that is why “layering” these techniques felt okay for my, but when you background is already very busy feeling, you might want to add only one technique, or none at all, just what you prefer! Experiment and see what you like!

Step 7:

Next I worked on creating my cool coloured background in the same way as I did with the pink/red one. For this background I used a combination of green Spectrum Noir Alcohol Ink in AG2 and turquoise in BT9. Since this background is quite busy on it’s own I didn’t felt like adding another technique than the one mentioned below.

Step 8:

For my fifth technique is used some Alcohol Lift-Ink to stamp with a globe/compass stamp onto the Yupo paper. What happens is that the Alcohol Lift-Ink will take the alcohol colour of the Yupo paper, this way you can transfer the alcohol ink to a different piece of paper, this one should be porous (in my case it’s the grey paper in the picture)!

Some of the Alcohol Lift-Ink will stay behind on the Yupo paper: it’s important to not rub on the panel directly, you will smear the Alcohol Lift-Ink and spread it over the Yupo. First dab of as much as possible, using a paper tissue/kitchen paper. Then take a clean area on rub of the rest.

Step 9:

This is what my two backgrounds look like in this stage. Time to create some fun cards with them.

Step 10:

For the pink/red alcohol ink background I die cut a swirly ornament using a die set by Stampin’ Up (“Detailed Bands Dies”) from white pearl card stock. I also die cut the insert part (for the sentiment) as well as a slightly larger rectangle panel (than my alcohol ink background) from some matching pink card stock. Both of the pink die cut parts I edged with Spectrum Noir Water-Reactive Ink in “Winter Rose” using a Spectrum Noir Blending Tool. Onto the sentiment die cut I stamped one of the sentiments from the Whimsy Stamps “Friendly Flowers” stamp set using black ink (Spectrum Noir Finesse Water-Proof “Noir Black”).

For the green/turquoise alcohol ink background I used a masculine ready to go image that I only needed to fussy cut. I stamped my sentiment of choice (Stamping Bella “Uptown Girl Vienna and her Vespa”) onto some brown card stock using the same black ink as before, die cut a banner shape around the sentiment using the middle sized die in the Lawn Fawn “Everyday Sentiment Banners” die set and then edged the banner using Spectrum Noir Alcohol-Proof Ink in “Pebble” using a Blending Tool. I also die cut a slightly larger square panel from deep red card stock.

Step 11:

For the pink/red card I adhered the two rectangle panels together using liquid glue. I wrapped the swirly white ornament around these combined panels and adhered with one millimetre thick foam tape on the front and regular tape on the back. This combination I adhered to a white pearl card base also using one millimetre thick foam tape. And to finish this card I now only have to adhere the pink sentiment shape on top using one millimetre thick foam tape.

For the green/turquoise card I adhered the two squire panels together using liquid glue. The fussy cut image and the banner I already adhered together using regular tape. Now I can adhere this combination to the alcohol ink panel using one millimetre thick foam tape, wrapping the banner to the back on the right hand side and adhering there using regular tape. And to finish this card I now only have to adhere these combined panels to a white linen textured card base.

And that’s it for today’s card project! I wish you a creative day!

bottom of page