Monday, February 24, 2014

Alcohol ink card

Yesterday I showed you an alcohol ink sampler and some bigger swatches I made with some of the color samples.  I said that today I'd show you a card with one way to use the inked up swatches.

I looked through some of my stamps and found the Stampin' Up! "Botantical Garden" set.  The background is all "black" (or whatever ink color you choose), so I thought that would be perfect to let the alcohol inks show through.  I chose the one with leaves, inked it up with StazOn (because the paper is a little glossy), and stamped:

Large stamps or stamps with a lot of "black space" are a little tricky.  I didn't press down enough, and the image wasn't very good.  I cut this color swatch out and tried again, this time bringing the paper to the stamp (instead of the stamp to the paper):

While I'm on this picture, here's a stamp organizational tip:  label your wooden stamps.  I found this essential for my many Stampin' Up! stamps.  If I pull a bunch of them out for a project, it's easy to find which box each stamp goes in.  I also put my initials on them in case I loan them out.  The "2/3" in the above picture means that this is stamp #2 out of 3 in the set.  I don't know if I need that, but I like being thorough.

Unfortunately, I didn't press down enough this time, either.  The result is better, but not by much.

The first impression is on the right (stamp-to-paper), and the second impression is on the left (paper-to-stamp).

Le sigh.  Stamping is always an adventure, I tell ya.

I tried with a different stamp on the purple/pink swatch, bringing paper to stamp and gently rubbing all over.  This time it worked a lot better:

There are a couple areas where the ink didn't transfer, but it looks great to me!  The one thing I don't like about these stamps is that even with a good impression, there are some blotchy areas in the background.  I don't know if that would get better the more I use the stamps or if I used something particular to clean them.  If anyone knows, please comment on this post and let me know.  I'd love to use these stamps more, but the blotchiness makes me not want to.

On a separate piece of paper I stamped "Hello":

That was one of the best impressions I've ever had!  I cut it out and adhered it on the left side of the color swatch:

The above picture is a scan - I couldn't get a good picture using the camera.

One thing to remember is that the alcohol inks have to come first.  It would be nice to stamp first then color it (so the leaves could be a different color than the flower), but the alcohol inks have a tendency to make other inks run.

If you've made anything with alcohol inks, I'd love to see it!  E-mail a picture to, and I'll post it here!


  1. You can use a Brayer to apply ink to the stamp OR to apply paper to stamp for better, consistent coverage.

    They do sell a cleaner, but i'm sure you could probably find a recipe to make your own.

    Could you do an alcohol ink perimeter for the iris stamp and, then, stamp the iris stamp, so the leaves would be your different color?

    It's beautiful! I love the Hello on a different paper to make it stand out.


    1. Thanks, Dawn! I do have cleaners, but I was wondering if there was any special cleaner that would take the odd blotchiness off of the stamp. It seems like the stamp has a film or something odd on it. The brayer is a good idea, although I did get a good impression by using my finger like a brayer with the paper on the stamp.

      The problem with doing an alcohol ink perimeter is placing the stamp perfectly in the middle. I'm not very good at that. I could apply the alcohol ink around the stamped image, but both of those options would result in the iris not being colored at all. I could try something like purple alcohol ink "up there" and green "over there" and stamp on top of that. That might take some practice, though.