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How to Use Alcohol Ink on Glass

Updated on June 2, 2014

Using Alcohol Ink on Glass

Using Alcohol Ink on Glass is very easy, and very pretty! I had several colors of Adirondack Alcohol Ink that I had used for making cards, and I wanted to see how to use Alcohol Inks on glass for other projects. I saw this fun project on Pinterest, and just had to try it! I already had a mixture of glassware. The results were stunning and pretty easy!! Adirondack Alcohol Inks are made by Ranger. They can be applied in a variety of ways to achieve different effects. This effect is called the spatter technique, and I think it's the easiest.

Many people have not heard of Alcohol Ink, but it is readily available at most Craft Stores. Before using the alcohol ink on glass, clean the glass and remove any labels using a mild dishwashing detergent. Let dry completely before applying the alcohol ink.

My Mom, Aunt, Sister-in-law, and I get together for GIRLY DAY every other month. This was my project for April, and it was a big hit!

All Photos by Pam Larmore, All Rights Reserved.

Ranger Adirondack Alcohol Ink by Tim Holtz - Buy Alcohol Ink on Amazon!

Amazon offers a wide variety of Alcohol Ink colors at VERY GOOD prices. They also have the stamper applicator and felt. I did not use them for this technnique, but you can get really pretty patterns by using them. You want a variety of colors of Alcohol Inks for all your projects. I prefer the bright, cheerful colors, but my Mom loves the fall, earthy tones.

Alcohol Ink
Alcohol Ink

Alcohol Ink on Glass Candle Holders

This alcohol ink project is quick and inexpensive. Using Alcohol Ink on thrift store finds is a rewarding hobby! I rescued these brandy snifters from asecond hand store for a whopping 10 cents each! Imagine all the vases, pottery, and glassware that you can buy inexpensively to make these. Smooth glass containers work best for this technique. Cut or embossed glass works with other alcohol ink techniques, but not this one. The dollar store also has a great variety of glassware. They had votive cups in 4 different shapes and 3 different kinds of vases. They also had clear dinner plates. These would be beautiful alcohol ink project if applied to the back of the glass plate. Then you could seal it and use it for a cake or cookies. I don't suggest putting alcohol ink on the surface that will touch food.

Visit All Thumbs Crafts to see other alcohol ink projects.

What is Alcohol Ink?

How to Use Alcohol Inks on Glass and Other Surfaces

Warning: Alcohol ink stains! It really stains your hands, but wears off pretty quickly. You can also wear rubber gloves, but I find it difficult to grip the glass when wearing gloves. If you get Alcohol Inks where you don't want it, you can clean it up with regular rubbing alcohol from the drugstore.

Do not use alcohol ink on glassware that will touch food or beverages. It is for decorative purposes only.

Alcohol inks can be used on any nonporous surface. It works great on glassware, ceramics, metal, tin, plastic, and glossy paper. The colors will not blend on wood or regular cardstock. Alcohol Ink Projects dry very fast, so you need to work quickly. It will take some experimenting to get different effects.

The combination of Alcohol Ink and compressed air makes lots of fumes! Make sure you are in a well ventilated area. When the weather is nice, I prefer to do it outside,

When you're finished, seal the glassware with at least 2 coats of clear acrylic spray. Rustoleum and Krylon both make sprays in a variety of finishes.

Alcohol Ink
Alcohol Ink

The Spatter Alcohol Ink Technique

To make this alcohol ink project, you will need glassware, a canned of compressed air (from the office supply store), and Alcohol Ink. That's it! The ink comes in a bottle with a dropper type dispenser. Drop the ink onto the glass. Three drops covers a good size area. Quickly, spray the ink with the compressed air. It makes a spatter pattern. You will get different effects depending on the angle of the spray. As you use different colors, they will blend together creating new colors. The ink dries very quickly! In this photo, my aunt and sister-in-law are working together, because it was very windy outside. One held the vase and dropped the ink, and the other sprayed the compressed air.

Compressed Air

To get the spatter look with alcohol ink on glass, you will need compressed air with the straw. It is very important to use the straw so that you can aim the air exactly where you want it.

Tim Holtz Using Alcohol Ink

Tim Holtz demonstrates the ink spatter technique on glossy paper. The technique is the same on glass or metal.

Alcohol Inks Come in Beautiful Colors

Adirondack Alcohol Inks come in a lots of colors from brights to darks, and four metallic blenders. The colors that I used on these candleholders are Lettuce, Wild Plum, and Stream. They are wonderful summer colors, but I can't wait to try gold, orange, and dark green! There is a wide variety of colors for all of your alcohol ink projects. The bottles aren't very big, but it goes a long way.

The Enchanted Gallery has a wonderful color chart showing all of the colors. She also shows alcohol ink used in different color combinations and on different items.

Alcohol Ink Sets on Ebay

After playing with the Alcohol Inks on Glass for a few weeks, my daughter and I decided we needed more colors for our projects! We ordered 9 new colors to add to our collection.

Sealing Alcohol Ink on Glass

Alcohol Ink Projects must be sealed with 2-3 coats of clear acrylic sealer. Spray on thin coats so that it doesn't run or drip. Rustoleum and Krylon make sealers in Matte, Satin, and Glossy finishes. Apply in a well ventilated area.

Do you like the looks of Alcohol Inks?

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    • profile image

      pam 4 weeks ago

      How do you seal the ink, I tried mod podge and it smears the ink

    • profile image

      Bat 20 months ago

      I sprayed over an alcohol ink wine glass design with clear krypton satin spray. It totally melted the ink and ruined the design. What did I do wrong?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I painted with Tim Holtz adirondack alcohol inks on glass without a sealer, and now that they're drying, it has a somewhat sticky texture. Is this going to be how they permanently feel or will this go away after more drying time?

    • NibsyNell profile image

      NibsyNell 4 years ago

      These certainly have the 'wow' factor!

    • BetsiGoutal1 profile image

      BetsiGoutal1 4 years ago

      Fantastic lens! Love all these great inspirational photos. Thanks for sharing. :)

    • Carpenter76 profile image

      Carpenter76 4 years ago

      That caught my eye! Would be nice to try this in my class!

    • profile image

      Thamisgith 4 years ago

      Love the glasses that you got at the thrift shop. A "before" and "after" photo would be great to see!

    • Judith Nazarewicz profile image

      Judith Nazarewicz 4 years ago from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

      I love the look of the alcohol inks on glass! I'm looking forward to trying this one day. Thanks so much!

    • profile image

      marsha32 4 years ago

      It looks like lots of fun and it sure is pretty too.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 4 years ago

      Very good info about alcohol inks. Great technique, well explain. Blessings!

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 4 years ago from Sweden

      this is a very good personal gift! And while you make it, you too have fun! Thanks a lot for this lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      i didn't know you can make art with alcohol!!!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 4 years ago

      I sure do and this is my first exposure to alcohol inks. I'll have to try this technique on wine bottle votive covers.

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 4 years ago from US

      Love the look! Very unique.

    • RGrieco profile image

      RGrieco 4 years ago

      What a lovely idea, must try it, did not even know or even heard of alcohol inks before,

    • profile image

      pamlen 4 years ago

      These are such beautiful crafts, I'd probably try this one.t

    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 4 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      I do indeed. I did not know what alcohol inks were before reading your lens. Now I realize that I have probably seen examples of their effects hundreds if not thousands of times.


    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 5 years ago

      I am a big fan of anything made of glass - and this painting on glass with alcohol inks seems like a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing your great idea!! :)

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Very nice...not heard of alcohol ink before!

    • pinkrenegade lm profile image

      pinkrenegade lm 5 years ago

      Very artistic ideas. It's colorful, too.

    • encouragingwords profile image

      encouragingwords 5 years ago

      Great ideas; so many crafts, so little time!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love the video! :)

    • profile image

      Doc_Holliday 5 years ago

      What a novel idea. Good to see alcohol being put to good use.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      Love it! Better than I expected.

    • lclchors profile image

      lclchors 5 years ago

      I may just have to try this for Christmas presents

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is amazing. i like it:D

    • sarasentor lm profile image

      sarasentor lm 5 years ago

      I am enjoyed to read your awesome lens, you made lens different from other lens masters. I appreciate you for making such a great lens.

    • PebblesBedrock profile image

      PebblesBedrock 5 years ago

      Absolutely beautiful. Love the effect of alcohol ink on glass. Never heard of it before but after reading your lens, I think I will give it a go. Thank you so much for providing the information. Looks like the possibilities are endless.

    • Caromite profile image

      Caromite 5 years ago

      I love your candle holder glass - it's so colorful and it makes me happy^^

    • mikes-cool-stuff profile image

      mikes-cool-stuff 5 years ago

      These inks really make the glasses look great. Great info. Also thanks for liking one of my lenses.

    • profile image

      Terrie_Schultz 5 years ago

      So beautiful!

    • psiloveyou1 profile image

      psiloveyou1 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I haven't had them outside for a long period of time. I would make sure to get a sealer that is for use outside and waterproof. It may have to be sprayed every few months, but I think it would hold up. Thanks for stopping by :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Beautiful! Any idea how the ink holds up on outdoor items? I'm thinking about using the technique on the clear panes of an old window to imitate "stained glass." And then hang the window in the garden where the sun can shine through. It would have to stand up to rain and heat. Thoughts?

    • Spiderlily321 profile image

      Spiderlily321 5 years ago

      These are really cool. I would love to try doing this some time. Thanks for sharing!

    • Spiderlily321 profile image

      Spiderlily321 5 years ago

      These are really cool. I would love to try doing this some time. Thanks for sharing!

    • CameronPoe profile image

      CameronPoe 5 years ago

      I think that using alcohol ink is a great technic for decorating glass.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very pretty! I would love to do a project with alcohol ink! :)

    • CyberTech LM profile image

      CyberTech LM 5 years ago

      I think I just found a NEW Hobby!!!! This looks like fun, what is the biggest sheet of paper can one get? I would Love to make one 3 foot square for my wall!!

    • AgingIntoDisabi profile image

      AgingIntoDisabi 5 years ago

      Yes, looks lovely. Had no idea alcohol could do this.

    • profile image

      seemarahate 5 years ago

      I agree with both points.thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      prairierprincess 5 years ago

      These are so beautiful! Thanks for sharing such a great idea.

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 5 years ago from Jersey Shore

      It's new to me but it looks like loads of fun Nice lens :>)

    • belle88 profile image

      belle88 5 years ago

      i have newer seen it, so good information :D

    • peggygallyot profile image

      peggygallyot 5 years ago

      I did not know there was such a thing as alcohol ink. Thank you for this information.

    • psiloveyou1 profile image

      psiloveyou1 5 years ago

      @Lindasc333 LM: They're beautiful outside when the sun is shining on them during the day and with candles at night.

    • profile image

      KarenCookieJar 5 years ago

      I didn't know this existed, very cool!

    • ryokomayuka profile image

      ryokomayuka 5 years ago from USA

      Pretty glasses. I love to do arts and crafts. Great ideas.

    • profile image

      kmyangel 5 years ago

      yes the idea is great and seams easy too ! Thanks for sharing :)

    • Lindasc333 LM profile image

      Lindasc333 LM 5 years ago

      Great Lens. I have some old jars that used to hold candles. This would be a great way to update them, add a new candle and stick them on the patio.

    • profile image

      katieross 5 years ago

      These look awesome!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very pretty, thnks for making this informational lens!

    • Nimsrules LM profile image

      Nirmal Shah 5 years ago from India

      Amazing creativity. I'm definitely gonna try this art. Thanks for sharing.

    • Lucky621 LM profile image

      Lucky621 LM 5 years ago

      Those glasses are gorgeous!! I'm going to have to try this. Thanks!

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 5 years ago

      Excellent lens - pinned too!

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 5 years ago

      Excellent lens - pinned too!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Interesting. First time I have seen this.

    • bushaex profile image

      Stephen Bush 5 years ago from Ohio

      SquidAngel Blessings for a fun and interesting lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very nice medium for a craft project.

    • mojoCNYartist profile image

      Dan 5 years ago from CNY

      Congrats on the feature.

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 5 years ago

      Very cool designs! Blessed

    • Sniff It Out profile image

      Sniff It Out 5 years ago

      They look really good, so colourful, and it's great that you managed to get the brandy snifters cheaply.

    • SquidooPower profile image

      SquidooPower 5 years ago

      This is very interesting, thanks. Been looking for a way to decorate old bottles I fond floating in the ocean and this gives me some ideas.

    • gatornic15 profile image

      gatornic15 5 years ago

      I really like the designs. What a great idea!

    • hotbrain profile image

      hotbrain 5 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      Congrats on making it to the homepage... Your glasses look so pretty! Very nice alcohol ink crafts!

    • SoniaCarew profile image

      SoniaCarew 5 years ago

      It is beautiful!

      Congrats on your homepage feature!

    • intermarks profile image

      intermarks 5 years ago

      This is something new to me, it can really gives a beautiful color especially on glass. Thanks!

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      These are so pretty! Going to bookmark this as I love Adirondack Inks. Thanks for sharing this. :)

    • Lynda Makara profile image

      Lynda Makara 5 years ago from California

      These are so pretty. I love the colors!

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 5 years ago from West Virginia

      Wow, your designs are lovely, I love the bright colors.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      These are beautiful colors. I need to find something I can use alcohol inks on --this looks interesting. Thanks.

    • randomthings lm profile image

      randomthings lm 5 years ago

      This is so cool. I have never heard of alcohol inks before, and the inks on glass is amazing. Thanks for sharing!

    • psiloveyou1 profile image

      psiloveyou1 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks Tipi, things on Squidoo are starting to come together :)

    • psiloveyou1 profile image

      psiloveyou1 5 years ago

      @purpleslug: Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I've never used alcohol ink but sure want to give it a try now, what a low cost and wonderful way to create beauty, congratulations on front page honors...and epic day for you!

    • profile image

      purpleslug 5 years ago

      I do like the look! They are very pretty.

    • psiloveyou1 profile image

      psiloveyou1 5 years ago

      @sharonbellis: With the exception of the mess, it's pretty easy :)

    • psiloveyou1 profile image

      psiloveyou1 5 years ago

      @WriterJanis2: Thank You!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      These are really beautiful.

    • sharonbellis profile image

      Sharon Bellissimo 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      Wow, beautiful designs and a nice lens with easy to follow instructions.

    • psiloveyou1 profile image

      psiloveyou1 5 years ago

      @VeseliDan: Thanks for the blessing :) It made my morning.

    • VeseliDan profile image

      VeseliDan 5 years ago

      I really like these designs! Thank you for sharing them with us! *blessed*

    • psiloveyou1 profile image

      psiloveyou1 5 years ago

      @kristalulabelle: Fun and messy! Thanks for visiting :)

    • kristalulabelle profile image

      Kristen 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      This looks like so much fun! Thanks for sharing!

    • psiloveyou1 profile image

      psiloveyou1 5 years ago

      @bensen32 lm: It does look like tie dye. We have been experimenting with a new technique that I will have to post soon. Thanks for stopping by.

    • bensen32 lm profile image

      bensen32 lm 5 years ago

      never heard of this before....thanks for the idea going to look into it. I dye tye and this looks like it could be as much fun.

    • LittleLindaPinda profile image

      Little Linda Pinda 5 years ago from Florida

      Really pretty. It has a stained glass look which I love. Thank you for sharing this new to me artistic technique.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm Going to let Shawn try this. He wants to sell plants in containers we find at the millions of thrift stores down here so this may be something he can try also :) Thanks so much for sharing it!

    • profile image

      JZinoBodyArt 5 years ago

      Great craft idea! I will have to try this! If I do, I will totally send you pics. Very cool lens. :)

    • jballs6 profile image

      jballs6 5 years ago

      Several years ago I used to decorate objects for around the home, reading your page has inspired me to take it up again thanks. Great ideas

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very good technique!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very good technique!!!

    • jholland profile image

      jholland 5 years ago

      So cool! I had never heard of using them this way.

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

      What a fun and easy technique. Thanks for sharing.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      These are very cool! I bet with a candle glowing inside these are even prettier!

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 5 years ago

      Yes, they are very pretty.

    • psiloveyou1 profile image

      psiloveyou1 5 years ago

      @JoshK47: Thanks for the Blessing Josh!!!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      These are so cool! Thanks for sharing - blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • Camden1 profile image

      Camden1 5 years ago

      These alcohol inks are just beautiful - and it sounds like a great craft for the craft-impaired people like me!

    • BestRatedStuff profile image

      BestRatedStuff 5 years ago

      Lovely, looks like a wonderful, fun, outdoor craft idea for my kids this summer.

    • profile image

      Auntie-M LM 5 years ago

      What a lovely idea!