If you like to make jewelry and enjoy trying different mediums, alcohol ink on glass gives you a beautiful effect. You can make an alcohol ink pendant necklace that will be eye-catching and a great conversation starter! It is an easy craft, not to mention inexpensive and beautiful!
The first time I used these glass gems, I made Nail Polish Jewelry. I found that to be very addictive and amazingly beautiful and came up with a few different versions. What a great craft for kids, teens, and adults. It’s so glam and a great fashion accessory! I’ve gone on to make around 17+ projects using the glass gems and I suspect there will be many more in the future!! Remember, the gems come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and can be used for WAY more than just jewelry! For example, I made Mosaic Gem Drink Coasters and I also put them in concrete for a Mother’s Day Stepping Stone!
Like the glass gems, I have used alcohol ink on a number of projects from coasters to jewelry to artwork. I love how vibrant the colors are and I love that they can be used on a number of different materials and they even work on hard, slick surfaces, where a lot of mediums fall short. The surfaces you work on will have different effects and results, which makes it even more exciting!
Here is a quick video alcohol ink YouTube tutorial to see how I made them:
Materials You Will Need
You can find the items I used to make this project here:
I started with the round, clear glass gems. If the gem is lumpy or imperfect, don’t worry, it won’t matter. Also, if they are not perfectly round, don’t worry, it just makes them more interesting! I used the larger gems for this project, but you can use smaller sizes for this as well. The smaller ones might make a fun ring!
I took a little rubbing alcohol and cleaned them off. I like to clean them off because I don’t want there to be any grease, oils, or dirt that might get in the way of the alcohol ink properly sticking and/or spreading. The cleaner the surface, the better. The rubbing alcohol dries very quickly, so this step won’t even slow you down!
I created a dauber, which consists of a strip of felt glued around a popsicle stick. It allows me to move the alcohol ink around. You could use a cotton swab instead. If you do use a cotton swab, make sure you don’t get any little lint pieces stuck in your project. A makeup sponge would be another alternative. You could rip or cut the sponge for interesting effects too!
I started adding alcohol ink. You want to work on the flat side of the gems. Simply drip the colors on the flat side of the gem and let them spread around. I work on the flat side of the gem because it’s an easier surface to work on and the effect on the other side is more beautiful, magnified, and shiny when you turn the glass gem over.
The colors will blend colors blend together and where they blend, they will create new colors! You can let them run together on their own by dripping the inks close to one another. You can also pick up the glass gem and tilt it, so the colors find each other and start blending.
On some, I used my dauber, which gave me more muted colors and additional blending. You get different effects depending on how you approach it and what look you are going for.
I let them dry and kept making some more!!! Once you get started, you won’t want to stop! No two gems will be alike! I LOVE IT!!!
I took jewelry bails and glued them onto the back. You can seal them beforehand and I have a sealer listed above. A helpful article for sealing alcohol ink on glass can be found HERE! Any glue that dries clear and will stick to metal and glass should do the job. My go-to glue is generally Ultimate Glue.
Look how beautiful they are!
I have these set up as pendants, but you can easily use them as magnets, decorative table scatter, in a mosaic, in a coaster, etc. Maybe you just enjoy looking at them! I do!
I was able to complete these 16 alcohol glass gems in no time! You can whip these out last minute!
Let me answer some FAQs:
Where do you buy alcohol inks?
They are available at craft stores. Michaels has a good variety of inks and a few different brands. They also carry accessories and tools to work with the alcohol ink, including an air blower, applicators, foil sheets, Yupo sheets, etc. It’s a great place to stock up!
Of course, Amazon has EVERYTHING you have ever dreamed of related to alcohol ink, including beautiful books for inspiration! AND get this, they even have alcohol ink gel nail polish…um…WHAT?!?! That has certainly piqued my interest…not for my nails, but for what else I can possibly use it on!
What is an alcohol ink?
It is a high pigment, alcohol-based ink. It works especially well on non-porous surfaces, such as glass, plastic, ceramic tile, etc. They are waterproof, but depending on what you are using them on you may want to seal them. It will smear if it comes into contact with certain chemicals, including alcohol. Some sealers will also reactivate the alcohol inks and cause them to smear. Read the article I referenced above, where different sealers used.
Can you make your own alcohol ink?
Yes. There are a bunch of how to make alcohol ink youtube tutorials with rubbing alcohol and Sharpie markers. You have to soak the ink cartridge from inside the marker in rubbing alcohol. The alcohol and the marker ink mix and create an alcohol ink. I’m not sure if it is as vibrant as ready-made alcohol ink, but it is a cheaper way to get a large variety of colors. I have not made any, so I cannot attest to how well they work.
What can you use alcohol ink for?
There are so many uses. People have used them to dye fabric, do artwork on canvas and paper. I have seen people do wine glasses and have I used them to make Alcohol Ink Coasters, where I used them with resin. Remember the glass gems! I also used them on my Rainbow Resin Coasters.
Can you paint with alcohol ink on canvas?
Yes! A canvas is porous and the ink will soak right into the material. That might be an effect you like. Otherwise, you can prime your canvas with gesso, to keep the inks on the surface and be able to move them around for longer.
I used them on canvas as part of my Resin Fish Painting project.
Can you use alcohol ink on wood?
Yes, but like the canvas, wood is a porous material and it will soak into the wood and create more of a stain effect, which is still beautiful! You will use more alcohol ink on a wood project than you would on a glass, foil, or Yupo paper project, so you might want to keep the size in mind when you are planning a wood alcohol ink project. My wood Shark Coasters incorporated alcohol ink on one of the sharks.
I have two questions for you and I’d love for you to share in the comments below:
- Have you worked with the glass gems before? If so, what did you make?
- Have you worked with alcohol inks? If so, what did you make?
I hope this helped inspire you and maybe try something new if you haven’t already! Thanks so much for stopping by and remember: Life’s too short not to shimmer, so grab your glue gun and your glitter!™ Stay safe!
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