New Products · Techniques · Tutorial

Playing with Alcohol Inks

It’s FriYAY!!! As promised, I have a post for you about alcohol inks. I can’t promise you loads of tips, as it’s a very new product to me. What I can do is share with you what I have learned, and what amazing results even a novice can achieve!

Let’s start off with the supplies:


Of course you need inks. I purchased mine from Micheal’s in sets of three each, mainly because I couldn’t wait to order them online. Once I decided I was going to take this plunge, I was all in. The 2 bottles in the front are Mixatives, these are silver in gold. I also picked up the Ranger Adirondack alcohol ink applicators with felt pads (not the same as the foam Distress ink blending tools). I also added a paint brush that is dedicated to alcohol inks and a straw (this one is a hard plastic straw that is used with RTIC cups).  Not pictured, but as equally imporant as the inks, is Yupo paper. It’s a special slick paper that is almost like plastic. It allows the ink to move on the paper. Some people use glossy paper, but I have only tried Yupo Paper. In the back is a bottle of Blending Solution. I also recommend rubbing alcohol or Isopropyl. You also need to work on a protected surface. You can use a craft mat. I used garbage bags for my first attempt. Be sure to work in a well ventilated area as well.

There are so many different techniques to use with alcohol inks. I highly recommend checking out Jennifer McGuire’s site, as well as YouTube and Instagram. I haven’t even tried them all.

I started out with using the felt applicator and adding stripes to the Yupo paper. This was  a technique Jennifer shared recently.

I apologize but I am not sure exactly what colors I used. I wasn’t planning on writing a post so I was careful about writing it down. I’m pretty sure the first 2 are Cranberry and gold mixative, the third Cranberry, Gold and Lettuce, and the last two Watermelon, Lettuce and Gold. But, the green could also be Citrus.

This method involves adding drops of the ink to the felt pads, adding some blending solution, and then pulling it across the paper. I like the bottom two the best, with some white space. But I kept messing up the lines when I went back to “fix,” them.

Next are a couple where I used the applicator to “pounce,” the color on.

The colors are similar to above, and adding the colors to the applicator is the same. The difference is that you pounce, or press the applicator down, then pick it back up straight. Or you can press and twist a little. I also like this better with the white space, it looks almost floral.

I think the most popular method is the next one. This is adding drops on ink to the paper, adding blending solution, and blowing or moving the ink.

I really stuggled with this method. In fact, the last three panels are ones that I went back and re-worked, with alcohol. I added too much color and didn’t really let it move around. But, I have some ideas to use next time.

The purple color is Plum, the blue is Sailboat Blue and the blue-green is Stream. I used silver mixative on the last three, and gold mixative on the first three.

I have a couple of examples of one more technique I tried. This method was using the paint brush.

For the first panel, I added plum, Sailboat Blue and Stream onto the panel, along with silver mixative. Then I dipped my paint brush into blending solution and ran it through the color, mixing them and creating the lines. On the rainbow panel I used Watermelon, Butterscotch, Citrus, Lettuce, Stream, Sailboat Blue and Plum, along with gold mixative. I did the same thing with the paint brush. I really love these panels. The colors are so vibrant, and running the brush through the colors is almost like giving it texture.

Once I started making panels, it was difficult to stop! They come together so quickly, and the next thing you know your reaching for more Yupo paper and it’s all gone! I was going for vibrant colors, but I’ve seen some pretty light panels others have made. You could also make a pretty cool galaxy sky. There are so many possibilities. My only issue is having to cut the panels up! I’ve had these panels for I think 3 weeks now, and I struggled to make cards with them. I did use one of the panels I wasn’t that fond of for a MFT Challenge the week before, and this past week I finally cut up that rainbow panel. It broke my heart! But, there is no point in keeping them sitting on my desk… And I’m starting to get some ideas for them. I can see a mermaid card with the green panel.

As I play around with these some more, I’ll share them with you. I have some ideas for more panels, and would like to try making some lighter colored panels. Please, feel free to share your adventures with alcohol ink!  I would love to hear about your favorite techniques!

Thanks for stopping by!





Making Cards · Techniques · Tutorial

Christmas Card Prep Week 3-MFT Handwritten Holiday

Hello and welcome back to my Christmas card prep series. Today’s post features cards I made with MFT’s Handwritten Holiday’s. This stamp set includes several large sentiments, written in a beautiful script.


Several ideas popped into my head when I first saw this set. Let me share what I did as far as “mass production,” goes.

I used the tag shape from Concord and 9th’s Sprinkle Turnabout bundle and cut out two tags for each card. I stamped the sentiment “Joyful,” on one of the tags  with Versamark ink and heat embossed with white on 4 of the tags. I used silver on the card in the middle of the top row.

I stamped the snowflake images on the second tags, and embossed to match. On the red tag I used an ornament image from CZ Design’s Coolest Yulest.

The tags were adhered to cards with foam tape. I added matching ribbon, and accented the cards with Lucy’s cards Jewels. For the two cards on the bottom row I used Simply White Nuvo drops to change things up. I used the following cardstocks,  in order starting at the top, MFT Wild Cherry and Neenah Solar White Classic Crest, MFT Sno-Cone and Neenah White Silver, MFT Sno-Cone and Neenah Solar White Classic Crest, Gina K Christmas Pine and Neenah Solar White Classic Crest, MFT Kraft and Neenah Solar White Classic Crest.

I did play around with some other designs with the tags.

The top card uses Concord and 9th’s Sprinkle Turnabout stamp for the background, with Candied Apple and Lucky Clover Distress Oxide ink, along with Versamark and Gold embossing powder. I used MFT’s Mod Rectangles to cut the panel out.

The second card is the tag, along with reindeer from CZ Design’s Coolest Yulest, stamped, embossed and die cut. Lucy’s Cards jewels finish off that card. The third card was describe in a previous post.

Now for the other idea I had for this sentiment set. I have several Christmas sets that feature cute images, such as fairies and lambs. They are sweet, but seem to require scene building to use them. My idea was to take a large sentiment, and then add one of the images.

I haven’t had the chance to play with this idea too much, but I did get to make 2 cards. I used Distress Mica Spray for the background of the lamb card, and heat embossed the sentiment in gold. The little lamb is from Mama Elephant’s Wooly Winter. The second card is more plain, with white heat embossing, and the trees from CZ Design’s Coolest Yulest. Silver confetti sequins finish it off (the cardstock on both cards is MFT’s Wild Cherry).

The last card I made with this set is a one off. This was for a previous MFT Sketch Challenge.


The description for this card is include in this post.

I hope to make some more cards with this set, once I’m no longer overwhelmed with ideas for the Hero Arts October kit. There is so much inspiration in that kit, but none of it really lends itself to mass production. I think I will write a post featuring the kit at the end of this series, as a bonus post. And, I haven’t even gotten my hands on the Hero Arts November kit yet!!! That will definitely be a good mass production kit.

Thanks for stopping by, and hanging out through this long post.


P.S. There is an item in MFT’s November release that I just ordered, that would be awesome for mass producing cards. It’s a large die cut call Mesmerizing Mandala. I don’t want to delay this post any longer, but I’m sure you’ll see if used in upcoming post. Not only would it make a great snowflake, but I can see it being used all year long.

I was able to order it when the release went live Tuesday night, but it has sold out sense then. Here is the link to the item. I highly recommend signing up for email notification when they restock it. I already had my eye on it, but then I saw a sneak peak of what Jennifer McGuire did with alcohol inks and was totally sold. Here is a link to Jennifer’s post. I can see a card with this die cut, maybe from glitter paper, and a sentiment from Handwritten Holiday heat embossed on vellum and layered over top of the die. Stay tuned!



Acetate Card with Hero Arts Nesting Clouds

This is the post I have been procrastinating and promising you guys. I finally got around to attempting the design that has been running through my head since I ordered these dies. It didn’t go quiet as planned, as usual.

I started out die cutting the biggest cloud from Neenah Solar White cardstock, 4 times.

My original plan was to wrap the biggest cloud around the left side of the card, as I did with the circles. These dies are asymmetrical, so I could not fold it over the card and have it line up on the back side. I also wanted to mix up the cardstock a bit. So I decided to cut out the biggest cloud in vellum, and then use the next size down.

My next step was to adhere the clouds to the acetate card. I adhered the clouds to the front first, and used the front to line up the rest. I used Be Creative double sided tape, and quiet a bit at first. I used a pencil line on the back to help me line it up with the side of the card. And so I wouldn’t put tape where I didn’t need it.  That’s a lot of tape :)!


For the inside front panel, I just lined it up with the existing cloud. I had to cut it down, to match the front. Then I used the same removable adhesive trick I used on the circle card. I put the double sided tape on the side I needed to adhere to the acetate, then removable adhesive on the opposite side. Then I pulled off the release tape from the double sided tape,  “stuck” the removable adhesive to the cloud already in place on the opposite card panel, and carefully closed the card, pressing down on the double sided tape.

Once I had the cloud in place, I rubbed off the removable adhesive with my finger.

I added a couple of smaller clouds to fill in some empty space on the front (and the inside and back…). I layered some in silver glitter paper on the front, but just white on the other panels. I also layered in a blue cloud, and wrapped this one around the back, because I didn’t like that you could see the cut cardstock on the fold of the card.

I used my stamp tool to stamp “Just Hatched,” on the front, and added a little baby dragon in a cracked egg. The sentiment and baby dragon are from Clearly Besotted Hot Stuff.


I stamped “Congratulations,” on the inside, from Simon Says Stamps’ Floral Bliss.

I like the way it turned out, even though it wasn’t as planned. It’s still super cute and unique. I wish pictures could do these cards justice. Especially when you are trying to sell them, and all you have are flat pictures. Oh well.

I have some Stamping Bella Unicorns coming up next. They are some of my favorite to color and my go to, when I find my self in a creative slump like I was this weekend. I paired them with some spunky sentiments from Simon Says Stamps’ CZ Designs Simple Sentiments.