Alcohol Ink Swatches & Backgrounds

Hello, I’m here to share a bit about my alcohol ink organization and color swatches. I also want to share the three cards I made with alcohol ink background. If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve seen I’ve been working hard at organizing my craft room.

I store all my alcohol inks in a nail polish organizer rack:

A Rare Ruby - Alcohol Inks

A Rare Ruby - Alcohol Inks

A Rare Ruby - Alcohol Inks

When using alcohol inks, it is important to be in a well-ventilated area and, if possible, wear a mask and gloves. I am pregnant so I have to be extra cautious when I work with them. Alcohol inks are permanent and can stain easily. I have linked all supplies below that I use when I play with alcohol inks. To prevent my desk from getting messy, I use a paint tray.

To create my swatches, I simply used Jennifer McGuire’s blank ink swatches and printed them on Yupo paper after I inserted all the names. However, since Yupo paper is expensive, you can simply cut 2×2 squares on your own so that you preserve the entire sheet. I printed on the 74 lb white Yupo paper since it’s more affordable than the heavyweight one and you don’t need heavy cardstock for swatches. You can also use glossy white cardstock as an alternative. I haven’t tested that out, but as long as the paper doesn’t absorb the alcohol ink, you’re good to go.

Here’s how I set up my desk to do my swatches. I simply added a few drops on each swatch and allowed it some time to dry. Then I came around and added 1-2 drops of alcohol solution to show how it lightens each shade.

A Rare Ruby - Alcohol Inks

A Rare Ruby - Alcohol Inks

A Rare Ruby - Alcohol Inks

A Rare Ruby - Alcohol Inks

I store each swatch in a small binder with my ink swatches. It’s now easier for me to find specific colors for projects. *NOTE: I didn’t realize I am supposed to record videos in landscape mode. I had already put the swatches away by the time I uploaded this to YouTube so I couldn’t create a new one. In the future, they’ll be without the black sides. Sorry about that!!

I’d like to share three cards that I created with alcohol inks. They were all very easy to create, and you can achieve very similar looks yourself! All supplies are listed for each card.



For this card, I used 74 lb Yupo paper and various Tim Holtz alcohol inks in shades of blue, purple and gold. This was before I did swatches so I picked random shades. I had some panels that were size A2 so I had a harder time controlling the alcohol inks when they touched the paper. Regardless, I set it aside to dry, and once it was dry, I added splatters of white pigment spray as well as some dots of my own using white gel pen. I absolutely loved how it turned out!

I didn’t want to cover up the lovely outcome so I figured I would add a die-cut sentiment. I used Handmade Kindness from Hero Arts, which I die-cut with glitter paper and some black foam to make it pop, and finished it off with some Nuvo drops. This card totally went to Jennifer McGuire! 🙂

A Rare Ruby - Alcohol Inks



A Rare Ruby - Alcohol Inks

For this card, I did the same thing as before but focused on blues. However, I worked with alcohol inks (including Jacquard Pinata Pearl, which I can’t seem to find online to link to) on a full 9×12 sheet of Yupo paper and when it dried, I cut it down to smaller panels for multiple projects. This made it much easier to control the flow of the colors and gives you more to work with after. 🙂 I did not add any white pigment spray or splatters.

I then stamped the images from Hero Art’s Believe in Yourself Narwhal set with SSS Intense Black ink and colored with Copic markers in Cool Gray shades. I added black and white Nuvo drops to their eyes to give it a nice pop and added some dots with a white gel pen. The sentiment was stamped on a ripped piece of vellum with Ranger Archival black ink.

A Rare Ruby - Alcohol Inks



A Rare Ruby - Alcohol Inks

I used the same background from the last sheet of Yupo paper and this time, I die-cut it with Die-Namics Snow Drifts Cover. I only wanted to use some of the pieces that I cut, which I attached to white A2 cardbase with foam tape. I stamped the images from Ellen Hutson’s S’Whale with SSS Intense Black ink and colored with the same Copic markers as I did for the last card. I attached the whales with foam tape. The sentiment was stamped with Ranger Archival black ink. For this card, I did apply Nuvo Aqua Shimmer all over the background, but be careful, it DOES smudge. The shimmer is beautiful. I let it dry overnight and the next day I patted a tissue over it to remove any excess.

A Rare Ruby - Alcohol Inks



All these cards were super easy to make! I spent more time waiting for the alcohol ink backgrounds to dry and to color with Copic markers than anything else. Alcohol inks are perfect for making all kinds of backgrounds. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! Forgive me if I forgot to link a product or mention something. I’ve got the pregnancy brain fog! Just let me know in the comments if I did, and I’ll do my best to share. Thanks for your patience and for visiting! ♡

This post contains a few affiliate links. This means that if you happen to purchase something, I get a small commission (at no additional cost to you!) as a way to support my blog. Thanks so much for your support!


  1. Erum Tasneem

    January 31, 2018 at 7:48 am

    your cards are the bomb! I dont have alcohol inks but you have done amazing things with them!

  2. poconopam

    January 30, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    Beautiful cards!!!!! Ohhhh! I love your crafty organization!!!!!

  3. MelissaF

    January 30, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    Beautiful cards, love your alcohol inked backgrounds and swatches! I wondered if you have had trouble with any of the alcohol inks, especially the mixatives, rubbing off as though they aren’t completely dry. I would love to see a video tutorial of your process for making these pretty backgrounds.

  4. MandaLJ

    January 30, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    Beautiful cards – the colours are so intense and vibrant! And congratulations on your pregnancy!

  5. Anushree Vaish

    January 30, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    Wow…all cards are so beautiful…presently I have two set of inks…after seeing these looks like I have to buy more….Ur organisation is superb and very inspiring!!

  6. gracielliedesign

    January 30, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    Your cards are beautiful! I’m thinking of starting an alcohol ink collection myself… I love those backgrounds! Thanks so much for sharing! Off to watch your video!

  7. fitkitty1

    January 30, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    Beautiful cards with alcohol inks! You really went to town and splurged with so many new alcohol inks! Must have cost a fortune! Looking forward to seeing what you’ll make with all of these colours. I have some of the old Adirondack line from way back when and they still work great. I’m hoping to get some of these new colors. I haven’t swatched mine but I like what you’ve done.

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