I love these inks. Now, I have no experience with actual alcohol inks so I have nothing to compare them to. I have completed a few projects with these and have been completely satisfied. Do they work great? They do for me. If you have used “real” alcohol inks and try these, I would love to know what you think.
So, these are so easy. They are messy to make so be prepared to have colorful hands. I found the ink washes off fairly well within 24 hours. Usually by the time I have been through the shower, it’s all gone.
I love that this uses leftovers, as well.
I have a child and have worked with children in educational and artistic settings. That means, I have a lot of markers. I used to go through them and dump ones that were dried out. Well when we started the store, I decided that if there was any possibility anything could be reused or recycled, I saved it. Which meant when the store closed, I had a huge bag of dried out markers. I will tell you this, you’ll start asking everyone for their old markers because that is just about where I am.
The only other things you need are a bottle of alcohol, scissors, and containers with tight fitting lids. I love these little cups from Dollar Tree. They come 10 to a bag and work great. I use them for lots of things including salves.
Pull the ink inserts out of your markers. Some may not be as dry as they look so be aware. My first batch, I saved all the nibs and everything. Part way through making this huge batch of inks, I stopped. They don’t add much because you can’t squeeze the alcohol or ink out of them (most of them are hard). And some just didn’t want to come out which wasted time.
Take out the inserts and split them down the middle. Then cut them into pieces that fit well into your containers. These are 4 oz containers, I believe.
Cover with alcohol. As you can see, the ink is already leaving the inserts. I like to leave them to soak but I am not sure it’s necessary. I think I waited several days before removing the inserts. Be sure to label your cups if you do a lot.
Here my inks have set for several days and I lined them up lightest color to darkest so that I could reduce the number of times I had to wash my equipment. This allowed me to only have to wash 3 times which sped up the process.
You need a strainer (I used a tea strainer) and a container to catch the alcohol (I used a glass measuring cup). Press the inserts until you can’t get any more ink out of them. I’m not sure I got every drop but I still ended up with full containers.
I returned my inks to their containers but I did make 2 spray inks. I used old essential oil bottles. The great thing about these bottles is I can purchase sprayers and droppers that will fit the bottles. For these two, I paid 60 cents for each sprayer.
Here’s some other inks dropped onto the paper with the dropper. I use the same dropper and employ the light to dark technique when using multiple inks. Keeps me from having to clean the dropper. If I am doing a large project or numerous projects at one time, I use a cup of water to help keep me from mixing my colors.
The best part about all of this is if I bought everything I needed, this would only cost me about a dollar a container. I haven’t actually figured out the math. I pay 10 cents for the plastic containers, 60 cents for the sprayer, and approximately 25 cents for the alcohol (last one I bought did 4 containers and a little over and I believe I paid 99 cents for it). Now if I had to buy the markers, I would wait and buy the crayola’s when they go on sale in August for about $1 (8-10 colors). So if I got 8 markers, they would be around 13 cents each. Making my grand total less than 50 cents if I skip the sprayer (since I can’t guarantee I have a bottle that fits). I could use a left over dropper from medicine or something like that. Even a left over spray bottle could be found.
The cheapest alcohol ink I could find on Joanne Fabrics website was $2.33 (had to buy a pack of 3). So it still works for me. I made 14 different colors using items I keep in my house. I will need to buy more alcohol but so far what I have invested to make these has been minimal – maybe the amount it would have cost for me to buy that 3 pack of inks.
Oh one last thing – while you are making your inks, keep some white cardstock or paper nearby. I used mine for wiping off the excess ink and it made some fun background pages. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture.