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Alcohol Inks and Card Tricks

Main photoBy Regena
Artistic Guide


Alcohol Inks and Card Tricks!
By Regena, Artistic Guide


This article is about some of the tricks I use in my card making and with my alcohol inks, so it’s not so much about the various other supplies used as it is about the reactions of the alcohol inks themselves and how to ‘resize’ stamped images and bits of cardstock .  It’s also an easy way to make your own coordinating papers if you need a quick card and don’t have to time to go through a stash of coordinated papers to make sure everything works together! I thought about this as I was doing my batch of Mother’s Day cards.  I love the textured look I get with added layers of the alcohol inks and my heat tool! You’ll also see that every card can still be different while using the same technique.


Painted Lady (PSX)
Butterfly w/Ferns (Hero Arts)
Swirly Background (Rubbernecker Stamps)
Butterfly (Stampington)
Marble and Texture Cubes (Stampendous)
Celtic Border (JudiKins)
Wave Border (CC Rubber)
Text stamps (Inkadinkado, Endless Creations and Rubber Stampede)
Tiny Flowers (Fiskars)
8 ½ x 11” White KromeKote Cover (glossy cardstock) (Marco’s Paper)
Exact Index Heavy Weight CS (Wausau Paper)
Textured Brights cards (Recollections)
Orange and Pink Glitter cardstock (Recollections)
Brown Cardstock (Stampin’ Up)
Black Textured ‘Tuxedo’ Photo mats (Canson)
Coal Black and Chocolate Ancient Page Permanent dye ink (Clearsnap)
Chili Pepper, Baja Blue, Lime Green, Sunbright Yellow, Tangerine and Chili Pepper Alcohol Inks (Pinata -Jacquard)
Pool, Stonewashed and Mountain Rose Alcohol Inks (Ranger)
Alcohol Inks Blending Solution (Ranger)
Alcohol Inks Applicator and felt (Ranger)
Heat Tool (Milwaukee)
Stickles Glitter Glues (Ranger)
Large ‘Fleur de Lis’ Rectangles Die (Spellbinders)
Cuttlebug Die Cutting Machine (Provo Craft)
Butterfly Punch (Stampin’ Up!)
Honeybee Scissors (EK Success)
Scotch Quick Dry Paper Adhesive (3M)
Tape runner (EK Success)
Corner Rounder Punch
Fancy Corner punch
Chipboard (Optional)


  1. For the first layer of inks, apply 4-5 drops of the Pool and a couple drops of Stonewashed alcohol inks with a quick squirt of the Blending solution to the felt applicator. Use this to completely cover half of a full sheet (8.5 x 11”) of the glossy (KromeKote) cardstock, adding more ink as needed.  
  2. Add just the Blending Solution to the same applicator to create a lighter version of the Pool and Stonewashed combo on the other half of the same sheet as shown. Heat set the entire sheet for a few seconds. This helps with creating the second, textured layer.  It will also work without heat setting if the inked sheet has been sitting untouched for awhile, which is how I discovered the textured effect.  I decided to have another go over the (air dried) inks one day and this is what I found would happen.  I liked the look and figured I could speed up the process with my heat tool!Photo 1
  3. Now, to get the textured look, you’re going to repeat steps 1 and 2, this time using the heat tool while you’re adding the inks (like you were embossing). The inks will react a little differently this time because you’re drying them as soon as they hit the first layer of inks, thereby stopping the normal spreading of the inks. You may need to add a little more ink as the heat tool dries it faster. This also heat sets the inks so there’s no need to wait before stamping on it.Photo 2
  4. Here’s the basic stamping layout I was using for all of the cards. I stamped the main image, the Celtic border stamp and the ‘dots’ side of the marble cube with Coal Black Ancient Page ink. Heat set all of the images.  I had a basic idea of the layout and how I wanted the card to look.  I stamped the main image twice just in case I had enough of the background paper left over for another card, which I did, so you can get more than one card with each full sheet depending on the stamps used.  Embellish as desired with the Stickles glitter glues and set aside to dry. Photo 3Photo 3a
  5. The next photos show the card made with the Butterfly with Ferns image and some butterfly punches.  This is where I show one of my favorite ‘tricks’ I use a lot. (Forgot to take more pix of the ‘Painted Lady’ image card before I assembled it but it’s the same technique!)   I generally prefer to make A6 (4.5 x 6.25”) size cards, but a lot of my border images are sized for A2 cards. Not a problem, as I figured since you don’t see all of the border as it’s used here, I can just ‘stretch’ it to the length I need it to be by cutting it in half! The cut won’t be seen anyway and it will still look like it’s one piece and not two.Photo 4Photo 5Photo 6
  6. I’m not going to get into the specific sizes of all the card elements, this is more about the idea of resizing parts of your images to fit and how/when you can do it.  The Celtic border stamp is actually 6.5” long, but as I was stamping the basic layout, I only stamped part of it (twice as you can see), hence the need to ‘stretch’ it (and why you see a seam). After cutting out the border images, I layered them with a strip of glitter cardstock that was the same length of the joined strip and about .375” wider. Once I decided where the main image was going to be, I cut the strip, at an angle, where I knew it would be hidden under the image. I found that the angled cut makes it easier to tell which direction the other half of the strip should be when you attach it to the other side of the card. 
  7. After I cut out the main butterfly images, I layered most of them with a slightly larger white panel. They also have a slightly smaller layer of chipboard on the back for a little added dimension.  The Butterfly with Ferns cards has a panel of orange cardstock with fancy corners and double layered butterfly punches.  The Painted Lady cards had the large Fleur di Lis die cut in coordinating colors as you’ll see in my mini gallery at the end.  

This stretching technique can also be used anytime you want to use a scrap strip of cardstock that isn’t quite long enough for the task. The orange glitter strips you see on a couple of my cards were done that way.  They were the last bits I had of that color, but it was just enough to still make it look as though it was one continuous strip! On the yellow card, the two orange strips are covering seams because the bottom half with the ‘dots’ was actually three scrap pieces. 

I hope this gives you a whole new way to work with alcohol inks, more ideas for your cards and ways to use those images or pieces that need a little help to fit the card design.  

Here are some of the other cards I did with these techniques. 

Photo 7Photo 8


Photo 9Photo 10


Photo 11Photo 12


Photo 13Photo 14


Photo 15

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5 Responses »

  1. Thanks for all the wonderful comments! Glad you enjoyed my little story and my card art.

  2. Wonderful cards. Fabulous ideas.

  3. love this and love the cards!!! butterflies and flowers are my favorite card to make!

  4. Beautiful cards and what a great idea!