How to Use Alcohol Ink in Epoxy Crafts and Jewelry

How to use alcohol inks with resin

Have you seen resin earrings and paperweights that look like drips of color sinking in clear epoxy? Then you’ve seen what happens when you use alcohol ink in epoxy. Alcohol inks can add bright colors and patterns to your resin crafts and jewelry.

While they are fun to create with, alcohol inks aren’t traditional resin colors. You need to use special techniques to get them to work.

Here’s what you need to know.

Not all alcohol inks work in resin.

Some alcohol ink colors will change colors, and some will disappear altogether. Colors in the pink and red range are notorious for this. You’ll add them to clear epoxy only to find a few minutes later that they’re gone.

To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, use alcohol ink specifically for epoxy. This will make certain your colors stay vibrant after your resin cures.

 

Alcohol inks are flammable.

As the name implies, resin colors are alcohol-based. That means they can start a fire if exposed to a flame. You should be careful if you use a torch for popping bubbles on the resin surface. Better yet, use a heat gun to remove resin bubbles. You’ll lessen your fire risk since it doesn’t use a flame.

 

⚠️ IMPORTANT: The flammability also means there are restrictions on how these can ship.

Alcohol ink can make your epoxy cure soft.

Don’t get carried away when using these colors. There can be such a thing as too much alcohol ink in epoxy. That can make your resin projects cure bendy, which may not be a fixable problem.

What alcohol inks do I use?

alcohol inks molds and resin supplies

I use the ICE resin tints and the Jacquard white Pinata alcohol ink in my epoxy projects.  The ICE resin tints were specially formulated to color resin and won’t fade or change colors.  The Pinata white alcohol ink works the best to make petri patterns in resin.  (More on that in a minute.)

 

What are the ways you can use alcohol ink in resin?

How about I show you using the Resin Obsession super clear resin? It’s my favorite resin to use in molds when I’m pouring three ounces or less of resin at once.

 

💡 Pro tip: I’m not showing how I mix the resin. If that’s new to you or you want more help, you will want to read measuring and mixing resin in five easy steps.

Option 1: Mix with resin

Alcohol ink can give a very pretty transparent color to your epoxy.

adding yellow ink to resin

First, mix clear epoxy, then add a drop or two of alcohol ink.

mixing yellow alcohol ink with resin

Combine thoroughly until the color is mixed evenly.

 

💡 Pro tip: Add less color than you think you need. You can always make it darker if you need to.

adding yellow resin to a mold

Pour the colored resin into your mold or bezel and let cure.

Option 2: Drip onto wet resin

One of the cool things about alcohol inks for resin is that they want to stay on a resin surface. So instead of sinking when added to epoxy, alcohol ink spreads horizontally. That means you can add drops of ink to a wet resin surface to make interesting patterns.

 

adding epoxy resin to a silicone mold

Mix clear resin and add it to a mold or jewelry bezel.

 

dropping alcohol ink onto resin

Then, add alcohol ink to the epoxy surface, letting it spread.

resin earrings in mold

💡 Pro tip: The alcohol ink will make a new color where the two colors meet.

Option 3: Drip onto wet resin, alternating white and colored inks.

With this method, you’ll add white and colored alcohol ink to create drops of color throughout your resin. This technique, also known as the Petri technique, is a fun way to create a look of depth in your resin.

adding clear epoxy resin to a mold

Mix clear resin, then add to a mold.

 

dripping alcohol ink onto epoxy resin

Add the colored ink to the surface.

adding white ink to resin

Then, add white ink. Alternate back and forth a few times, depending on the depth of your resin pour. The more ink you add, the less clear epoxy you’ll have in your final resin casting.

💡 Pro tip: The deeper the mold, the more inks you can add, and the more the inks will drop.

Results of using alcohol ink in epoxy

 

resin sun

Option 1 created a beautifully transparent yellow that matches the theme of this sun mold.

 

alcohol ink resin earrings

Option 2 created a unique pair of earrings that are complementary but don’t exactly match. I like them that way. Matchy-matchy is so dull.

 

resin checkers silicone mold

Option 3 created colors that blended with the white ink. These were made with a checkers piece mold, so my color choices weren’t the best, but I like them anyways. Instead of using them as game pieces, you can add magnets or push pins to the back to use them on a bulletin board.

Want learn more about epoxy resin without making a bunch of mistakes in the process?

It’s why I wrote the beginner ebook, Resin Fundamentals. I’ve condensed my 15 years of resin experience into the important steps to be successful with resin from the first day. Buy the book now, and it’s yours to download in minutes. Get up to resin expert status in only an afternoon.

 

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2022 Resin Obsession, LLC

Like this post? You may be interested in  Resin Didn't Cure? 12 Reasons Why Your Resin Didn't Harden

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