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HOME » Shop » Articles
Alcohol Inks

Tim Holtz™ Adirondack® Alcohol Inks by Ranger Industries


Adirondack® Alcohol Inks come in sets of 3 co-ordinating colours and can be intermixed with one another and also made lighter by the addition of blending solution.  The metallic mixitives can be added to enhance the effect with a metallic finish.  They are acid free, fast drying, transparent dye inks specially formulated to create a colourful, polished stone effect.


These inks are best suited on non-porous surfaces such as glossy card, metal, metal foil, plastic, dominoes, glass, acetate, polymer clay etc.  However it is worth experimenting with porous surfaces too as you will obtain a completely different effect.  They make the most beautiful backgrounds.


Applicators are available or you can make your own by attaching a strip of hook Velcro to a wooden block (children’s small building blocks are ideal) and cut a wad of felt to attach to it..  Replace the felt when necessary.  Cotton wool is not a satisfactory substitute as it drinks up the ink, although for small areas a cotton bud can be useful. 


Ranger Products Cut ‘n’ Dry stamp pad felt is an excellent product to use with the inks.


How to use them:


▪Before you start, make sure the room you are working in is well ventilated and cover your work surface to protect it from drips and splashes.   


▪You will need to work quickly as these inks dry FAST!!  The blending solution helps to extend the open time.


  • Start with a sheet of glossy paper or card and just to see how they ‘work’ add a few drops of just one colour onto the applicator pad and dab randomly over the glossy surface.
  • Repeat and try dabbing over some of the previous sections – this will often remove some of the earlier colour.
  • Now add a few drops each of 2 or 3 colours onto a clean applicator, making sure that the colours don’t overlap or they will become muddy. 
  • Apply with the same dabbing motion, keeping it random and twisting the applicator in different directions before dabbing onto the paper. 
  • Where the colours join or overlap they will blend together and this will create a wonderful polished stone effect.
  •  Use a dry cloth to polish the surface when finished.


…and now some variations


Experiment with the blending solution, either by adding it to a used applicator pad and again dabbing over the surface or by dripping a few drops directly onto the inked surface and letting it find its own way.  The blending solution will lighten and soften colours.


… Now do you want to stamp on it?


As opposed to stamping with it – which is definitely a bad idea as it will rot your rubber.  That goes for rubber brayers too!  Don’t say that you haven’t been warned!


Ideally use a memories or Ancient Page ink pad and stamp with care as there is a tendency for the stamp to slide on the glossy surface, resulting in a smudged image.  Stazon on the other hand doesn’t ‘stay’ on and you can use this property to great effect.


  • Stamp an image with Stazon – then quickly polish it off
  • It removes the alcohol ink, exposing the background in the shape of the image.


A final note…


You may have realised that there is no right or wrong way to work with these inks, just enjoy experimenting and creating your own unique artwork.  Its final appearance looks so intricate that it belies its simple technique.  Go & dig out those old tins that you have had waiting for ‘ just the right project’ or those unwanted CD’s that are calling out to be altered.  These fabulous alcohol inks will work wonders on them.



Jenni Long

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