Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Craft Project: Alcohol Ink Tiles Part 2: Children's Experimenting

After experimenting with the alcohol ink myself for a bit, I felt like I could do this project with my girls. I decided it was best to do it on a one-on-one basis with them though. I thought it might be too much to try and help both of them at the same time since you are sort of under time constraints with the drying of the ink and Alcohol Blending Solution. I also wanted to monitor the squeezing of the ink since it isn't exactly cheap. :-)

I started with my 8 year old and showed her the tiles I had created and asked her which "style" she wanted to try first. She picked the "bubbles" one. So I had her spread the Alcohol Blending Solution on the tile with a toothbrush and pick out three colors of ink.
She did a really wonderful job of listening to my instructions and not getting overzealous with anything. She was really thoughtful about where she placed the ink and was very patient to watch what happened when she put the dots on. It really is sort of mesmerizing to watch.
And here is her first finished tile:
Isn't it fun!
She really got into the PROCESS of this project. She LOVE LOVE LOVED trying different techniques and seeing the outcome. 
She really started experimenting with one tile. She decided to try the ink without any Alcohol Blending Solution. She played around with dropping the different colors into each other. And then, most impressive to me, she figured out that if you put drops of one color of ink on a Q-tip and rub it on a different color you can draw with it! See the swirls of new color in the photo below:
She taught me something about how the alcohol ink works! Her tile ended up a total muddy mess by the the time she was done experimenting. But we had learned a few new techniques so it was great! We just rinsed off the ink with the Alcohol Blending Solution and started anew!
She also tried out stamping on a couple of her tiles: 
Here are the tiles she created:
That last one on the right will be making an appearance in the 
"Masters" tiles post (Alcohol Ink Part 3). ;-)
(Edited to add the photo below. She decided to add a stamp to the blue/green tile)
After trying the project out with my 8 year old, I felt even more confident that my 6 year old could handle this project also. And she had some fabulous ideas as well! She started off with just dripping drops of ink on the tile. But quickly moved to taping her tiles. This first photo, she wanted to make a "snowflake" with the tape.
 And I have to admit I thought of doing a rainbow one, but she loved the idea and ran with it:
Here are her finished tiles:

(Edited to add: She made a couple more tiles yesterday. :-)
She kind of went overboard with the ink on one tile. When I was in the process of wiping it off so she could start over, she really liked the blue background. So we kept it!
 Aren't the flower stamps cute?!
Now, I bet you're wondering what the heck we're going to do with all these tiles?! We're going to coat/seal them to protect them (Alcohol Ink Part 4). We will attach felt or cork pads on the bottom to make into coasters and we plan to give them to some special ladies as Mother's Day gifts. I also plan to give each of their teachers one, along with a little painted flower pot as End-of-the-Year teacher gifts (Something along the lines of "Thanks for helping me "grow" and "coast" through this school year!").

Now, for something really fun....check out our Mini Masters tiles in the next post!


  1. Thanks for the project! I love the alcohol inks, because they give immediate gratification! No dry time is the best! :-)
    Love the idea of a teacher's gift too! Definitely going to remember that one!

  2. I never would have known these tiles were done by a 6 year old. I have some new ideas now :)

  3. Do you think the alcohol inks are safe for kids? I know these are your children so you are one-on-one so I am not questioning their safety but have read about the inks and recommendations for proper ventilation and glove wearing... so I am hesitant on bringing them to my kids/student's studio. The project looks so fun!

    1. Kimberly--this is a very good question. Unfortunately, I am not an expert so I'm not sure I feel confident answering this. We do have a window right next to our art room table that was open while we were doing this.

      We have since used the alcohol inks with our girl scout troop. But again, we had a small group that was well supervised. I would imagine that short-term exposure would be ok, but again, I'm not really sure. We didn't get very much on our hands as we were using the stamp method or drip method so weren't really touching the inks until the coasters were dry.