DIY Alcohol Ink Coasters and Light Switch Covers

Habitat For Humanity
by Habitat For Humanity
What you need
• Glossy white tiles (use 4-by-4 inch tiles for coasters or larger tiles for display) and/or light switch covers.
• Adirondack Alcohol Inks. These come in packs of three; I used two packs.
• Rubbing alcohol.
• Mod Podge aerosol finisher.
• Acrylic paint for the edges of the coasters.
• Two paintbrushes: one for the rubbing alcohol and one for the acrylic paint.
• Rubber or latex gloves.
• Felt pads for the bottoms of the coasters.
• Plastic bags, newspaper or cardboard to protect work surface.
In my research of alcohol inks, I discovered that protecting any surface that you don’t want dyed is essential – including but not limited to your work surface and skin, unless you want to be an unnatural shade for a week.

Therefore, at home I laid out plastic bags and newspapers and put on rubber gloves prior to starting my project. I also opened a window to allow for proper ventilation.
"Painting" the tiles:

I decided that I wanted to do the tiles first to see how the inks worked, so I laid them out on cardboard and scrap cloth. Next I painted the tiles with the rubbing alcohol. Then I began dripping ink on the tiles.

Learning from mistakes:

I must say that watching those inks spread is fascinating. I found that it is better to start with lighter colors if you want them to show through. I did two sets of six with one set in a warmer color scheme and the other in a cooler color scheme. I was really anxious to finish them, so I sprayed the warmer set with the finisher too early and it moved some of the ink. It was an interesting effect but not what I was going for.
Finished product

I repeated this process with the light switch covers with a similar effect. I discovered that if you don’t apply the rubbing alcohol first, the colors are more opaque. I also discovered that the colors do not move as easily without the use of rubbing alcohol, but you can achieve a different effect by blowing the ink with air through a straw. These made great gifts for my friends and family! They could even make a great Mother’s Day gift as well.
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 4 questions
  • Kathy F Kathy F on Jan 10, 2017
    What a great idea! I want to up-cycle a cute container made of aluminum. Will the paint adhere to metal?

  • Karen Howell Karen Howell on Apr 21, 2018

    What happens when you put the alcohol on second

  • Candice Torongeau Candice Torongeau on Sep 29, 2019

    Hellllooo? Anyone going to answer the great questions people submitted? 🤔😉

Join the conversation
2 of 15 comments
  • Jana Jana on Nov 11, 2016
    Impressive; this is one I'll try out. I didn't know about using rubbing alcohol with paint. I'm already imagining all the color combinations and things I'll use this for!

  • Patricia De Franco Rini Patricia De Franco Rini on Feb 09, 2017
    Do you put the inks on while the alcohol is still wet on the surface of the tiles ?