DIY alcohol ink coasters and light switch covers

DIY alcohol ink coasters and light switch covers that make great gifts! This step-by-step tutorial shows how you can create unique and beautiful alcohol ink tile coasters. These coasters can be customized to your taste, and the same method works great on light switch plates, as well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Materials needed

  • 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.

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the cooler color set, I waited a week before spraying them and the effect was much different. I spread some newspapers outside, laid out the tiles and sprayed them with a light coat of the aerosol finisher. One coat is required to make sure the ink doesn’t get scratched off, but additional coats can be applied to make a stronger seal and make the tiles look glossier. Make sure to let the finisher dry fully between coats.

When they were dry, I painted the edges with acrylic paint. When that dried, I stuck felt rounds on the bottom to protect the surfaces they would be used on – and voila! Coasters made from tiles!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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! Check out the Verde Valley Habitat ReStore for supplies and more ideas!