How To Make Alcohol Ink With India Ink!

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Both alcohol ink-based artwork and the use of India ink has seen a solid increase over the last year and a half or so and it is only natural that we would see people reaching out to ask how to make alcohol ink with India ink. We know that people love to mix and match their arts and crafts to experiment to see what they are able to come up with and making your own India ink alcohol ink hybrid can create some unique looking artwork.

Although India ink is very popular in a huge range of arts and crafts now, adding it to an alcohol base can create those unique swirling patterns that only alcohol ink is able to deliver. Thankfully the process is much easier than most people initially think and you can do it with some 99% Isopropyl Alcohol and some India ink without any other ingredients.

Depending on your budget, you may want to make your own homemade India ink though but both options do tend to work well. With it being alcohol ink, you are also able to add other colors to the alcohol base in addition to your India ink to help come up with some truly unique pieces too if needed. Due to covering a few sub-topics in this article, we have added a table of contents below so you can navigate directly to making your own alcohol ink with India ink if you wish.

Is India Ink And Alcohol Ink The Same?

India ink and alcohol ink are totally different types of ink that use a different system to actually deliver their color to your canvas, paper or other surface. India ink is a pigment based ink meaning that its black color technically sites on top of the surface that you are working with and never actually absorbs into it fully. Alcohol inks are dye based meaning that their dyes will work their way into the paper to change its color as required.

India ink and alcohol ink also have a number of other differences too that set them apart but thankfully, the two are able to work well together too. Thankfully, India ink as a very similar weight and consistency to the various alcohol inks available on the market so both will suspend in a very similar way allowing you to use them both for direct application and drip trey alcohol-based artwork without issue.

Can You Make Alcohol Ink With India Ink?

Although you can’t actually make alcohol ink from India ink, you are able to use India ink with a 99% Isopropyl Alcohol to get a very similar effect. Now, technically, you can use any isopropyl alcohol that is 90% or over but 99% does tend to offer you the best performance. We have seen some people saying that they use some of the weaker isopropyl alcohol solutions such as the 70% solution but it tends to perform poorly so always try to get 90% or above if possible.

How To Make Alcohol Ink With India Ink!

To make your own alcohol ink with India ink, you simply add a few drops of India ink to your isopropyl solution either in a drop tray or directly on the surface of your paper. Both delivery methods tend to perform well in different situations but they both tend to offer very different end results. As most people seem to prefer the random swirls when working with alcohol ink, a drip tray is usually the most common option.

The majority of store bought India ink solutions will have a droplet system in the top of the bottle to help you control how much ink comes out of the bottle and ends up added to your alcohol solution. If you did choose to make your own India ink at home then you may have to use a dropper or pipette to help you control how much India ink gets added to your alcohol solution as you really do only need a few drops.

As we touched on earlier in the article, you are able to take things to the next level by adding other other colors of alcohol ink to your alcohol solution. If you do choose to add other colors, be sure to add your India ink before the other colors so the actual alcohol ink can be absorbed into the paper while the India ink is left to site on it.

Once you have added your India ink and the various alcohol ink colors to your drip tray, you can leave them as they are but some people so like to mix the type together to get some unique shapes and swirls going but this comes down to personal preference. At this stage you are able to dip your paper into your drip tray as usual and then leave your paper to dry after removing it from the solution. There are no changes to drying time when India ink is involved in your alcohol ink artwork so from this step forward everything is the same as regular alcohol ink based artwork.


That brings our article going over how to make alcohol ink with India ink to an end and we hope that you found it helpful. The process tends to be much easier to understand than most people initially think due to the similar consistency of India ink and alcohol ink making the properties of both ink types very similar even though their actual color delivery system is very different to each other.