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How to Make Alcohol Ink Earrings

How to Make Alcohol Ink Earrings main article image
Posted on February 11, 2022 by Carrie Christenson

Hello crafters!! 

Today I’m going to show you how to make some trendy alcohol ink earrings mostly using items that you probably already have laying around in your craft room.  This is a great scrap vinyl project too!  

Do you ever wonder how we craft bloggers come up with ideas for posts like this?  I know I wonder how other creatives come up with ideas because crafter’s block is a real thing.  Sometimes I struggle to figure out a new and original idea to inspire and teach others.

I can’t speak for all bloggers, but for me when I need new inspiration I hop in the car and drive to my local craft supply store and then spend at least an hour wandering the aisles just hoping that some brilliant idea is going to jump out at me.

For this project, these acrylic earring bases were on super sale at the end cap and I remembered I already had alcohol ink sitting in my craft room just waiting to be used for another fun project.

Next, I head home and then search for more inspiration!  I usually have a general idea in my head of the overall look I’m going for and I always find a perfect graphic (or two) that are a perfect match. 

Well enough storytelling, on with the actual craft!

Supplies Needed:

Supplies photo

Design the Vinyl Pattern:

Open the Silhouette Studio design software and the design file you want to use for your project.  I’m using this design for my project.

Opening Design File

It’s going to come in very large when you first open it but you’re able to easily resize it to the size you need for your project by grabbing a corner and pulling it smaller.

Modern Abstract Design

Resized Design File

Because this particular design isn’t already set up as a cut file you’ll need to trace it to create your own cutting lines.  Open the trace panel and then click the “select trace area” button so you can create a window around the design. 

Tracing Design

Now you’ll need to move the threshold slider higher until you see the areas you want to use highlighted in yellow.  I didn’t want the two bars behind the leaf so 87 was the magic number for me.  Once you have it as you like it, click the trace button.

You’ll now have the traced area showing as red lines.  Simply slide the original design off of the work area so you’re left with the traced portion only.

Traced Design

I wanted to see the general size of the earring charm I was going to use so I drew a rectangle using the drawing tools on the left side of the screen. Then I moved it over top of the design to see how the pattern overlapped.

Added Rectangle

If you want to move any portions of the design around you’ll need to release the compound path by right-clicking on the screen to pull up the shortcut menu.

Shortcut Menu

Next, I selected all of the dots from the design and grouped them back together so I didn’t lose the overall look of that pattern.  Then I slide them over so I could work on the leaf portion because it looks like it’s too thin as it is right now to successfully cut.

Creating the design

To make that portion of the design thicker you can use the offset tool.  Click on the design and then the offset button.  You can make the distance as large or small as you want, I just wanted it a little bit bigger so I didn’t lose too much detail.  You can see I did .006 and then clicked apply.

How to offset

You’ll delete the smaller original portion and then group the new larger design back together so you don’t accidentally destroy it when you move the pieces around.

grouping back together

Now you can move the various components around over the earring shape until you’re happy with the composition of the overall design.  Then delete the rectangle shape since you won’t want to cut that part out.

rearranging the design

Since we’re making earrings you’ll want to mirror your design so you can have a matching set, this is easy to do using the mirror tool in the replicate panel.

Mirror the design

Now you have your design ready to go!

final earring designs

I went on and made a few other designs so I could use my entire scrap piece of vinyl and have plenty of options.  Just repeat the same process!  If you’re using an individual design element you won’t need to do the tracing steps because they will already be cut files.

multiple earring designs

Once you’ve got everything ready to go, head to the send panel and adjust your cut settings for your material and then send to cut.

send to cut

Prepare the Vinyl Design:

Now that the design is cut, you can pull it off the cutting mat and then cut the individual designs apart using scissors.

vinyl being cut

Next, weed the design.  I like to use my tweezers for small jobs like this, you just have so much more control.

weeding the design

Then add a piece of transfer tape over the top so you can easily shift the vinyl onto the earring charm.

add transfer tape

Clean the earring charm using some rubbing alcohol on some paper towel to make sure the surfaces are clean and lint-free.

Place the vinyl onto the earring charm, press firmly to adhere it onto the surface and carefully peel away the transfer tape.

add vinyl to earring

Repeat the process for the other earring charm.

both earrings ready

Add the Alcohol Ink:

We’re getting to the fun part!  Take your alcohol ink and drop it onto the earring charm.  You will want to put some paper towels underneath so you don’t ruin your work surface.  

add alcohol ink

dropping ink on earring

If you accidentally add a little too much ink you can use paper towel to blot off the extra ink and then let it dry for at least an hour.

blot with paper towel

Remove the Vinyl:

Once the ink is dry to the touch, you can start removing the vinyl pieces.  I personally love using my weeding tweezers for this task.

removing the vinyl

Add the Earring Hooks:

We’re almost done!  You’ll need 2 jump rings and 1 earring hook per earring charm.  Open one jump ring using 2 pliers, add it to the earring charm then close it back up.

open a jump ring

Next, open the other jump ring, add the earring hook and then hook it onto the other jump ring we just added to the earring charm.  

open second jump ring

adding hook to earring

Finally, squeeze the jump ring closed and make sure it’s nice and tight and straight.

shutting the jump ring

You’re done!!   Repeat the process for all of your other earrings.

final earrings

Earrings without Vinyl:

You can also make alcohol ink earrings without using a vinyl design.  I played around with a few different techniques to see about blending a few different colors.

I found that you got the best color blends by applying one color first and letting it dry.  Then you can drop a second color on top and it will essentially take over and remove that first color wherever the new wet color drops. 

I also tried using two colors at once but they ended up blending together and making one new color instead of staying separate.

This gives you endless options to play with and create all sorts of fun color combinations and unique one of a kind looks.

multiple earrings

styled earrings

Optional Sealing:

If you want to seal the earrings you have a few different options.

You can use a thin layer of clear acrylic sealer over the back and then let it fully cure before wearing your beautiful new creations.

You can also use a colored sealant if you want to add another color to the overall look!

You don’t have to seal the earrings either.  This leaves the option open for cleaning the alcohol ink off with rubbing alcohol in the future so you can reuse the earring charms over and over again making new looks.

More Options:

If you really want to step up the look of your earrings, you can add metallic foil to them as well!

You would start by applying a thin layer of clear adhesive to the earring charm, then press the foil into the wet adhesive and let it dry. 

Finally, you would add a thin layer of clear sealant over the back to protect the foil from scratching off.

The options for adding your own fun twist to this project is truly endless!  

I can’t wait to see what you make after reading this tutorial!  Please tag me on Instagram @designedtobecrafty if you do make yourself a set.

These are also great gift ideas for your family and friends since you can easily personalize them to match their own individual styles.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and happy crafting!!

Don’t forget to pin this for later!!

pinterest graphic

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I cannot wait to give this a go!

Andrea Carovillano

February 11, 2022

I will definitely be trying this technique in the future.

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