Alcohol lift ink and a collage stamp

I have done some experimenting with alcohol lift ink in the past month and learnt a few things along the way. There are a couple of variables that can affect the process and results. The main thing I learnt is that it does not hurt to let things dry longer than you think might be necessary. Let me give you some examples. So far I have done all my experimentation on yupo paper with one or two colours of ink and some rubbing alcohol to help move the ink around and create colour variation. When you create an abstract background on yupo paper let it dry for at least 10 minutes but preferably longer; if it is humid weather it will need to be longer. Sometimes I have so much fun creating pretty background panels with alcohol ink I end up with a lot of ink on the yupo; the process will work best if I give all that ink plenty of time to dry.

Once the coloured panel is dry it is time to use the alcohol lift ink. The ink takes out some colour but not all the colour. You can see in the two panels below it went from dark to light. Even with a light panel the lift ink will still remove some colour but the contrast will be less and the effect more subtle. This Darkroom Door collage stamp was perfect for the technique and shows you that solid stamping and fine detail stamping both work with the alcohol lift technique. I positioned the stamp  in my stamp positioner, inked it with alcohol lift ink and pressed it down onto the coloured panel. After a few seconds I lifted the stamp, removed the panel and set it aside for more waiting. While I was waiting I pressed an envelope down onto the stamp which was now covered with the ‘lifted ink’. I pressed the edge of the envelope onto one side of the stamp because I did not want the whole stamp image. You could put a piece of cardstock into the stamp positioner and stamp the whole lifted image.

After at least ten minutes of drying time I returned to my alcohol ink panel and started dabbing the lift ink off with a paper towel. Each dab picks up some colour so I kept rearranging my paper towel so I would not be dabbing colour back onto my panel. When there was no more evidence of ‘shiny’ lift ink on the panel I gently buffed the panel with a clean area of paper towel. If all the ink is dry at this point the stamped image will get clearer as you polish. If there is any wet alcohol ink or lift ink the image will blur or spread. This is why it is worth giving the panel plenty of drying time and dabbing time.

The card on the left was made with just ranger pitch black alcohol ink and rubbing alcohol; I ended up with black, pale blue and burgandy areas on the panel. The card on the right was made with ranger indigo alcohol ink and I think some cloudy blue as well but I didn’t write them down so I’m not sure. The stamp has its own frame so I just trimmed my panel close to that and attached it to a white card base.

It is worth watching a couple of alcohol lift ink videos before you try the technique. After completing a few panels I found myself wondering which stamps I would try next.


Stamps: butterfly garden, happy birthday sentiment stamp (DD)
Inks: pitch black , indigo ranger alcohol inks, ranger alcohol lift ink, distress chipped sapphire, versafine clair nocturne
Paper: yupo heavy white, neenah solar white

Tools: stamp positioner

15 Comments on “Alcohol lift ink and a collage stamp”

  1. Mary Geltz says:

    WOW! I love the idea of using a collage stamp. Your cards are stunning! Wonder how would this work on vellum?

  2. theartfuldoodler says:

    Beautiful results, Heather. I’m demo-ing the Alcohol Lift Inks at our next ATC swap. I’ll make sure to stress your findings. I agree about the drying times. I’ve used the Pitch Black Alcohol Ink with this technique also. I love how the colors separate. Great cards!

  3. Pat says:

    This collage stamp is beautiful Heather and love the fabulous results using the lift ink and thanks so much for all the advice on how to get the best results. I haven’t bought any yet but am very tempted looking at what you have done. x

  4. creatingincolors says:

    What gorgeous cards! Thank you for all of the details on how you made them. I love that stamp too!

  5. Thanks Heather for the tip of having patience with the lift ink. Your cards are the perfect examples of why waiting for alcohol ink to dry and doing enough dabbing of the lift ink before polishing. Your cards are always so lovely and the accompanied instructions spot on! I love your blog and never miss a post; I’m just not great at commenting.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Cheryl,
      Thanks for dropping me such a kind note today; I am very happy to hear you find some inspiration and helpful instructions here. I almost gave up on the alcohol lift ink after my first try but I’m glad I went back to it.

  6. memalagene says:

    Awesome lifted images! Thanks for the tips, with such a new product, it is so helpful to hear about all the nuances of how it works!

  7. Cathy R says:

    Wonderful cards Heather, love the look of the collage stamp. TFS your process too, I have bought the lift ink but have yet to play! Will take your advice and check out some more tutorials first, Cathy x

  8. Mary Ann says:

    The adage, “good things come to those who wait” , certainly applies here – these cards are stunning. They remind me a bit of sun prints made with botanicals or photo negatives.

  9. bonklassgmailcom says:

    Thanks for the tips, Heather! This collage stamp was a great choice to use for the lifting!

  10. Ooh these are wonderefuel cards – I love the effect you get from the lift ink. Thank you for the tips, I will bear them in mind when I buy the ink and play! Thank you again. xxx

  11. sharon mesdag says:

    Hello the cards are beautiful and I love your techniques. Been working on the lift alcohol remover as well and I just
    Wanted to mention that when I tried this and used mixitives with alcohol inks it lifted and began to peel off of the paper.
    I was not using yupo which may have made a difference..if anyone has better luck please let me know how it worked.

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