DIY “Marbled” Mug Using Alcohol Inks

I have a new obsession with alcohol ink.

Alcohol ink mug

I’ve been playing around on Yupo paper with various inks. I share photos of those pieces on my personal instagram from time to time, if you want to check them out.

Today, I just wanted to share a quick and easy alcohol ink DIY project. It’s sooo simple! All you need is a glazed ceramic or porcelain mug, paintbrush, alcohol inks, a straw (optional), 99% isopropyl alcohol and an oven. Maybe gloves, too. This can get messy.

  • I bought a white ceramic mug for $2.99 at HomeGoods.
  • I used a paintbrush to paint some isopropyl alcohol onto the surface of the mug first
  • I then started dropping my colors on, randomly. I used colors from this Lakeshore set and this Nature Walk set of alcohol inks.
  • I swirled the mug around here and there to let the colors run *sort of* where I wanted them to. You really just have to give up a bit of control when it comes to alcohol ink!
  • I used a straw every once in a while to push some ink around even more by blowing air through the straw onto the wet ink.
  • When I was happy with the results, and after I was sure all the ink was dry, I put the mug into my oven at 300 degrees for 30 minutes to set the ink. I’ve also read that you can cure your mug (or plate, or bowl?!) with a layer of dishwasher safe Modge Podge, but I haven’t tried that.

Voila! I’m pretty much ready to alcohol-ink anything ceramic at this point. So much fun!




Sea Jellies

Back in July, I purchased a My Monthly Hero kit. It was the first thing I ever purchased from Hero Arts, and I couldn’t resist. I was in love with several of the images in the stamp set. The jellyfish image turned out to be my favorite. There’s something about how ethereal jellyfish are. I never like to run into them in the ocean, but I can certainly appreciate them from a safe distance, especially if they’re just on paper.

Hero Arts - Jellyfish

Several years ago I took a trip to the New England Aquarium in Boston and saw their Jellyfish exhibit. Many different kinds of jellyfish (or Sea Jellies) swim around in glass tanks in a darkened room while various colors of light illuminate the tanks. I fell in love with the exhibition – it was so peaceful and so calming to watch the jellies float around in the tanks. Making these panels definitely took me back to that experience.
Hero Arts - Jellyfish
With the aquarium exhibition floating around (ha!) in mind, I found that the image would be perfect for an emboss-resist technique on some watercolor paper.  I cut up some Canson watercolor paper into 4.25″X5″ pieces and used my versamark ink pad, clear embossing powder and my heat tool to heat emboss jellyfish onto several of the watercolor panels.

Hero Arts - Jellyfish

I painted with my Gansai Tambi watercolors, using various colors in various intensities on each panel, but sticking to a monochromatic look overall. And once I started, I couldn’t stop! I ended up with sea jellies painted in just about every color. I still haven’t turned many panels into cards yet, but I did decide that I’d like to frame one of the panels. So, a few jellyfish now hang on the wall in my living room in a frame I picked up at Target.
Hero Arts - Jellyfish
I never thought I could love jellyfish so much! :)