How to Make Coasters With Alchohol Ink

Are you ready to try something that is super easy, funky and totally unpredictable? When I say unpredictable I mean that in the nicest, most creative way. And it involves alcohol, although not the drinking kind, darn.

A while ago I Stumbled Upon It’s an amazing blog written by Aimee. She has a tutorial that uses Adirondack Ink and Alcohol Blending solution on tiles to make the most amazing coasters.  I had to try it and so do you.

Here is what you need:

  • plain white tiles (I got mine from Home Depot and I purchased both the small size, 10cm by 10cm and the larger size, about 15 cm by 15cm.)
  • felt or cork pads for the bottom. (Also purchased from Home Depot, although you could also check out your local dollar store.)
  • Adirondack Ink’s in various colours. (I purchased mine from Michael’s and bought 2 different packages of three colors).
  • Adirondack Ink Alcohol Blending Solution.
  • An old toothbrush for applying the blending solution.
  • ***The sealer I have pictured is not the right one. Oops. I actually used Mod Podge Matte Clear Acrylic Sealer to finish my tiles. I tried using regular Mod Podge by brushing it on but it smudged the colours and dried with a texture. As Aimee notes on her blog, it is very important to thoroughly seal your tiles after colouring them. I did at least 3 – 4 coats and waited for each to dry completely before spraying on another layer.

OK let’s get going! Squeeze out about a teaspoon of the alcohol blending solution on the tile.

Use your old toothbrush to coat the tile and spread the solution.

Now the fun begins. Squeeze a few drops of the alcohol ink and watch the magic begin. The dots spread, grow and move around. Experiment with different colours together, side by side or on top. You really can’t make a mistake, if you don’t like how your tile turns out you can squirt a little blending solution on top and wipe it off to start again.

I kept mine pretty simple by just dropping the colours on the tile. Aimee used Qtips and straws to create different effects. It’s a bit like watching a lava lamp or a psychedelic movie. Get groovy…

Stop when you are happy, it’s hard, let me tell you. I wanted to keep adding and adding but you don’t have all day as the blending solution dries pretty quickly. Set it aside to completely dry for at least 15 minutes.

Now you can get your sealer out. Make sure you do this outside as the fumes are highly toxic. Let the sealer dry as per manufacturers instructions and then re-coat at least 4 or 5 times.

Last step is to flip over your dry tile and add felt or cork stickers to protect your table surfaces.

There you go! Groovy, fun and easy. I did this with my kids and they loved it. Just keep in mind that the ink will stain clothing and the blending solution is poisonous. Supervise and just use  common sense! 

The larger tiles I use as trivets for warm dishes. I can see this as a great craft to make for Christmas gifts or a housewarming present. What do you think?

Please check out: for Aimee’s tutorial and to see her beautiful pictures. Her blog is beautifully written and has so many inspiring ideas.

Happy creating…


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28 responses to “How to Make Coasters With Alchohol Ink

    • Thanks Teri. I love your blog by the way. You take the most amazing photographs. I am on a steep learning curve when it comes to photography and really admire other blogger’s who do such a great job. Thanks for stopping by…

  1. Elena Lamberson

    Could you do a coffee table top with this technique? How durable are the tiles? Beautiful!!

    • I think you could do a coffee table top with this technique. I made these tiles last summer and have used them as coasters and trivets since then and they are pretty durable. A few scratches and scuffs are starting to show though. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Steph

    can you use the glossy tiles or the do you use dull tiles?

  3. Jenn

    I know this is an old post…but I have a question…The larger ones you used as trivets…did the mod podge sealer you used work well with the heat? I am going to try this project and want to make trivets…I am looking for the right sealer that is heat resistant.

  4. Jessica

    Can u use clear glass?

  5. Jenn

    Okay one more question (I’m the one who recently asked about the sealer)…I tried this this weekend. Most of them turned out wonderfully, but one color (a green) kept separating (almost beading) but it only did it on some tiles. Do you think it was/is the color itself, or maybe too much or too little solution? I am doing some some gifts for Christmas and a craft exchange on FB, so I am doing a large number (25). I only did about half today and will do the other half next weekend and then start sealing them. What do you think the problem is?

    • Hmmmm good question and always frustrating when one part of a project acts up! I have never had that happen to me. I would suggest buying another green and see if it happens with that one. That would let you know if it was just your particular bottle or if it is just green in general. I have used Citrus Adirondack Brights Alchohol Ink (which is a bright green color) and have had good results. Good luck!

  6. Kim

    Hi, will the Modge Podge sealer protect the alcohol ink from the sweat of iced beverages? I’d like to use the tiles to line a serving tray.

    • Hi Kim, Modge Podge does not totally protect the tiles. I use my tiles for hot cups and over time it does wear off slightly. I would recommend testing one out before you do a serving tray. I hope that helps!

      • Kim

        Thank you. Can something be put on top of the modge podge to totally protect them, like polyurethane? (Last question, I promise!)

      • That would be something to try but I can’t tell you if it work. There has to be something out there that would protect it. Try researching it online or talking to someone at a Home Depot or other store. Let me know what you find out! Good luck…

  7. Susan

    I have started to make some tiles with my daughter, but as soon as they start to dry, they get white blotches all over them. Any ideas what is going wrong? They look great for about 10 minutes and within a half hour almost all of the color is blotched off.

    • No – I have never experienced that! So frustrating…hmmm. I wonder if there is some kind of special finish or chemical that is on top of the tile and interfering with the alchohol inks? Have you tried wiping them clean with isopropol rubbing alchohol and then waiting for them to dry and then applying the ink again? If that fails I would try different tiles…good luck.

  8. Jenn

    I was having similar issues as Susan regarding the ink. For me it was only one color (green) and it would look great at first and then the green separated and beaded and I’d be left with these ugly white spots. But for me it was only the one color. I tried a few things so I don’t know what worked but I did replace the green, I was conscious to not use too much (or even too little) of the alcohol solution, and before working with the tile I wiped it off to free them from dust and anything else that might be on the surface. These things helped me tremendously…but like I said I don’t know which one (or all?) did the trick…

  9. Susan

    Thanks for your replies. Someone else recommended washing the tiles with rubbing alcohol first and the manufacturer suggested I may have too much blending solution (which is also used to remove the color as well as blend it.) I’m going to try it again today….wish me luck!

  10. Gina

    My son and I just did this project and wow! So easy and fun, especially since my son has an artistic streak in him. He was disappointed when we were all done with our 20 tiles! We will be doing this again for sure. Giving our first batches as Christmas gifts.

    • Oh I am so happy to hear it was a success! I am just like your son, I can keep making them again and again. Another craft project you can do is to buy Yupo watercolor paper and make abstract art on it. Yupo paper is a plastic coated paper that is used with watercolors and can also be used with alchohol inks.

  11. Nancy

    Have tried making these twice for gifts…..they look great…..problem is after a little use, and using plenty of sealer the paint comes off……very embarassing……any ideas? What type of sealer are you using? Is it the smooth tiles I’m using? Need help! Frustrated

    • I have been on a mission to answer the dilemma of sealing alcohol inks on tiles for coasters – drum roll~~~~~~~~ Mod Podge Dimensional Magic.
      It took almost two years of searching, they hold up to sweaty tea glasses and to hot beverages. I had given them as gifts and had to find the solution. Now they have amazing and beautiful coasters for their home.

      • Kim

        Awesome! Thanks, Lisa for the information! About how many tiles does a 2 ounce bottle of the Mod Podge Dimensional Magic cover? Thanks!

  12. These look fantastic! Feel free to stop by our alcohol ink store/blog.

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