People have asked me many times over the past few years if I knew a way to make your own metallic alcohol inks or mixatives. I finally decided to see if I could figure out a decent substitute for these. There are many recipes and DIYs for regular alcohol inks. I have one made with Sharpies HERE, but there isn’t a lot for metallic alcohol inks. I don’t really know how Ranger or Jacquard makes theirs but as I said above, I did find something that can work in the place of them. 

I do just want to mention that I currently have a Giveaway going on my channel (as I do every month) so make sure to go over there & find out the details for this months Giveaway. (Hint: it’s alcohol ink themed.)

These are pretty simple and easy to make and the materials needed are not expensive at all. After all, what is a DIY if it is not significantly cheaper than the item you are trying to copy? Am I right?

I do have a video over on my YouTube channel so make sure to go over & watch that but I also wanted to do a blog post because it’s nice to have it down on (paper) when you are trying to copy something.

I want to start by saying, PLEASE experiment with your own ratios. The paint you use might be a different consistency or you may prefer a different consistency than I do. I actually like a thicker/lumpier solution for certain effects and a thinner solution for other effects. The materials are pretty cheap, so you really can afford to experiment to see what you like best!

Here is a photo and list of the materials I used:

  • -Artist Loft brand Old Gold Paint
  • -White paint from Dollorama
  • -Aqua Moire Pearl by Folk Art
  • -Paradise Pink by Folk Art
  • -Radiant Gold by Craftsmart
  • -Silver Sterling by Folk Art
  • -99% Isopropyl Alcohol (91% could also work)
  • -My DIY blending solution (a few drops of Glycerin mixed with about 20-30 ml of Isopropyl Alcohol. Put that in a squeeze or dropper bottle or water brush.

Here is a thinner recipe I used. This one is 1 1/2 tsp. paint to 1 1/2 tsp. alcohol. Or 1 part to 1 part. 

I wanted to try something that was a little bit thicker so I settled on this recipe. 2 tsp. alcohol to 2 1/2 tsp. paint.

I really like the gold lumpy flecks in there. It adds texture and the bright gold really stands out.

Now I wanted to do some comparisons. I first compared it to just using straight gold metallic paint right from the bottle, which is show on the left below. I also compared this to the mixatives or metallic alcohol inks made by Ranger or Jacquard. 

As you can see, using the straight paint just doesn’t have the same effect at all. Using the Ranger or Jacquard brands are different as well. I thought I MIGHT get a barely passable substitute for the “real thing” but I am actually quite happy with my results and in some ways, I like my recipe better.

After this, I just started fooling around with various metallic paints and I also wanted to do an opaque white alcohol ink so I used very cheap Dollarstore paint for that one and I did not find too much difference between that one and the White mixative from Ranger called “Snow Cap”. Here it is mixed with Sunset Orange by Ranger. The one on the left is Snow Cap and the one on the right is my recipe made with white paint from Dollorama. I also added in some of the gold metallic that I mixed up from the recipe above. As you can see… recipe turned out AWESOME!!! 

This swatch shown below is using my DIY gold metallic alcohol ink along with my DIY Sharpie alcohol ink.

This swatch is made using silver metallic paint. It also turned out really well but this paint wasn’t as “glittery” as the gold so it doesn’t sparkle as much. Still very cool though.

Now this one below is made with the Pink glitter metallic paint by Folk Art. It is so pretty and delicate looking!

And lastly, because I was having way too much fun, I tried another blue metallic paint and when I mixed it with Sunset Orange below, I got this delicious result! I just love that TEXTURE!! I CAN’T GET ENOUGH!!!!

I do have a few more tips for you over on the VIDEO I did, so make sure to check that out!