Create Swatches of Your Alcohol Inks

Hey friend! Sorry I’m late with today’s post. It seems I’m now at the age where my back goes out more often than me! Of all things, I was doing the laundry yesterday when I felt a horrible bolt of pain shoot across my lower back. It was only like the 10th time I had bent down to transfer clothes from the washer to dryer. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you “a little housework never killed anyone”. I’m living proof that it’s trying, my friend – it’s trying! Anyway, since I couldn’t work on anything new for today, I thought I’d share with you how to create swatches of your alcohol inks, to keep track of your colours.


Actually, this is a great tool to use to track any of your mediums; markers, coloured pencils, paints, as well as your inks.  It’s so easy to grab your swatches to find just the right shade you need for your project.

Create Swatches of Your Alcohol Inks

By having the colours all laid out, you see the true colour. Because we all know that the colour on the label isn’t always an exact match!


First, it’s important to create your swatch on the same substrate you most use for your alcohol inks (or other medium).  Luckily, I didn’t have to create my chart from scratch, as Ranger has a pre-made template. All you have to do is print it out – CLICK HERE to print the PDF now.  You can find more charts for alcohol ink pearls, and all other Ranger inks on THIS PAGE of their website.

Once you’ve printed the chart or charts, you’re ready to start making your swatches. I print my chart onto cardstock, so it’s sturdy.


First, cut a panel of Yupo paper (that’s what I use most for my alcohol inks) into small squares that will fit in the chart squares. Write the name of the ink colour on the back of each square. This will allow you to do all your inking at once, then attaching to the chart later when the inks have dried.

Next apply the ink colour onto the square of Yupo. Now, add a tiny amount of alcohol blending solution in the bottom right corner of the square. This will allow you to see the full saturated colour, as well as how it looks when diluted by blending solution. (it will look basically the same with 99% isopropyl alcohol as it does with the blending solution).  Do this for each colour of ink that you have. Next, when the inks have dried – it only takes about 10 seconds for each one – you’re ready to glue them onto the chart, in the appropriate square. Just match up the ink name that you wrote on the back of the square with the ink name already on the printed chart. Voila! You’re done!


As I said earlier, the colour on the label doesn’t always match exactly the colour in the bottle. Plus, by adding the blending solution in one corner, you get to see how the colour reacts & looks when blended.  The biggest surprise for me was finding out what colours I obviously gravitated towards! By seeing the colours in their spectrum, you see where the ‘holes’ are in your collection. If you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to buy the lightest and the darkest in one colour first. Then, you can fill in the gaps in between with the variations of each colour.

Create Swatches of Your Alcohol INks

For example, this was my chart a couple of months ago. You can see the huge gaps, and where my colours are ‘clumped’ together.  I wish I had made my chart first, before I started collecting the inks! Live and learn, my friend! That’s why I’m sharing this with you!

I hope that today’s post has helped you out, both with organizing and choosing your colours. Remember – create these charts will all of your different mediums! It will make a huge difference when it comes to choosing colours to use, as well as determining what colours you still need. Because we’ve all bought duplicates of colours we already have, haven’t we? *wink*

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I've always liked to create things, but I'm not a great artist, or sculptor, or any type of 'traditional' artist - but I love to create! I love the satisfaction of a completed project. Whether a card, painting or other project - as long as it can create a smile, evoke a feeling, or some type of reaction in the recipient. I hope you will enjoy sharing my creations, and occasional ramblings; I'd enjoy having you create with me! :)

5 thoughts on “Create Swatches of Your Alcohol Inks

  1. WHAT? I received a blog post!!! Yay! Hola, Deb. Guess what? We got snow last night….for about 2 minutes. ha-ha On Tuesday, we were 84*F. On Wednesday, we were 46*F and that night we got SNOW. Okay, “SNOW.” The northern part of SA got some flurries, but they didn’t stick. We got snow pellets. Anyway, I hope you are well. I emailed you last week. USE THE GIFT CARD!!

    1. Ha ha! Yes – you got the post notification because I posted right after I wrote it – not scheduled! I will use the Gift Card – no worries. Be sure to come back here tomorrow for our Blog Hop!

    1. I hear you, Buffy! After I swatched, I spent the next hour shopping online to ‘fill in the gaps’!! LOL

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