Organising Alcohol Inks

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I use alcohol inks for both polymer clay and papercraft… and I have a LOT of them! Here’s how I keep them instantly accessible without taking up much space. I use a similar approach for organising other supplies such as mica powders, embossing powders and specialist paints.

Colour Reference

To make it easy to see the exact colour of each ink without having to shuffle bottles or refer to a separate chart, I glue a paper dot coloured with the relevant alcohol ink onto the top of each bottle.

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The paper dots are just punched out of standard copier paper using a regular hole punch. The example in the photo above punches holes for a 3-ring binder.

Put a paper dot onto a piece of scrap paper, put a drop of alcohol ink onto the paper dot, let the ink dry, then glue the paper dot to the top of the appropriate bottle using a glue that will stick to the plastic but not soak through the paper dot and change the colour. Glues I’ve used successfully include Selley’s Aquadhere Interior and Weldbond.

I find it easiest to put the glue onto the top of the bottle, then use tweezers to position the paper dot before pressing it into the glue lightly with a fingertip.

Storage Order

I store my inks in colour sequence, and being a control freak I also number each bottle to make it easy to put them back into “proper” order when I’ve had a lot of them out for use. These numbers were also very handy when I accidentally knocked the entire box of alcohol inks off my workbench and had bottles rolling around everywhere. It only took a few minutes to get everything back to where it should be.

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When new colours are added I just use decimals to show where they belong in the sequence. For example, the new Adirondack colour Indigo is more purple than Stonewashed which I’d numbered 44, but bluer than Cool Peri which I’d numbered 45, so I numbered Indigo as 44.5. (It’s probably a geek thing. ;D)

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I also have larger samples where I’ve put a drop or two of each colour onto a small rectangle of paper, with the colour name, series and number noted down. I don’t use these very often so they’re normally clipped together in a wad in my alcohol ink box, but it’s sometimes nice to have a larger reference.

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Ranger Adirondack Alcohol Inks

Here’s the order I keep my Ranger Adirondack alcohol inks in. (I keep the metallic mixatives — Pearl, Silver, Gold and Copper — separately.)

# My Bottle # Colour Name
1 1 Pitch Black
2 2 Eggplant
3 3 Denim
4 4 Slate
5 5 Espresso
6 5.5 Teakwood
7 6 Currant
8 7 Hazelnut
9 8 Rust
10 9 Ginger
11 10 Latte
12 11 Caramel
13 12 Terra Cotta
14 13 Cranberry
15 14 Raisin
16 15 Pink Sherbert
17 16 Red Pepper
18 16.5 Poppyfield
19 17 Watermelon
20 18 Shell Pink
21 19 Salmon
22 20 Mountain Rose
23 21 Peach Bellini
24 22 Sunset Orange
25 22.5 Honeycomb
26 23 Butterscotch
27 24 Sunshine Yellow
28 25 Sandal
29 26 Lemonade
30 27 Lake Mist
31 28 Mushroom
32 29 Pebble
33 30 Oregano
34 31 Willow
35 32 Citrus
36 33 Lettuce
37 34 Pesto
38 35 Meadow
39 35.5 Botanical
40 36 Bottle
41 37 Juniper
42 38 Clover
43 38.5 Mermaid
44 39 Cloudy Blue
45 40 Aqua
46 41 Pool
47 42 Stream
48 43 Sail Boat Blue
49 44 Stonewashed
50 44.5 Indigo
51 45 Cool Peri
52 46 Purple Twilight
53 47 Wild Plum
54 48 Raspberry

Pinata Alcohol Inks

Here’s the order I keep my Pinata alcohol inks in. There aren’t anywhere near as many of these!

# Colour Name
1 Burro Brown
2 Tangerine
3 Havana Brown
4 Sangria
5 Chile Pepper
6 Santa Fe Red
7 Calabaza Orange
8 Sunbright Yellow
9 Lime Green
10 Rainforest Green
11 Baja Blue
12 Sapphire Blue
13 Passion Purple
14 Senorita Magenta
15 Shadow Grey
16 Mantilla Black

Copic ‘Various Ink’ Refills

Recently I’ve been experimenting quite successfully with Copic ‘Various Ink’ Refills and polymer clay, using them in the same ways I use other alcohol inks (colouring translucent clay, surface colouring and effects, etc.). They come in a zillion colours which is handy as it’s difficult to find many clear, bright colours in the other alcohol ink ranges. I don’t have a huge number of these yet but so far the Copic colour number order works well.

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