Alcohol Ink Ball Ornaments

On my last trip to Michael's, all of their blank ornaments were on sale, so I picked up a bunch of plain ball ornaments. I even got a box of clear plastic ball ornaments. In years past, I have used alcohol ink to decorate glass ball ornaments, this year, I thought I'd try the plastic ones out to see if they worked just as well. I also thought I'd try out using the Pinata Alcohol Inks to see if there were any substantial differences (now I know that doesn't make for a great experiment when I change two of the variables, but bear with me).

Anytime you work with alcohol inks, cover your work surface with a craft mat or parchment paper. Once the ink dries, it does stain. If the ink is still wet, you can wipe up spills with rubbing alcohol. So I laid out my craft mat and my inks. You can use Ranger Inks for this project too (and they are more widely available at craft stores) if you'd like, but I thought I'd try out the Pinata ones.

I grabbed green, because Christmas, and made three small squirts into the ornament.

Then I grabbed some canned air and stuck the straw nozzle into the ornament and gave it a few good squirts. The ink spread out pretty well, and it covered a lot of the ornament. If your coverage isn't quite that good on the first try, add a bit more ink and repeat. I then tipped the ornament over onto its opening to let it sit for a minute to dry a bit and let any excess ink drip out. I made a second ornament while I waited. Since Pinata doesn't have a red in their set, I used a drip of pink, orange, and yellow and spread that around the ball with the canned air. I had to add some additional ink to this one and decided to go with the gold.

It looked so festive, that I tried the gold out in the green ornament after it had dried for a bit. The ink dries really quickly, but the colors can mix together if you add wet ink to dry ink. The gold spread out pretty well and didn't mix too much with the green ink, so I was pleased with the results.

The Pinata Inks worked well for this project. The ink is a little more vivid and a little bit thicker than the Ranger Inks which actually works better for this particular project. The ink was darker in the ball than the Ranger Ink was in the glass balls. The plastic ornaments also worked well. The ink behaved very similarly to glass and the finished project was glossy and transparent just as you'd expect from glass without them being breakable. So I'd definitely make more of these ornaments with the plastic balls and the Pinata inks. 


  1. Hi Sarah,
    I just discovered your blog and I love it. I have a question about the canned air. What does it do? Are you using it to push the alcohol ink around?

    1. Yep, that's exactly right--it moves the ink around and spreads it out.


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