More alcohol ink with UTEE


I was so excited by the effects from my play with AIs and UTEE the other day that I had to try a few more colours.

Here is what I did:

I punched out a few tag shapes from some heavyweight cardstock – I don’t have the packaging but I am sure it is about 260 gsm. I swiped them with clear embossing ink then covered with UTEE and heated.  You can either then dip the hot tag in UTEE again, or let it cool slightly then swipe again, cover with UTEE again, and heat again.  You want 3 to 5 coats of UTEE.  Then you can let them cool, or put them in the freezer for 10 minutes or so.  Flex the cardstock till cracks appear.  If the coating cracks, just put it back in place.

Then, pick a few colours of AI.  I did Red Pepper, Terra Cotta and Caramel; Eggplant and Raisin; Lettuce, Meadow and Bottle; Caramel, Latte and Ginger.  Have your felt wet with ink – you want it to sink down through the cracks to the cardstock.

Can you see how it is darker inside the cracks? And some of the ink pools under the embossing?

Now re-heat.  The colour will lighten, so be generous with the AI. Also, sometimes the UTEE will retract from the edges of the cracks, exposing the cardstock, or making almost a burn-hole. You can see it best on the red sample.

You can then let them cool and swipe on more embossing ink and more UTEE and re-heat.  Or you can just leave it, depending on the look you want.

Heating it again lightens the AI more – see the eggplant and raisin one?  It’s very pale. The more you heat it, and the closer you are with the embossing gun, the lighter they seem to get.  To keep the colour you can heat as far away from the piece as you can and still melt the UTEE.  It takes longer but gives a different effect.

You can add MORE AI and reheat if you want an intense colour. See how that brought the eggplant one back to life?

I also tried just doing one coat of UTEE, no cracking, just daubing on the AI.  That actually worked too,and was less effort, but you don’t get the mottling you get with multiple coats of UTEE and with the ink pooling under it. But it IS flatter and thinner, if that matters. With multiple layers of UTEE it just seems to do some interesting things.  You can see the ink is almost suspended in the UTEE, between different layers.

I think you really can only use it for fairly small pieces.  I tried it on a paper flower, which was interesting, but I’ve not QUITE perfected that so a little more playing is required.

Give it a go.  The tags came out almost like glass



9 thoughts on “More alcohol ink with UTEE

  1. Wow Mary Anne – your samples are fabulous !!

  2. Thanks for sharing this great idea. Hope you don’t mind that I pinned it to my tutorial board, with an acknowledgement to you 🙂

  3. This is such an amazing look! Thanks!

  4. What a fabulous technique, thanks for sharing, I will definitely be trying this one out
    Sophie x

  5. What is UTEE? I love what you have done but do not know what your abbrevations mean.
    Marjorie from TX
    m.brundagetx at yahoo dot com

    • UTEE is Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel – if you Google it you will see the specific brand but there are other brands. It’s the THICK bit that is important. You could use clear embossing powder, perhaps, but I think you would need about 6-10 layers 🙂


      Mary Anne

      (oh, and just in case – AI is alcohol ink)

    • Well….I looked on the shelf to my side and see what I think you used. Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel.

  6. great ide, I am going to try this for sure, thanks for sharing…

  7. Love this technique – thanks for all the pics. Really makes them look like margled stones/glass!!

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