Alcohol + Watercolor Backgrounds

Hello! Welcome back. Today I am sharing a fun and easy way to use watercolor with rubbing alcohol for unique effects. I found this technique perfect for snowy skies!

Watercolor and Alcohol Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

[All supplies are linked in the text below and in the thumbnails at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used at no cost to you.]

Watercolor isn’t my thing. I love what people can create with a watercolor, but I have always struggled when using it. But that is ok! I like to focus on fun and unique ways to use watercolor… and today is one of my favorites. By adding rubbing alcohol to a wet watercolor background, you get great looks.

On my first card, I painted a wash of Winsor Newton Cotman Watercolor on Tim Holtz Watercolor Paper. While it was still wet, I used a paint brush to “paint” clouds with rubbing alcohol. The alcohol dries up or the paint, making it lighter in that area.

Watercolor and Alcohol Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

After the piece dried, I die cut a circle and matted it with white cardstock. I added a snowman and sentiment from the Essentials by Ellen Snow Buds Stamp Set… along with mini white pom poms for snow balls. For a bit of interest on the background, I added lots of tone-on-tone Essentials by Ellen Pop Up Mittens die cut snowflakes.

Watercolor and Alcohol Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

You can also splatter rubbing alcohol on a wet watercolor background for the look of stars or snow. I wanted a subtle look so I started with a wash of light blue watercolor. (In the video I show how intense the results are on a darker watercolor background.) I love the snowy sky results! I also added a snow effect by die cutting the dried watercolor piece with the Essentials By Ellen Snowfall Background Die.

Watercolor and Alcohol Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

I also used the Essentials by Ellen Mountain Holiday Stamp Set to create a fun skiing scene, and used a sentiment from the Essentials by Ellen Snow Buds Stamp Set.

Watercolor and Alcohol Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

My next card shows another snowy sky that I created using light watercolor and alcohol. Once it was dry, I cut it with a stitched rectangle die and added to a card. I also added silver glitter snowflakes from the Essentials by Ellen Pop Up Mittens Die Set and a sentiment from the Essentials by Ellen Snow Days Stamp Set.

Watercolor and Alcohol Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

But the best part of this card is the surprise inside! When you open it, hearts and snowflakes pop up…

Watercolor and Alcohol Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

The Essentials by Ellen Pop Up Mittens Die Set has dies needed to create this fun pop-up effect and it is SO easy to assemble. The “stay cozy” is from the Essentials by Ellen Mountain Holiday Stamp Set.

Watercolor and Alcohol Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

My last card shows the watercolor and alcohol technique.. but only on the background. I first stamped and watercolored the holly from the Essentials by Ellen Mondo Holly Stamp Set. Once it was dry, I put wet blue watercolor around and added speckles of alcohol. The alcohol reacts with the wet watercolor but not the dry.

Watercolor and Alcohol Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

I also created a vellum sentiment strip with the Altenew Peaceful Wreath Dies and Honey Bee Rejoice Stamp Set.

Watercolor and Alcohol Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

I hope you give these easy techniques a try!

SUPPLIES

Want to find the products I used? I have listed them below. (Compensated affiliate links used at no cost to you. Thank you for your support! Affiliate and product disclosure can be found here. All products were personally purchased except the Essentials by Ellen products which were received from the company with no expectation. As always, this post was NOT paid for or sponsored.) Click on the icons below each product picture to go to a favorite store.

Essentials by Ellen Snow Buds Stamp Set
[ ELH ]
Essentials by Ellen Snow Buds Dies
[ ELH ]
Essentials by Ellen Pop Up Mittens Dies
[ ELH ]
Essentials by Ellen Snow Days Stamp Set
[ ELH ]
Essentials by Ellen Mountain Holiday…
[ ELH ]
Essentials by Ellen Mondo Holly Stamp…
[ ELH ]
Honey Bee Rejoice Stamp Set
[ ELH ]
Hero Arts Circle Infinity Dies
[ ELH ]
Hero Arts Hearts Infinity Dies
[ ELH ]
Altenew Peaceful Wreath Dies
[ ELH ]
Essentials By Ellen Snowfall Background
[ ELH ]
Essentials by Ellen Alpine Snowfall Die
[ ELH ]
Essentials by Ellen Pattern Dies
[ ELH ]
Winsor Newton Cotman Watercolor Set
[ ELH ]
Hero Arts Deep Ocean Liquid Watercolor
[ HA ]
Rubbing Alcohol
[ AMZUS ]
Altenew Watercolor Palette
[ ELH ]
Tim Holtz Watercolor Paper
[ ELH ]
Water Wash Bottle
[ AMZUS ]
Tim Holtz Distress Sprayer
[ ELH ]
Ranger Brushes
[ ELH ]
Hero Arts Heat Gun
[ ELH ]
Therm O Web Purple Tape
[ ELH ]
Mini White Pom Poms
[ AMZUS ]
Tonic Aqua Shimmer Pens
[ ELH ]
scor
[ ELH ]
MISTI Mouse Pad Insert
[ ELH ]
MISTI Bar Magnet
[ ELH ]
* Tim Holtz Tonic Glass Media Mat
[ ELH ]
Gina K Connect Glue
[ SSS ]
Scor-Buddy
[ ELH ]


Leave a Comment

26 thoughts on “Alcohol + Watercolor Backgrounds”

  1. What great new things you’ve taught me today! I love the cloudy sky behind the snowman AND the big snowflake color on color background! the little pop-ups are so cute! Kind of an aha! moment! Why didn’t I think of that? I think I can figure that out without a die. . . . Your water coloring is beautiful, and it teaches me that I don’t have to be a great artist to make a lovely card. I also think those two tiny white strips along the vellum really add a lot in drawing the eye to the sentiment. Gotta remember all these tricks! Thank you!

  2. Through your struggles you have taught me to play with watercolors.your techniques are always inspiring.
    Thank you

  3. I love your cards and this technique. I will have to try it. Thanks for all your ideas. I learn so much from you.

  4. What a fabulous technique!! I especially liķe the cloud background of the round snowman card. Those clouds are awesome!!

  5. The clouds are fantastic ! I’ve just tried the technique and for once, I’ve had quickly a result similar to yours. Thank you for sharing !

  6. Thanks for sharing these great alcohol/watercolor techniques. I never thought of using these together. Also, thanks for demonstrating the pop up element. These are such great holiday cards.

  7. Wow Jennifer, again a awesome technique video. Love to try this and watching the video I thought of a few ways I want to try this and make cards with. Thank you so much for showing and have a nice weekend.

  8. Where do all these fabulous ideas hide in you, Jennifer?? You are simply amazing! This technique is so “do-able” and easy! I’ve often struggled making clouds and this is so perfect! Thanks so much!! Hugs!

  9. Jennifer,
    Great cards. Love the watercolor and alcohol technique you used on these cards. I’ve got to try these soon.
    Also liked the quick and easy pop up card. Thanks.

  10. A wonderful set of Christmas cards! I love that snowman and the tone-on-tone snowflake background. Your holly looks great! Thank you for the video showing how you made those great backgrounds.

  11. Beautiful cards Jennifer and another interesting technique to try. I think the clouds looked amazing and the snowman juggling snowballs was so cute against that background! Thank you as always for sharing new fun ways to use our supplies, Lisa xx

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