The first time I decorated tile coasters with alcohol ink, I had just started using alcohol inks--I was a total newbie. I had read a tutorial online that just dripped the ink on the coasters and mixed with rubbing alcohol, so I gave that a try. It turned out well enough (though not like the example photos) to encourage me to play with the inks more. After making my own applicator (because I'm too cheap to buy the real one), I learned how much quicker and easier applying these inks could be. So I thought I'd revisit decorating ceramic tiles to make coasters--this time using an applicator.
So this time I took out my homemade applicator and dripped on the alcohol ink. I used all 6 different colors (because that's what's in my current stash--I have the Nature Walk and Farmer's Market sets).
You can squeeze multiple drops in one spot or single drops all over. The "blotches" you'll get will change a bit in size. Once you start "stamping" the alcohol ink on to the tile, just keep stamping until it looks the way you want it to. It's super easy.
The above sequence of photos will give you an idea of what the tile looks like as you work. Using the applicator with the ink from the above photo, the first photo shows the tile half stamped, then the tile once it's been filled with a single layer of ink, then the third photo shows the tile after I had gone over it again with the applicator to create a second layer and fill in the gaps. You can keep stamping to break up the color or to cover any white spots until it looks the way you want it to.
The above photo is the finished product--still wet. The color darkens a bit as it dries. This one turned out quite bright--and quite pink (and hubby says it's his favorite of all four coasters because it's the brightest :)). I used the same stamper to create my next tile (I didn't add any ink to the applicator--just kept stamping) and it was darker in color from the inks starting to mix on the applicator. I also found that I liked the look of smaller dots of ink--but both looked so much better (in my opinion) than just dripping the ink onto the tile. If your "blotches" are larger than you'd like, layering the ink by stamping over it can help to break it up.
Once the ink has dried, I cut squares of felt to glue onto the bottom of the tile with tacky glue so that they could be used as a coasters. I haven't sprayed them with clear acrylic sealer yet, but I plan to before I start setting my wet drinks on them.