In my last workshop, I demonstrated how to create textured rings from polymer clay. In this tutorial, I will show you how to paint polymer clay rings with alcohol inks.

Step 1: Preparing the rings

Now that the rings are ready, it’s time to bake them! I experimented with various designs, using inks and paints to add unique touches. I even ended up with a couple of unconventional pairs of earrings.

Next, the rings require some sanding. I smoothed the edges and the sharp internal angles to prepare them for painting.

Step 2: Let’s paint with alcohol inks

Our ring blanks are now ready for the next exciting step – painting! I skip any cleaning or degreasing other than rinsing under running water to remove dust after sanding. This is where your creativity, skills, and patience come into play!

Firstly, I embark on the journey of color selection, choosing the hues that will best express the mood and style I envision for each ring. I like to combine vibrant alcohol inks with luminous stained-glass paints to create a dynamic, multi-dimensional effect. The process begins with applying the inks I carefully apply to achieve the desired intensity and pattern. I allow the inks to dry for a few minutes – a crucial step to ensure they are set correctly without bleeding.

As the inks dry, I prepare the next set of rings, planning the color transitions and complementary shades. Following this, I apply a carefully chosen matching shade of stained-glass paint. This type of paint adds a rich, glossy finish that enhances the underlying ink and gives the ring a glass-like surface. The semi-transparent nature of both the inks and the paints allows for the white of the clay beneath to subtly shine through, contributing to a ceramic-like finish that’s both rustic and elegant.

Managing the color intensity without ink solvent was challenging. However, it allowed me to explore different blending techniques and layering effects. I manually adjusted the density and spread of the colors, using my tools with precision to either intensify or soften the hues as needed. This part of the process is particularly satisfying, allowing me to fully engage with my artistic instincts and bring my creative visions to life.

Step 3: Completion

It was my first time working with alcohol inks, and I loved it – especially watching the inks flow into the crevices of the patterns!

After painting everything, I allow the rings to dry and sand the needed areas. Some rings only need the inside sanded, others the edges, and some are fully covered in paint and require no further processing.

Another tip – the stained-glass paints are water-resistant and create a robust coating! So, I think there’s no need to apply a varnish.


That’s about it! I hope you found this tutorial interesting and easy to follow. My next project will be a tutorial on other solid polymer clay rings I’ve made!

Here’s the result of two days of work – twenty rings and two pairs of earrings. Experience does come with practice!

Thanks for watching! I hope everything was clear. Looking forward to your feedback and comments!

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