Alcohol Ink Paint on Glass Pumpkins

Alcohol Ink Paint on Glass Pumpkins

Every now and then, I choose to work on a project based on a crafting technique, as opposed to a really unique upcycling idea. And this, my friends, is one of those projects! You see, I’d been looking for a way to try out alcohol ink or alcohol paint for a long time. And I decided that trying out alcohol ink paint on glass pumpkins (or other round glass) might result in some gorgeous fall decor.

I found the first of my clear glass pumpkins at a Habitat ReStore.

Clear glass pumpkins at a thrift store

As the year progressed, I found another glass treasure at a thrift store that resembled a glass pumpkin.

Upcycling the clear glass pumpkins with Ranger alcohol inks

Now that I had some clear glass pumpkins on hand, I could give alcohol ink painting a try.

And yes, this is not the first time I’ve painted glass to become pumpkins. Remember this project that I did with some bourbon bottles?

liquor bottle painting for fall pumpkin decor

But back to the task at hand- alcohol inks! Think it’ll work out well? Let’s find out!

This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. All blue, bold, and underlined text is a clickable link, either to a product or to a related post.

How to Use Alcohol Ink on Glass

Now that I had my glass pumpkins collected, I purchased some alcohol inks. They are available in lots of different colors, and come in little bottles that are a tad bigger than food coloring.

Ranger alcohol inks to use on clear glass pumpkins

There are a few different ways to apply alcohol inks to your projects, such as dripping them directly on your surface OR using a felt applicator. You can buy a pre-made felt applicator like this one, or make your own (which is what I did). To make one, I used:

How to make a felt applicator for alcohol ink painting

First, I glued a small piece of Velcro to one end of my wooden dowel.

Next, I cut out a similarly-shaped piece of felt and stuck it to to the Velcro.

Making a felt applicator for alcohol inks

And that was it! Now I could try out the alcohol painting on glass.

Alcohol ink art is usually best with contrasting shades of ink. However, since I was looking to make decorative pumpkins, I selected three coordinating shades of orange, yellow, and green.

I simply added a few drops of each color to the felt applicator.

Alcohol ink on glass with a felt applicator

Getting the Look of Stained Glass with Alcohol Paint

To test out colors and technique, I used a glass vase that was in my at-home donation pile. But you could easily try it on a clear glass spaghetti sauce jar (or similar) from your recycling bin.

First, I dabbed the felt applicator all over the exterior of my glass vase in an up-and-down motion, like stippling paint over a stencil.

How to use alcohol ink on glass

Going up and down keeps the colors from swirling together, allowing the different colors to show through. I also rotated the applicator in my hand to keep a pattern from forming on the glass.

After I practiced and felt confident on my technique, I worked on the candle holder first.

Alcohol paint in fall colors on clear glass pumpkins

I dabbed the alcohol paint over and over again on the glass pumpkins (ok, candle holder!) until I was satisfied with the result.

Getting the look of stained glass on glass pumpkins

Finally, I sprayed each half with a glossy clear topcoat to protect the alcohol ink. And just like that, I had a “stained glass” pumpkin!

turning a glass candleholder into a pumpkin

Now it was time to try out the alcohol ink on the actual glass pumpkin I had found!

I added a fresh piece of felt to the applicator and used a slightly different combination of colors of alcohol paint. And I went work once again, dabbing all over the glass pumpkin.

And you know what? I AM IN LOVE!!

stained glass pumpkin

Alcohol Ink Paint on Glass Pumpkins

I LOVE IT! It looks almost like hybrid of stained glass and mercury glass, straight out of a small art gallery or high-end boutique.

stained glass pumpkin with alcohol ink

Now I totally understand why alcohol ink painting is so popular!

alcohol paint on glass

And as an added bonus, my glass pumpkins look positively GLORIOUS at night with my absolute favorite LED fairy lights. Doesn’t the alcohol paint look amazing like this?

lights under alcohol ink on glass

Using alcohol paint on glass pumpkins is such a fun upcycling idea, and a nice change of pace from the typical mercury glass look. Think you’ll try out some alcohol ink painting now?

Speaking of Fall decor, I’m also excited to announce that my first book is now available! If you love working with flannel or fabric crafts in general (sewing and non-sewing), then you will LOVE “Crafting with Flannel”!

Craft book on flannel fabric

And if you enjoyed this upcycling project, then you may also be interested in these metal pumpkins, as well!

metal pumpkins for modern fall decor

Craft on!


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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. That is the neatest thing….thanks for sharing

  2. I’ve never used alcohol inks, love how the orange looks illuminated: who knew? Thanks for the information and how to make a dabber, clever tips, as usual. Do you get any sleep or do you toss and turn with ideas, jumping in your head?
    I am plotting to repurpose a fantastic aluminum tray into a clock and guess what? Found and pinned a domino clock you had made…you’re like the gift that keeps on giving.

  3. Raymond Morris says

    My favorite aspect of fall would be changing colors of the foliage. You can really see God’s hand at work in all the different colors the leaves turn.

  4. Love those pumpkins!!

  5. Beautiful project! I wish I could go to the Vintage Market Days Show, sounds like fun.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thanks, Carole! They have them all over the country- hopefully, I’ll be doing more of these giveaways for different cities! 🙂

  6. Very pretty. I love your projects.

  7. I LOVE this Sarah!!! Great job!

  8. That turned out great! I have a few faux mercury glass and colored glass pumpkins and one of those clear ones (was it intended to be a candy jar or something? who knows, lol). The clear one does look out of place – I am definitely going to give this a try. And I love the lights inside, I’ll bet they are so pretty at night!

  9. Carlene Blair says

    I LOVE your paint choice!

  10. I absolutely love your pumpkins!!! Pure genius. Thank you for sharing that.

    I sure wish I could go to Vintage Market Days, but alas…I have a doctor’s appointment. AND, I live a couple hundred miles away! Some lucky soul is going to have a great time.

  11. Wanda Justus says

    I just love this painting technique. This is something I will try soon. Already have the pumpkin. I also live in the upstate of SC over in Seneca.

  12. UM YES they are in my future!!!! Amazing! I actually love glasswork so I am in love with this idea. How well does the paint stay on. It doesn’t rub off? This is such a cool project. I see lots of glassware at thrift shops and seeing this idea I now won’t be able to resist the purchase. ha. pinning:)

  13. Looks absolutely wonderful.

  14. These turned out great, especially arresting with the lights inside. I’m getting my alcohol inks out!

  15. These are beautiful! Definitely going to try that technique! On the pumpkin, it looks like you used it on the inside. I know you said further up in the post that you were doing the outside, so I was just wondering. Pinned

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thanks, Florence! Definitely on the outside…I suppose you could on the inside, but it would be harder to seal with a spray topcoat…and then it might be dangerous to put a real candle inside (if that was your end goal).

  16. I love this! I’m headed to Hobby Lobby for the paint today!

  17. Tara Forrest says

    Love this!! I’m going to Goodwill today to check out pumpkins.

  18. Theresa Sambrano says

    Looks great! Had a split second of “why-the-heck-did-I-donate-that” remorse, but oh well, it was a good charity! So, I just need to buy it back! Also checking my big clear glass stash for other options…

    Thanks for the idea. Just love how your creative mind works. =^.^=

  19. That looks like a fun project – must try these alcohol inks. Love how your pumpkins turned out and so cool that they’re illuminated at night!

  20. chris tucker says

    as usual you rock it girlfriend, these are oooh and ahhhh worthy xx

  21. That is impressive! I once sold hundreds of them when i worked at Lechters (a kitchen store once in many malls). I love your transformation!

  22. Sarah, These pumpkins are just beautiful!! Wow, The inks look easy to use, I should be able to come up with a fun Christmas project to try with my niece!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you, Kaycee! I’ve seen people use them on the plain clear Christmas ornaments from Michael’s and they turn into AMAZING ornies with alcohol inks!

  23. I have used alcohol inks on paper, but I had no idea you could use them on anything else!! Silly question: did you use any alcohol with the alcohol ink? To use it on alcohol ink paper, I have always sprayed the paper with a mist of isopropyl alcohol before dropping or daubing ink onto it. Is this necessary with glass?

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Not a silly question at all!!! But I totally understand why you’d ask, having used it on paper. No alcohol needed- just droplet them onto your felt dauber and have at it!!!

  24. angea bradley says

    I live in the deep south. so my favorite thng is being able to finally turn off the a/c. and open the doors, let in fresh air. not have to lsten to that constant hum. actually hear the rain and the birds out my window.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Yes!!! I’m in the south, too, but probably not as deep as you. But I totally agree…when the 90s turn into 80s and then they FINALLY turn into 70s??!! I lose my mind with excitement. 🙂

  25. So cute. Never used alcohol ink but gotta try it!

  26. Thanks for the tutorial! I’ve been wondering how to use alcohol inks!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      You’re so welcome, Roseann- I think a lot of us were curious and/or intimidated, but they are crazy-easy and forgiving when you use them!

  27. I love them, they are fantastic! Love fairy lights this time of year!

  28. Teresa Duncan says

    I love the colors of fall!

  29. Peggy Johnson says

    My favorite part of fall is all the colors from the trees. I also love wearing sweat shirts, LOL.

  30. Bonfires!

  31. Isn’t alcohol ink right up there with……… well chalk paint and milk paint and thrift stores overflowing with what nots? Have you tried it with resin Sarah?

  32. Love the alcohol paint pumpkins. Thanks for the giveaway chance. My favorite part of fall is the cooler temperatures.

  33. I just got my fall items out and have a glass pumpkin without its top. I was thinking of trying something like this. Thanks for the tutorial.

  34. What fun to have an event close by! Thanks for the giveaway chance.

  35. Wow, these are so pretty, I love them! You did an excellent job. Really, really fabulous.

  36. Love alcohol paint & never thought to use it on glass! I’ve used it on metal & an old pizza stone. This is a great way to fancy up cheap glass!

  37. These pumpkins turned out spool Cute! I’ve seen the alcohol inks and have been wanting to try it for a while, just haven’t gotten into it. After seeing your adorable pumpkins, I need to find something and give it a try.

  38. I think I am a neighbor of yours – I live in Myrtle Beach. My sister uses alcohol inks on her jewelry creations and I love it but have never tried it. It has been on my list of to do’s and now that I have seen it on glass I will move it up my priority list. Thanks for sharing – I’m excited to try these.

  39. This truned out great. I love the color comb. Thank you for sharing at Dishing it and Digging it.

  40. Sarah, I haven’t used this technique before but I love the look! Thanks for sharing @Vintage Charm!

  41. mary martinec says

    I am always looking for projects to do at the library where I work. And you have some really good ones!

  42. Back again to say how much I love this & am very tempted to buy some of those inks. Really love your project! Thanks for sharing at Sweet Inspiration!

  43. I have never used alcohol inks before…need to put this on my crafting ‘to do’ list. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Hugs, Lynn

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Awww, thank you so much, Lynn! I really liked playing with them and can see myself doing more projects with them for sure!

  44. Wow, I thought your two salad bowls turned pumpkin from a few years back was awesome but these seriously topped it. I love the effect of the alcohol ink on the glass. And the lights at night are beautiful. Great job!

  45. I can’t wait to try those alcohol inks! Wow, they look so beautiful! I’m getting some soon!

  46. I love these! I have never worked with alcohol ink, definitely worth a try, very unique, elegant effect.

  47. Very cool stuff that alcohol ink! Fantastic post as always! Thank you for sharing on Merry Monday! Hope to see ya next week!

  48. I would like to subscribe to your blog by email. Please tell me how? 🙂 Thanks

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      No problem at all, Taryn! I just subscribed you with your gmail address- you should receive a confirmation email to confirm! 🙂

  49. That turned out just gorgeous, love it!

  50. This is a great idea and looks like fun! I love browns and orange and Fall has so much of this. It’s beautiful!

  51. Hi! I love the effect of alcohol ink, but have never tried it. Your pumpkins are gorgeous and I have decided that is where I will start. I am not sure if I missed it in your instructions though… do you use any rubbing alcohol?

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thanks, Wendy- and no worries at all, you didn’t miss it. I *think* you only use alcohol with these inks if you use them on paper…I just used them straight onto my blotter/dauber with nothing on the glass.

  52. This is seriously cool and very pumkin-y! Thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story, and I hope your week is going great.

  53. I just can’t get over that glistening effect! Spectacular!

    I’ve featured this in this weekend’s DIY Salvaged Junk link party. Thanks for linking up!

  54. Is there any question what I think? I didn’t think so! 🙂

    And thanks for sharing at Waste Not Wednesday

  55. I also have a glass pumpkin and I got the paints . I could not get the green but purple came in the package. I’Am going to try it first on a candle holder and see how it comes out. What a great idea! LIve in Lakeland, FL born and raised in Charleston,SC

  56. Kathy Troutman says

    I love your pumpkins!! I have my glass pumpkin all ready to try this craft out myself, do you remember what three colors you used? I have some of the same alcohol inks, but I did not see where/if you identified which colors you used. Thanks for such a great example, I can’t wait to try it out myself.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Hmm…I think it was the two oranges and the yellow on the actual pumpkin cookie jar! I had to buy a couple of ink sets to get those colors, if I remember correctly.

  57. Debbie Kowal says

    Who knew? Alcohol Ink Paint?? The pumpkins are gorgeous but I love Mercury Glass Christmas ornaments cannot wait to try it.

  58. I’m anxious to try this technique on some clear glass pendant lights over my island. I haven’t been able to find what I want in the right size. The wrong size ones are so expensive so this is the solution for two reasons!

  59. Very cool project. I have had my inks for years and they are still in the box. You have inspired me to get them out. Lol

  60. omg’sh, i love them all!! I want you to take pictures of your fall gems in your house! I bet it is gorgeous. These make me smile, they are so darn cute and classy at the same time!

  61. These look so Good! I love them!! I have alcohol inks but I’ve never used them after my research showed it’d fade. Do you know how long the color will stay?

  62. Might be silly question but did you paint the outside or the inside of the pumpkin?

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