Julien Tomasello  MFA, MAT




Grades 2 - 12 (Adaptable)

Glazed Alcohol-Ink Tiles offers an engaging lesson in  color mixing, warm & cool color use, pattern making, composition, and  design.Students can work individually or in groups to create a series of tiles which, when dry, are covered (by the teacher) in a clear, gloss, polyurethane glaze.  Finished tiles can be used separately (possibly as coasters), displayed on standing tile holders, or combined to form a stunning wall mural. 



The history of decorative tiles is long and colorful. Early examples can be found in Egypt (c. 4,700 BC), Tunisia (9th Century), Iran (11th Century), and Europe (13th & 14th Centuries). Decorative tiles have been used to adorn churches, mosques, temples, monuments, and palaces. Today, decorative tiles can be found nearly everywhere in both mass-produced and artisan forms. Glazed Alcohol-Ink Tiles is a contemporary, fun, and grade-adaptable tile decoration project. 

Wipe ceramic tile with paper towel to remove debris. On back of tile, write name using Sharpie marker. Dip cotton ball in small bowl filled with isopropyl alcohol. Wet tile front. Using one alcohol-ink at a time, slowly place small drop(s) of ink on isopropyl-wet tile front.  Use cotton swab saturated with isopropyl to drop alcohol-ink on tile front for added design. Students can also blow on dropped ink, or through straws, for additional effects.  Keep tile wet by using spray bottles filled with isopropyl.  Repeat dropping ink on wet tiles until desired design is achieved.  Let dry overnight.  Coat with clear, gloss sealant. 


Download Sample Lesson Plan

White, glazed, ceramic tiles (approximately 4 x 4”)

Isopropyl alcohol

Colored alcohol inks

Cotton balls & cotton swabs

Small spray bottles & small bowls

Clear gloss sealant

Glaze brush

Sharpie markers

Paper towels

Table covering