Vendor Spotlight: Jacquard Pinata Colors Exciter Pack

Reported by Susan Reidy
I’ve always considered myself more of a crafter vs. an artist. But after playing with Jacquard’s Pinata Color Exciter Pack of alcohol inks, I feel like I really got in touch with my inner (frustrated) artist.
These acid-free transparent inks have an alcohol base, which means they are indelible and moisture-resistant when dry. They can be used on virtually any surface and are perfect for non-porous materials such as glass, plastic and metal. You can paint, sponge, stamp, spray and drip the inks onto your projects. They also can be used to add color to polymer clay, either by blending into unbaked clay, or painting on baked clay.

The Exciter Pack includes seven colors in 0.5 oz bottles: Sunbright Yellow, Calabaza Orange, Chile Pepper, Sapphire Blue, Lime Green, Burrow Brown and Blanco. The pack also includes a Clean Up Solution and Claro Extender.

Suggestions on how to use the inks as well as what types of surfaces they are suited for are inside the package. More information and projects ideas are also available on the Jacquard web site.

I tried them out on a variety of surfaces (metal, ceramic, plastic) and did my best with a few techniques (painting, sponging, dripping, mixing/blending).

First thing I noticed after opening the ink bottles is the strong alcohol odor, which was also noticeable to my children, who were watching me play. The inks are not recommended for children, and they are flammable, so take the appropriate precautions.

I love the color selection in the Exciter Pack — it has all the basics you need to get started with these inks. A total of 17 colors are available from Jacquard. If you want more pastel colors, you can mix any of the basic colors with the white ink, also included in the Exciter Pack. I also like that the pack comes with the Claro Extender and the Clean Up Solution.

For my first project, I dripped the inks into plastic Christmas ornaments. I added a few drops of color along with the Claro Extender so it would stay maneuverable for longer, since I wanted the ink to spread throughout the ornament. The Extender does just what it says — extends the drying and working time of the ink.

In the ornament on the right, I tried mixing blue with red to make purple. According to Jacquard, the colors will blend when wet. They did blend, but it also got very streaky.

I moved onto other projects and let the ornament sit overnight. The next day, most of the streaks had disappeared, leaving behind a pretty bluish, purplish shine.

I liked it much better, and decided to add some embellishments and call it done. Check out the bright blue jingle bell. More on that later.

I’ve made these ornaments before with acrylic paint. That was a slow, arduous process, trying to move the paint around the ornament and waiting for the excess to drip out. In comparison, the ink moved so much smoother and overall gave a much more professional look to the ornament.

Next, I tried the inks on some ceramic letter ornaments. I dripped some red ink on a Ranger Felt Applicator Tool and sponged it onto my letter A. I liked the results; the color was vibrant, and had some fun texture.

But when I looked closer, I saw some of that texture was in fact fibers off of my felt tool. I’m not sure why this happened, but I think it may be that I pounced my felt on the ornament after the ink was starting to dry. The sticky ink must have grabbed the fibers.

But, fortunately, all it takes is some rubbing alcohol to clean off the surface. I dabbed some on a make-up sponge and wiped off all the ink and fibers. Good as new.

I tried again, this time dripping blue ink and white ink on my felt pad, hoping to get a lighter blue. I love the mottled look I got, but wanted to experiment a little further. According to Jacquard, once the ink is dry, adding the Claro Extender on top will make the ink spread.

I dropped a few drips of the Extender on my A, hoping to get a polka dot look,. I then used my felt to remove any excess Extender. I love how it turned out.

Here it is on my work table:

And here it is on the Christmas tree:

It’s hard to tell from the photos, but it is shiny and has lots of dimension.

For my letter C, I dripped some blue and green on a clean felt pad, and sponged it on in a twisting motion. My daughters and I think this one looks like the Earth. You have to be careful not to sponge too much, or your colors will blend completely. Of course, that’s Ok if that’s the look you’re going for. In this case, too much blending would have resulted in a brown C.

Next up, I wanted to try coloring some of my go-to scrapbooking/cardmaking supplies. I gathered some plain brads, clear buttons, plastic baubles and just for fun, some silver jingle bells.

Here are the buttons, baubles and bell before. Cute, but a little blah.

And here they are after. Wow! I love how the ink took to these surfaces and really made them shine.

I also tried it out on some brads. Here they are before:

And here they are after:

This was probably my favorite way to use the inks; I loved the results and it was super easy. The brads are so shiny, and the color, while semi-transparent, is super rich. I’ve used Copic markets, which are also alcohol-based, in the past to color my embellishments, but I don’t think the color was nearly as rich as with the Pinata inks.

Custom embellishments, here I come! No more buying tubes and tubes of jingle bells or packages of brads to get the right color. I can just use the Pinata inks to color my own.

I used the inks to paint my youngest daughter’s name on this ceramic star, and added my inked baubles along the edge with Glossy Accents.

The inks are easy to use, but it can get messy. Make sure you lay some type of protection down on your work surface. I had few drops and spills on mine.

As I mentioned earlier, rubbing alcohol will take the inks right off your projects, and it will also take it off your brushes and your hands (you can also mix alcohol with the inks to produce lighter colors). Jacquard says you should also use the Cleaning Solution on your brushes, after the alcohol. This will keep the brushes supple for future uses. It worked for me; my brushes were still soft and pliable the next day.

I had fun playing with these inks, and was really impressed with how they worked on a variety of surfaces. I would like to try some different techniques, and try some more sophisticated artsy projects like resist. They are so versatile, I’m glad to have them in my crafting stash.

For me, there was a little bit of a learning curve, and it can get a little messy, but the results are worth it.

The Exciter Pack retails for about $24.95. It is available at art stores including Dick Blick and online at Amazon. Pinata Colors are also available in individual 0.5 oz. and 4 oz. bottles.

  • Extremely versatile, and can be used with several techniques.
  • Can be used on non-porous surfaces like ceramic, plastic, glass, etc. and is permanent.
  • Super rich, shiny colors.
  • Can be used to color all sorts of embellishments like buttons, brads, eyelets.
  • Exciter Pack is a good way to try out the inks, and it includes the Claro Extender and the Clean Up Solution.
  • Lots of information online from Jacquard and other crafters/artists.


  • Can be a little intimidating at first, and there’s a little bit of a learning curve.
  • Strong odor.
  • Messy, but clean up is simple with rubbing alcohol.

Have you tried Jacquard’s Pinata Colors? What have you made, or what would you like to make with them?


Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!


5 Responses to Vendor Spotlight: Jacquard Pinata Colors Exciter Pack

  1. Avatar
    Erika Martin - Stampin' Mama December 14, 2010 at 11:02 am #

    Great review! Love the projects you did. I have this product, too, but haven’t tried it yet. Can’t wait to use it.

  2. Avatar
    Tamikko December 14, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    I can’t wait to try this out. I think I’m going to do some glitter on mine too. I like a really colourful tree so I think I’ll need to make one of each colour mixed with a complementing colour of course 🙂

  3. Avatar
    Vic December 14, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    Beautiful! Thanks for the tips.

  4. Avatar
    Karla Anderson December 15, 2010 at 2:06 am #

    I have not tried these alcohol inks but I love the ones by Ranger – they are so fun. I will have to look inot this brand – even thiuogh I I have liek 20 colors already – never enough. They are great on glossy paper too and there are all kind of resist techniques you can do. Love love love alcohol inks!

  5. Avatar
    Heather the MooseLover December 15, 2010 at 10:05 am #

    Great review! I have these and never thought of using them with buttons.