Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Cindy Crushes Programming: DIY Alcohol Sharpie Tiles

This was a request by my teens. There are a lot of pictures of this craft on Pinterest so it was pretty easy to figure out what the teens I work with want. There’s a pretty good walk through here.


  • White Tiles
  • Sharpies
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Droppers
  • Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating Spray

Step One: Prep Your Tile

Get a tile and make sure it is clean.

Step Two: Add Sharpie to the Tiles

I learned that using a lot of Sharpie works best for me. Some teens used a little Sharpie, which worked for them. Metallic Sharpie works, but the regular colorful Sharpies are easier to get a lot of brightness.

Step Three: Add the Alcohol

Add drops of alcohol on the tile and then let dry. This step could take up 45 minutes. You do not want the tile to be completely covered with the rubbing alcohol.

Step Four: Spray the Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating Spray

Be prepared because the whole tile is going to change once you do this step.  I do not recommend having names or special designs that you want to be permanent on the tiles because once you have used the spray it really shifts the Sharpie to give it a nice marbled effect. Let the tile dry. I have the teens do the spraying outside on our children’s patio because the smell is very strong. You could spray it inside, but it would be better to do it outside if at all possible.

Final Thoughts: This was a super cheap craft. I already had extra tiles and Sharpies. A coworker let me borrow her Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating Spray so it allowed me to save money on this craft. This is a good craft for teens that want to hang out with their friends. There is a lot of wait time, but that just makes it a more social craft event.


  1. Heather P. says

    We did this for teens at my library. It was a huge hit. My teens found that you can make interesting patterns/blotches if you blow on or gently fan the tile to help it dry. If you “mess up” it’s easy to wipe off with a bit of extra alcohol and a paper towel. We turned them into coasters by gluing felt to the bottom of the tile. The whole program cost under $30 once we purchased Sharpies, clear coat, and tiles. We had the hot glue and felt already. Definitely want to do again. It could even work for older elementary children.

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