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Saturday 16 January 2010


Welcome to our first tutorial on using distress inks. There are so many uses for them and this tutorial is to show how to make easy peasy backgrounds that can be used for several styles of design.
For this you will need a craft mat that wipes clean. I personally use a non stick cooking sheet I bought in the pound shop.

Step 1 - Select your colours, minimal or multiple, they all look good together and you never get a "bad" background! For this I have used vintage photo, faded jeans and spiced marmalade.


Start with your lightest colour and dab and swipe this on the sheet randomly (or organised, its your sheet!) Repeat with your darker colours.


Spritz some water onto the sheet to activate the ink. Let all the colours mingle. If you want a bit of glam added then spray one or two spritzes of a gold or silver such as starburst stains, radiant rain or cosmic shimmers. Dont add too much glam, just a touch is enough :)


Take a piece of card and lay this over your wet ink, move it around to pick it up. If there are any white spaces left then just lay the card down and repeat. The more water you add the lighter the colours will be so if mine looks too light I dab the ink back on and do it again until I'm happy. Also they will dry lighter than what they look like wet so bear that in mind.


If you want some concentrated colour I dab the inkpad diectly on the sheet and give it a quick spray (You can see this on the blue areas here)

You can also dab them on direct to paper (DTP) and leave them as they are to make patterns as in the pic below.

Select a nice area with a good mix of colour and stamp onto it! Easy as that! You can also use your pieces in embossing folders such as the cuttlebug to make interesting and unique backgrounds that you've made yourself! Make sure your piece is completely dry before you cuttlebug as it will tear (unless you like that look anyhow!)
For this finished piece I simply stamped and tore around the image then I used a piece of sponge to push some brown distress inks around the edge.
I hope you have a try with this technique, there's nothing better than creating your own backgrounds and papers, have fun!


  1. brill tutorial Vix xx thanks

  2. Thank You for sharing this great tutorial,
    I now own a Tim Holtz distress ink, and was not sure how to use it,
    This has made it nice a easy for me to use,

  3. Fabby tutorial, definately will give this a go.
    Happy crafting
    Tracy x

  4. Thanks for the tutorial. Have used it to make some tags from background paper which I didn't particularly like, with the only two Tim Holtz distress inkpads I own. Happy Crafting. xx Lynn

  5. Great tutorial!! Thank you! I just found your blog today and think is great. I became a follower and will suggest your blog to others.

    Linda I. aka Crafin Kay


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