I was over my friend’s house the other day and we went into her (incredibly organized) craft room. I saw that she had a distress ink pad along with her other ink pads and asked her about it. She said she bought it when she was making something for her best friend’s wedding shower but she wasn’t sure how to use it. Well, of course I had to try and tell her all about it. There’s so much that they can do, so I told her to YouTube it. There are so many technique videos out there. It seems I learn more each day about what I can do with them.
I am going to make a technique video, but I wanted to list some of the cool ways that you can use them. I am pretty sure I have done some posts on here showing what I have made using them. This is by no means the only ways you can use them – there are so versatile. It’s just one of the reasons I love using them. If you are on a limited budget, I would highly recommend them!
FIrst is just stamping with distress ink. It gives you a cool distress look (hence the name), so if you are looking for a solid stamped image, this isn’t the ink you want. However, if you want to do an ombre look, this is definitely the ink for you. Since the colors blend so well together and as long as you go from lightest to darkest, you won’t cross contaminate the ink pads, it gives a really cool ombre look.
Second is their ability to blend. This is especially great for backgrounds. Using the ink blending tool, you apply the colors to the paper and overlap them. You can even take the lightest color and go back in and blend them. For example, I blend blues (Tumbled Glass, Stormy Sky, Faded Jeans and Chipped Sapphire – colors from lightest to darkest) and then if they haven’t sufficiently blended, I go back in lightly with Tumbled Glass to help them blend. And the great part is that you don’t have to keep it in the same color family. I have done a cool sunset background with yellow, orange, red and even blue! Just make sure that the colors that you blend together won’t make brown. (Lesson learned – I tried to use red and green for Christmas. NOT a good look!!)
Third is their ability to react with water. Throw some color onto a piece of watercolor paper and add water and see what happens! The water helps the colors blend but also can give a paint splattered look if you flick on water droplets. I’ve even manage to get a suede look by inking up a piece of regular card stock and then spraying it with a small amount of water from a mini mister. It gave it a soft, suede-like look.
Fourth is the ability to give a soft highlighting around the edges of paper, die cuts, photos, etc. Using an ink bleeding tool, a small amount of ink and a light hand, you can give definition to an edge, hide a white core of some scrapbook paper or give an object an aged look with distress ink. I use Vintage Photo around the edges of the lighter parts of the bears I cut out from Teddy Bear Parade.
Fifth is using distress inks with embossing folders. Once you emboss a piece of paper, you then take some distress ink on a ink blending tool and go over the raised parts. This helps highlight them and gives the piece some dimension without adding bulk.
These are just some of the fun things you can do with distress inks! If you enter distress ink in YouTube you can see so many projects and techniques. There’s always something new to learn. What is your favorite technique?
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