Ten Distress Ink Techniques

Using Distress Inks on your projects is a perfect way to add color, texture, and dimension to your crafting! The teachers at Big Picture Classes have compiled ten techniques to get you started with Distress Inks. Practice the resist technique on a background with Jen Shurkus in Distress Ink Card Techniques. Make your own watercolored paper with Aly Dosdall in Smash Your Stash | Craft & Color Mediums. And ink blend a stunning scene with Eloise Blue in Simple Interactive Cards. Explore all ten techniques that are perfect for adapting to any project! 

Create a resist background.

Distress Ink Card Techniques, Jenn Shurkus

It's easy to create a resist background with Versamark Ink, glossy cardstock, and Distress Inks. This is a fun and simple technique that works almost like magic! Make sure the Versamark Ink is completely dry before you start blending ink over it. You can heat it with an embossing gun if needed. If you want an intense color when watercoloring images, have less water on your brush. If you want a more subtle color, have a very watery brush when you pick up the color. When stamping sentiments, if you need to make them fit in an area they're too big for, consider stamping some of the words first and then the rest of the words. That way, you can be more exact with the placement of your sentiment. 

Use Distress Stain Spray with glossy gel medium for a stunning look.

Paste & Gel Basics, May Flaum

Glossy gel medium is useful whenever you want to create a surface that will resist, but I find it's the most fun with spray colors and stencils! Whatever color is under the area the gel is applied to will show through the gel. And generally speaking, color mediums applied over will bead off or resist those areas. If you're working with a stencil, consider what colors you'll want to add after the gel is set. In some instances, a gesso base before anything else can help create a nonporous surface to work on. Don't use more than three to four spray colors over the gel. Use too many and you'll start to get "muddy" colors.

Use Distress Inks for a unique background technique on your next tag!

Mixed Media Technique Tags | 02, Kim Schofield

Using a non-stick craft sheet is a must for this technique as it allows the colors to easily flow and mix. It's also great for easy cleanup! Avoid mixing colors from the opposite sides of the color wheel, such as purple and yellow, to keep from making muddy colors. Try a direct to paper technique, skipping the craft sheet step, for more intense color.\

Sponge different layers for a dynamic scene. 

Creating Card Scenes, Emily Leiphart

You can see the effects of the sponging on all three panels, as well as the splatter created by the water mist. Using a mister to spray water on your scene adds movement and texture. 

Create a unique look with the packaging technique.

Mixed Media Cuts, Irit Landgraf

With a piece of packaging, apply mist in different colors to your layout. This will work great with watercolor or inks, as well, if you don't have mists.

Create Watercolor Patterned Paper with Distress Inks

Smash Your Stash | Craft & Color Mediums, Aly Dosdall

I used distress ink to create a custom yellow striped watercolor patterned paper to match the "High Five" collection on my layout. I painted stripes on my watercolor paper and then used that as the bulk of the background for my scrapbook page. I really wanted it to stand out on my layout, so I kept additional patterned paper and other layers to a minimum to allow the watercolor paper to be seen well.

Ink blend a gorgeous background.

Simple Interactive Cards, Eloise Blue

I used various colors of Distress Ink to create a fun multi-colored background. I used "Shaded Lilac," "Spun Sugar," "Peacock Feathers," and "Cracked Pistachio" and I love how all these colors look together—so pastel and light and fun! Very different look for me.

Stamp with Distress Inks using various techniques.

Techniques for Cardmakers | Distress Inks, Laurel Beard

When creating a background to stamp on with water, make sure you put a heavy application of ink down. The more ink, the better the image will show. Be sure to have your entire stamp image covered with ink before spritzing with water so you don't have an incomplete image when stamped. Practice adding water to your stamps so you know the right amount to use. Too little will leave you with an unblended look; too much will leave you with a blurry look. Try stamping with other liquids such as Perfect Pearls mist to create a fun, sparkly look! Always use watercolor paper when using Distress Inks with water. This will give you the best results.

Create a galaxy background for a card that's "out of this world"!

Techniques for Striking Card Backgrounds, Laureen Wagener

Look at galaxies online to get an idea and a feeling for the look you want to achieve. Don't place the same color next to each other, spread them over the card. Blend the black over everything for a dark galaxy sky, and go over areas with the pinks and blues where the color went missing. Use a spray mister with water in it, and place droplets of water all over the background. Wait a few seconds until the water reactivates with the ink, and soak it up with a tissue. Draw in little dots to mimic stars using a white gel pen.

Create your own stencil and layer Distress Inks for a fun background.

Distress Ink Card Techniques, Jenn Shurkus

When blending over your stencil, be sure to move and adjust the stencil for each layer to give your design variety. To make bow-tying easier, tie the twine into a knot first and then worry about the loops. Splatter water on your blended background, and let the water sit. Since Distress Inks react with water, you'll get almost a bleached effect on your background.

Are you ready to use Distress Inks on your next project? Join these BPC teachers in the classroom and start crafting your inky projects today! Remember, as a member of Big Picture Classes, you get access to our entire library of classes. Sign up now and start exploring!

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