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Old 02-03-2010, 10:25 PM
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Deb Lovett Deb Lovett is offline
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Default Distress Ink Background Tutorial

There are many wonderful ways to use Distress inks. Here is one way to use them to make a beautiful, yet quick and easy background.

You will need a couple colors of Distress inks, craft sheet or piece of vinyl to work on, light color cardstock, spray bottle filled with water and a spray bottle filled with bleach.

Smear Distress inks on craftsheet or vinyl. Spray liberally with water so the ink beads up and is watered down. You can press your cardstock down on the watery ink, or drag it, or tap-tap-tap it. There is no wrong way. Don't be afraid of "white space" (uninked areas on the cardstock). When you are satisfied with the background, lightly spritz with bleach. Use your heat tool to stop the action of the bleach. When dry, use as a background or stamp directly on it.

Watercolor Bamboo stamp from OnyxXpressions
I used cream cardstock, Weathered Wood and Peeled Paint Distress inks; and there was a little bit of Glimmer Mists left on my craft sheet (which only added to my delight).
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:34 PM
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Default Distress Ink Tutorial

Here are some samples of backgrounds before being stamped.

The top 3 are smeared in the watery Distress inks. (Left: smeared in ink; center: pressed and tapped.)

The bottom 3 have been spritzed with bleach. (Left: I didn't spray much water on the blue Distress ink square, although it did bead up.) You can see that the darker colored backgrounds show the bleach better. It depends on the background you want for your project.

Have fun! Feel free to show us what you make.
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Old 02-04-2010, 05:47 AM
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Your card sample is really dramatic, Deb. The image just "pops" off that background. Nice job.

Another tip: if you don't have a craft sheet or piece of vinyl, and you are a user of EZMount cling cushion, you can save the tear-off sheets from the cling and use those as disposable craft sheets. I use one underneath my cardstock when using my ATG gun. I can roll the gun right off the card and nothing ever sticks to the waxy surface.
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:22 AM
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Thanks, Cheryl.
Thanks also for sharing the great tip.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:15 AM
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I've been using this technique for quite awhile now and love the depth you can get with the cards. A few months ago a friend sent me a link to youtube showing Tim Holtz doing this technique. It's really neat to watch.

Another tip - use more or less water for different looks. Less water you get more color concentration.

Oh, and it also works very nicely with non Distress inks.

Just go to youtube and type in Tim Holtz Distress Ink and you'll see lots of vids of him doing this technique and variations.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:18 AM
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Here's some cards I did a few months ago using this technique.

Attachment 941

Attachment 942

Attachment 943

Attachment 944

Last edited by Theresagram; 03-07-2010 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:34 AM
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Yes, Theresa. The difference is the addition of bleach.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:08 AM
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I think he uses bleach in one of his videos. Anyway, it always helps some of us to see a video!
And we all love the techniques! So keep them coming!!

Last edited by Theresagram; 02-04-2010 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 02-05-2010, 05:51 PM
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Thanks, Theresa. Your samples are great. You are right. This is fun to do with non-Distress inks as well. I like how regular (non Distress) dye inks break down with water and you end up with some fun colors. For instance, when water is added to one of my purple inks, I get shades of purple plus some pinks and blues.

This conversation is inspiring me to go play with dye inks and water, then spritz with bleach.
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Old 02-05-2010, 05:59 PM
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I know! The color variations you get when you spritz is so cool. And you get so much depth. I haven't yet tried it with bleach as it usually gives me a headache, but I love the look of your cards in the first two posts. I really need to set up a place on the patio where I can work with bleach.

Have you tried this technique with Adirondak Wild Plum? Ooh so pretty!
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