Friday, 29 June 2012

Distress Ink Tutorial - Vicky Pedlow

Tim Holtz Distress Inks are a collection of 36 acid-free, non-toxic, fade resistant, water-based dye inks. They’re perfect for creating new vintage, stained or aged effects on altered books, scrapbook pages, cards and paper craft projects. These inks produce a realistic, weathered look on paper, photos and decorative fibers. The colorful Distress Inks afford added versatility when photo tinting and colour layering and the 2" x 2" pads are made with a higher raised felt for easier use with direct to paper techniques. And when the ink pads become a little dry you can replenish them with Distress Reinkers.

In this tutorial I have used five different Distress Inks to decorate a tag. I have used a few different application techniques to create different textures and effects.

To achieve a great result with these inks I recommend using medium to heavy weight card, especially if layering a few inks as the ink stays wet longer than other inks. I also recommend using a non-stick craft sheet to protect your work surface.

Please read all instructions before commencing

Photograph 1


1.  To apply Distress Ink to card using the blending technique, as I did to the above tag, dab your sponging block (or blending tool) onto a Distress Ink pad then working in a circular motion apply the ink to all the edges of the tag. Start working on your non-stick craft sheet  then gradually circle the sponge over the edges of your project and work your way in. This is a great way to give an 'aged' appearance to your project, including photographs and patterned paper.

In this first step I used Antique Linen ink to sponge the edges (photograph 1) then blended Brushed Corduroy ink over the top and towards the centre of the tag (photograph 2).  I recommend applying your lightest ink first then bring in touches of darker ink, as I did in photographs 2 and 3 below.

Photograph 2

Photograph 3

 2.  In photograph 3 I very lightly blended Aged Mahogony ink across the whole tag, again using a sponging block, paying particular attention to the edges. You can see where the ink has intensified where it has touched a slight crease on the tag.


Photograph 4

3.  To add more of a 'distressed' look to my tag I wiped Fired Brick ink directly onto my non-stick craft sheet then placed the tag in the ink before carefully lifting it off (photograph 4). I had a couple of un-inked areas on the tag so I simply placed those areas back onto any left over ink on the sheet.

Photograph 5


4.  Whilst the Fired Brick ink was still wet I used my mini mister bottle to give the tag a light spray with water, which intensified the colour, then I flicked a few drops of water onto the tag to create a weathered effect. What I especially love about these inks is that they were made to be used with water - the inks will "wick" and travel across the surface of your project when spritzed with water creating several tone on tones; however the colors will not break down when wet.

Direct to Paper

5.  As a final touch I wiped Vintage Photo ink over the very edges of the tag using the ink pad (photograph 5).

So you can see in just a couple of minutes a plain tag can be brought to life with lots of colour and a couple of quick and simple techniques. You can use as many inks as you like, I chose to layer earthy colours but there are many pretty colours available including hues of blue, green, pink and yellow.
Distress Ink can also be applied to a number of mediums including Distress Crackle Paint, ribbon and many fibers. It can be used to great effect on satin flowers too. On this occasion I used it to hand-dye a flower I had die-cut out of white tissue paper using my Cuttlebug machine and a Marianne Design Creatable rose die. I double-distressed the flower by scrunching it up first before sponging on a small quantity of Antique Linen ink. I then sponged on a little Fired Brick ink and assembled the flower by securing it in the middle with a small brad then glued it to the tag along with a hand cut stem and leaf.

And here is the finished tag...


Sponging block / Blending tool
Tissue paper


Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

ah this is a terrific tutorial Vicky, thanks for sharing yet to to make a tag successfully with distress inks but will definitely know better how to do it now, Shaz in Oz.x

Sandie Edwards said...

Love the technique Vicky, and the use of your craft sheet... looks gorgeous.

my craft cupboard said...

Vicky, I have done a tag before, as I have never known how to do them.
I will have to give it a go.
Thank-you for sharing with us.

Anne said...

Super tutorial and great effects! So much clearer and easier to follow than the official Ranger site! Thanks for all the clear explanations! Gorgeous tag to boot!