Experimenting with Distress Inks

Hey everybody!  Yesterday I wanted to make something different.  I’d been exploring Tim Holtz’ blog (particularly the demo videos) and decided I wanted to try out some of his techniques, so yesterday I sat down with my small collection of Distress Inks to experiment.  Here are the two tags I came up with:



I started both tags using Tim’s wrinkle-free distress technique, then changed it up a little on the red tag by using his wrinkle distress technique.  I used walnut stain and mowed grass  on the first tag, and walnut stain plus red and black non-distress inks (I told you I have a small collection…) on the second tag.  Once I had the backgrounds just the way I wanted them, I started stamping.  First, I lightly brushed my walnut stain ink over my bird stamp to create a lighter image.  Then I stamped the dogwoods a few times using shaded lilac.  I grabbed a colored pencil and outlined a few of the flowers to make them pop.  Then I spritzed the whole tag with homemade Perfect Pearls mist, let the ink react for a few seconds, and heat set everything.  I stamped the sentiment in mowed green, covered it with clear embossing powder, and heat set that.  Finally the really neat part.  Check out this picture:

Green Tag


I stamped the swirly using squeezed lemonade, then brushed gold Perfect Pearls powder over the design.  I dusted off the excess powder, spritzed it lightly with the mist and heat set it immediately.  I love how subtle it is; you have to catch it in just the right light to see the swirly.  Very cool.

To finish up, I used my blending tool to add some walnut stain around the edges of the tag and onto my piece of twine.  I tied the twine around the tag and added the “sprout” and “thrive” dodallies (that’s an official term), sticking everything down with glue dots, and dotted some glossy accents in the centers of my dogwoods.  Lastly, I inked up a piece of plain white ribbon to make it match the rest of the tag and tied it at the top.

The red tag was less involved.  After inking up the tag, I ran a piece of paper through my Cuttlebug using Tim Holtz’ Queen of Hearts embossing folder.  I trimmed it down and inked it up, layered it over a piece of black paper, distressed the edges, ta-da!  I found the “sweetheart” vellum somewhere in my stash, tore up the edges, layered it over black, tore up those edges, spritzed it with another homemade Perfect Pearls mist (different color than the one I used on the green tag), and stuck it on using foam dots.  I dirtied up the piece of twine, tied it around the tag, strung the heart charm on there, and put some glue in strategic places to keep everything where I wanted it.  I made myself a little gear and arrow embellishment, grabbed a heart paper clip thing from my stash, and put them on the tag.  Finally I inked up a piece of red satin ribbon for the finishing touch.

Red Tag


Phew!  Kind of involved, hope you weren’t overwhelmed!  This grunge-ish style is quite the departure for me, but it was fun to play with all the inks and mists and powders to create a custom background.  Leave me a comment to let me know your thoughts!

2 thoughts on “Experimenting with Distress Inks

  1. kathycnc says:

    Love it! Soon your fingers will be inky all the time. It’s addictive. I love the little details you put in the dogwood tag…it is lovely! The queen of hearts is a great tag, and I looooove that yummy background. I hope you are linking up to Tim’s 12 tags!

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