Distress Inks, by Tim Holtz are some of my favorite inks to use. They are water-based dye inks that have incredible color stability. Unlike other inks, Distress Inks react to water. It means that water doesn't break down the color. Water also allows the ink to move on the paper. They are perfect for traditional ink techniques but their unique qualities open a new set of possibilities.
Here's how to use Distress Ink 12 different ways:
The grungy shade of the ink is perfect for aging and distressing paper. This look is great for grunge, vintage and shabby-chic projects. Simply apply ink to the edges and some of the surfaces of a paper using a sponge or a blending tool. You can also wrinkle or tare the paper for a stronger effect.
We usually use ink for stamping and distress inks are no different. Distress inks stamp well on porous surfaces and can be used with all kinds of stamps however the image stamped is slightly less sharp that other inks. A look which is great for a grungy, vintage, shabby chic projects. You can add simple stamping techniques, such as spritzing the inked stamp before stamping to get a watercolor look.
Distress Inks are perfect for ink blending. Because this is a water based ink it stays wet longer and that allows the colors to mix. Pick up ink using a sponge or a foam blending tool. Working in circular motions, apply ink to the surface, blending the inks as you go. Layering two or three ink colors together provides endless color variations and a beautiful graduations of tone.
Distress inks are perfect for stenciling because of the option to blend and layer them. Layer a stencil on your paper and apply Distress Ink with the same technique as ink blending. You can repeat the same pattern with different colors to create a gradual effect or a colorful background.
5. Reverse stenciling
|Stenciled bricks on the house|
Reverse or direct stenciling is applying the ink to the stencil instead of on the paper and then attach the stencil, ink down to the paper, creating a "negative" pattern of colored background and white shapes. To use this simple technique, apply distress ink to the stencil and mist with water. Turn over the stencil and attach to the paper. You’ll get a watercolor pattern that is the reverse image of the stencil.
6. Water Resist
Since distress inks react with water you can create really pretty effects by combining the two. Water moves the ink around the surface, and by adding drops of water to an inked background, you will get beautiful water washed areas.
7. Emboss Resist
|Embossing resist and blending|
As a water based ink, distress ink to not attach to a non porous surface like embossing powder. Emboss your paper with white or transparent embossing powder and then apply distress ink to the entire paper surface. Wipe the ink with a paper towel or a baby wipe from the raised embossed pattern.
8. Ink transfer
Ink transferring is applying ink to a non-porous surface, blending the ink with water and then transferring it to the project. Apply distress ink on your acrylic block, mist with water and then stamp on a paper, water color paper is best. The effect you'll get is of blending colors is like a water color background..
9. Direct to paper
Direct-to-paper inking is so simple that you might not even want to call it a technique! You simply apply the ink from the pad directly onto the paper. After the ink is on the paper you can activate it with a water mister or a baby wipe. This will allow you to blend it, smudge the edges, create dripage and more.
10. Use as Watercolor
To watercolor with Distress Inks use a brush. To access the ink in the ink pad, simply stamp your non stick surface and pick up the paint with a wet brush. You will get a light paint like watercolor. You can also use the re-inkers for that technique.
11. Photo tinting
|Green distress ink water color|
Distress Inks have been formulated to tint photos — both originals on glossy or matte photo paper and copies made with ink jet, toner or laser copiers. Pick up color with a brush, sponge or cotton swap and lightly apply the ink over the photo.
12 Wrinkled Distress
This technique is a combination of DTP stamping and misting. Crumple up a piece of paper or cardstock and then swipe the ink pad directly on the paper. Spritz the paper and activate the distress ink. You'll get an amazing affect of colored veins and dripage on an aged looking paper. If you want to straighten the paper you can iron it with a craft iron.