19 December 2015

The 12 Brands of Christmas - Brand #10 Ranger Distress Inks

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways... (with apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

Shirley here.  You can find plenty of tutorials for Distress Inks on the internet, but this is just a run-down of what I love doing with Distress Inks, my number one desert island item (as long as I can take them all!).


Get softly blended colours using a blending tool and sponge, working from your craft mat onto your card to get the best finish.  Or swipe the pads across your card for deeper colour, overlapping the colours with your blending tool.

Distress Inks contain stuff (technical term) that remains wet for a little while, and any handling before the ink is dry will partially remove the ink.  Ask me how I know.  To avoid this, give it a short blast with a heat gun to set the ink before handling.


The obvious way is to sponge inks through the stencil, but I like Tim's other method of applying the ink pad directly to the stencil, spritzing the ink, then laying the stencil, ink side down onto the card, dabbing up the excess with a paper towel.

Colour Stability

The colour is reliable and stays true when water is added.

Which brings me on to ...


Oh it's so much fun spritzing Distress Inks!  Ink up a stamp with your Distress Ink pad, give it a light spritz, then stamp onto your card.  Add a little more spritzing and watch the magic happen.  (Results will vary depending on the card you are using.)

The Magic of Walnut Stain

There's something magical about Walnut Stain.  If you sponge the edges of your work with Walnut Stain, it immediately adds depth to your work, and it seems to complement any colour scheme, even when you think it wouldn't.


You can stack the full-sized pads several high on top of each other to save space.  Keep them in colour groups, add an index label and a coloured label on the side for easy identification.  I had mine stacked in piles 8 high until I bought a craft storage rack.


Oh, Minis - you're definitely my favourite!  You can fit 48 Minis into an A4 plastic storage box.    The circular mini blending sponges fit neatly into the recess under each pad.  Two blending tools stop the Minis from moving around in the box.

I'm not a neat crafter (!) but I do get twitchy if the colours are out of order, or if the writing on the lids isn't all facing the same way. OCD, me?

Instant Colour Palette

I love to make a customised ink palette by dabbing select Minis onto an acrylic block, then I can pick up the colour with a wet paintbrush and paint neatly (not very often), or slosh and splatter (yeah!).

Pop back tomorrow for some sloshing and splattering - my favourite technique!  Here's a little sneak peek...

See you tomorrow!

Distress Inks here.
Blending tools and foam pads here.
Heat tool here.
Stencils here.
Acrylic blocks here.


Jane said...

I love distress inks too and use them with almost every piece of work.I am the same with vintage photo as you are with walnut stain! Funny how we all have a favourite brown for edges x

Pat Crossland said...

I love Distress inks as well and they were one of the first things I bought when I started crafting, about 10 years ago now and they are still going strong!!

Craftyfield said...

I can't imagine crafting without those, Distress inks are a crafter's must have. I still need some more...

Linda said...

I love my Distress Inks ...... it's the one thing I use on every project! x

Karen said...

These I have lots of. I adore my Distress inks and if I could only ever have one type of ink they would have to be Distress inks! I love the versatility of them and the different looks that can be achieved with them.
I have many of the original colours yet there are lots of the newer colours I will slowly add into my collection. Yes I am a Distress geek and will be collecting more of them lol! Karen x

Dawn Louise said...

A superb round up of distress inks. Always on hand and I love them like thousands of people do. Still have all original inks I bought years ago. Bit of a top up on some still going strong x

I Card Everyone said...

OH my am I happy to have a moment, or ten, to have a visit today ... LOve these techniques, Shirley ... the second one I must try!
=] Michele

Caroline said...

One of very first products I bought when I started out. Luurvve the minis & NEED more. I have no neglected my inks for sometime so must start using again when mojo back. Ty for sharing all these tips!