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HOME » Shop » Articles
Distress Inks

How to use distress inks

The following information is based on Tim Holtz's distress inks from Ranger products.

There is a collection of 24 acid-free, non toxic, fade resistant, waterbased dye inks in the range. They are perfect for the  vintage,stained and aged look used in altered books,scrapbook pages and card making.

Highly pigmented inks with a longer drying time which allows you to work with them blending and shading with a stipple brush, your fingers or a sponge.  They can also be used successfully for heat embossing due to the longer drying time.

Colour is truer.  These inks are designed to flow when spritzed with water.  The tonal values will not change.  Diluted, colours will not change either.

Use Cut 'N' Dry foam cut into small pieces.  This foam absorbs less ink than a conventional sponge, however the small triangle shaped cosmetic sponges do work as well.

Tip: Always make sure you replace the lid immediately after use to prevent the ink from drying out.

Stamp on matte cardstock, blend immediately with a brush, this will soften the image.  The detail will remain intact. 

Gloss Card Stock gives a different look, tiny beaded effect, then when dry it leaves a spotted effect.  Over stamp and create your very own vintage pieces.

Tip: Punch out tag shapes from your trial pieces and mark each one with the various techniques, keeping a reminder of how it was created.

Photographs: Distress Inks have been formulated especially for use on photos.  Tint the image with the lightest chosen colours, blend with brush, sponge or fingers. Then apply a darker colour at the edges directly with the pad. Start blending with fingers, sponge or brush.  Work towards the middle of the photo.

If you have applied too much ink and you feel it is too dark , lighten up by spritzing with water and blot with kitchen roll. or sand lightly with fine sandpaper.  This should reduce the colour intensity.  I like to sand over the surface of photos to give a really old look but be gentle.

Swipe a pad over scrapbook papers, and blend with a stipple brush to create an instant antique look.

Crumple up shipping tags or pieces of brown wrapping paper smooth out then run ink pad over the  area.  Use two or three different colours.  See the wonderful colour effect it creates. Spritz with water see the colour spread out.  Do both sides.  Wonderful!  Air dry or run a dry iron over piece.  The result is a flat surface with a crinkle detail.  Overstamp, create collage pieces.

Fabrics and Canvas's work really well with distress inks.  Antique Linen and Old Paper add a vintage look with Walnut Stain good for the sides and edges.

I nearly forgot, why not try create  the aged look with these inks to your ribbon or fabric.  You can colour co-ordinate your projects.

As these inks are water based cleaning up is easy.  Use stamp cleaner, stamp scrub pad or kitchen roll.

Most of all have a great time experimenting. You  will thoroughly enjoy using these inks.  Re-inkers are also available.



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