Hey There, and welcome to a great series of videos from 2 Peas In A Bucket and Jennifer McGuire called ‘Thinking Inking’. If you like what you see, and i bet you will you can click on the link to take you to the rest of the series. In this first video, Jennifer introduces us to distress inks and how to make some great background effects

Distress Inks Properties:

  • great colours
  • water based so stay wet longer and therefore are great to use with embossing and mica powders
  • water reactive – so will react to water even after it has been dried
  • because the inks are translucent dyes they blend really well – even colours you wouldn’t think to put together

Blending Sponges











  • you can build intensity of colour by adding multiple layers of a colour – light colours get brighter and darker colour get darker
  • work on any porous surface – paper, card, ribbon, canvas, lace, flowers etc


  • you need a craft mat and blending tool – I have used lots of surfaces and the ranger craft mat is the best. I have one blending tool as Jennifer mentions in the video and a piece of foam for each ink pad. I store them in one of the storage containers you can use for beads (see above) and then write the ink colour on the lid so I know which is which. A great way to save money on tools.
  • start in a circular motion off the project and then move over the edge – gives a great distressed look and the darker edge frames your project drawing the eye to focus on the centre
  • to give even more definition to the edge I usually do a final blend of a darker colour all around the edge e.g. frayed burlap, vintage photo, black soot

Water Splotching:

  • flick water onto your blended surface – Jennifer uses a brush but you can also spritz water into your palm with a mini mister and then flick it on
  • you can see the water react with the ink and just dry with a heat tool when you get the effect you like

Water Stamping:

  • ink up the background with your blending tool
  • use an embossing ink on your stamp first as this helps hold the water
  • lightly spritz the stamp with a mini mister and then stamp the image and watch as the ink reacts with the water
  • again, just dry with the heat tool when you are happy with the effect

Inking Pattern Papers:

  • use the distress inks all over a bright paper to tone it down or so that it will match with other papers

Layering Inks With Masks:

  • start by covering the whole area with ink – first layer should be the lightest colour you plan to use
  • lay your mask or stencil over the top – don’t forget you can make your own stencils with scissors or a die
  • then cover the tag with the next colour

Inking Flowers:

  • lightly blend to highlight the patterns on the petals
  • do multiple layers of colour to change the whole colour of the flower
  • blend around the edges of the petals to define
  • stamp a pattern/text etc onto the flower using distress inks

Heaps of techniques in this video, so click on the link to open the PDF from 2 Peas in a Bucket. You can also click on the next link to see other videos from this series – Thinking Inking.


K xoxo

Filed under: Thinking Inking

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