Distress Ink has been on the market for years, but a lot of crafters still get baffled by them. Sometimes you get a beautiful blended background and other times you end up with what looks like mud. There are a few simple easy to remember “rules” when using distress ink that will result in beautiful blends every time.

How Does Distress Ink Work?

Before we jump into the rules on how to always get beautiful blends it is important that we go over how Distress Ink works. Knowing why we need the rules will better help us remember them. Distress Ink is movable ink when water is added. Even after it has dried or has been heat set, if you add water to the piece it will move. It is never set or permanent unless a sealer is used on it (recommendations for that will be at the end of this article).

What is Distress Ink Used For?

Distress ink works in three ways. I am sure there are more, but this is how I like to use them.

  • Stamping — use Distress Ink to stamp images and sentiments. Emboss it with clear embossing powder to set it.
  • Watercolor — smooch the ink pad on a craft or glass mat (My favorite is here), wet a paint brush with water or used an aqua flow brush, pick up some of the color and paint.
  • Blend — using a blending tool, pick up some ink and rub into paper (I like 110 pound card stock found here) with several colors, mist with water and let dry. This technique is the most popular and will be covered in more detail in this article.
Is Distress Ink Permanent?

Distress ink is not permanent. One of the benefits is it moves with water. It can be sealed and the last video in this post will show you how to do that!

Is Distress Ink Waterproof?

Distress Ink is not waterproof. You probably figured that out based on the answer to the last question 😉 It loves to move with water. You can make it waterproof by sealing it with Distress Micro Glaze. The last video in this article will walk you through how to do that.

Is Distress Ink Water Based?

Distress Ink is water based. They have great color stability and react to water.

Where To Buy Distress Ink?

Distress Ink is fairly accessible and available at most big box craft stores. However, finding all the colors can be hit or miss. I prefer just to go to the source — Ranger. Plus, they offer free US shipping on orders over $50. I usually stock up on card stock and blenders there as well. If you like other brands and want to shop for other things, you can’t go wrong with Scrapbook.com . Often they have a freebie they throw in with purchases.

A Dozen Beautiful Blends and Four Techniques

Now that we have covered the basics let’s dive into how to get perfectly beautiful blends every time. In the following videos you will learn three different color combinations and one technique in each. You will never create a muddy background (a mud brown color) with these blends. After you watch the videos you will be able to create 12 different blends with four different techniques.

Everything Else You Need To Know About Distress Ink

Now that you know how to make a dozen perfectly blended backgrounds and four techniques, we need to cover the size difference, how to seal your projects, refresh your distress ink pads so you don’t have to replace them as often and how to store them.

You are now a Distress Ink Expert! Go into your craft room and have fun playing with your Distress Ink armed with this knowledge. The more you play and practice the more comfortable you will get with these inks. The learning curve on these are pretty easy.

Until next time — Happy Crafting!