We’ve added Distress Oxide™ inkpads to our ink line-up not too long ago, and today we’ve got a few ideas to show you on how to use them!
Hopefully you’ve all had a chance to experiment with these fun reactive inks and, in the process, discovered a few techniques and ideas of your very own. If you haven’t, we are here to help! Regardless of where you are in your Distress Oxide™ journey, follow along as our Creative Arts Manager, Karen Pedersen, dives into five gorgeous techniques below!
Watercolor Wash Load your watercolor paper with water, to the point where it is sitting on top of the paper and not fully absorbing. Spread the Distress Oxide™ ink colors that you wish to use for your background onto your all-purpose mat. With a waterbrush, pick up the colors, one at a time, and add it to the sitting water on the watercolor paper. The colors will blend and bleed into one another.
An Ombré Effect with One Ink Pad With just one Distress Oxide ink pad, create and ombré effect by applying the ink with different amounts of pressure (more for a darker tone, and less for a lighter tone). Blend these tones seamlessly with a mini ink blending tool.
Tone-on-Tone Stenciling Apply the background Distress Oxide™ ink colors and blend them into each other with a mini ink blending tool. Lay a stencil on top and add a second layer of color through the stencil. Apply more pressure, and more ink, for the stenciled image to appear darker and to achieve a more dramatic effect.
What are some fun ways you are using your Distress Oxide™ inks? Let’s share ideas in the comments below!
We’ve been having a lot fun with StazOn™ ink in our art studio recently and wanted to let you in on it!
Considering all of the different black ink options available, from the faithful Archival Black to the newer Intense Black, it is no surprise that the StazOn ink pad is often overlooked. Most of us who follow this blog papercraft, scrapbook, or make cards out of paper. StazOn ink, although it works well on semi-porous surfaces, including paper, is better known for its use on non-porous surfaces such as plastic, glass, and porcelain. It stays put on the stamped surface, without pilling, until it completely dries.
We decided to put this trusty ink pad to the test, and sure enough, the results were as expected!
Tip: An inked stamp can be slippery on a non-porous surface, like the acetate circle in the shaker windows above. When you are ready to stamp, we suggest you do so with a steady hand, bringing the stamp straight down. (Avoid breathing if possible! 😉 ) Any slight movement in your hands can cause your image to smudge. Just as carefully, remove the stamp from the surface with a straight lift. Do not roll your stamp away.
Follow-up Tip: If you moved while stamping…it happens…have a damp rag (a wet wipe works!) at the ready to wipe off your surface. This only works on non-porous surfaces. If you are working on a semi-porous surface, like leather or photos, wiping will only spread the ink around creating a bigger smudge. A wet wipe should do the trick. (DO NOT use the My Acrylix® Spritz Cleaner to wet your surface for cleaning.)
Once your image is stamped, the ink will require time to set. We recommend that you plan ahead as you work with StazOn ink. Stamp first and set these pieces aside to dry as you work on the rest of your project.
But what if you want to stamp on something that is porous?
Most inks will seep into a permeable surface and spider out from the original stamped image. The trick, here, is to make your surface non-porous, or less porous. To stamp on a wood surface, like this album cover from our Made with Love mini album workshop, use a clear matte acrylic sealer. Before we stamped on our album cover, we sealed the surface with a clear finish aerosol spray. (If you have access to Mod Podge, it works really well, too!) Make sure to allow the sealant to dry before stamping onto the surface. It shouldn’t take too long, but if in doubt wait a bit longer just to make sure.
What are you stamping with StazOn? Do you have any tips or tricks for using this ink? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
September is National Stamping Month and, as you know, we live and breathe stamps here at Close To My Heart. They are where we got our start many years ago, and to this day just simply can’t get enough of them! And from what we can gather, we are not alone in this obsessionhobby! 😉
With care, you place your stamp on your block, prudently ink it with a color that you carefully selected just minutes (if not days) before, then press it to your paper and upon removing the block your image looks as perfectly crisp as you planned for. The next step in the creation process of this new image is to breathe life into it with some color.
We’ve taken one of our many (many) favorite stamp sets, My Acrylix® Bunches of Love, from the Holiday Expressions catalog to illustrate some stamp coloring options. Each is unique in it’s own way and, depending on what you’re looking to achieve, has a place in your coloring spectrum. For comparison purposes, we’ve kept the mediums separate, but by all means do combine them in your artwork to make your images look exactly how you envision them!
First up, the original.
Some of our stamp sets already come with the parts to fill in the white space of a larger image, and the My Acrylix® Bunches of Love set does just that.
To keep things quick and easy, use the corresponding filler pieces to complete the image.
In cases where the stamp set is not designed this way or you’re wanting to showcase a stamp differently so it’s not the exact same every time, continue scrolling through our list.
A Watercolor Look:
For a soft look, watercolors are the way to go!
If you’re still working on mastering the art of using watercolor paints, try watercolor pencils. By applying color with pencils, shading and color blending is easier to control than with paint. Once you’ve penciled the color in, gently brush water over it with a damp fine tip paintbrush or waterbrush to spread the pigment. For best results, follow the pencil lines using smooth strokes. Keep in mind as you decide which watercolor medium is right for your project, that the direction of your pencil lines will still show through, unlike with paint.
For a more vivid “watercolor” look that doesn’t require layers of watercolor paint to achieve, give “painting” with our Exclusive Inks™ a try!
Squeeze your stamp pad in the middle to get some of the ink to rub onto the lid. Remove the inked lid, and from there decide how strong or light you want your color to appear. If you want the saturation to match the ink color exactly, use the ink as is. For a lighter variation of this same color, mix some water in with it (straight on the lid). The more water you add to the ink, the lighter the color will be. Pick the color up with a brush and ink-paint your stamped image.
Our Exclusive Inks™ are available in every one of our 41 exclusive colors (plus White Daisy and several black options). Enjoy effortless color coordination with our patterned papers, cardstock, and embellishments by using this method for coloring in your stamped images.
ShinHan™ Touch Twin markers
When going for a saturated, vibrant look, especially in small details, ShinHan™ Touch Twin markers are an excellent choice. They are bright, smudge-proof, and, because they are alcohol-based, they are easy to blend. The fine tip on each marker is ideal for coloring and adding intricate details.
Until recently, the shimmer brush was considered mostly an accenting tool because it only came in clear and gold. Well, those days are over friends! Now also available in Sugarplum, red, black, and Mint, these new hues carry enough weight to be used on their own to add a little bit more than shimmer. When you use these, prep your brush before you do. You will want to squeeze your brush over scrap paper until the shimmery liquid comes out. Brush it on your scrap paper until you get the consistency you want on your brush before coloring in those details.
Give your stamps a little lift and texture with the right inks and embossing powders. (For those of you who are new to this technique, embossing powder is a special powder that, when heated, melts to form a raised surface.)
VersaMark™ ink and embossing powder
Sometimes a flat image just isn’t the way to go. That’s when heat embossing comes to the rescue. To start, stamp your image with the VersaMark™ ink pad (embossing ink), which will create a clear, wet-looking print of your stamp. While the ink is still wet, cover it with embossing powder and carefully shake off any excess. Use a heat tool to dry and seal your design. The heat tool blows extremely hot air with a low air current, which keeps the powder from blowing right off—hair dryers are not a good substitute! We have several new embossing powders in our new Holiday Expressions catalog to choose from (for a complete list click here).
Pigment Exclusive Inks™
Okay, so we’ve shared this last idea on here before, but with our new large stamp pad-sized pigment inks added to our coloring repertoire, we just have to share again.
Did you know that you can pair any of our Exclusive Inks™ pigment pads with clear embossing powder to emboss in that exact color? Yes, really! Stamp an image with your choice pigment ink, cover it with clear embossing powder, and then set it with your heat tool! It’s that easy! Match our exclusive colors perfectly using this last technique!
Whether you use these stamp coloring ideas alone or mix and match them, we hope you enjoy a full spectrum of color in all of your stamping projects!
When creativity strikes, you can be sure to find a full spectrum of color-coordinated products within any Close To My Heart catalog, including our most often unsung hero—the re-inker.
Available in every exclusive color, these awesome little ink bottles can be used for so much more than to re-fresh its stamp pad counterpart (although they are pretty great at that, too!). The ink is an acid free, water-based dye that can also be splattered using a paintbrush, misted using a spray pen, mixed with water and painted on for a watercolor look, and applied in as many other creative ways as you can come up with. Whether you’re a novice or a pro, re-inkers make color coordination easy and effortless for any crafter!
Can you spot the ways we used re-inkers in this layout? (Hint, we used them three times.)
1. There’s the Almond “watercolor” wash behind the journaling on the right page. It’s a perfect color match with the Almond cardstock used in the background, tying the journaling aspect of this layout with the visual elements quite nicely.
To achieve this look, mix some ink from a re-inker bottle with a bit of water and then paint away!
If you’re using a paintbrush, add a few drops of ink to the inside of a stamp pad lid along with a few drops of water. Keep in mind that the more water you use, the lighter the color will end up. Pick up the ink with your brush and you’re set! (To avoid water-warped paper, use watercolor paper.) With a waterbrush, you have the option of mixing the ink and water directly in the brush, where you squeeze the diluted ink right onto the bristles.
You are going to love painting with our inks!
2. The second place we used a re-inker was to make the Toffee ink splatters on both pages of this layout.
Again, add a little bit of water to your ink (to dilute the tone as much as you want and so that it will splatter easier than straight ink) and then, with the ink on your brush bristles, gently tap the brush a few inches above where you hope the splatter will land on the artwork.
Were you able to find where we used a re-inker the third time?
3. It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…white ribbon dyed Crystal Blue! Dye white ribbons and twines with any of our re-inkers to get just the right color match you need for those finishing touches we all love.
To dye your ribbon, place the cut piece inside a small bag and then add ink. Seal the bag and mix it until you are satisfied with the color. Add more ink, if necessary, either to ensure the entire ribbon gets covered or to darken the tone. When you’re ready to pull the ribbon out, use gloves to avoid getting ink all over your fingers (this can get messy fast). The ribbon will need to dry before you can use it in your artwork. For a faster drying time, use a craft heater (or even a blow dryer could work in this instance).
No matter what, you can always have a ribbon or twine to match your art!
Let’s continue the game….
This card illustrates two additional fun ways to use re-inkers in your artwork. What are they?
(We left off at 3 so let’s just continue the list, shall we?)
4. More splatters, this time with a stencil and a spray pen.
Create a white space inside your “splatter zone” with the use of a stencil. We kept things simple in our example and used a circle, but really you can do this with any shape you want—consider all of the Cricut® shapes you have at your disposal and get creative!
To use the spray pen, simply fill it with some water and add a bit of ink from a re-inker bottle, shake, and then spritz. Raise the spray pen higher for a subtler splatter and closer to the paper for a more concentrated splatter. If you want the ink to dry faster, try using rubbing alcohol instead of water.
5. How do you like the ink effect used in the stamped sentiment of this card? With very little effort, you can make your very own multi-color stamp pad.
Fold a few baby wipes in half and stack them on top of each other. (We used four here, but really it depends on how much ink you are using for your project, so consider this number on a case-by-case basis.) Using your trusty re-inker bottles, add different ink colors in a random pattern to the top of your stack of wipes. Allow your ink to spread into each other and then use this “pad” to ink your stamp.
There you have it folks! Effortless color coordination for all of your crafting brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Exclusive Inks™ re-inkers! Available in every exclusive color and formulated from scratch, use these mighty ink bottles along with the ideas we shared today to make your own, one-of-a-kind, designs.
And, of course, if your stamp pad is ever getting dry….
…use the coordinating re-inker to freshen it up! 🙂
If you’re a stamper, then chances are you are no stranger to the wonders of inky fingers! But no matter how much exposure you’ve had, there are probably some things about working with ink that may still be a mystery to you. Today’s topic is Inks 101, and by the time you’ve read this post, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an ink expert!
1. Not sure which type of ink you should use for a project? Click on this handy infographic to figure it out!
2. Just like our cardstock, we offer dye and pigment stamp pads in all of our exclusive colors…meaning you’ll always have ink to match your cardstock! Easy color coordination is the name of our game. 🙂
3. Our Exclusive Inks™ stamp pads have one of the largest surface areas on the market. Plus, they’re super easy to open, thanks to the magnetic case design!
4. We designed our stamp pads so that the pad is on the lid of the case. This way while your stamp pad is sitting around waiting to be used, the ink is settling on the surface of the pad so you’ll always be able to get a crisp stamped image.
5. Is your stamp pad getting dry? That happens with a lot of use over time. But the good news is that instead of buying a new one, you can buy the coordinating re-inker and use it to replenish your pad. To re-ink a stamp pad, gently squeeze the re-inker evenly over the surface of your stamp pad while moving in a zig-zag pattern, top to bottom. Repeat until your stamp pad is properly saturated again (you won’t even need to use the whole bottle!). Just be sure to give your ink some time to soak in before using the stamp pad.
6. Is your stamped image darker than you thought it would be? Don’t worry, that’s normal! Dye inks need a little bit of time to cure, which means that they need to fully dry before they turn the right color. This shouldn’t take too long, but a craft heater can certainly help speed up the process.
7. When using our mini pigment ink stamp pads, dab the stamp pad lightly onto the stamp rather than trying to press the stamp onto the stamp pad.
8. Pigment ink sits on the surface of your paper, which is why the colors are more vivid than dye inks. However, this means pigment ink takes longer to dry. Give images stamped with pigment ink time to air dry, or use a craft heater to dry them right away.
9. If you’ve got the painting bug, then you’re going to love painting with our inks! Start by squishing the lid of your closed stamp pad all over. This will transfer some ink from the pad onto the other side of the case where you can pick up the ink using a slightly damp waterbrush or paintbrush, and then paint away!
10. If you want to create a splattered paint pattern on your artwork, then our spray pen is your friend! Simply fill your spray pen with some water and add a bit of ink from a re-inker bottle, shake, and then spritz onto your artwork. Raise the spray pen higher for a subtler splatter and closer to the paper for a more concentrated splatter. If you want the ink to dry faster, try using rubbing alcohol instead of water.
12. In addition to our Exclusive Inks™ stamp pads, we also offer the VersaMark™ ink pad. Use this ink pad to create watermark images, or add embossing powder over the stamped image, shake off the excess, and heat set for an entirely different look!
Just over a week ago, we released our latest idea book—Seasonal Expressions 2! If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can look through an online version or even download it as a PDF here. We know you’ll love it!
One of the paper collections in this idea book is called Little Dreamer, and it’s all about unicorns, magic, and dreams…which got us thinking about a certain sponging technique we love that adds a dream-like magic to all your artwork. Since it is so perfect for this collection, we just had to share it with you!
In a nutshell, here’s the technique: Use titles or shapes cut with your Cricut® machine or with Thin Cuts metal dies as stencils for sponging ink onto your pages.
First, use a bit of adhesive to attach your title or shape to the page. Next use a sponge dauber or the round sponge to add ink over your title or shape, and then fade the ink into your paper. Once the ink is dry, carefully remove your stencil (if there is any adhesive residue, it’s a cinch to remove with our Rub & Remove™ eraser).
For our artwork, we found it worked best to use both the round sponge and sponge daubers. We used a sponge dauber for a more concentrated look, like you can see immediately around our title, and then the round sponge for fading the ink into the page.
Sponging Tip: If you haven’t used a round sponge before, you’ll want to cut out a pie-shaped wedge from the sponge rather than using the entire sponge. That way your sponging will be more precise, and you can get more use out of your sponge!
We recommend playing with the round sponge and sponge daubers, as well as various amounts of ink, on some scratch paper before sponging onto your artwork.
This stenciling technique is a great way to create unique backgrounds for your artwork. For this page, we attached three clouds to the page and sponged around them. After allowing the ink to dry, carefully removing the clouds, and removing any adhesive, we cut three more clouds and sponged around the edges. Then we popped them up with 3-D tape to give the page dimension. The final look sure is dreamy!
You can incorporate multiple colors into your stenciling! Here we used a scalloped piece for our stencil, and then sponged on a rainbow of colors. There are SO many possibilities!
We hope this post has inspired you to try stenciling on your artwork. It really is such a fun way to get in touch with your inner artist!
Which page is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below! 🙂
Anyone craving a sip of a refreshing stamping technique? Slide your glass over and we’ll pour you a drink. Today we’re bringing you a behind-the-scenes look at the technique our artist used to create this cool drink of summer. (Look familiar? That’s because this comes straight from page 28 of Seasonal Expressions 2!)
Here’s what you’ll need to mix up this cooler:
• B1478 My Acrylix® Ice-Cold Summer
• Z2644 Pixie Exclusive Inks™ Pad
• Z2641 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Pad
• Z2172 Whisper Exclusive Inks™ Pad
• Z2640 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Pad
• Z726 Sponge Daubers
• Z1091 Finishing Files
Ready? Let’s get stamping!
Step 1: Using Pixie ink, stamp bottle image on pad so the top ¾” of the image is not inked. Once inked, achieve a second generation stamp by stamping the bottle first onto your desk pad (or other scratch piece of paper) and then onto your tag.
Step 2: Next, use a sponge dauber to lightly ink the edges of the bottle stamp with Whisper ink. Use another sponge dauber to ink the top of the bottle stamp with Glacier ink. Now stamp this image over the original Pixie bottle image on the tag.
Step 3: Using Whisper ink and a sponge dauber, lightly apply a small amount of ink to the bottom of the bottle stamp in an oval shape. Stamp bottle image again over previous image.
Step 4: Using Thistle ink, stamp straw image onto the bottle, allowing it to rest at the bottom left of the Whisper oval and exit through the top of the bottle.
Step 5: Use a sanding file to softly rub away a line to the right of the straw. This will give the bottle a highlight, creating a more glasslike appearance.
Voila! You have now stamped one delicious beverage. Enjoy! We hope your artistic thirst has been quenched. 🙂
*For the materials needed to create the rest of this tag (including those mouthwatering lemons), please consult our handy recipe guide.
When we posted the Halloween-themed cards on our Facebook page last month, the background on the Halloween village card captured many hearts across the world. (Click here to see the card.)
Several of you asked us how it was done. So we took your questions to the artist herself, and not only was she generous enough to show us her methods, but she also created yet another stunning card for us that illustrates this beautiful technique.
Check it out!Isn’t that beautiful?
The technique used to create this kind of background centers on our all-purpose mat. (This tutorial will only add more truth to its name!) The non-slip surface makes it perfect for mixing ink and water to create special artistic effects.
There’s an infinite amount of possible art you can create with this technique, but first try this quick tutorial on creating the background seen on this great Happy Autumn card.
What Tools You’ll Need:
D1604 My Acrylix® Season of Thanks
C1589 My Acrylix® Lifetime of Happiness
Z2123 Goldrush Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2118 Desert Sand Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2137 Olive Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2191 Sunset Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2101 Autumn Terracotta Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2162 Honey Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2643 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2172 Whisper Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2642 Flaxen Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2641 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z1380 Spray Pen
1778 My Acrylix® Spritz Cleaner
Z697 Round Sponge
Z2045 All-Purpose Mat
1. Rub Olive, Desert Sand, Goldrush, Sunset, and Autumn Terracotta Exclusive Inks™ pads directly onto surface of all-purpose mat to create desired pattern. 2. Holding spray pen at a distance of about 12″ from the mat, spray water over ink until it has a dewed appearance. 3. Take your cardstock (preferably Colonial White or White Daisy) and lay it directly down into the watered ink. Rub back of paper lightly to ensure complete coverage. Lift paper and allow ink to dry completely. Use a craft heater to speed up the process. 4. Once ink has dried, repeat steps 1–3 with Glacier ink, except this time, instead of spraying the Glacier ink with water, spray it with the My Acrylix® Spritz Cleaner in order to achieve a more modeled look.
5. Using the My Acrylix® Season of Thanks stamp set, stamp several tree trunks in Whisper. Stamp some trunks with second-generation impressions in order to add depth. 6. Using the My Acrylix® Lifetime of Happiness stamp set, stamp leaves in Canary, Honey, and Flaxen inks. Stamp quickly, using both second- and first-generation impressions. To give some leaves a more finished look, spread some ink on the all-purpose mat, spray it with spritz, dip the stamp in the dewed ink, and then stamp on cardstock. 7. Using the sponge, daube Canary ink around your design to lighten things up and maintain depth. 8. In order to create a soft edge, spread Whisper ink in a circle on your all-purpose mat and then spray it with spritz. Rub each of the edges of your cardstock lightly in the ink until you achieve a subtle border on each side. Allow ink to dry completely.
Voila! Your beautiful background is now complete. Now all you need to do is add your embellishments and other additions to complete your card.
This technique is full of possibilities, so feel free to experiment with it in other ways, too. We’d love to see what you come up with!