30 Different Techniques Using Distress Oxide Inks

Well, I've done it again - this week's Thursday video has been delayed due to technical difficulties... but I promise it will be worth the wait. 

Today I have a really epic video for you, that I've been working on for weeks. Today, I'm sharing 30 different techniques using distress oxide inks. 

I've absolutely fallen in love with these inks and I can't wait to show you all the incredible properties of them. Distress Inks are a dye and pigment fusion that reacts with water to create a really fun oxidized effect. These inks are PERFECT for mixed media, layering, stamping and water colouring. I've had so much fun playing with them and I can't wait to share it with you. 

I've created a video to walk you through the different techniques and how they work. If you'd like to skip to the video, scroll to the bottom of this blog post to watch, or use the timestamps in this post to view specific techniques and how to do them.

1. Distress Oxide Inks on Dark Backgrounds (8:00) 

Due to the incredible properties of Distress Inks, you can actually use them on dark backgrounds. Try blending, swiping the ink pad, or dragging dark cardstock through Distress Inks. 

2. Blending Distress Oxide Inks (9:18)

Distress Oxide inks are slow drying - which makes them perfect for blending - especially smooth blends between colours. Use a blening tool, make-up brush or sponge to get gorgeous blends. 

3. Drag and Drop (11:14)

Use your ink pad directly on your craft sheet to lay down some ink, spray with water and drag and drop your tag into the ink. While heat setting, spray with water to oxidize the ink and to create incredible oxidization. 

4. Acrylic Block Smushing (15:13)

You can use an acrylic block to smush the ink on your tags. Smush the ink pad directly onto your acrylic block then spritz with water, lay your tag on top and move the ink around. While heat setting, spray with water to oxidize the ink and to create incredible oxidization. 

5. Direct to Paper (20:18)

In this technique you'll take your ink pad directly to the paper... smussh ink on the tag to get vibrant colours. While heat setting, spray with water to oxidize the ink and to create incredible oxidization. 

6. Light Wash - Wet on Dry (20:20)

Did you know you can water colour with distress oxide inks? Smush your ink pad on your craft mat, load your paint brush with water, mix the water with the ink and swipe the colour back and forth across your tag. 

7. Direct to Paper - Paint Brush Wash (24:20)

Looking for a more intense water colour wash? Try taking your ink pad directly to your tag and then using your paint brush to swipe across the tag. Adding water will create a really pretty water colour wash and oxidize the ink.

8. Direct to Paper - Baby Wipe Wash (25:40)

For another unique water colour wash, try taking your inkpad directly to the tag and then using a baby wipe to spread the ink. 

9. Rainbow Drag (28:29)

I think this might be my FAVOURITE technique... it's a stunning rainbow! Drag the tip of a rainbow of ink pads across your craft sheet, spritz with water, and then drag your tag through the rainbow of colours. 

10. Splatters (31:09) 

Looking for an easy one - try splatters. Smush a few colours of ink on your craft sheet and then add water. Load your paint brush with colour and flick splatters on your tag. Don't forget to heat set your splatters in between colours. 

11. Splatters and Blending (35:04)

To take your tag full of splatters (technique 10) to the next level, try blending colour on the background on top of or underneath of your splatters. 

12. Blend Through The Stencil (34:25)

I don't think I could have mixed media techniques without using my stencils for a few of them... This technique is super easy. Lay a stencil on top of your tag and use a mini blending tool or sponge to blend ink through the stencil. 

13. Inky Stencil (35:54)

After you've finished technique 12, you probably have a pretty inky stencil with all that left over ink. For technique 13, all you need to do is spritz that inky stencil with some water and then lay your tag on top. After lightly pressing down on the tag, you'll noticies the negative of your stencil will transfer to your tag. This technique works the best with stencils which have larger negative space. 

14. Direct to Stencil (37:44)

You can use a blending tool with your stencils but you can also go directly to stencil with your ink pad. Remember: the ink is suspended in the felt pad of the Distress Oxide inks, so you'll need to press down for this to work. 

15. Intense Inky Stencil (38:49)

This technique is very similar to technique 13, however you're inky stencil is going to have A LOT more ink on it because you've taken the ink pad directly to the stencil. I've found by spritzing the stencil with some water I can get 3-4 transfers onto my tags. Try spritzing your tags with water or using  this technique on a tag that already has a blended background to get a different look. 

16. Stencil On Top of Blended Background (42:21)

By combining different techniques together we can get even more looks.  For technique 16 try stencilling ink onto a tag that already has a blended background. You can spritz with water to get a different effect of oxidization. 

17. Baby Wipe Remove Through Stencil (43:59)

We're going to use our stencils again for technique 17. I begin by blending ink on the background of my tag - feel free to use more than one colour. Once your background is covered, lay a stencil on top of your tag and use a baby wipe to remove ink through the stencil. If you hold your stencil tightly you can get a great impression. 

18. Plastic Smooshing (45:46)

I knew I had to add plastic smooshing to the list - it seems to be everyone's favourite mixed media technique and it's super easy. Using a piece of plastic packaging or a sandwich bag, press your ink pad down on the plastic and then spritz with water. Lay your tag on top of the ink and use the plastic packaging to move the ink across the tag. This effortless technique creates such a gorgeous effect on the tags. I heat set between colours and layered multiple distress inks on top of each other to create this gorgeous effect. 

19. The Butterfly Effect (47:43)

I know I said technique 9 was my favourite but maybe I really meant 19 - the butterfly effect. I just love how easy this technique is. Begin by taking your ink pad directly to your tag - feel free to use multiple colours. Once your tag has a lot of ink on it, generously spritz with water so that the ink runs and begins to blend together. Create a butterfly effect by laying a plain tag on top, pressing down and then lifting upwards. The ink from your first tag will transfer to the second. Keep in mind the first tag (where you took the ink pad direct to the paper) will have more intense colour than the second one. 

20. Wet on Wet (49:36)

I just love how easy this one is - I hope you love it too. Begin by smushing a few colours on your craft matt, then spritz YOUR TAG (not the ink) generously with water. Once your tag is quite wet, lay your wet tag into the wet ink and drag it through the colour. Feel free to heat set and go in for a second, or third, pass so that you can layer colours. 

21. Baby Wipe Sponge (51:01)

I discovered this technique kinda by accident, but sometimes the accidents are the best techniques. You'll need a tag and a baby wipe for this technique. Begin by smushing an ink pad on your craft mat, scrunch up your baby wipe so it creates a messy ball and dab the baby wipe into the ink. Once you've picked up the ink with the baby wipe, pounce the ink onto your tag - similarly to how you would do sponge painting. If you'd like to add additional colours, you absolutely can - I reccomend heat setting between colours though. 

22. Mixing Distress Inks with Distress Oxides  (52:07)

Did you know that you can mix your regular Distress Inks with Distress Oxide Inks? Try any of the tecniques we've done so far using both types of inks and watch as the Distress Inks blend and the Distress Oxides layer.

23. Stamping (52:58)

This one's for all the stampers out there. Distress Oxides are a dye and pigment fuship which is PERFECT for stamping. You'll get such a great impression I just know you'll love using them for stamping. 


24. Inky Misted Stamp (55:40)

Here's another stamping technique. This time take your stamp and ink it up, but before you stamp it down mist the stamp with water so that the ink begins to flow, then stamp it down and watch as you get a really pretty water colour almost stamped effect. This technique works best on large, simple stamps. 

25. Stamp and then Mist Lightly (56:55)

If you're looking to take your stamped images to the next level, try stamping and then lightly misting with water. The ink oxidizes and the dye slightly leaks away from the pigmant in this technique. 

26. Stamp and then Mist Generously (57:53)

For technique 26 you're going to follow the same steps as technique 25, but instead of misting lightly, you're going to mist generously. I love how the dye and pigment fushion begins to seperate creating a hallo of colour around your stamped image. 

27. Stamping on Dark Backgrounds (58:27)

Remember in technique 1 how I showed you how you can use Distress Oxide inks on dark backgrounds? Well you can also stamp on dark backgrounds.

28. Blending on Dark Backgrounds (59:18)

I just love seeing how the Distress Oxide inks work on dark backgrounds that I had to try a few more techniques on there. This time I'm using my mini blending tool to blend multiple colours ontop of the tag. I love how technique 28 creates a soft, ghosted effect. 

29. Heat Embossing Resist (1:01:10)

One of the great properties about the Distress Oxide inks is that they are slow drying. Slow drying means that you can heat emoss with these inks and use that heat embossing as a resist. 

30. Layering Techniques (1:03:57)

And the last technique ties everything we've learned together. For this one, grab your tag and all your tools and layer the different techniques together. 

Isn't it incredible to see all the different techniques you can create with Distress Oxide Inks. The best part, there is always more to discover. 

If you want to check out a video where I'm demonstrating each of these techniques, you can find that here:

I hope you enjoyed this video. I'd love to hear what your favourite technique was.... let me know in the comments. 



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  • Love all the techniques. Thank you so much!

    Suzanne Levis
  • Love all the techniques. Thank you so much!

    Suzanne Levis
  • Love all the techniques. Thank you so much!

    Suzanne Levis
  • Love all the techniques. Thank you so much!

    Suzanne Levis

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