It’s Tuesday once again and we know that means it’s time for another great tutorial from one of you! This week our How To’sday is an awesome tutorial on Distress Ink by Charissa Miller.

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I have recently gotten into using lots of Distress Inks for cards and other projects. I wanted to write up a tutorial on the basics of Distress Inks. They really are very easy to use and create such a great look.

The first thing to know about Distress Inks is that it makes sense to buy in color families so you can do blending. For example, buy three blues (such as three of them I use in this tutorial) or three reds or three browns. You, of course, can buy single colors, but these inks really do their best magic when they are blended.

For my project I chose four distress inks: three blues (lightest to darkest) and one purple

Tumbled Glass, Broken China and Faded Jeans and Dusty Concord.

To use them you just need a piece of cardstock. You can use a colored cardstock if wanted, though I mostly use white or cream cardstock so the colors of the Distress Inks can really shine.

I use the Inkessentials tool from Ranger.  The foams simply stick onto the tool and are easily removed. You need a foam for each color or else you will not get the true colors from the inks.  I have decided that I also need a few more of the tools, so that I do not have to constantly change my foams when doing a project, but that is not really required.

You will notice that I have a piece of paper beneath the cardstock I am going to work with This is because when you apply Distress Inks you start with your foam off the page and blend it onto the page. You can see where I have both a green and a brown Distress Ink color on the page already. If you start with the foam on the page you end up with a nice impression of the foam, which while not bad, it doesn’t give the smooth blended look Distress Inks are known for.

I started with Tumbled Glass and covered the entire piece of cardstock. You can see from the photo that the way Distress Inks are formulated gives darker and lighter areas without any effort. From there I did Broken China on 3/4 up the page, Faded Jeans on ½ up the page, and then I used my darkest color Dusty Concord on the bottom ¼ of the page.

Here is how they look all on the paper.

It looked pretty good on my first pass, but I went ahead and worked in reverse (darkest to lightest) making sure that all of my colors were well blended with no sharp lines anywhere.

Here is what it looked like after I touched it up. I then decided to add a little bit of texture to it using a cloud stamp I had and some glittery clear embossing on Versamark which I heat embossed.

It’s a subtle effect but it brings out the idea of the sky from the Distress Ink coloring.

Here is the card I ended up making with this cardstock piece.  I inked the edges of the light blue cardstock with Broken China to help it pop.

Distress Inks are a lot of fun and make a nice addition to your ink/stamping stash! They come in a wide variety of colors and you can do so many different things with them beyond this basic inking technique.