Linda’s Technique of the Week: Creating Watercolor Backgrounds with Distress Ink
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There are so many different inks and various ways to use them, but one of my favorite techniques is to use Distress inks to create a watercolor effect. I love the way these inks interact with water. What I want to share today is a different and fun way to add these inks to paper, specifically watercolor paper. For my card, I’m going to use an acrylic block to apply my ink. In a way, the block becomes a stamp or a stamp pad.

For this project, I chose a 3 1/4-inch-square acrylic block and a mini Distress ink pad. I love how easy it is to use the mini ones. To get started, tap the ink pad directly onto the acrylic block making sure to be generous with the ink. Once the block is covered, spritz the inked block with a small amount of water. This helps the ink blend together.

Take the inked block and “stamp” it directly onto the watercolor paper. Press down hard on the block to allow as much ink as possible to transfer to the paper. Carefully pick up the block and set the inked panel aside to let the ink dry. Clean the acrylic block.

One thing I love about creating watercolor looks is that the character of the inks become more intense as they dry; I usually prefer letting them dry on their own instead of using a heat gun. This green block will become the background to the entire design on the finished card.


I wanted the bunnies on the card to be colored but I wanted the ink to be irregular. To do this, add a different color of ink onto the acrylic block in the same manner as before; spritz the block with water and gently rub the block over a piece of watercolor paper. This allows the ink to be added to the paper with a random look. Set the piece aside to dry.

Once the piece is dry, stamp the bunnies onto it with black ink. You’ll notice I selected areas on the panel to stamp the bunnies where I liked the pattern of the ink. This particular stamp set has a matching die set, so I used the bunny die to cut these out.

Here is my finished card. The green block provides a nice background for the bunnies and a cute sentiment.

I added the bunnies with foam tape. I love to add dimension whenever I can on a card. I love the emphasis the dimension adds to the various elements.

Now it’s your turn to experiment. There are so many different looks that can be achieved using ink and acrylic blocks in this way.


Supplies used: Cardstock from Bazzill Basics Paper Inc.; watercolor paper from Strathmore Artist Papers; Carton Cuties stamp and die sets and Tag Me die set from Reverse Confetti; Mini Distress ink pads (mowed lawn and picked raspberry) and white opal Liquid Pearls from Ranger Industries Inc.; clear embossing powder from Clearsnap; corner-rounder punch from Fiskars; adhesive foam tape from 3M.

5 Responses to Linda’s Technique of the Week: Creating Watercolor Backgrounds with Distress Ink

  1. DawnL says:

    What a fun background and cute bunnies you created with this technique, Linda! TFS

  2. Lisa Silver says:

    This is a great idea for backgrounds! Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Carisa says:

    Omgosh, this is adorable! I love how you created the background and a simple way to color images with a big impact! Thanks for sharing a new way to use Distress Inks and stamping blocks.

  4. Great techniques. And such a cute card! Love it!

  5. Such a cute card, Linda! Love the look of the watercolor.

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