Technique: Distress and Glimmer

I had the weekend to play at the Rubber Stamp & Scrap Expo as Sue and I demonstrated for Rubbernecker.  What fun!  I made a few samples to share.  They aren’t finished projects as much as technique samples:


The first is a shabby chic background. 

  1. I stamped a wonderful botanical image called ‘Red Flower’ from the Jeanne Streiff collection, with embossing ink on black cardstock and heat embossed with clear powder.
  2. I dragged a Ranger Paint Dabber in Willow (green) across the surface of the image and let it dry briefly.  Over the black, it almost looks like a copper patina.
  3. I buffed the paint off of the heat embossed image with a damp towel.
  4. I sanded the surface of the heat embossed image to remove the shine of the embossing.  This makes it look more ‘old’ versus that shiny appearance.
  5. I used a glimmery copper/rust mist as a paint and dry brushed around the edges to give it a bit of rust too.

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Isn’t that neat?  I really like what you can achieve quickly with these products.

The next tag shows a background that I’ve photographed two ways so you can see it more like in real life. 

  1. First, I used Distress Ink in Weathered Wood, to cover the entire white tag.
  2. Then I went around just the image, avoiding the center, using my Cut N Dry foam with Distress Ink in Faded Jeans.
  3. And then I went around just the edges with Distress Ink in Vintage Photo.  It gives the background warmth – almost like a suntan.
  4. I used the Tonic Edge Distresser to fray the edges of my tag, and just ‘kissed’ these with a bit of Vintage Photo as well.
  5. Finally I sprayed it with a Pearled Glimmer Mist, with a nice HEAVY coating.  I allowed it to drip down the surface of the tag and react with the Distress Ink underneath.

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From one angle, you see the distressed background.


IMG_4119web From another angle, this tag shimmers like nobody’s business.


It is nearly impossible for me to photograph this in a way that conveys how pretty the background is.  Please try it.  You’ll like it!


The last tag, was a favorite demonstration from the weekend, and a derivative of the tag above.

  1. First, I used Distress Ink in Weathered Wood, to cover the entire white tag.
  2. Then I went around just the image, avoiding the center, using my Cut N Dry foam with Distress Ink in Faded Jeans.
  3. And then I went around just the edges with Distress Ink in Dusty Concord.  It gives the background a wonderful mystical quality.  What a great purple! 
  4. I did a technique called ‘Spritz & Flick’, where you spray a little water into your hand from a mini mister and then flick the droplets onto your tag.  Wait about 10 seconds and blot up excess water.  Your tag will look almost as if you splattered bleach onto it.  Distress Ink is reactive with water, so your water droplets will go through to the color of the tag underneath.  Note: you can control how much bleach out look you get by heat setting early on, or letting it keep going.  Or both!  It’s up to you.

When I learned ‘Spritz & Flick’ from Tim Holtz, I couldn’t help wondering how I could better control this reaction.  So I decided to try and stamp with water as my INK.  You may get very watery results at first.  It takes a bit of practice, but I use a mini mister to apply the water to the stamp and literally wave it up and down in the air a couple of times — and then stamp.  I’m happy with the results about 90% of the time.  The other 10%, I just put on another contrast of Distress Ink and try again!

  1. On this tag, I stamped a large harlequin image, and it was quite watery – so you can see the pooled edges.  I let it air dry.  Even though it isn’t as crisp as I normally like – I decided to keep it!
  2. Finally, I stamped a couple of Flourishes from the Jeanne Streiff collection, in Dusty Concord Distress Ink on the top and bottom of the tag.

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I love to make entire sheets of paper like this for either scrapbook pages or cards.  It is true PLAYTIME, and anything goes.  I hope you will try them.  And please share a technique that you like too. 

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