Distress Ink and Distress Oxide layered stamping

Creating a Watercolor Look with Stamps

One of my favorite ways to use Distress Inks is to use them to make a watercolor look with layered stamps. I did this in another post here. I wondered how this would look if done with Tim Holtz’s new Distress Oxide inks. Because there is a limited palette of Distress Oxide, I mixed both Distress Inks and Oxides to get the layers I wanted. I knew I wanted to start with an Oxide as a base layer for each flower because of the smoother coverage, so I chose to use the Worn Lipstick and Fossilized Amber Oxides as my base. I used the Altenew Watercolor Wonders stamp set for this card. After inking up the first layer stamp, I lightly misted the stamp and ink with water before stamping.


My technique for controlling the amount of water on the stamp is to hold the stamp arms length away and spray the water. I want it to get wet, but not so wet that the ink beads on the stamp (or is in danger of dripping off onto my paper as I go to stamp).

The next layer for the pink flower is Picked Raspberry Distress Ink. For the yellow flower, I thought I would use Abandoned Coral as the second layer. After stamping it in the left flower I stamped over it with Spiced Marmalade Oxide. I wish I had repeated that combination in the right flower because later in the technique it has an added little pop of color. Live and learn! The leaves were stamped first with Peeled Paint Distress Oxide and the top layer in Mowed Lawn Distress Ink. Every layer of ink or Oxide was lightly spritzed with water before being stamped onto the paper.

Distress Oxide and Ink watercolor look

Getting the Watercolor Look

I crossed my fingers and hoped for some cool watercolor effects when I sprayed the entire panel with water generously. I wasn’t disappointed, but it didn’t happen the way I thought it would. The Distress Oxide wicked and moved much more than the Distress Ink did. I also ended up blotting some of the ink and water as it was becoming muddy (with the yellow, orange, and green inks mixing in puddles).  I really wanted to see more of the bolder Picked Raspberry Ink, so I pressed that pad onto my craft mat, spritzed that with water and applied some Picked Raspberry water droplets with my finger (the best tool of them all!).

distress ink and oxide finished card

Finishing the Card

After the ink and water were completely dry, I used the Hero Arts Stamp and Cuts-Hello set to stamp and emboss the greeting and hearts. I stamped in black VersaFine ink and embossed with clear embossing powder. I used my MISTI stamp positioner to help me get it just right (and it was a good thing I did–I had to stamp the Hello twice to get a fully inked image).

heavy stock paper vs watercolor paper

Paper Makes a Difference

One note about paper. Paper can make a big difference in your results. For example, the first card was made using the Heavy Stock paper by Ranger. This second card is exactly the same except that I used the watercolor paper by Ranger. (I also used the Hero Arts Stamp and Cuts-Happy stamp set.) The differences in color and water/ink movement is significant, especially in person. I know from experience that the ink really doesn’t move very well on regular cardstock. It wicks, but you get more of a fuzzy image rather than a watercolor image.


I am so pleased to discover another fun way to use not only the older Distress Inks that I own, but also the new Distress Oxides. It makes me happy to see how old techniques and products become new and exciting when combined with another tool/product. Yay!

Happy Crafting!


Here are the tools I used to make this product. These are compensated affiliate links but add no additional cost to you if you buy. Please see my Affiliate Disclosure for more details.

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