Distress Ink ‘Smooshing’

PART 1 – A Technique Post

Hello everyone and Ramadan Mubarik! :) Im back with a technique post this week.

Ranger Distress Inks are one such product that i’m sure everyone who has tried loves. They are water-based dye inks that are acid-free, non-toxic and fade-resistant. They come with blending tools for application on to paper to create distressed edges and beautiful blended backgrounds too. Available in full size ink pads and in mini ink pads (which you can get in sets of 4 or separately as well) these are generally included in a crafter’s must haves.

Today i’m going to share with you a simple and fun technique to create a watercolor type of background using distress inks. Those of you who find water-coloring intimidating or just holding a paintbrush to paper for that matter, don’t worry this isn’t anything like that, it’s a super-easy, quick and fun way to get that water-colored background look.

This technique has been around for quite some time and was ‘re-introduced’ by Laura Bassen recently and shared by Kristina Werner on her blog. I loved it when I saw it and thought ill share with all of you too.

All you need is a few distress inks, a mini mister or a spare spray bottle filled with plain water, a craft sheet to work on, a sheet of acrylic (commonly used as a top cover when binding reports etc) and some watercolor paper. If you don’t have a craft sheet, you would need another piece of the acrylic sheet. Ranger distress watercolor paper from what I have heard is amazing, but I have yet to get my hands on it, for this post I used a couple of sheets from a watercolor sketch book I had on hand.


I started off with rubbing the worn lipstick ink pad onto one corner of my craft mat* and then misting it with water using my mini mister. Then taking the acrylic sheet i pressed it on to the ink to get a ‘smooshed’ ink transfer to it and then pressed i pressed the acrylic sheet down on to my watercolor paper. And I ended up getting the ink transferred to my sheet of paper but the pattern is kind of organic and not controlled. Repeated the transfer once more by rotating the acrylic sheet where i wanted the ink to be and then pressing down.




Now I repeated the same with picked raspberry and peacock feathers. Rubbing the ink pad onto my craft mat, misting with water, smooshing ink onto the acrylic and then on to the watercolor paper, pressing down where I wanted the color to flow. The inks overlap and blend beautifully as they are water-based and this results in a beautiful background.



Even though I liked it at this point, I went on to add some pumice stone ink as well. And that’s essentially it! :D I love how this turned out, still a bit wet at this point. If you’re not up for waiting it to air dry you can use the heat tool to speed it up.


Now I was having so much fun, I decided to try another combination of colors, shabby shutters, peacock feathers and weathered wood.



Loved how both the backgrounds turned out! :D
I think it would have been better demonstrated in a vblog but that was an after thought, ill try my hand at vblogging soon too…


As before, I’ll be following up with a post in which i’ll utilize these backgrounds in projects, so stay tuned for that :) I do hope all of you like this technique and try it out, trust me its a lot of fun and addicting. Time to take out your stash of distress inks or get your hands on some! The new colors are just in at artful crafting and they are love <3 Be back soon Amna xx *craft mat - I have my craft sheet taped on the back side of a cutting mat, so its easy to move around and I can flip over and use the cutting mat when i want or the craft sheet, hence I often call it my craft mat :P


Distress Ink Peacock Feathers
Distress Ink Picked Raspberry
Distress Ink Worn Lipstick
Distress Ink Pumice Stone
Distress Ink Weathered Wood
Distress Ink Shabby Shutters
Ranger Craft Sheet
Ranger Mini Misters
Ranger Watercolor Cardstock
Heat Tool

– Acrylic Sheets (available from any stationary store)

Graphic designer, Paper Crafter, avid Photographer and a Foodie.
Loves all things handmade and things with clean, bold, graphic & minimalist styles. Lives in a beautiful valley north of Islamabad, Pakistan.

10 thoughts on “Distress Ink ‘Smooshing’

  1. Anaum Janjua says:

    Best hay! I tried doing something like this for the last card, but on the acrylic block to create a multi colored thing. But almost without the water spraY. I need to try this. This thing is so messy me xD

    • Amna says:

      Thats great! :) This technique has been around for ages, variations pop-up now and again. Do try im sure you’ll enjoy it!

  2. Amina Ishfaq says:

    I love it Amna… You have showcased the technique so beautifully. Andd I love the colors your have used. Can’t wait to see your project using these backgrounds :)

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