My friend Steph and I have regular ‘play dates’ where we get together to try out different products and techniques that we can use in making cards. At the end of the session we split the backgrounds between us (we often make 2 of each) and challenge each other to use them to make finished cards. It never ceases to amaze me how different two cards can be even when they start with the same material. Steph has kindly let me show some of her cards in my blog. So I will show you some of the techniques we have tried and the different cards we have made from them.
For more information on Distress Stains and ways of using them see http://timholtz.com/inks-and-paints-videos/
The Distress Stains come with a dauber on the end, so for a Basic Background just daub some colours you like onto the non-stick craft sheet and wipe the card across it. In this one we used the Brushed Pewter metallic distress stain with blues and it had a lovely shimmery effect that doesn’t really show up in this picture. You are never quite sure what you will end up with and sometimes you can be a bit ‘underwhelmed’ with the result – but wait until you use them to create a finished card as they can give some great effects.
We found an example that someone else had done where a wet-wipe was put on top of the card as it dried – but it didn’t have much of an effect for us.
Then we covered the entire card with distress stain using the dauber, let it dry for about 15 minutes and then spritz plain water onto it with a spray bottle.
In this one we covered the entire card with colour using the dauber, and while it was still damp used the dauber of a different colour to create a polka dot finish. I found this one quite difficult to use. In the end I brushed a blue iridescent transparent paint over the top to tie it all together and give it a shimmery finish.
This was another version that we saw where random circles and lines are drawn on the card in white crayon before applying the stains. The crayon creates a resist to add some texture. Because it was white crayon on white card it was difficult to see where you were putting it and it then stood out very strongly against the stain colours we used. I found this one very difficult to use even once I had decided that the ‘noughts and crosses’ made it a child’s card. I eventually covered it all with a purple iridescent transparent paint to tone it down and blend the colours together more.
In this version we sprayed the card with vegetable oil, let it soak in a bit and then dipped the card in the stains. The result wasn’t as good as we had seen elsewhere and the colour was hard to use in a card. I stippled the darker Rusty Hinge distress ink on top before stamping an image in black and finishing with a gold cord.
In the example of this we had seen, they used a can of compressed air to blow a few drops of stain up a card (previously coloured and dried) to create ‘branches’. We tried it using Tim Holtz Distress Ink Spritzer but found it very difficult to control the spray of air. But we were happy with the results.
In this last version we tried a method where you crumpled up the stained card while it was still wet and then dabbed other colours on the ridges. Smooth the card out to dry and when completely dry, iron it between a couple of sheets of paper to smooth it out some more (it doesn’t flatten out completely so you have quite an ‘organic’ finish).