Hi crafters! Today I have a tutorial for you on how to use Distress Oxides. I’ve wanted to experiment with these ever since I came across some beautiful backgrounds made with them on Instagram. It has taken me a little while to get to grips with them, but I’ve pinned down 6 different techniques that have worked for me.
In this video I show you the 6 different techniques, and then below you can read in more detail how I created the finished cards for each one.
The colours of Distress Oxides I used were Picked Raspberry, Fossilized Amber, Peacock Feathers, Seedless Preserves and Salty Ocean, and I got mine from thompsoncraftsupplies.co.uk. The Bee Garden stamps are available from our online shop here.
Technique 1: Stencilling
For this technique I used the inks dry and applied them to the card with a mini ink blending tool, then stencilled over the top with a different colour ink. The mini star stencil is from Imagination Crafts.
I didn’t spend a long time blending the colours but if you wanted to you could go over it with more colour and spend more time smoothing out the harsher lines.
To make the finished card I die cut a panel using the Lawn Fawn Stitched Rectangle die and stamped the ‘happy bee-day’ sentiment directly on to it in black ink. I then stamped two separate bees, cut them out and added them to the panel with foam squares. I then adhered it to an A6 card blank.
Technique 2: Water droplets
I used the same dry blending technique as before, adding the colours in lines instead of circles this time, and then I flicked large water droplets over the top of the card and dabbed them off with a piece of kitchen roll.
I’ve tried using a tissue before but the fibres stuck to the card so kitchen roll is best here!
For this card I stamped the Bee Garden honey jar designs on to the coloured panel in three rows and then stamped the ‘just bee-cause’ sentiment underneath. I trimmed the panel and added it to an A6 card blank using foam squares.
Technique 3: Spritzing
As before, I started by applying dry inks to the watercolour paper, and then I added a fine misting of water using a spritzer. This gives a kind of mottled effect. You don’t need to add much water – I only used two little spritzes. I then dried it using my heat tool.
To make the finished card I stamped a bee, wreath and sentiment on to the panel in black ink. I then stamped a leaf border round a 5×7″ card blank and attached the panel to it.
Technique 4: Inking the paper and pressing into water
For this one I applied the Distress Oxides in a circular pattern all over the page and then spritzed lots of water on to an acrylic block and pushed the paper into it, wiggling it around slightly to ensure the inks mingled. If you have a silicone mat that would be ideal to give you a little more space to work in, but I just used a large stamping block as that’s what I had.
The inks mixed a lot and created a very soft looking pastel background.
To make the card I first stamped all over the background with the little flower stamp from the Bee Garden stamp set. I then die cut a heart aperture, trimmed the panel and added it to an A6 card blank. I stamped the washi tape designs using the Picked Raspberry Distress Oxide ink, and added a stamped sentiment and bee to two of them. I cut them out and adhered them to the card with foam squares. I added a few small details to the heart using pearl drops.
Technique 5: Swiping the page through ink and water
This time instead of inking the card, I put ink on my acrylic block and spritzed it lightly with water. I dragged the watercolour paper through the ink and water to pick up the colour, but not allow it to mix too much.
This technique is probably the most unpredictable as to how it will come out, but I really liked how it looked with the colours remaining quite distinct.
The background sort of reminded me of graffiti so I decided to go for a bit of a grungier feel to the card – a bit more mixed media like. I still prefer to err on the side of clean and simple though so all I did was stamp a honeycomb pattern at the top and sentiment at the bottom, and added a stamped bee.
Technique 6: Painting with an aqua brush
For this technique I used the Distress Oxides like watercolours. I dabbed some ink on to my acrylic block and then picked it up with the aqua brush and used it to make a wash over the page. I felt that this was one of the least successful techniques as the colours didn’t blend as well as I wanted them to, but I was still able to use it to make a pretty card!
To make the card I first stamped over one of the harshest blue to purple lines with black leaves to disguise it a little. Then I die cut a panel with the Lawn Fawn Stitched Square die. I adhered it to a square card blank using foam squares, and then added a wooden bee that I’d dry brushed with gold paint. You can check out the dry brushing video on YouTube here.
Overall I was pretty pleased with how my cards turned out. I hope this helps you with how to use Distress Oxides too! Let me know if you have been experimenting and what works for you.