How to Use Distress Inks in an Art Journal (Tutorial)

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How to Use Distress Inks, Stamps and Stencils in your Art Journals (Marjie Kemper)

One of my favorite things to do with Distress Inks is blend them for project backgrounds. In this project I used a combination of distress inks, stencils, and stamps.

Marjie Kemper art journal with Distress Inks + Stencils A

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Download my free Distress Ink Blending Checklist

The large M-Measure stamp is from Stampers Anonymous and the circle shapes are from Seth Apter of The Altered Page.

Marjie Kemper art journal with Distress Inks + Stencils

It's all about Layering

Sometimes people as how to use distress inks and are surprised at how many layers I use.  Here's how my background looked at first. Ranger's Ink Blending tool is my go-to tool for blending color.

Distress Ink art journal tutorial

Use Distress Inks with Stencils and Stamps

And now with some light stenciling. Those are two designs from StencilGirl Products.

Marjie Kemper art journal with Distress Inks + Stencils

After stamping Seth's circles with Black Soot distress ink, I dusted them with clear embossing powder and melted the powder with a Heat-it tool.

Marjie Kemper art journal with Distress Inks + Stencils

I purposefully left room for my focal point, the Measure stamp (Stampers Anonymous).  I added a little pen nib image to it and inked up a fortune.

Marjie Kemper art journal with Distress Inks + Stencils

Online Mixed Media Class

Want to learn more about using and blending Distress Inks and stencils in your art journals and other mixed media projects? Check out my online class with Craftsy called Inventive Ink: Colorful Mixed Media Effects.  I cover Distress Inks, Distress Stains, Dylusions Ink Sprays and more in this 2.5 hour class that you can watch as many times as you like, whenever and wherever you like.



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  1. Michelle Gray on February 9, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Very pretty journal page. Love the colors you used. Thanks for the how-to! Love the sentiment used on this page. It is so true!

  2. Michelle Ward on January 31, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Very handsome effects with the ink and stencil, Marjie. Super fun page….and of course love that you used my “M”.

  3. Sandra on January 31, 2016 at 4:58 am

    Stunning page, Marjie! Love your use of colors. You have such a unique style, love it! Hugs, Sandra

  4. Julia on January 30, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Wonderful tutorial & gorgeous journal page!

  5. Seth on January 30, 2016 at 12:09 am

    Gorgeous background. Loving the colors and so appreciative you used my stamps.

  6. Anne R on January 29, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    I just love those words and the colours on your page look amazing – as does that ‘M’ stamp! xx

  7. Monica on January 29, 2016 at 6:50 am

    Marjie your art always makes me happy. You use the most fabulous colors and keep the design clean and simple which makes it possible to enjoy the different elements. Just LOVE what you shared today.
    Thank you so much for the inspiration. Hugs from Monica…. Spain

  8. Kathy Bradley on January 28, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    As always – gorgeous!

  9. diana on January 28, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    as always Marjie, breathtaking!! love love love your style

  10. butterfly on January 28, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Fantastic intensity to your blended colours and the stamping is very cool. And the words are wonderful.
    Alison xx

  11. Terry on January 28, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Love the page, Marjie, but that sentiment is so true and powerful! Great page!

  12. Julie Tucker-Wolek on January 28, 2016 at 8:55 am

    This is soooooooooooooo gorgeous! LOVING the colors!!!!!!!!!

  13. Astrid on January 28, 2016 at 5:33 am

    Always love your journals Marjie and this one is no exception…. Love it!!!