Mixed-media paper crafter; stamper, freelance craft tutor, designer of PaperArtsy JOFY stamps

Beautifully Distressed & Bleached!!

oooh be still my paint lovin' heart!! or actually my Distress Stains lovin' heart!
I was lucky (and very grateful) to be given a set of Tim Holtz/Ranger Distress Stains (thank you very much - you know who you are!!) but was still unsure how the stains would be better/ more versatile than distress ink in pads  - O.M.G!!
They are sooooooooooo fab - seriously.. really versatile - colour goes on really generously (not too generously - nothing being wasted) and smoothly - I worked with them on tags (its how I 'test' out everything - 'put it on a tag' lol) and the ink looks sort of satin-like... love it!
I tried all the usual things - water splashing, salt etc .. and then I thought lets try bleach!!..  just household bleach.. nothing fancy... and look at the stunning effect the bleach has!!  Because the Distress Inks/Stains are dyes the bleach takes out the lightest colour in the mix and then goes to white depending on how much bleach is applied to the stamp!!
(to stamp with bleach I fold up a piece of kitchen towel (into quarters and then again) so thats its quite thick and then pour bleach on - creating a sort of inkpad but with bleach in place of ink... then use exactly as you would normally when inking up a stamp)
How fab is that - I have to tell you that happy clapping ensued and I had to reign myself in not to try this on all 12 colours! lol  (.. that may still happen! but other things had to be done so I'm saving it for another time...)
I really like how it removes colour rather than adding colour as we would normally do when stamping.
The Stain colours I used were Walnut Stain (such a good brown), Peeled Paint & Fired Brick.
I used a red rubber stamp (PaperArtsy Mini22) - its best to use red rubber when using bleach - & make sure you wash it off when you're finished.  I don't know how bleach would affect clear stamps so I avoid using it on those (better safe than sorry!!)
NB: I still need to test out what happens when I stamp another colour over the top of the bleached image - I think if its a pigment ink the colour will be OK but possibly not dye... I'll let you know...


  1. steph3:43 pm

    Love this effect Jo - definately on my list to try out :)

  2. Brill idea. Ta
    Jeanette x

  3. Great technique. I just got to play with my stains today. Love them. Thansk for sharing and have a great day. Angela

  4. nice job Jo, I played with my stains yesterday (not a full set though :( ) and had great fun, will post tomorrow the resulting tag, am gonna have to try this as well :)


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