Stamp It Saturday: Checking Out Distress Oxides with Elaineabella

Time for another Stamp It Saturday! I recently caved and grabbed a set of the new Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inkpads from Ranger. Want to take a look with me? Read on!

Stamping Bella - Stamp It Saturday - Check Out Distress Oxides with Elaineabella

Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Inkpads:

I’ve been very good recently about reducing my crafty spending. There are a couple of habits I haven’t given up – stamps and refills for my Copics – but those are essentials right?! Paper pads, inks, paints etc. I have been resisting with a previously unknown will of steel. Then I found myself catching up on YouTube videos showing some of the latest products, and well, Distress Oxides won. I should have known they would.

Distress Oxides are the latest and possibly coolest thing to come from Ranger and Tim Holtz. They are a dye and pigment ink fusion with some very cool properties.

As you know, I love my Distress Inks, but I think I may just love these a little bit more… Thanks to the pigment ink they are gorgeously creamy and because of that are easier to blend on paper than the Distress Inks. When you activate them with water, it creates a cool oxidation effect. The coolest thing though? If you dry in between, you can layer up colours without creating mud. LOVE that.

I had a good play session with the inks last weekend and here’s a look at the results:

Stamping Bella - Stamp It Saturday - Check Out Distress Oxides with Elaineabella

The pic above and the one below both show pieces created by simply smooshing the ink pads on a craft mat, spritzing the ink with water and then pressing watercolour paper into it.

The trick is, as mentioned above, to dry between layers. Don’t try to achieve the exact look you want on the first layer – better to go with what you get on the first pass, dry it with a heat tool and then go back in to add another layer . By doing this you can build up layers of colour without creating a muddy look. The textures you get are so interesting, and the fact that you can get the colours to layer like this opens up all sorts of possibilities.

Stamping Bella - Stamp It Saturday - Check Out Distress Oxides with Elaineabella

Just look at the pink, purple and blue on the left, LOVE the texture on this one. On the right – love the fact that the turquoise colour layered on top of the red and blue like that. Just…LOVE!

Stamping Bella - Stamp It Saturday - Check Out Distress Oxides with Elaineabella

The two pieces in the above photo were created by blending the ink on my paper using the round mini ink blending tools I use with my Distress Inks. The blending was so easy to do, these inks go on like butter! For the piece on the left I spritzed a stencil with water, then laid it on the inked paper. When I lifted it, the background had oxidised so the design stood out beautifully. I then spritzed the piece with a water spray to create some extra interest. The piece on the right was created simply by blending the different colours of ink on the paper, then spritzing first with water, then with Glimmer Mist to achieve a gorgeous shimmery look – we’ll take a look at this one in more detail in a future post. 😉

Another cool property of these inks is that they show up beautifully on coloured cardstock, again because they have the pigment ink component. So you can create cool effects on black and other colours of cardstock, and you can also layer the inks on top of each other to create a stamped or stencilled design with a lighter colour on a darker inked background as you would with a standard pigment ink (but with the extra cool properties of Distress!).

Stamping Bella - Stamp It Saturday - Check Out Distress Oxides with Elaineabella

As with most mediums, you will find that the results you get with these inks differ depending on the paper you use. Some papers like watercolour paper will be more absorbent and suck the ink and water in more. Play around with the paper you have on hand and see what different effects you can achieve.

Stamping Bella - Stamp It Saturday - Check Out Distress Oxides with Elaineabella

The two pieces above were both created using Cracked Pistachio Distress Oxide, blended directly on the paper using a mini ink blending tool. The paper on the left hand side is a hot pressed watercolour paper, the paper on the right is Strathmore Bristol paper. As you can see, the splash/dot/splatter pattern that resulted after spritzing the papers with water differs noticeably.

NOTE:Like Distress Inks, Distress Oxides are always reactive with water. They do not dry completely permanent on your paper, if they get wet they will react. This is where Distress Micro Glaze comes in handy – when you’re finished with your piece (i.e. you’ve stamped, stuck down layers etc) simply take a small amount on your finger, rub it over the project and then buff off any excess with a soft cloth. This will protect your work. Just make sure you’re completely done before doing this, as you will find that you can no longer stick things to the surface, or add more stamping or colouring. UPDATE: Inks like Ranger Archival and Stazon may work on top of the glaze, and glues like Ranger Glossy Accents and gel medium may work – be sure to test it out for yourself before working on your own projects!

Of course I couldn’t resist creating a couple of cards using Stamping Bella stamps and some of my Distress Oxide experiments. Here they are with links to the stamp sets on the website – don’t say I never enable you. Haha!

Stamping Bella - Stamp It Saturday - Check Out Distress Oxides with Elaineabella

For full details on the card above, please visit my blog Marker Geek. I used the Distress Oxides for the background, mat layer and to colour the chick!

Stamp Set Used: Stamping Bella Succulent Chicks (coordinating die set also available) and words from Danielle Donaldson stamp sets

Stamping Bella - Stamp It Saturday - Check Out Distress Oxides with Elaineabella

I used one of my Distress Oxide pieces to stamp and paper piece the orchid dress and the orchid in her hair. The pattern I got from layering the Distress Oxides was just too pretty to use on a background, and I immediately thought of pretty little Orchid here!

Stamp Set Used: Stamping Bella Tiny Townie Garden Girl Orchid (and coordinating Cut It Out die)

Stamping Bella - Stamp It Saturday - Check Out Distress Oxides with Elaineabella

Couldn’t resist a close up! So pretty.

Stamping Bella - Stamp It Saturday - Check Out Distress Oxides with Elaineabella

I love the colours and textures on this one, and the art quotes stamp set was perfect to finish it off on a card.

Stamp Set Used: Stamping Bella – Danielle Donaldson – Danielle’s Favorite Art Quotes #1 stamp set

Stamping Bella - Stamp It Saturday - Check Out Distress Oxides with Elaineabella

So what do you think? Planning on trying the Distress Oxides? If you already have them, how do you feel about them? If you’ve used them on a Stamping Bella card – let us know!

Over To You!

If you try out the techniques shown in any of the posts with your Stamping Bella stamps, be sure to share! We would love to see the results and hear how you feel about them. Show off your creations in the comments below and even better, share your own favourite tips with us. Let’s talk stamping!

If you are posting your images online, we would love to see them on Instagram and all the platforms mentioned above.  To make it easier for us to find you just use #markergeekmonday and/or #stampingbella as a hashtag. Even better tag me @markergeek and @stampingbella . We love it when you connect, so don’t be shy!

If you’re on Facebook join us in our private chat group Stamping Bella Sistahood to share your creations there and chat all things Stamping Bella related!

Until next time, HAPPY STAMPING!




  1. Jan D., FL says:

    I love the Oxides…I have 9 of the 12 colors/ink pads and reinkers…almost have the complete set.

    Loved your tip about the glaze….hadn’t thought of that…note to self.

    I’ve experimented with several papers and my fav is Strathmore Mixed Media Vellum Surface…I think it’s 140#. I like the vellum/smooth surface since I stamp on most of my projects. Of course, I use watercolor paper, too. It is nice, as you said, that you can use these inks on dark cardstock.

    Thanks for your tips….and have a great day!

  2. Jan D., FL says:

    P.S. Once you put on the glaze, could you stamp on it if you use archival or Stazon ink?

    • Elaineabella says:

      Hey Jan! Thanks for your comments! I love the Strathmore Vellum Surface too.

      Re. the glaze, I haven’t tried it myself yet, but I have read that yes Stazon and Archival will stamp and stay put. I’ll edit my post actually, as I have since tried and found that Glossy Accents does seem to stick (albeit perhaps not as well as usual), and apparently gel medium also works. I’ve found that double sided tape and adhesive backed foam pads and embellishments don’t.

      • Jan D., FL says:

        Thanks for the add’l info. The owner of my LSS sold me a jar of Dorland’s Wax Medium a while back to seal and waterproof some recipe cards I was making…it worked. It, too, is applied by rubbing it on with your fingers and buffing it…it’s like a light weight, thin wax…not too heavy. I’m going to give it a try on the oxides. I never tried stamping on it, however, or adhering anything to it. The jar is 4 oz. and back then I paid $7.99. A little goes a looonnnggg way, too….I won’t live long enough to use it all. LOL I think it’s also available in the art departments and/or from art suppliers.

  3. Nancee Purdum says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I have heard of them and seen them, but didn’t want to take the plunge and purchase them….now I just might have to! 🙂

  4. Jane Crisci says:

    Thank you again for another great tutorial. The pictures truly represent the different effects that you can achieve. 🙂

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