Ink Organisation & Blending – AECP Post 3

Hello Crafty People!

Today is my 3rd AECP post and I want to tackle ink blending! I have a crafty confession to share; I had never tried ink blending with a dye based ink before I took this class. I started blending with Distress Oxides, because they are well known for being easy to blend as they are a type of hybrid with both dye & pigment properties. I just never strayed from that path, and boy have I been missing out!!


I wrote the names of each colour in the blend on the back of each swatch so that I could easily replicate any particular one.

I decided to warm up my technique with some swatches first; I’ve always admired those sets people have with a selection of colour blends on, so that’s what I started to make.

I just love the way Oxides blend together but I often find it difficult to choose a colour blend to match my project, so it was so much fun creating these little swatches.

I also mixed up my blending tool between makeup blending brushes, sponge daubers & the traditional foam applicators.

I also experimented with blending some of the original Distress Inks, this is a little trickier and doesn’t give as smooth a look but the colours are much more vibrant.

I love the way the inks blend and you get a completely different colour when you layer them on top of each other. The Peacock Feathers blue and Mustard Seed Yellow make this vibrant acid green!

This was a great way to get inspiration for future projects too.

Ink blending a background

I wanted to make a simple blue striped background which I would pair with a floral background to make 2 cards which would be the reverse of each other.

I added Altenew’s Classy Stripes stencil to a piece of Neenah cardstock and blended some blue dye ink from Hero Arts across the full stencil area.

I wanted to be able to build the colour up slowly and smoothly so I decided to use a make up blending brush to apply the ink in gentle, circular motions.

If you want smooth, even colour when ink blending, there are 2 important things to remember:

Build the colour slowly

You will get a much smoother result if you build the colour up gradually, rather than trying to get as much ink onto the paper as quickly as possible. You might feel that you aren’t getting any colour payoff to begin with, but just keep your inking tool moving with a very light amount of pressure.

If you try to apply too much pressure in a bid to get more colour you risk your blending being very patchy and you’re also likely to damage the paper itself.

You should be aiming to sweep the applicator over the surface of the paper, allowing the ink to be gently transferred from one to the other, rather than trying to rub or press the ink onto the paper.

Start off the paper

Once you’ve picked up some ink onto the applicator you should gently tap it onto some scratch paper or your work surface (e.g. glass or craft mat), this takes a little of the ink off so that it isn’t too saturated when you meet the paper. I prefer to do this onto my glass mat, then I can pick that ink back up to use rather than it being wasted onto scrap paper.

When using dye ink if you put the applicator straight onto the paper, (even if you have taken off the excess), you will likely leave a dark, more saturated mark that is almost impossible to blend away. The best way to avoid this is by placing your applicator on your work surface, next to your project, and begin moving in circular motions onto the cardstock.

Assembling my card

Can you see the frames that I haven’t seperated?

I printed this Peony digital background stamp and coloured it using a mixture of Copic and Winsor & Newton alcohol markers. Then I used a Versamark pen to add some gold glitter embossing powder to the centres of each flower.

I used the Altenew Fine Frames die to cut the middle of each of my background panels; this is an amazing die which cuts a series of very thin rectangle frames along with a rectangular panel in the centre. The frames can be separated or you can use the whole set together. I chose to use it both ways here; those gold mirror frames are each a single layer from this set and the contrasting background pieces on each card are the full piece that is cut by the die.

The sentiment is that same gold mirror cardstock, cut using my go-to alphabet set: Tall Alpha’s which is by Altenew. (This is without doubt the most used die set I own.)

I added my background piece to some more gold mirror cardstock, leaving a thin border visible and then popped the centre pieces up on some foam tape to add dimension. As you move the card, this gold cardstock is visible behind the centre panel, which I really like.

I finished my sentiment by adding a small ‘YOU’ from one of the sentiments that comes with the digital stamp I used.

Don’t forget these cards were produced as part of an Instagram Hop to spread kindness through our love of florals & ink blending. Head over to my Instagram to join the Hop, there are prizes available every stop!


Thank you for visiting my blog, if you’d like to see more of my artwork & how to’s and/or hear my thoughts on living with a chronic illness then please consider subscribing. T.

  • Neenah Classic Crest – Solar White
  • Wilko’s cardstock – Mirrored Gold
  • Altenew – Classy Stripes stencil
  • Altenew – Fine Frames Rectangle die
  • Altenew – Tall Alphas die set
  • Simon Says Stamp – A2 card rectangle dies
  • Rachel Vass Designs – Peony Background digital stamp set
  • HP Laserjet printer
  • Hero Arts -mini ink cubes
    • Soft Pool
    • Pool
  • Makeup blending brushes purchased from Amazon
  • Copic Alcohol markers
  • Winsor & Newton alcohol markers
  • Versamark pen
  • WOW! Gold Sparkle embossing powder
  • Tombow Mono – liquid glue
  • Unbranded double sided adhesive foam tape
  • Variety of Distress Oxide inks

8 thoughts on “Ink Organisation & Blending – AECP Post 3

  1. This is exquisite! However, please make sure to use Altenew stamps on your project. I will consider this as the floral image is not in focus and part of the background and the main products in focus are Altenew products, but it would have been lovely had the images been from Altenew 🙂
    Thank you for entering your gorgeous work to the AECP assignment gallery.

    1. Thank you Erum! I’m really sorry, I thought that because it was mostly Altenew products and the ink blended part was Altenew stencil it was ok to use other brands alongside.
      I’m very sorry and I am more than happy to make another project.
      Thank you so much for your valuable feedback Erum.
      Stay safe. T.

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