Sunday, 30 July 2017

Distress Oxides 101...

Distress Oxides 101....

Okay, I'll freely admit that when Ranger released this new line of Inks I rolled my eyes and went 'not another fad product that I'll buy and never use'. I'll also freely admit I was dead wrong and these babies are now a 'must have' in my mixed media must haves!

Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Ink Pads are water-reactive dye & pigment ink fusion that creates and oxidized effect when sprayed with water. These are a completely different product to the Distress Inks, and being a pigment infusion, the colour sits on top of your paper, creating multiple layers and super rad effects. It was super confusing mumbo-jumbo to me, until I got into my studio and began playing with them. 

Here is a step by step of how I created this background for this layout and the techniques I have used. 

Gather your supplies. You will need a Messy mat, heat gun, acrylic stamp block, Water spray bottleFan brushMarshmallow cardstock, and some Distress Oxides. Ive used Broken ChinaIced Spruce and Faded Jeans.


Grab your messy mat, and directly apply the Faded Jeans to the mat. 

Directly next to it, apply the Broken China.

Using your water sprayer, activate the pigment inks by liberally spraying onto them, They will 'turn' into little bubbles of colour. 

Next, grab your Marshmallow Cardstock and 'smoosh' it onto the 'colour bubbbles'. 

Quickly turn it over and let the colour run all over the cardstock. 

Grab your water sprayer and add some extra water to the page. 

Use your heat tool to thoroughly dry your page. 
DONT sop up any water puddles!
These puddles when dry give it the Oxided effect. 


The next step is to add in some 'spatters'. Apply some more of the Oxides directly to your messy mat and activate again as in step one. Using your Fan Brush, liberally splatter the Ink mixture onto the page. Again, dont sop up any big bits, these will 'burst' as you dry them and give off the Oxied effect. 

STEP THREE- Additonal Layers

Because these Inks are both pigment and dye, each layer that your add will sit on top of the next and give definitive layers. Make sure your layers are dry before adding the next. 

Grab your acrylic stamp block and add your third colour Iced Spruce directly to it. 

Activate it with your water sprayer, creating the colour 'bubbles'

Turn it over, and 'smoosh' it onto the areas your want to apply the colour. If you didn't have a acrylic block, you could use some old plastic packaging from used products. 

Thoroughly dry it again with your heat tool. 

Keep on adding as may layers as your like, drying each layer before adding the next. 


One question I was asked was do your need to gesso your page before your apply your Distress Oxides? The answer is Yes and No... I completely depends upon the type of cardstock or paper you are using. 

I only use Marshmallow Cardstock for my Mixed Media layouts, and because it is specifically designed to take a tonne of medium, I don't bother gesso-ing beforehand. 

If I was going to to apply these to a patterned paper, I would definatly add a layer of Clear Gesso to coat it beforehand to protect the paper and hold the Oxides.

Ive done some swatches below on Marshmallow and Black Raven ( the black version of Marshmallow for mixed media). You can see that the colour sits differently on top of the coloured gessos, giving it 'river like' effects. 

My best advice is to grab some of the babies and just play with them, have fun, get to know its properties and how your like to apply them. 

Here are a couple of close ups of the lay out I created. 

Hope you have enjoyed my quick tutorial. Head on over to the store to grad some of these and get messy!

Love and Light 



1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous layout Skai. Thank you for the tutorial and the comparison with the black.