Easter, Easter, Watercolor

Easy Watercolor Backgrounds Using Distress Inks

Today’s topic is watercolor backgrounds. Whenever I want a quick and easy background for a card, I go with a watercolor background. You don’t need to know how to watercolor like a pro, you just need some good watercolor paper. The paper makes the difference in the results you get. I used Canson XL Series Watercolor Paper Pad (140 Pound, 9 x 12 Inch). The great thing is, that this technique can be achieved with dye inks, stains, sprays, or watercolors (high end or inexpensive). I used Distress Ink Stains for my backgrounds. I originally pulled out my Distress Ink Pads but then decided that my Distress Ink Stains haven’t been getting enough love so I decided to use those instead. These can be dabbed on or sprayed. These now are sold in spray bottles but if you’re like me and have the original bottles, Ranger sells a spray bottle lid. I used mine straight out of the bottle like watercolor though.

Watercolor Background Supplies

Ok, so let’s get started. First, I taped down my watercolor paper piece (4 1/4 x 5 1/2″) with some ScotchBlue Painters Tape to a hard surface. Protect your surface before you begin because this will be messy. With a clean brush, add some water to your surface, covering the whole area. Then dispense some of ink onto a clear block, craft mat, etc. (I used my glass mat) and then dab/pounce it your paper. If the surface is too dry, add some more water. You can add more ink to certain areas to get darker areas. Alternatively, you can add more water and blot certain areas to subtract color. Stick to one color if you are not comfortable mixing multiple colors together. Keep playing with adding color until you are satisfied.

Let your piece dry in between layers. This will yield a better result, in the end. You can let it air dry or use a heat tool (if you are not patient like me. :)) Once the piece was almost dry I added some splashes using the same ink color for each. I usually do this inside a box since I don’t want my desk and surrounding areas to stained. Let it dry completely before moving onto the next step. And if you want to stop here, you totally can; they look great as is. I wanted to enhance mine by adding another level of texture.

Watercolor Panels

I added texture to only two of the panels by embossing them. On the first panel (blue one), I stamped the Easter eggs from the Newton’s Nook Designs Newton’s Easter Basket Stamp (no longer available) with Versamark clear embossing ink and added Wow white embossing powder. On the third panel (yellow one), I used a the Tim Holtz MINI STENCIL SET 27 MST027 with Ranger Texture Paste Transparent Gloss to add texture. I used only portions of the stencil around the page. Then before it dried, I sprinkled on some Dazzling Diamonds Stampin’ Glitter. Any white glitter will do however. These are now ready to become cards!

Watercolor Panels With Embossing

I made Easter cards with these backgrounds. I used Newton’s Nook Designs Newton’s Easter Basket Stamp on all 3 cards for the images.

I used Simon Says Stamp Some Bunny for the sentiment on the first card and the Lawn Fawn Straight Flower Border Die Cut to build the scene. And finished it with Nuvo drops in different colors. The second card features the Pretty Pink Posh Happy Easter Script Die cut out of 4 layers of cardstock (3 black and one white), stacked up to create the sentiment. The third card showcases the Easter egg kitty by putting him in ovals diecut using Stampin’ Up! Layering Ovals Framelits Dies. I added a sentiment from Newton’s Nook Designs Newton’s Easter Basket Stamp. I created card bases from Stampin’ Up! Tempting Turquoise (retired), Stampin’ Up! Elegant Eggplant (retired), and Stampin’ Up! Crushed Curry 8-1/2″ X 11″ Cardstock, respectively. And finally, on the inside I added a piece of white 80lb cardstock so I can later write a message inside my cards.


Thanks for stopping by. I hope this was helpful and I’ve inspired you to create some fun watercolor backgrounds of your own. Feel free to email me with questions or leave a comments below.

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