Sunday, April 15, 2018

April Art Class: Distress Oxide Inks

This month we worked with tags to learn how to create beautiful designs with distress oxide inks. 

At my space at the table was this adorable black envelope held together with a string and washi tape. Inside were the tags we would be using in class. We also received an instruction sheet that detailed 10 different designs for the tags. 

When I saw the instruction sheet, I felt overwhelmed with all of the materials needed for the class and didn't want to participate. I just wanted to observe everyone else making their tags. Our leader, Cindy, knows that I don't like to make messes with painting and ink. My forte is working with paper and die cuts. 

Fortunately, Cindy brought everything we needed to make the tags. She took my hand (not literally) and encouraged me to make at least one tag with her help. So I went to the front of the class where she sat with her materials and made a tag with her. Then I made another, and another until I had 6 tags, all using different techniques. It was so much fun! If it wasn't for such a fantastic teacher, I would have missed this great experience! She encourages us to expand our creative experiences.

These are the materials we used: distress oxide inks (DOI), teflon mat, water spritzer, heat tool, foam applicator, stencils and stamps, baby wipes, paper towels, heat embossing ink and powder, texture paste, palette knife, Gelli plate, Stickles, and brayer (roller). Perhaps you can see why I was a bit overwhelmed initially.

Here are my tags!

Oxide inks come in the form of a stamp pad. They are made with water-reactive dye and pigment. When sprayed with water, the ink creates an oxidized effect. 

This blue tag was first covered with blue DOI using a foam applicator. We spritzed it with water to oxidize and dried it with a heating tool (hair dryer). Then we applied the DOI through a stencil. 

The black tag on the left and the yellow tag on the right were made via a two step process with a Gelli printing plate. We spread yellow ink with a brayer roller onto the Gelli plate, placed a rose stencil on it and pressed the black tag onto the plate. After lifting off the black tag, we removed the stencil and laid the white tag onto the plate to soak up the leftover ink that held the rose pattern. We sprayed water on the yellow tag to get the oxidized effect.

For the green tag on the left, we colored the tag with green ink. We applied clear embossing ink to a daisy stamp, stamped the green tag and spread white powder on the tag that stuck to the embossing ink. We used the heating tool to create the embossed look. The coral tag was made by applying DOI, then layering with a stencil. We used a palette knife to spread texture paste into the stencil and we sprayed with water. I love the raised effect of the flowers. This one took awhile to dry.

For the purple daisy tag, we used a kraft paper tag and stamped it with purple DOI. We added Stickles to the middle of the flower to add sparkle and texture.

We colored the ribbons with left over ink that was on the craft mat after each tag. We crinkled the ribbons in our hands while drying them with a heating tool. I thought in order to get all those different colored ribbons, you had to purchase many spools of ribbon. I learned that's not the case. You can color ribbon with distress oxide inks!

This has been one of my favorite classes, all because Cindy persuaded me to make my first tag.


  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this messy class! Never ignore your curiosity because you are unsure. It can bring out the best in you. Your tags are a shining example of that!

  2. These are beautiful, Patty. I’m so glad you stretched out and tried something new!

  3. Hi Patty,
    I am so glad you took the leap and tried this. Your tags are beautiful. Love the yellow tag and blue so pretty for Spring. Great job. Have a great new week.

  4. They turned out well very pretty.

  5. Ohmygosh...aren't they just adorable. You are so talented and I can tell how much you love creating.....xoxo

  6. Patty, Those are the cutest tags !! I would love to take classes where the supplies are in a set price for the class. Because I do not want a bunch of supplies to worry about where to put them, when to use them, etc. You really are talented. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

  7. Great tags! I just purchased some DOI by mistake, and now I know how to use it! Thanks for sharing.


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