Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wednesday Trends / TSG tips and tricks: Sandra

What is Wednesday Trends / TSG Tips & Tricks? Every Wednesday the featured Trendsetter will either share a stamping trend that they love or will show you new ways to use their favorite TSG stamp sets! I hope you are inspired by this tutorial, and that you will try it out for yourself! :)

Hi everyone! Sandra here! I get comments left on my blog all the time about my distressed cards and how they can't achieve the same look. So today I thought I'd show you the process I go through to create a rich and distressed looking card!

Besides the usual suspects for supplies (stamps and paper), I like to use a bunch of distress inks from Rangers, my Tim Holtz edge distresser and some sponges. If you don't have an edge distresser, you can always use a pair of scissors, but be careful! I found my sponges from Michaels, in the painting aisle and I usually cut them up into quarter wedges. To store them, I just throw them in a ziplock bag until next time.

To create the warmth and depth to the sponging, I sponge in layers of color to build up the intensity. To see the build up of color, I took a photo of 3 panels with in different stages of sponging. The panel on the upper left hand side was just sponged with Tea Dye, and the panel on the upper right was sponged with Tea Dye first then Vintage Photo second. Then the bottom panel had both those colors and a third layer of Walnut Stain. You can definitely see the warmth coming through on the finished panel right?

To sponge the color on, I dab the sponge two or three times on the pad, then I work in a circular motion starting off the panel and working my sponge back onto it. This way, the clumps of ink on the sponge are left on your scrap piece of cardstock before they reach your panel and ruin it. I purposely took a photo of me doing this technique on my faithful piece of cardboard to show you how much ink I actually leave on the scrap cardstock. This has been built up over several months though, so don't be too alarmed! :) It's not a pretty picture, but you can definitely see what gets left behind.

Next comes the edge distressing. If you thought that the sponging was the messy part, you ain't seen nothing yet my friends! lol Thankfully the edge distresser makes the job a lot easier than using a pair of scissors. Although, I will admit that up until this weekend, I thought I had lost my edge distresser and I've been using scissors for weeks now! :) With which ever tool you prefer to use, scuff up the edges of the panels to your desired frayed level. I find I only have to run the distresser over an edge 2 or 3 times to get the look I'm after. Something to keep in mind is your finished size. It will be a little smaller than your original cut size. So, if you're fussy like me, before you distress, cut your panel about 1/16" to 1/8" larger than your desired finished size to compensate for this. This is especially important if you're matting the panels. This is what the panels look like once they're sponged, distressed and matted. Sometimes I will go back and sponge the edges with another round of Walnut Stain to cover the white edges of the paper. It all depends on what look you're after.

Here's what the finished panels look like on a card. I machine stitched around each panel with some brown thread for some added detail, but that's it. Now you an experiment with different inks and finishes. Sometimes I keep the look light and shabby chic looking by just using Antique Linen ink on light colored paper. It's fun to play and get really inky, so next time you want to try this technique - just give it a go! :)

Thanks so much for stopping by today!


  1. Thanks for the cool tutorial Sandra!! LOVE it!!


  2. Stunning and great technique!

  3. Thank you so much! I have been using only one color, I will try laying the inks. Thanks again.


Thank you for visiting the TSG Blog, happy stamping!