Video: Reactive Distress Ink + Giveaway

Hello! Today’s technique is a unique one that is out of my comfort zone. But I think that is what makes it fun! It takes advantage of the reactive properties of Distress Ink for a messy-but-artsy-and-fun watercolor look.

Reactive Distress Ink Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

[All supplies are linked to multiple sources in the thumbnails at the end of this post. Affiliate links used. To watch the video in HD on YouTube, click HERE.]

I will admit – I love how cool this technique is, but I usually shy away from it since it is so out-of-my-comfort-zone! However, today I decided to just go for it and stick with it until I had completed cards. And I am glad I did.

Reactive Distress Ink Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

Distress Ink reacts when it comes in contact with water. By spritzing a stamped image with a tiny bit of water, the ink dances and moves out like fireworks. The effect is really fun! (And MUCH more intense with bold colors. I went not-so-bold.)

By the way – I find I get best results when I spritz the image very soon after it is stamped.

Reactive Distress Ink Video by Jennifer McGuire Ink

These My Favorite Things Sketched Blooms Stamps are perfect for this technique. So much fun! I also like the My Favorite Things Friends Like Us greeting. Such a great sentiment.

Here’s the matching envelope…


Oh – and I cut the background with a large pierced-edge die from the My Favorite Things Blueprints 21 Dies set.

I encourage you to try something that it out of your comfort zone. It can be a lot of fun!


Here are some other videos you might find helpful:


The My Favorite Things Sketched Blooms Stamps I used in this video are part of the newest release from My Favorite Things. MFT keeps impressing me more and more each month – and I am not sure how that is possible! Such great designs. Incredible designs. You can see all of new products HERE.


How would you like to get your hands on a stamp set from this newest My Favorite Things release? One lucky winner will! For your chance, leave a comment below by 11:59pmEST on 1/10/16 telling me if you, too, struggle with messy-but-artsy-and-fun techniques. (The winner’s name will be randomly selected, emailed and posted on my “Winners page” after the giveaway closes. International folks are eligible, too!)


Interested in the products I used? To make them easy for you to find, I have listed them below. (Affiliate and product disclosure can be found here. All products were personally purchased except those from MFT and the Distress Inks.) Click on the letters below each picture to go to a favorite store: Simon Says Stamp (SSS), Ellen Hutson (EH), Amazon (AZ), My Favorite Things (MFT), etc.

Leave a Comment

748 thoughts on “Video: Reactive Distress Ink + Giveaway”

  1. I am usually a clean inside line person, but have started having so much fun with the brusho crystals that I am always looking for stamps that would look cool with it.

  2. Messy looks so fun. I took one class and it was fun, but I tend to be more perfectionistic and neat. When I do a project I want it to look nice to elegant, not like I messed it up. I probably need to let go and have fun.

  3. Messy can be good…I have to be in the mood! If I remember to put surgical gloves on, the cleanup isn’t quite so bad.
    Thanks for a chance to win some awesome stamps.

  4. I DO struggle with “messy”, but when I make an attempt at it, I find it to be a lot of fun! 🙂 Great cards, Jennifer! Thanks, also, for the chance to win.

  5. Love, love, love your videos!! I absolutely struggle with messy techniques, but your cards turned out beautiful! I’ve been building my collection of distress inks slowly and can’t wait to try this.

  6. I try messy but like it better if it is controlled messy lol
    I tend to try and make it go my way instead of let it go…really it turns out better if you just leave it

  7. I do struggle with “messy-but-artsy-and-fun techniques”. I tend to want everything to be “just right”. I guess I need to step out of my comfort zone like you did.

  8. I love what you created!
    I definitely struggle with the messy but artsy look. However, you created it beautifully!

  9. It’s funny. I always see things that other people do and think, “How cool!” but when I do it, I think, “that’s just a mess”. It’s hard to see it as ‘artsy’ when I’ve done it myself.

  10. Yes, it’s challenging to let go…..I admit. I am still working my courage with backgrounds, your post is encouraging me to try it with stamped images, yikes! Your cards are beautiful Jennifer. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  11. Love this technique, love the artsy, messy look! I have a terribly hard time being messy, even when I do “messy”, I still try and “control” what’s going on with the mess lol, which I suppose kind of defeats the purpose.

  12. I definitely struggle with this technique, but I just love the look! I guess I need to let go of my control freak ways. 😉

  13. When I attempt messy I tend to over work it. So I struggle with stopping at the right time. Your cards are great!

  14. Your cards just inspired me to get going on trying out my distress inks! They are so pretty yet simplistic and it makes your sentiment stand out. Beautiful!

  15. My messy, artsy technique usually turns out just that, messy! Guess I’m just not comfortable with the technique or it really is quite a mess?

  16. Yeah, I don’t tend to love messy. I’m trying to stretch myself some… the ink smooshing, or even the watercoloring are a bit out of my comfort zone. But then I usually like the final product. Love this card!!

  17. I like a neat looking card but am leaving to go out of my comfort zone with all the new fun watercoloring techniques and enjoying it! Thanks for all your wonderful videos and inspiration!

  18. yes I struggle with them as they only the best when it is finished and I find it hard to imagine the end product so I have to push myself to do them

  19. I don’t do messy very well. I’m trying to overcome this issue. I recently purchased my FIRST distress inks. I’ve only used them with the blending tool. Maybe if I’m feeling weak, I’ll try them with a spritz.

  20. This is a super fun card, Jennifer! I will occasionally do messy cards. They are hard in the sense that you have less control. LOL. And for some of us, it’s hard to let go and just play. But I make myself do it because that’s when we grow as artists. Thank you for your constant encourgement. 😉

  21. I struggle with the artsy messy techniques. To me, mine look like i made a mistake, while others’ look artsy. Your work is lovely and looks intentionally messy. Thanks for letting me know that you also struggle with messy.

  22. I certainly do struggle, I don’t like the loss of control, and it never looks right when I do. Yours looks lovely though 🙂

  23. I tend to get in trouble with the artsy technique. I am not as talented in the department of painting but I so admire it and do try cards when I see some that attract me like yours. I so dire your many talents. I do enjoy making cards and am extending my comfort zone.
    Thanks for all your encouraging videos don’t tutorials.

  24. Thank you for sharing AND for wading into a newer approach using not too much water with distress inks. You are brave and did a nice job creating! I like My Favorite Things Stamps, too. My family is moving so my crafting goodies are packed for the trip. But as soon as I can get my crafting space in some kind of order I will try this method. Even if it makes a mess I am certain I will have learned from the experience. I might even like it a lot!

  25. Hi Jennifer!
    I am not comfortable with “purposeful messy” because, for me, it will come off forced rather than artsy. However, because I had the things to try reactive distress, I did. It was A BLAST! I made 3 cards and wished I had time for more! You could use this technique for anything from birthday to sympathy. Loved it! Thanks for showing us this fun project!

  26. Love the look of this, Jennifer, and of this new flower stamp set.
    I like to have control when I’m making cards, but I’m trying hard to loosen up and start enjoying the process as well.

  27. I really didn’t start liking this technique until I got into watercolors. I got into watercolors because of you! Great cards as always

  28. I always wanna keep my cards clean and neat! And sometimes if it gets messy, I just give up on it halfway and throws the card away! I think I really need to fix that because I regret not finishing the card and seeing how it turns out

  29. Yes…..I don’t do messy well. I tend to be a little of a neat freak when it comes to making cards. But I do like this technique and I am going to try it in the new year! Thanks for sharing.

  30. I love artsy, but it is so difficult to be messy when we were taught to be neat. Thanks, enjoyed seeing you do this again.

  31. Yup! There is definitely a line between “good messy” and “messy messy”. It seems like less is more when it comes to the right amount! That can be hard to achieve. I have a tendency to keep on going with it and then I do have a messy mess!

  32. I think it depends on my mood, but I do like the look. Not sure if you read all the comments, but I have a question about the sanding blocks. How long would you say one lasts? My hubby likes to buy in bulk if I need something and I would like to have an idea of how many I might need. 🙂 Thank you!

  33. i do struggle with the mess. i love the techniques and buy the products and they just sit…. need to get them out and break out of my comfort zone too!

  34. interesting technique, perhaps I will give it a shot. I do have most of the materials needed, now to overcome the “mess”,

  35. I do not have a dedicated craft space right now, so I struggle with wanting to use my limited craft time for messy projects. I adore the look though and have lots of wonderful distress inks to use. You have inspired me to try this weekend if I can carve out some time! Thanks for another wonderful video.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *