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. It is hard for me to have messy things but I just love the outcome of this card and I’m willing to give it a try!! Thanks Jennifer for you always inspiring videos!!

  2. I love the look, but yes I struggle with it, too. I used to cringe every time my kiddos used to want to paint or get the moon sand out. LOL.

  3. I do struggle being comfortable letting thins get outside lines and going with a messier or impressionistic look, but I love it when I see what others do. Thanks for stepping out of your comfort zone

  4. I don’t like messy, but I do love everything Shari Carroll does with her journaling pages, and those are pretty messy, so go figure. Great card by the way, as is everything you do.

  5. I love to try things like you did with the card. I do get afraid of how something messy will turn out. Sometimes it looks great, other times not that great. Lol

  6. The most messy technique I use is dry pastels. I have some distress ink pads I will have to give this a try. Thanks for the giveaway. I hope you are enjoying the new puppy.

  7. I don’t struggle because I have never even thought to try this!!! Great technique I am definitely going to try some time!!! I love the card!!! 🙂

  8. I love your card! You have inspired me to order this stamp and try the distress ink! Thanks so much for the video.

  9. I have tried “no line stamping” and then watercoloring. However, that attempt went horribly wrong! Colors were bleeding into others no matter what I tried. I did two backgrounds with watercolor pencils; there seemed to be more control where the water/color went. My biggest fear with watercoloring is that I will spill the entire container of water all over an otherwise beautiful piece for a card. That’s what happens when my hand tremors act up. But, you just have to go with it!! ?

  10. Sometimes I make things messy by accident and just roll with it… In general I do have a lot of trouble with making messy art!

  11. I usually love everything neat and tidy and within the lines. I was surprised at how much I loved this technique. It was really beautiful and a real piece of art!

  12. I love this look, but I really struggle to achieve it. I’ve finally learned to use texture paste and I love it! It started out to “artsy” for me, but now it’s great!

  13. Love these cards-I recently got back into stamping and I am learning so many techniques from your videos. I tend to like things “neat” and “tidy” so some techniques are way out of my comfort zone!

  14. I love the results of messy techniques but yes, a bit outside my comfort zone to spritz water? Doing my best to get over it, have bought so many lovely watercolour supplies. I would like to see you use the bold colours though, I am sure it will look fantastic.

  15. Look awesome & something I will have to try, although like you & others it will take me out of my comfort zone. Thank you for the inspiration

  16. I can see why you don’t want to go out of your comfort zone….I deal with that daily!! I’m glad to see that you went for it despite that fact!! My goal this year is to 1st….mass create cards for charities and 2nd…to try at least once every new technique I’ve seen & never tried before!!

  17. My first reaction would have been too messy looking for me! Definitely out of my comfort realistic perfectionist point of reference! LEARNING OPPROTUNITY! I’m going in & trying to learn to see the beauty of coloring OUTSIDE the line!
    diane milne

  18. I struggle wit messy as i tend to be drawn to more “structured” designs, although i am experimenting. The look of messy can be very cool!

  19. I like to play, but I always questions if it turned out right when doing “messy” techniques. Which, when you think about it, kind of indicates that I’m not quite in touch with my artsy side!

  20. I’m an accountant and therefore struggle with “messy”! lol BUT, when I’m crafting I tell the left side of my brain to shut up and give it a rest! I’m hoping it will be napping when I try this messy technique 😀

  21. Love the look after spritzing with water. I’m a bit of a control freak even when I watercolor – so this is definitely out of my comfort zone!

  22. I have avoided applying messy techniques in my card-making , but your video inspires me to give this a try.
    Thank you, Jennifer, for another wonderful video.

  23. Messy is not usually my thing so tend to shy away from them. I did buy some Distress inks & some Color Burst colors so need to start playing with them. Thanks for sharing the great video & making the technique not so scary!!

  24. I think messy but artsy is a concept that’s difficult for a perfectionist like me…but as I get older that perfectionist in me is slowly disappearing, and I like that, because it allows me to do more, be more creative, have more freedom with what I do. Being artistic, creating, making does my soul good!

  25. I don’t mind messy cards if they end up looking good. Some watercolor cards are beautiful, even if they’re kind of messy. If they end up looking like a 5 year old made them, I don’t like it and I won’t send it. I feel like people are going to think, “Holy cow! This is awful!” Since, I agree completely, I don’t send them! It seems kind of silly to make and send a card I don’t like. LOL!

  26. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this!! THANKS SO MUCH for sharing the Video too and for the chance to WIN!! I’m good with this look, but I really think it is ALL in the Eye of the Beholder!!?? Have a FABULOUS WEEKEND!! =)

  27. I just watched your Youtube video on using Embossing Folders from 2012. I loved it so much that I thought I would visit your website. I can’t wait to try this waterpaint technique. Thank you for being so thorough in your videos it makes me think, “yes, I CAN!”.

  28. I am just starting to use water colors and distress inks. I love the colors and the reaction of the inks to water is almost magic.

  29. I don’t mind messy projects when they work out 🙂 I once tried a marbling technique with shaving cream and alcohol inks and it was a hot mess and the result was a disappointment. I am going to try it out again sometime. If at first you don’t succeed …

  30. I love ideas to play with ink and watercolor but I don’t seem to get the same results or kind of feel like I’ve
    managed to do something wrong. Love your cards and this wonderful stamp set from MFT. Thanks for a great video.

  31. I simply love how forgiving the distress line is. It allows me the freedom to be creative and not get anxious over little mistakes.

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