Tuesday Tutorial: Stamped Wash Background

tammy tutterow art washes

Today I want to share with you the technique I used to create the washed background using Distress Stains and Specialty Stamping Paper.  I really love the look of it and think it works particularly well with the message of this stamp, “Art Washes away from the soul the dirt from everyday life”.

Begin by placing the stamp face up on a nonstick craft sheet.  If you are using a cling mount stamp, you don’t need to put it on a block, simply lay it on your craft sheet.  Apply Distress Stain to the surface of the stamp.  Apply the stain generously so that you have puddles of color.

You may apply multiple colors to the stamp.  I like adding the colors in straight lines, but you could apply the color randomly in any direction or pattern.  (The technique samples feature Broken China and Peeled Paint Distress Stains.)

Place a piece of Specialty Stamping Paper onto the stamp.  You can lay the paper into the ink and immediately lift it up or you can press randomly over the back lightly with your fingers.

This piece was laid into the ink and lifted up quickly.  It is very fluid looking.

These second examples are after reinking (without cleaning the stamp from the first inking)  and by adding a bit of pressure over the back of the paper before lifting.  The lower image is a second stamping without inking and with a bit of finger pressure on the back of the paper before lifting.  You can see that reinking without cleaning the stamp creates much more blending of the colors than in the first example.  Anything after a second inking is probably going to get muddy looking so keep stamping until you have used up the stain on the stamp.

Photo 1 is the first stamping.  Photo 2 is after adding more ink and a bit of pressure.  Photo 3 uses Glossy Cardstock and was a fresh inking and light amount of pressure.  Photo 4 is also on Glossy Cardstock and is a second stamping without reinking and a bit more pressure before lifting.  I think the difference between the Specialty Stamping Paper (left) and the Glossy Cardstock (right) is striking.

Here are the same four examples after they were dry.

On my finished card, I used Broken China, Bundled Sage, and Vintage Photo for my background.

After the background was dry, I added Vintage Photo Distress Ink to the edges of the Specialty Stamping Paper piece and also to the edges of my plain white cardstock card using an ink blending tool.

I stamped the face image on smooth white cardstock using Coffee Archival Ink.  After cutting out the image, I inked it using Antique Linen Distress ink with an ink blending tool.  I applied more ink to the outer areas of the face so that her nose and front cheek area would be lighter.

I applied Permanent Red Tin Panpastels to the cheek and lips using the Panpastel foam applicator tool.  I added a touch of Ultramarine Blue Tint to the eyes for a very subtle touch of color.

I added a light edging of Vintage Photo Distress Ink with an ink blending tool to the edges of the face piece before adhering it to my card.

For the final touch, I stamped the word “art” onto a piece of Specialty Stamping Paper using Jet Black Archival Ink.  I colored the letters with Broken China Distress Stain.  After drying, I cut the letters out and inked the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink using an ink blending tool and then adhered them to my card.


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  1. Shelly Schmidt says

    Love this- and the instructions ) I have some time to play today- I love the accents you added with the face and Pan Pastels. I am very visual- so love the pictures too!

  2. Carol Watson says

    Nice card – must try this technique. Looks like it will be fun the play with, thanks

  3. says

    Nice card, thx for sharing the technique! I had to try it myself and although the result is a bit different, I’m very satisfied with the result. I linked back to your blog!
    Thx Tammy!