Challenge: Scratched Up

From rubbing with steel wool to sandpaper, giving an aged look with a brown ink pad to crumpling and then flattening back out some paper, or even using a scratched up looking stamp – this week we challenge you to embrace imperfection and get grungy.

Ashli decided to play with some modeling paste this week…


I wanted to try using some Modeling Paste to achieve a crackle effect. I ended up making a fun Bow with my little experiment and surrounding it with lots of other little bows. This family of bows inspired me to borrow inspiration from last week’s challenge and scrapbook about my family. A little Watercolor and some layering of the remaining crackle work finished off this fun page!

Handcrafted embossed metal flowers were the main focus of Emma’s tag.


I love creating handcrafted flowers for my projects and these flowers, made using grungepaper and covered with metal foil tape are something a bit different but perfect for this week’s challenge. Each die cut bloom is embossed with the Blueprint and Gears Texture Fade and inked with alcohol ink before I used the Tim Holtz Sanding Tool over the surface to scratch away some of the ink on the raised areas. I then added them to my tag as the main focal point for my project this week.

Grungy is one of Suzz’s favorite words so when she saw the challenge she knew she would be distressing the edges.


I was thinking of scratching up the surface of a piece of ephemera. But when I went into the drawer to pull out an old image I spied these sweet 7 Gypsies mini-tags and that was all the distraction I needed. I pulled out all kinds of images to create mini vignettes. I added a lovely sponge of Ranger Distress Ink Walnut Stain around the edges to give it the lovely grungy touch.

Sandra Mouwen made this tag for the sweet found relative girl.

I love those Found Relatives. It makes me wonder who those people were. This cute girl needed to be on a tag that complemented her. I wanted to use some lighter colors I normally don’t choose for the background. Like Victorian Velvet, Wild Honey and Spun Sugar Distress Ink. But before I blended those colors, I first did the paint resist technique with Antique Linen Distress Paint and Sunset Sunrise Stencil. The edges of the tag are all scratched up with the Paper Distresser.

Michelle did some “Pocket Scrapbooking” with scratched vintage photos.


My Snap Binder was the perfect size for “Pocket Scrapbooking” these mini vintage photos. Instead of trying to hide the scratches, I emphasized them with Paper Artsy Stamps by Ellen Vargo. My Mind’s Eye Nob Hill Die Cuts have the prettiest shade of green to compliment the sunny Summer theme.

Meihsia was inspired to create an art journal page with scratched looking edges.

I created an art journal page to remind myself to follow my heart and be daring. On this page, I colored the background with ColorBox Smooch Spritz and distressed the edges with ColorBox Ink Pads. To create the scratched look, I stamped Tim Holtz Cling Rubber Bitty Grunge Stamper Anonymous around the edges.

Barbara says this challenge was made for her!


The use of sandpaper and Distress ink Walnut stain on the edges, is really an essential part of my projects! I think I have made very few without using it, I love the grunge style. This time I did it with my Artist Trading Block, sewing theme, in which I have included many elements and I created a small model with my mini dress form. Its accessories are all signed Tim Holtz: the belt, the flower and even the dress, sewn with the crinkle ribbon.

Andrea got all scratched up while doing some gardening this weekend, so she made some lovely thorn-free Washi tape roses.


A gardener I am not, though I have great admiration for those green thumb geniuses out there who make beautiful things bloom. I always feel like I’m going to battle when I head into the garden, but at least I can make some paper flowers bloom! I made some Washi tape roses (no scratch risk here) with the help of a Sizzix flower die and scads of Washi tape, like this great set from My Mind’s Eye. The roses seemed to be the perfect accompaniment for my tag which features a Tim Holtz “Be Brave” sentiment stamp.

Mona was inspired to create a grungy canvas with scratched edge butterflies.


Striving to create a grungy canvas, I reached for a variety of Distress Ink Refills, Distress Stain and Distress ink to add color to the burlap panel filled with vintage trinkets and die cut embellishments. Wanting to add more texture to the canvas, I scratched up the edges of the die cut crackle painted butterflies.

Anna-Karin created texture with scratches on this mixed-media canvas.

Starting with not much of a plan, I made scratches into wet gesso, which ended up looking a little like a landscape. I used a Tim Holtz elephant stamp which has a scratchy sketched texture. The third type of scratches is into the birds and letters die cut from foil tape. It was fun playing around with dramatic colours and my Distress Paints here.

I (May) scratched off some paint as I made this tag.

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For this week I started thinking about the scratchiness of sand, and that led me to the beach. As I cut loose playing with this tag I ended up using a favorite scratchy distress paint on metal technique, as well as having a great time with texture paste and distress.

For more inspiration click on our design team’s blog links so you can see more photos (and full supply lists) for their projects. Leave them a little comment love while you’re there so they know how they’ve inspired you too, if you’re so inclined.


As always, Simon Says Stamp is giving away a $50 gift voucher that will go to a random entry chosen by random generator. To qualify all you need to do is create a new project that ties in (in any way!) with our theme and post it, along with a link back to this challenge, and add a link here. This challenge will end at 11:59pm on Sunday August 17th Eastern time. We will also be choosing some of our entries to put in the spotlight – a special honor where we talk about why we loved that entry in particular and award a special badge too! For the full rules, read the “challenge rules” posted in the side-bar here on our blog.



  1. Thanks for another super challenge ladies – it took me some time to get here but I hope to be back tomorrow too! Had a lot of fun and the inspirations are fabulous Karen x

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