Challenge: Inky background

Anna-Karin proposed an inky background challenge – I’m intrigued! Will you create a messy effect? Do some distress stamping? Directly apply ink to your background? Take this as a chance to explore and play with ink…

Sandra Mouwen was inspired by ink sprays for her art journal page

I just love inky backgrounds and wanted to use ink sprays for this page. I really like the imperfection of the splatters and in this case: Bubblegum Pink, Vibrant Turquiose and Crushed Grapes. I played around with the Teresa Collins Stripe Stencil using it also as a mask.

Emma loves nothing more than getting inky and creating her own backgrounds for projects.


I love using inks to make my own unique backgrounds and I was in my element using a combination of Brushed Pewter Distress Paint that created a resist for the Distress Inks to give me the perfect backdrop for my Scribbly Bird. I added die cut Holiday Greens for the bird to perch on and added an crinkle ribbon bow.

Andrea created a kid collage with all sorts of inky goodness.


Having ink-stained fingernails is a small price to pay for our craftiness! So although my nails are now tinged with brown, teal and black, I had a wonderful time creating this little scene. Tim Holtz’s Found Relatives have become a favorite supply of mine, so I decided to highlight one brave gal in particular with happy yellows. I also love Tim Holtz’s Trellis die, which I used for the background, along with some of my favorite Distress Inks like Tumbled Glass.

Suzz was reflecting on resolutions for the New Year and used a journal page to capture her thoughts.


The Dina Wakely All the Gals set had me thinking about how we measure ourselves. This inspired a journal page with a inky background using shimmery yellow mist which happened to be the end of the bottle and I just poured it out and ran it all over my background. I added a lovely mix of Peacock Feather Ranger Distress Spray over the top. this journal page had me thinking of what my new year’s resolutions should be and what I should be striving for in the New Year.

Anna-Karin loves to sit down and play with inky techniques.

This week, I was just playing around with inks and stamps and let the page lead me. The Small Creative Journal takes ink and water techniques very well. After some white embossing, I used Distress Spray Stains for the first layer of the background and continued with Simon Says Stamp stencils and Distress Ink. The final layer was done with stamping both with Distress and Archival inks using lovely stamps by Darkroom Door.

Ashli put one of her favorite inking techniques to use this week…


My favorite way to use Distress Ink is with a stencil and a blending tool and this week, I decided to do just that! Using a stencil I created from the Block Talk Die, I simply blended Spun Sugar and Pumice Stone to create my background of alphas. A bit of layering with some My Mind’s Eye papers, and this layout about my daughter’s first word is complete!

Meihsia was inspired to created a colorful background with various inks.

I just love to play with all kinds of inks on my art journal page. To create this inky background, I sprayed Dylusions Ink Spray on the watercolor paper, then sprayed some water and Distress Spray Stain Picket Fence to soften the color. The edges of this page was distressed using Tim Holtz Distress Ink and Clearsnap ColorBox Art Dauber.

Kitschy prints inspired Michelle’s Inky ATC’s.


The 70’s were were known for their funky graphics. Paper Artsy’s Electica3 flowers have a Groovy Vibe that I couldn’t resist. By using an Alcohol Ink background, and lots of inks and sprays, I was able to re-create the Kitschy feel of these “Far Out” ATC’s that Grandma would really dig.

Mona was inspired to create a duo of inky pages in her art journal.


One of my New Year’s resolutions is to explore art journaling more often so this challenge was the perfect motivation to do so. After creating the background using various die cut embellishments, a coat of Gesso was applied. Once dry, the fun began layering a variety of inks including: Vintage Photo Distress Spray Stain, Picked Raspberry Distress Spray Stain, Dried Marigold Distress Stain, and Vintage Photo Distress Ink. I completed both pages by distressing the edges as well as adding random background stamping using Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

This challenge has arrived at the right moment for Barbara!


My Art Journal had long waited for to have a suitable cover. I decided to use my favorites of all time: Distress in every possible version! Distress ink pads to color the stamps, Distress spray stains to color the background. Their colors sprayed on gesso become even more beautiful and vibrant and I hope that my project makes you want to participate. Working with inks of any kind is absolutely relaxing and fun.

I (May) used a stamp + ink for my background.

005 copy

This stamp requires a lot of ink – and I picked out some lovely Distress Ink in Chipped Sapphire which does a lovely job of bringing it to life. Add in some flecks of embossing powder, stars, and a little stitching and I quickly had a mixed media card I’m going to end up matting on canvas instead of mailing!

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 January 18th 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. So excited to try inky backgrounds this week!! Very inspired by the team’s beautiful examples.
    <3 J

    jwoolbright at gmail dot com

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