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Ink Blending 101

Ink Blending 101

Happy Friday All!!

Goodness – three posts in one week. I think that’s my record, lol!

People frequently ask me how I apply inks to white paper using an ink applicator. Most people want to know how to avoid those rectangular marks! I realize it’s kind of hard to see when I’m going so fast in my card videos. So… I created this video tutorial with little tips on how to get the best coverage.

Hope this helps! Have a great weekend! 🙂



  1. wrote on June 8th, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Brenda B

    Thanks for sharing your observations about the different inks and papers and for teaching us how to blend inks.

  2. wrote on June 8th, 2012 at 9:55 pm


    Thank you so much, Darlene!! That was an awesome tutorial! I really “get it” now. I really appreciate you taking the time. I can’t wait to give it a try.

  3. wrote on June 9th, 2012 at 10:11 am


    You rock! Never knew there was so much difference between Nina and SU cardstock. Thanks

  4. wrote on June 9th, 2012 at 11:01 am


    Thanks for the tutorial!! Would it be easier to use sponges and can would the final product look the same? I’ve bought one of those applicators and I’ll definitely give it another shot, but I find sponges work faster for me (who has little patience! LOL)

    • wrote on June 9th, 2012 at 9:56 pm

      Darlene DeVries

      Lori – I tried sponges and found that the coverage was a little spotty and it actually took me longer to do. But, that could be because I tend to work with a small amount of ink at a time.

  5. wrote on June 9th, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Jacky Wilson

    Darlene, thank you so much for all your fantastic tutorials and hints. You are wonderful and we appreciate you sharing. Yours is a website that I check daily!!

  6. wrote on June 9th, 2012 at 12:37 pm


    Great lesson Darlene! Thanks for sharing your techniques. It always looks so fast on your videos, so this was great to see it slowed down and how much pressure you apply. After getting frustrated with my results, I will try it again with these tips in mind!

  7. wrote on June 9th, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Loly Borda

    Thank you so much for generously sharing that tip! I love all your creations.
    Loly Borda

  8. wrote on June 9th, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    judy jung

    Thanks for the video! I have ruined so many projects trying to distress the edges; and Iget those rectangular shapes a lot! I will try again, remembering to change the pressure as I move inward with the ink! I love your work!

  9. wrote on June 9th, 2012 at 5:45 pm


    Very useful and well done video, as always!

  10. wrote on June 9th, 2012 at 5:54 pm


    Hello Darlene: Thanks for this video. I know that, with a little practice I will be able to master this technique. You really are an awesome and generous teacher, sharing with all of us what took you time to learn. What you said about Nina and SU papers is amazing. Who knew that you can get different results using different papers. This is what I meant in the letter I wrote to you. There is a world of products out there and some might work better than others for what ever project you have in mind. I love the fact that you use different brands of stamps, inks, paper, tools and accesories to create your wonderful cards. Really Darlene, thank you so much for taking the time to help all of us. God Bless you.

  11. wrote on June 9th, 2012 at 8:49 pm


    Hi Darlene,
    Thanks for the great tutorial. I have trouble getting a smooth application and will try out your instructions. As with Judy’s comments above, I also have a “rectangle problem!” I’ll give it another try. Hope you are having a good summer. Can’t wait to see your next video. As always, you are the best!

  12. wrote on June 10th, 2012 at 2:20 am

    Cindy in Oregon

    Great tutorial! Have you used SU’s glossy card stock with both inks using this technique? I can blend SU’s inks using 1/8 of a wedge of one of their sponges quite well on that paper. That craft mat makes all the difference too!

    • wrote on June 10th, 2012 at 9:30 am

      Darlene DeVries

      Cindy, I’ve used the glossy cardstock at someone else’s house, but I’ve never purchased my own! Maybe I’ll need to put some on my list for experimenting!

  13. wrote on June 10th, 2012 at 7:02 am

    Janice Repass

    Your videos are consistently my favorite of all craft artists. Thanks for sharing your talents with us……if you ever feel like posting a daily tutorial, I’ll be first in line. 🙂

  14. wrote on June 10th, 2012 at 7:24 am

    Marcia in Virginia

    Hi Darlene, I am new to your website … your tutorial is AWESOME! Thank you so much for sharing, I will be back often!

  15. wrote on June 10th, 2012 at 7:33 am


    Thanks Darlene for a great tutorial. I’ve been using a different foam applicator for each ink pad color! Yikes! Had no idea I could reuse the foam applicators for the same color family inks. For me, that was the best part of the video… can you image me trying to store and keep together the foam applicator with the ink pad! Thanks for taking the time to share this great tip!

  16. wrote on June 10th, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Cathy E

    Another great tutorial Darlene. I also appreciated the tip that you use the foam applicator by color family. Good to know!

  17. wrote on June 10th, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Brenda Hessian

    Thank you for the tutorial. I have trouble with blending SU ink colors, am i not working quickly enough?

  18. wrote on June 11th, 2012 at 4:34 am


    Fantastic video Darlene ! Although, I think You explained it before, briefly in one of your videos, I think it was a Xmas card and I’ve remembered it well. But it was very interesting to learn the difference between those two brands. Thank you so much Darlene for sharing your knowledge ! Hugs from France !

  19. wrote on June 11th, 2012 at 6:17 pm


    Different paper/different color, using the same pad for the color family, who knew?!!! Thanks for the help. I have tried blending and always have the rectangles, so I gave up. I’ll try again. I was trying to do a very, very light distress around an oval with no luck at all. Too heavy handed, I guess. Your videos are very helpful and easy to understand. Thank you.

  20. wrote on June 11th, 2012 at 10:02 pm


    Three posts in one week? My birthday has come EARLY this year!!! Thanks, as always, for sharing your amazing talents! ~ Mary

  21. wrote on June 12th, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Joan Van Leeuwen

    Thanks, Darlene. GREAT video. I have so much to learn!! Should I ever reink my Distress Ink pads or just buy a new one when they go dry?

    • wrote on June 12th, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      Darlene DeVries

      Hi Joan – I plan to buy a reinker when mine go dry.

  22. wrote on May 25th, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Rhonda Miller

    I was wondering if the new Stampin Up ink pads affect this technique. I’ve heard they’re much juicier. I’ve searched your blog, but haven’t found if you’ve already talked about this. I have the old (old! – before the change to the ink pad case) stamp pads, but am thinking about adding some of the new colors.

    I love your blog, by the way! You explain things so well, and your cards are beautiful.

    • wrote on May 25th, 2013 at 6:58 pm

      Darlene DeVries

      Hi Rhonda, someone asked me that before, but I can’t remember where I answered it! The ink is exactly the same, so the result will be the same. However, the new ink pads are definitely juicier. As a result, it’s really important to “stamp off” your applicator to rid of the excess ink before starting your application to the cardstock. Maybe over time it won’t make a difference, but I’ve noticed it with new pads.

  23. wrote on August 16th, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Lori K

    I never thought to use one for the same color family. I have lots of distress inks and little pads that I switch out to the wood handle. I had the same problem with the adhesive coming loose on the velcro and then coming off the base when I removed the pad to swap them out. My clever hubby used a staple gun to staple the base to the wood. It never comes off now! I also have little velcro circles with adhesive to the lid of each ink pad to keep the pad with the color. Simple, and helpful for organizing, but I’m thinking I may go to a color family system now. It would mean a lot less swapping of pads.
    As always, thanks for the tips!

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