Friday, June 13, 2014

Acrylic Block Stamping

In conjunction with the Art 'n Soul newsletter each week, we are going to try to present a tutorial on a new technique.  I have had a lot of people ask me about watercolor stamping using dye based ink pads and acrylic blocks.  I first showed this technique on my blog here.  One of the most frequent questions I have had since this posting is where did I get the round acrylic block I used on those cards, and I'm sorry, but I really don't recall, and I have not been able to find this exact block in a web search.  I decided to try this technique using square and rectangular blocks to show that it's beautiful in any shape.

First I assembled some Distress Inks and some pieces of watercolor paper (Strathmore 140 # cold press).  I think any dye based ink will work for this technique, but I particularly like Distress Ink.  I think the colors stay very true.

I cut 2 pieces each of the same size paper, that would be appropriate sizes for the acrylic blocks I was using.  The blocks I chose to use are the Tim Holtz 9-piece acrylic block set.  I chose this set because it comes in a lot of sizes in squares and rectangles.
Tim Holtz set of 9 acrylic blocks

First I applied ink directly from the Distress pads onto the acrylic block.  My first try was using 3 colors, but I found I liked the results better using only 2.  Be sure to apply the colors in separate places on your block so that you don't mix your colors on your pad.  If you can't avoid that,  just be sure to use the lightest colors first.

In this example, I used Distress Inks in Mustard Seed and Seedless Preserves.  After applying the ink to the block, spritz water onto the ink, pretty liberally, but not so much that when you turn the block over the ink will drip off.  I like to mix about 1/4 tsp of Perfect Pearls Pearl into my spritzer bottle.  This will add a beautiful glimmer to your colors

When your ink is beading up and starting to run together, turn your block over and stamp onto your watercolor paper.  Press down hard and leave it on the paper for a minute to allow the color to soak in as much as possible.

I noticed when using these blocks, which have grid etched into them, that the grid actually shows up in the stamping.  I loved that look, and made sure that the side I was using was the etched side.

There was still ink on the block after stamping once, and this is the reason that I cut two pieces of paper.  I spritzed the block and stamped again.

In many cases, I preferred the second stamping, and the grid showed up even better on the second piece.

If there are dark blobs of ink that you don't like, just touch a clean paper towel to them to blot them up

I can now stamp on any of these, and they will make gorgeous cards

These are all of my experiments (first and second stampings).  Besides the first two colors of Distress Ink, I also used  Picked Raspberry, and Chipped Sapphire.

Notice in the above photo that I still have ink on my block; also notice the second stamping in the top piece is a little light?  I spritzed my block once more and applied it to the second stamping on the top.  Since the previous ink had dried, this just added another layer of color, and I really like how it turned out.  Just have fun with it and experiment.

I made this card with the second stamping of the larger piece above.

Stamps used:
Magenta 0684.F  Poplar Leaf
Magenta 07.875.F  Always

Stamping was done with Distress Inks:
Shabby Shutters
Dusty Concord
Forest Moss

Gems are from Hero Arts Pearls & Gems Mixed Accents - Foliage and Floral

I hope you give this a try!


  1. I just love that!!!! I can't wait to try it!!!

  2. I can't wait to try it. I didn't realize the grid lines would show up; I love the effect. Kerri, let's try this!

  3. Awesome technique...can't wait to try it!


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