Distressing Ink for Pennies

I love distressing edges on cards, shelves, crafts, etc.
I had made up a way to get that distressed look
before I realized that you could buy
distressing ink pads at the craft stores.

I finally decided to purchase a few,
thinking that it would make distressing so much easier.
I was completely shocked how much the
tiny ink pads cost but still bought a few.

After using the ink pads,
I realized that they didn't make it
any easier in my opinion...
if anything it was more difficult.

So I'm back to my old way of distressing edges
and wanted to show you how I do it!

I just use cheap acrylic paint
that you can get 3 for $1 when it goes on sale.
I love using black, brown, and white, 
depending on the project.

Next you'll need a paper towel and some Q tips.
I get the paper towel BARELY wet,
however, you can also use it dry.
Having it wet makes the paint go a little farther
and on a little more smooth.

Wrap a part of the paper towel around your finger
and barely dip it in some paint.

Dab it on a paper to get the excess paint off
and then lightly wipe it along any edge.

Wipe lightly at first but as the paint comes off,
you can get a little more aggressive
with rubbing before you're ready for more paint.

I like to keep a few wet Q tips handy
because you can either
remove paint quickly with them if you don't like it
(which is another bonus using this technique over
the distressing ink pads...)
or just rub the paint and work it in a little better.

This costs pennies and I like the look
and technique a lot better because it
allows for changes and lets me fix mistakes.

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Hope this helps and thanks for stopping by!
I'd love to hear your own distressing edges secrets and tips!



  1. Yes, I've used your technique successfully. I also tried buying one brown pastel crayon at an art supply store, smudging with my finger after a very light application to the edge of paper. But how about this? I was in a hurry and didn't have any of the above so I used my brown EYE shadow on some paper crafts! It worked great. Necessity IS the Mother of Invention!

    1. Now that is really awesome! I love that you used eye-shadow! :)

  2. Hi!
    Visiting from Blue Cricket linky party :)
    I really like your family tree. very nice...

  3. Thanks so much for sharing this! So glad you linked to Things I've Done Thursday!

  4. Nice tip! I could never figure out that stamp pad thing. This looks easy to do and I love that it is inexpensive!!!


I'd love to hear any of your questions or comments!

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