Distress Markers

Brought to you by Ranger Industries

Distress Markers are vibrant inks in dual-tipped pens with both a fine-point and brush suitable for coloring, journaling, stamping and water-based ink techniques.


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  • >Markers are available in 49 vibrant colors

  • >Water-based inks coordinate with other Distress products from Tim Holtz and Ranger

  • >Markers have both a brush and fine tips for stamping, coloring, detail work and shading

  • >Cardstock is a durable 118lb

  • >Cardstock has a smooth side for detailed stamping and a textured side for blending

Product Description

Manufacturer Description:

Twelve new vibrant hues of this timeless color palette complete the Distress Marker assortment and coordinates with other Distress products from Tim Holtz and Ranger. The new colors are available as a 12 color set, in an updated 49 color set and individually as open stock. Distress Markers are waterbased markers and like other Distress ink products are reactive with water.

Keep track of Distress Marker color options by downloading the Distress Markers Color Chart.

Tim Holtz® Distress Watercolor Cardstock is the ideal surface to use with Distress Markers. Pre-cut to 4.25” x 5.5” sized sheets, perfect for card making, this durable 118lb cardstock has a smooth side for detailed stamping and coloring and a textured side for creative blending. Blend Distress Marker colors easily with the Tim Holtz® Detailer Water Brush. Use this cardstock for most techniques that involve water as it resists buckling and dries quickly.

Learn more about Distress Markers in this video:

View the Product Sample Gallery


  1. Explosions of Color

    By Michelle Giraud

    I'm a big fan of all Ranger Distress products, so when I found out that we were reviewing the Distress Markers, I was really excited. These markers definitely lived up to my expectations. They offer bright, vivid color and amazing blend ability. Each little doodle turned into an explosion of color on the paper, I just loved it!

    Along with the markers, I tried the Distress Watercolor Cardstock, which ended up being my preferred paper to use with the markers. I tried the markers on a variety of papers, but the Distress Watercolor Cardstock offered the most amazing results when combined with water; the ink simply floats across the top! I used the markers and the blender pen for some of the more detailed projects, then I simply scribbled on the card stock and spritzed it with water for beautiful, blended rainbows of color. Try this same technique but run it through an embossing folder before spritzing... Pretty fantastic results, and I put my favorite project in the Product Focus project gallery.

    Once I got started with these markers, I really had a hard time putting them down. There are so many possibilities, and all involve lots of gorgeous, vibrant color. Definitely a fun product to play with!

  2. Marker Magic

    By Bev Rousch

    One of my absolute favorite ways to color is watercoloring, and most of the time I use markers for that. I take coloring very seriously, and I was super excited to try out the new Tim Holtz markers to see how they stacked up to my favorite markers from another brand. There was a lot hanging in the balance here, guys. Nail biting.

    These colors are gorgeous and perfect for all the on-trend papers out right now. I recently bought 4 newly released designer paper packs from different companies, and these Tim Holtz colors match them all. He's a smart man, that one. I like how there's a brush end and a writing tip. Both work beautifully for their purposes, and the color flows nicely.

    The first test I did was to color one end of a piece of watercolor cardstock pretty heavily with marker and then spray it with water and brush the color lightly, graduating to the other side for an ombré effect. What I found was super exciting. While the marker color does blend nicely from dark to light, the color stays true and vibrant. It doesn't muddle or shoot off into tiny veins of red or green where it shouldn't, like some inks I've done this with. Winning.

    Then, I started coloring a small stamped image. In small spaces, coloring can get tricky, but the brush tip end worked beautifully, and the colors blended easily in tight spaces.

    I got brave and tried a fun technique where you throw salt on your watercolor and hit it with the heat gun. The colors pool around the salt but not under the salt, leaving little pock marks and spots of color around them. So fun! Would I have tried this with other markers? Probably not. Tim Holtz sort of just makes you want to get your technique on. Techniques keep things fresh and exciting, and that is such a shot in the arm for us crafters.

    In short, this review has me ditching a brand of watercolor markers that I've been using for...well, since my start in stamping. Game changer! I'm gleeful, friends!

    Thank you Tim Holtz, man of awesome. Bravo and jazz hands!

  3. Wonderful Addition!

    By Jen Shults

    I have been a big fan of Ranger’s Tim Holtz Distress Markers from the very moment the first set was released, and I was very excited to hear they were adding new colors to the lineup. I was also very pleased to hear they were adding their own brand of watercolor paper and water brushes. I was anxious to get these new products home and get started experimenting!

    The new colors of Distress Markers were a definite welcome addition to my collection. Ranger has filled out the color collection quite nicely! I’m so happy to see a true red, a wonderful bright green and a fabulous sunny yellow. All of these new colors have the same wonderful qualities of the existing markers and blend beautifully when activated with water.

    I am always on the prowl to find the perfect watercolor paper so I was excited to test out the Distress Watercolor Cardstock. I love the wonderful bright white of the paper, most watercolor paper has a slight yellow tone but this paper is perfectly white. It has a gorgeous texture on one side and is very smooth on the back. I tested both sides with my projects and found that the textured side seemed to release the pigment of the markers when activated with water a bit better than the smooth, flat side, though both were wonderful to stamp on and accepted pigment stamping ink perfectly. In stamping and embossing, I also discovered that this paper seems to be virtually static free. I was very impressed with how easy it was to heat emboss and that very little embossing powder stuck to the un-inked areas of cardstock. This cardstock also holds up to a heat gun quite well with little buckling. The only down side I found with this paper is that it did tend to pill when layered with pigment, but not terribly so.

    I also received two water brushes, the Detailer Water Brush and the Broad Water Brush. Both are excellent quality water brushes and the Broad Water Brush is by far my favorite! I was so thrilled with the consistent water flow and wonderful bristle quality. The Detailer brush is also very nice, though use caution when painting smaller images. I had some trouble with too much water flowing to my image after a gentle touch with the brush.

    Overall, I am impressed by all of these wonderful products from Ranger and think they are a perfect addition to the Distress family of products my favorite being the wonderful new colors of Distress Markers!

  4. Color Beautiful

    By Teresa Kline

    The Tim Holtz Distressed Markers are perfect! Really, they are the best coloring tool I have ever used. I am one of those who does not color much, and I am not the best at it when I do. But, even I can color with these makers. I love them! They are vibrant in color, so forgiving and blend so well. I loved using the Tim Holtz Distressed Watercolor Cardstock with them too, it is such a nice quality of watercolor paper.

    I also like the fact that you can color onto the stamp with the markers and stamp them out, a great way to apply color where you want it. There are lots of color choices, and these markers can be scribbled on a palette and mixed to give you the absolute perfect color. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or somewhere in between, the Tim Holtz Distress Markers are a great addition to your creating supplies.

    Color beautiful with Distress Markers.

  5. Wonderful Markers

    By Beate Johns

    I bought the older Distress Marker as soon as Ranger came out with them in 2012. I love Tim's Distress Ink pads, and I loved the markers as soon as I tried them. When we received a twelve pack of the new markers, watercolor cardstock and the detail water brush from Ranger, I was very excited.

    I had already bought the wide and medium water brushes quite a while ago and use them whenever I watercolor. The broad brush works wonderful for creating watercolor washes or for coloring bigger areas. The medium one is great for adding color to regular images. The new detail brush is perfect for smaller images and details. The watercolor paper has a smooth side and a textured side. The smooth side is great to stamp on and gives you a perfect stamped image. The paper is beautiful to watercolor on.

    I really enjoy the 12 new marker colors that came out...very vibrant and fun colors. The markers have a brush, as well as a fine tip. I used the fine tip to doodle and the brush side to color images or apply ink directly to the stamp.

    Markers are such a versatile, affordable product. These are a nice way to try the Distress color palette (or add to it if you are already a fan like me!).

Product Gallery

See a gallery of creations made by our review team using products and materials from Ranger Industries.

View the Product Sample Gallery

Questions and Comments

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What you'll pay

Tim Holtz® Distress Markers MSRP $3.49 each
Tim Holtz® Distress Watercolor Cardstock MSRP $5.99 each
Tim Holtz® Waterbrush – Detailer Tip MSRP $9.99 each

Where to buy

You can purchase Distress Markers and other Ranger items directly from:

Ranger Ink
Simon Says Stamp
Inspiration Emporium

Items may also be available from your favorite stamping and paper crafting retailers.

View our Product Gallery