Distressed Alcohol Markers

by Joan Bardee

Combine alcohol markers and distress inks for a unique look.


  • Outline Stamp, (Waltzingmouse Roses in Bloom used here)

  • Waterproof black ink

  • Alcohol markers

  • Distress inks

  • Water mister

  • Paper towel


  1. Step 1

    Stamp line image (large open spaces work best) with a waterproof ink on white or cream cardstock.

  2. Step 2

    Being careful to avoid touching the stamped image (alcohol marker may smear waterproof ink), scribble a dark alcohol marker near the center of each part of your image.

    Practice on scrap paper to select a marker that coordinates with a shade of distress ink.

  3. Step 3 (Optional)

    Add a bit more coloring with a lighter alcohol marker.

  4. Step 4

    Take a Ranger Distress Ink pad and apply it face down directly over your image, twisting in a circular motion.

  5. Step 5

    Mist with water.

    The more water you use, the more the Ink will dissolve and reveal more of the alcohol marker underneath.

  6. Step 6

    Blot with a paper towel and set aside (or use a heat gun) to dry.

  7. Step 7

    When almost dry, cut out with scissors.

    It is easier to cut out your image when the cardstock is a bit damp. Too wet and the cardstock will be too fragile to cut.

  8. Step 8

    Finish your project.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Distressed Alcohol Markers. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

Thank you for this great tutorial, who would ever think to use the ink pad over the copic/alcohol markers. I am definately going to try this out in the morning.
thanks again...
anya  |  Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 4:05 AM
I am haven't used this coloring method before, and I will. Thanks for the reminder to clear emboss for added depth.
Trish  |  Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 5:08 AM
Terrific tutorial! Love Joan's work.
Sandra K  |  Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 5:15 AM
This is awesome Joan! Thanks for sharing!

Gorgeous card too!
Colleen  |  Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 6:04 AM
Thanks so much for this tutorial..I have copic markers and so seldom use them. I have been inspired to try again! Thanks a bunch!
Fran Luscher  |  Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 6:04 AM
Great tutorial. Thanks so much. I need to try this technique.
Trisha  |  Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 6:26 AM
Beautiful! What a fun technique!!
Martha Stone  |  Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 6:49 AM
I will have to try this! It looks stunning.
Marlena M  |  Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 7:07 AM
This is pretty cool....will have to try this...tfs
Gloria Westerman  |  Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 8:20 AM
Are there brands of ink pads you can use in place of Ranger Distress Ink? Will any dye-based ink pad work?
Betty R.  |  Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 8:21 AM
Hi Betty,
Why don't you try yours. Every water-based ink pad reacts a bit differently when the ink is misted with water.
beate  |  Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 8:32 AM
Looks like a really fun technique that creates stunning results.

I don't have any Copic markers, but I do have lots of Sharpies. Wondering if they would work instead?

I also have Alcohol inks & wonder if I could 'paint' with them instead of Copics. I would think they would coordinate nicely with Distress Ink colors since they are all Ranger. Mixing a little Metallic or Pearl Mixative to Alcohol ink would be interesting to try.

I think I would also try applying Distress ink with the foam applicator and/or DTP with the pad to achieve color variations on multiple flowers.
La Fonz  |  Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 9:18 AM
Brilliant! What a great technique. Thank you.
toodlesyall  |  Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 10:09 AM
I haven't tried this technique with other dye ink pads, but why not give it a go? Ranger distress ink pads are wetter than the average dye pad and react with water in a different way, so you may not get identical results.

Also, I have not tried this with a Sharpie, but I suspect the results would be similar. Thanks!
Joan B  |  Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 11:22 AM
What are alcohol markers? I have not heard of them before also the ink pad. I use stampin up markers and ink pads.
Darla Pichard  |  Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 5:42 PM
do you have to use special paper for the copic pens

regards ellen
ellen lightfoot  |  Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 7:13 PM
great technique. I'll be trying this one soon. Thanks.
lacyquilter  |  Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 7:20 PM
Copic markers are an alcohol marker rather than a water based marker such as Stampin Up. You can find a lot of information in Tools and Techniques here at SCS or just google Copic marker.

You don't need special paper for this technique -- basic cardstock works fine. Distress Inks are a particular type of ink marketed by Ranger. You can google Ranger Distress Ink pads and you will find a lot of information. The ink is wetter than regular dye ink pads. HTH
Joan B  |  Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 7:43 PM
WOW... love this combo and idea... now I want to go try it! gorgeous card too!
Rose  |  Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Beautiful and innovative, Joan--great job!
Debbie Olson  |  Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 3:11 PM

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