Direct To Paper (DTP)

by Lydia Fiedler

Add ink directly on to your cardstock with your ink pad.


  • Neutral colored Cardstock
  • Dye and pigment inks, large and small
  • Chipboard pieces (optional)
  • Stamps
  • Embossing folders and die-cutting machine (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Direct to paper just involves using your ink pad as a stamp.

    Apply the lightest color you are working with to the paper first, so you don't contaminate your ink pads.

    Make a stripe with one end of the narrowest side of the dye based ink pad, pressing firmly and dragging the ink pad about two inches across the center of a white card front.

  2. Step 2

    Using a second, darker color, and overlapping slightly, press and drag the narrow end of your ink pad in a stripe next to your first stripe.

  3. Step 3

    Repeat step two with your third color. If the edge of your inkpad is curved or leaves voids, you can go over each stripe multiple times if needed.

  4. Step 4

    This is the finished background.

  5. Finish your card with stamps.

  6. Step 5

    Direct to paper can also be used to create faux textures, like wood. Start with a base color of dye ink (grey used here) - and make rough stripes vertically on the card. Layer additional dye colors and pigment inks (aqua used here) to create a distressed, pickled wood look.

    The background of this paper was created with the Faux Barn Board technique.

  7. Step 6

    Pigment inks are perfect for creating opaque colors on chipboard elements.

  8. Step 7

    Use the DTP technique to apply aqua pigment ink to the base of a cameo chipboard, and white pigment ink for the silhouette piece for a beautiful vintage element.

  9. Step 8

    Using small dye based ink pads, rub the raised part of dry embossed cardstock to get dramatic contrast or a distressed, faux tin look.

  10. Step 9

    Use punches or dies to create small accents.

  11. Step 10

    Use a variety of ink colors and embossing folders for unique looks with this technique.

  12. Arrange these pieces on a finished card.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Direct To Paper (DTP). 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.

Terrific and so colorful, Lydia! DTP is one of my fave things!
Julie - justwritedesigns  |  Wed Jun 8, 2011 at 10:07 PM
This was a TERRIFIC tutorial. Awesome ideas, but amazing production value! Thanks so much for sharing!!
Richard  |  Thu Jun 9, 2011 at 6:04 AM
What an exceptional tutorial! It was worth every second of watching it! I learned so many techniques that I KNOW I can actually do. Thank you so much!
I am so excited!
Traci S.  |  Thu Jun 9, 2011 at 12:21 PM
This video was fantastic. I would never have thought to make a background with your stamp pads. I absolutely love all the ideas in this video. Thank you very much for all the time you invested in making this video. Thank you again.
Jeri Blaufuss  |  Thu Jun 9, 2011 at 12:28 PM
Thanks Lydia for a terrific technique! I´ve given it a try! smile

Birgit/Biggan  |  Thu Jun 9, 2011 at 12:58 PM
thank you so much - what a great but so simple idea and with such effect. I love it.
Enchaning Beauty  |  Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 8:31 PM
Excellent tutorial...great speaking & teaching creative ideas!! Thank you so much! Loved it:)
Saré Deome  |  Sat Jun 11, 2011 at 7:37 AM
I love this technique and can hardly wait til I can get to the store to buy my slick paint and do this for my cards.

What is Potter's Clay Ink ? How do you use it ? I have not heard of this before.

Adele  |  Sat Jun 11, 2011 at 1:42 PM
Hi Adele! smile

Potter's Clay is the name of a color of Memento Dye Ink - I have the Dew Drop shape - the small teardrop shaped pad I used.
lydia  |  Sat Jun 11, 2011 at 1:54 PM
You have the best tutorial I believe i've ever seen!!! I'm so inspired, I'm headed to do some cards! smile
Runnin' In Flip Flops  |  Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 11:19 AM
Love this technique. Easy but with a lot of impact.
Kim  |  Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 12:05 PM
Love your tutorial! I need to make a quick Father's Day card today and this technique will sure come in handy.

Jackie  |  Tue Jun 14, 2011 at 7:36 AM
Thanks so much for this varied and very lovely tutorial! I especially like the techniques with the embossing folder since I just started working with them.
S. Carter  |  Tue Jun 14, 2011 at 11:13 PM
Love the 3 color DTP idea. I've made several different cards with that technique this week. I'm a fairly new card maker, so LOVE all the ideas. Thanks
Lynn  |  Sun Jul 3, 2011 at 7:13 PM
Such great ideas! Who would of thought it's sitting in front of me, duh. Thanks for the tips!
Darlene peterson  |  Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Page 2 of 2 pages  <  1 2

You need to be logged in to comment


Splitcoaststampers's privacy policy