Water Stamping

by Beverly Gerard

Stamp with water to create a soft look.


  • White cardstock

  • Background stamp

  • Dye ink pad

  • Blending tool, or sponges

  • Paper towel

  • Plate or pie plate

  • Iron (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Sponge your first color of dye ink onto random areas of the cardstock. Aim for a rich application of color.

  2. Step 2

    Use another sponge ink applicator to rub the second color of dye ink onto the uncolored areas of the same cardstock piece. Again, aim for a rich color application, and be sure to blend the color edges together.

  3. Step 3

    Fold the paper towel in half & lay it in the pie plate. Add a small amount of water to completely soak the paper towel.

  4. Step 4

    Pat the background stamp onto the water soaked paper towel, as it is acting as your substitute ink pad. Apply the wet background stamp to the inked cardstock as you would if it were inked.

  5. Step 5

    The wet image will need to dry. As it dries, the image will become more apparent.

  6. Step 6 (Optional)

    Using an iron to flatten & dry the image piece is optional, but I prefer doing so. In this sample, the image was air-dried, but warped.

    Iron on the back side of the image, particularly if image is wet. And, keep the iron moving at all times.

  7. Step 7

    Now you can trim your finished cardstock to the size you wish for your card design

  8. Step 8

    Finish your card.



    Be sure to try it using just one ink, or three inks, etc. & have fun! Don’t want to use a stamp? Just splatter a bit of water onto your inked cardstock for an always-unique design! Or use a mister to lightly mist the stamp … or try misting the cardstock!

Your Turn

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

Questions and Comments

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

Bev, this is a beautiful technique. As a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, I use only SU products. Do you know which of our inks are considered dye inks? I really have no idea, so hope you know. If you don't know, can you recommend a product that meets the "dye" ink standard. Thanks much, CeCi smile
CeCi Smith  |  Wed Aug 8, 2012 at 3:27 PM
Hi TanInUus! Yes, Distress Inks work just fine. My "Sing in the Rain" sample in the Water Stamping gallery was created with Shabby Shutters + Mustard Seed. smile


[I]This is a great technique, so simple and obvious! it will work just as well with distress inks as well I am sure. Now I will have to play
TanInAus | Wed Aug 8, 2012 at 1:14 PM [/I]
TexasGrammy  |  Wed Aug 8, 2012 at 3:58 PM
Hi CeCi!

Stampin' Up! "Classic" ink pads are all considered as "dye" inks. In the above samples, I used Melon Mambo (Classic) and Tangerine Tango (Classic) on SU Whisper White cardstock. You can definitely have great success with your SU supplies!

~Bev / TexasGrammy
TexasGrammy  |  Wed Aug 8, 2012 at 4:01 PM
angela  |  Wed Aug 8, 2012 at 4:42 PM
I have a lot of glossy white paper stock, would this work with that too? Or should I experiment and get back to you? smile
Tess  |  Wed Aug 8, 2012 at 5:14 PM
love this i am going to try it on some cards and see what i come up with. i hope they turn out as pretty as yours. thanks
colleen  |  Wed Aug 8, 2012 at 5:26 PM
How fun to hear your voice and see your hands working (love your nails). Super idea - I can't wait to try it!!!
Nancy Williams  |  Wed Aug 8, 2012 at 5:33 PM
Beautiful technique.........TFS!!
Joyk  |  Wed Aug 8, 2012 at 5:50 PM
Ohhh I love this! Thanks so much. You did gorgeous backgrounds with this.
blujay  |  Wed Aug 8, 2012 at 6:01 PM
Beautiful card, Bev! Thanks for this wonderful tutorial. I tried it and it went much more quickly and easily than I expected!
Lynn McAuley  |  Wed Aug 8, 2012 at 8:07 PM
Hi Lynn!

It went more quickly for you because I wasn't chattering while you stamped! LOL

Glad you liked it!
TexasGrammy  |  Wed Aug 8, 2012 at 8:14 PM
Wondering if the new formulation of Stampin Up inks will work? Hope to try it soon! It is stunning!
Susan Lynn  |  Wed Aug 8, 2012 at 8:21 PM
I really enjoyed watching this tutorial. Love the technique and will definitely try it soon.
Janet Nelson  |  Wed Aug 8, 2012 at 8:22 PM
Hi Susan!

That is a great question! My SU Classic inks are all from before the new 2012 reconfiguration. Hopefully someone will chime in pretty soon to share their experience with the new SU's. wink

TexasGrammy  |  Wed Aug 8, 2012 at 8:28 PM
So simply yet so striking! Thanks for a great tutorial.
Mary Beth West  |  Thu Aug 9, 2012 at 5:13 AM
Ooooh, Bev, this is such a fabulous technique...your card is gorgeous!!!!!!! Love the flourish stamp and awesome colors, too!!!!
Joan Ervin  |  Thu Aug 9, 2012 at 7:02 AM
Thanks so much for this tutorial. I was able to make my background paper in less than 5 minutes, and it turned out absolutely gorgeous!
Anne (jellybeans)  |  Thu Aug 9, 2012 at 3:45 PM
Beautiful card. Reminds me of the bleach technique. Love the colors, it is so hot here too. Very humid. smile Thanks for sharing your project.
Lisa  |  Thu Aug 9, 2012 at 7:24 PM
Thanks for your response, Bev, at TexasGrammy smile about the Stampin' Up! classic inks. Now I know so I can pass along that same information to my customers. Since I have all those colors, I'm going to try my hand at this gorgeous card. Thanks, CeCi smile
CeCi Smith  |  Thu Aug 9, 2012 at 7:39 PM
This technique creates such a gorgeous background! Looks like beautiful damask fabric.
bigfootbecky  |  Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 10:19 AM

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