Wrinkle-Free Distress

by Sherry Cheever

Create gorgeous backgrounds in just a few minutes.


  • Non-Stick Craft Sheet or alternative

  • Three Different Colors Ranger™ Distress Inks

  • Water Mister

  • Heat/Embossing Tool

  • Shipping tag or cardstock


  1. Step 1

    Swipe the inks across the non-stick surface, by lying felt to surface and wipe across. Try not to overlay the inks, as this will contaminate the colors.

  2. Step 2

    Mist the inks with water until small beads form.

  3. Step 3

    Lay the paper into the watered ink to pick up color. It is not necessary to twist or turn the paper. Take paper out of ink.

  4. Step 4

    Use heat/embossing tool to dry the paper. The paper may curl, but when dry will flatten out.

  5. Step 5

    Add more color to the paper by placing in ink again.

  6. Step 6

    Dry paper once again with heat tool.

  7. Step 7

    Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have the desired level of color and layers. Remember to dry each layer before repeating.

  8. Step 8

    Using the paper just made, complete card.

    Special thanks to Tim Holtz for allowing me to create this tutorial based on his technique.

Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Wrinkle-Free Distress. 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.

Great idea - could you tell me which stamps you used and what pens to colour in. Love the finished card

Sylvia Y  |  Fri May 22, 2009 at 3:26 AM
Sylvia, if you visit the Wrinkle-Free Distress Gallery, you'll find my card with all the information. Thanks.
Sherry Cheever  |  Fri May 22, 2009 at 3:36 AM

Gorgeous card! Another technique on my list and in my card making "arsenal" (LOL) I can't wait to get some misters so I can experiment.
Grace  |  Fri May 22, 2009 at 3:57 PM
Wow! I am impressed. When I saw the last image of the tag...I had some serious doubts about this technique...then I saw your finished project and my jaw dropped open! Wow, this is fantastic! Thanks for sharing. It's absolutely gorgeous!
Dana Bincer  |  Fri May 22, 2009 at 8:01 PM
I'm glad I tuned into this tutorial...I tried to give my one distress color pad to my sister because I couldn't get the look I wanted with it. Luckily, she had one-same color-already, so I kept it. Now I know how to use it in a way that I really like. Thanks for saving me the ink pad, but now I need (or should I say want) to buy more!!
Debbie  |  Sat May 23, 2009 at 5:57 AM
kimmiek  |  Sat May 23, 2009 at 6:25 AM
Great tech., but what type of paper did you use? Thanks! Marj
Marj Miller  |  Sun May 24, 2009 at 1:47 PM
Marj, I can only assume that you are talking about the paper for the actual card. I used Prism for that. I used a manila tag for the actual background stamping. You can use non-glossy white for that if you don't have tags.
Sherry Cheever  |  Sun May 24, 2009 at 1:53 PM
Sherry, thanks for the tutorial and the chance to learn new things. I'm beginning to enjoy the many offerings on line!
Peggy Brewer  |  Tue May 26, 2009 at 10:02 AM
wow that is great. the card is beautiful will give it a go
marcelle baldwin  |  Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 11:01 PM
OH... I have been wondering how to achieve this look! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS TUTORIAL! I can't wait to give it a try!
Nancy Jensen  |  Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 2:46 AM
What a great technique! Thanks for linking this tutorial to your Spellbinders posting today!
Liz S.  |  Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 9:00 AM
I ordered a craft sheet this week, it might arrive today. I'll start playing with my distress inks then. Your tag is beautiful.
Eveline van Heijst  |  Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 11:33 PM

I am currently trying to "play" with my Perfect Pearls. Did I read correctly to add some Perfect Pearls to a mister?
Linda Appel  |  Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 5:53 AM
Yes, you can add perfect pearls to a mister and add water. It will give you a pearlized finish. If you add water based ink, it will be pearlized color of your ink.
BadSherry  |  Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 6:40 AM
This is beautiful, thanks for sharing!!
Tess  |  Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 11:25 AM
Oh so cool! thanks for the great and 'not too difficult ' tutorial. I can't wait to try it.
bluemoon  |  Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 10:21 PM
Wow, Sherry.. what a great technique, love your final artwork using this technique too, beautiful!!
Sharon Field  |  Fri Mar 4, 2011 at 7:07 AM
Wow - this is stunning!! Love the effect with all the different colours mingling together to create beautiful tones. Thanks for showing us how to do it!
Jocelyn aka JoBear2  |  Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 5:13 PM
Do you think I could let the paper air dry? I don't have a heat embossing tool :(
gotthebug818  |  Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 2:37 PM

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