Distressed Oxide Stencil Background Tutorial

Oh how I could just squeal with excitement as I my order of distressed oxides came in the mail earlier this month.  I had seen videos on youtube of pretty distressed oxide stenciled background and wanted to give it a try for myself.  And was so pleased with the outcome that I wanted to share it with you!

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! The income I make helps me with the expenses of this blog. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Supply List


Color and Blend for the Single Color Background

Because you will be blending to an extend the color onto the paper, it it seems to work best, when you start off the paper.  I used the Ranger Kraft Mat to give myself a slick surface to work with.  My goal is to eventually pick up the Tim Holtz Glass Media Mat, but for now I am just using the kraft mat and it seems to work just fine.  If you dont have either, then a piece of wax paper will work just as well.

For this project, I am using the Neenah Solar Crest 110lb paper.  I find that this paper is very smooth and does not show striations of the paper itself, which lends itself well to this type of technique.  And the paper is a heavy cardstock that I like when making cards.

I created two different backgrounds.  One with a solid color background and another one with two colors are blend from opposite ends of the paper to meet in the middle.  I love the rich colors of these oxides inks.

For the solid color background, turn the oxide ink pad upside down and start off the paper slightly coming in with circles.  Do this to the entire piece of paper until the paper is full of color.  Your fingers may pick up the pigment of the ink, so I recommend that you use a scrap piece of paper when holding the paper down.  The color I choose in for this card is Picked Raspberry.  Such a pretty pink color.

Next heat set the ink with a heating tool. Because the oils from your fingers may smudge the ink, I recommend using a reverse craft tweezer, or just laying it flat down on a surface to heat up. This will speed up the drying process and allow you to hand the paper

Prep the Stencil to be Spritzed

Then lay your colored paper down on a hard flat surface.  You could use a cutting board like this one, or do what I did and use a clip board. Lay the stencil down over the paper and tape it down to the surface, being careful to get the stencil as flat as possible to the card.  I used just regular painter's tape here because it was easy to pull up without bending the stencil. The stencil I used for this card was Gina K Design's Rounded Swirl Stencil.

Next next take a water spritzer and give the paper a good spraying, being careful not to put too much water on the paper so that it will not roll underneath the stencil.

Once you have given it a good spritz, then wipe off any excess water with a paper towel.  Then repeat the process 1 to 2 more times being sure to wipe off any excess in between spritzing.

The oxide ink will react to the water and give it a lighter color effect, almost a suede look.  It is very pretty. Be sure to heat set it once more with a heating tool.

Color and Blend Two Colored Background

For the next background, I wanted to blend two colors together to create a bit of an ombre look. I chose to use the Picked Raspberry and the Peacock Feathers Distressed Oxide inks for the two colors.  This time use a blending tool with separate sponges for each color you are using.  Ink up your sponge, and start off the paper just like you did with the solid color background.  And bring in the ink by blending in with circular motions.  I started on one end with one color and then did the opposite end in the other color.

And as you can see when the two colors come together, they actually made a beautiful third color, purple.

I love how these two colors blend. I love pink, green teal, and purple combinations.  What do you think? Comment down below if you have any other color combos that you think are great together.

I repeated the process with this card using the Gina K Designs Square Mandala stencil.

The outcome was just too cute!

Add some glimmer

I wanted to give the paper a bit of glimmer, so I painted on with my Wink of Stella brush some glitter.  I choose to paint purposely around the patterns but you could just paint in general around the card.

Cool Tip on Die Cutting Words with Foam Craft

The next part of this project is to cut the word die cut out.  I knew that I wanted to make the word stand up a bit but knew trying to put dimensional dots under it would be difficult if not impossible.  I also knew that if I die cut the word out with craft foam, I would have a hard time getting them to line up after the fact.  So I decided to sandwich the cardstock and the craft foam with adhesive BEFORE I die cut the word.

So prepare the card stock, craft foam, and the adhesive sheet all the same size to make it easier on you.  First peel back the backing on the adhesive sheet.

Next I find it is easier to attach the adhesive sheet to the cardstock by placing the cardstock down on the table and place the adhesive sheet onto it from above.  This trick seems to make it easier for me to line up.

Then pull back the backing from the adhesive paper leaving your cardstock with the adhesive on it.

And lastly repeat the process by adhering the card stock to the craft foam from above.

Now you have a nice card stock/foam sandwich ready for the die.

Prepare the Die for cutting

You will want to tape the word die to your card stock so that it does not move in the big shot.  Because this is pretty thick, you may need to run it through the Big Shot a couple of times and you do not want it moving in the process.  I used painter's tape, but you could also use washi tape or a micropore tape.

You will be able to tell if the die was able to cut all the way through by turning it over and seeing how the foam is cut.  If it is not cut fulling, then run through the Big Shot, and maybe put a thin piece of chipboard to your cutting sandwich.  It might just need a little extra wedging.

Next carefully pull the word die cut out and use your poker tool to poke out any extra pieces that are stuck in your word.

Adhering die cuts this thin can be difficult to get straight.  So a trick to doing this is to use a thin strip of painter's tape or micropore tape.  I used just some painter's tape I had around and it was a little too tacky so I just stuck it on my jeans a couple of times to get the tack out of it.  I didn't want it to pull up the black cardstock.

Lay the tape across the die cut so that the word looks straight or however you want it to lay on your card base. Then you will be able to pick up the word with the tape.

Turn the die cut over and use the Gina K Connect glue to put small dots of glue down on the foam.  I just discovered Gina K Connect glue recently.  I love how you can control the amount of glue that goes down.  Check out my review on the connect glue here to see why I love it so much.

Pick up the die cut by the tape ends, and lay it down on your card panel the way you want it. Then carefully pull back the painter's tape to leave the die cut in place.

I like to put a clear block on the card panel to help the diecut adhere onto the panel flat. This also helps straighten out any bowing your paper may be experiencing due to the water introduced in the earlier part of the project.

Emboss the Sentiment

Next I heat embossed a cute sentiment from the My Favorite Things, Good Time to Wine and Because You stampsets.  Then I used a small paper trimmer to it cut down.

I love my banner punch because it makes it easy to cut a notch out at the end of my sentiment. I turned the punch upside down so I can see what is being cut.

Lastly, I mounted the project on a piece of Neenah White Solar Crest cardstock with some Fast Fuse glue.  Stampin' Up! used to sell this adhesive but has since discontinued it.  I love it because it is a very strong holding adhesive.  I was pleasantly please to hear the Tombow actually makes and I can get refills for it.  Tombow markets this product as Xtreme Glue Runner.

Add Some Bling

The last final touches of the card calls for some bling.  I love using enamel and epoxy dots on my cards.  These glossy dots are so cute from Pink and Main. I think it gives it a finished look.  What do you think?

Final project


Download the PDF tutorial with all of the dimensions

Want to recreate this card for yourself? Fill out the form below and you will get access to my Free Resource Library where I have a pdf with all of the cut dimensions to this card.


Watch the Video

Join the Color Theme (Pink-Red-Purple) Card Swap

Would love for you to join me in my Color Theme card swap that is taking place February 9, 2019. It's a mail in swap.  You can get details of the card swap here.

Want to save this Distressed Oxide Stencil Background Tutorial for later? Save one of these pins to your favorite Pinterest Board!

pinable image that shows 4 cards made by brandi mahon at stamp me some love.com. The cards are bright blue, pink, teal and black and uses products made by Altenew, My Favorite Things, Neenah Paper