Bleaching is a great way to add subtle patterning to your backgrounds, and there are multiple ways to apply this technique to your card designs. This feature will share a few ways of combining bleaching and faux-bleaching with stamps, stencils, dies and embossing folders, and each method gives a varied amount of intensity when it comes to the bleached look too. For those of you who aren’t keen on using real bleach, not to worry, there are plenty of alternatives using water to create a bleached look.

For the faux-bleached look, you can create two different results using stencils, spray through the stencil to give the positive image, or spray the stencil and flip onto your card for the negative look. You can also use the faux-bleaching technique with stamps and embossing folders too. When using real bleach you may be reluctant to apply bleach directly to your stamps so a way around this is using it with a paintbrush, painting the bleach over an area (or inside the lines of a stamped image) giving a ghostly effect. Or, you can also create your own stamps using Funky Foam, then apply your bleach – this stamp is then fully disposable too, so you won’t have bleach lying around your craft room. Both of these techniques can also be used with water for the faux-bleaching technique too.

In this feature, I have been bleaching onto a Distress Ink Blended surface, but why not transfer these techniques over to whatever inky medium you prefer, such as Distress Oxide, Spray Inks or watercolours? So, whether you use real bleach or try the faux-bleaching method with stamps, stencils and even your dies, you won’t be disappointed with the unusual results you can achieve, so just experiment.


Ink-blend a white 10x13.5cm panel of white cardstock using Distress Ink


Create a custom foam stamp using a background die and funky foam, then temporarily adhere it to a large acrylic block. Cut a small piece of Cut-N-Dry Foam and locate a bottle of domestic bleach


Pour out a small amount of bleach onto a glass mat, and soak it up into the foam. (You might need to add more so the sponge is saturated). Then simply add the bleach to your stamp as if it were ink


Place the inked panel colour-side down on top of the stamp. If you add more bleach to the stamp, you’ll get a stronger impression


Press down firmly to make sure your card has come into contact with all areas of the stamp