What is Ink blending?

Ink Blending is the art of creating beautiful coloured effect where colour flows seamlessly from one to another, creating an ombre style effect.

There are so many types of ink and blending tools available that it can be quite daunting to get started with ink blending. In this complete guide to ink blending we will be sharing lots of tips and advice for you to achieve great, professional looking results.

Ink Blending Tips for Beginners

  1. Make sure you use the right paper! For beginners it is best to start with very smooth cardstock and something quite thick to absorb the ink. Go for a gsm over 210.
  2. Pick the right blending tools - there are so many different kinds but start with something basic like these CraftStash Mini Ink Blending applicators - they're very cost effective and will give you a great result. Alternatively you could start by using a basic make-up sponge.
  3. Pick some nice juicy inks! Distress Inks or Distress Oxide inks are favourites amongst our CraftWorld members but there are loads to choose from and you can have lots of fun experimenting with different inks to blend with.
  4. 4. Use a smooth mat that you can blend ink on to start, this way you will get smooth edges to your blending as you glide from the mat to the cardstock.
  5. Build Colour Gradually! Take your time experimenting with how your applicator picks up ink and how much you need, start with a 'less is more' attotude and build up the colour gradually

Try more Ink Blending Techniques

We have found lots of great SkillBuilder articles on ink blending in the huge CraftWorld Archives - we've linked to them all below and will continue to add more as we create them for you all - have fun trying these fun ink blending techniques.

Ink Blending with Stencils 1

Ink Blending with Stencils 2

Ink Blending onto Black Cardstock

Ink Blending with shadow die-cutting

Using Dies as Masks when Ink blending

Ink Blended Bokeh Backgrounds

How to make your own blending tools

We asked CraftWorld members to tell us about their top tips and favourite products when it comes to ink blending.

Has to be Tim Holtz for me distress inks, Hunkydory smooth card, and I use fat stencil brushes to blend. @Tattys

I started with make up sponges but found I was too heavy with them. Moved onto cheap shaving brushes - better results but issues with bristle hardness. Am now firmly in love with using the round make up brushes @CraftingScaly

Starting off the card is a good tip - I tend to blend on a plastic mat (I think it was the base of a dessert in another life). My tip would be if you are blending say orange and red, lay down the orange, then lay down the red, then go back with the orange over the area the 2 colours meet. @scrapmate

Am agreeing with previous comments, distress and distress oxide ink pads or any juicy ink pad. Any good quality super smooth card but some interesting effects can be achieved on textured card too. I used to use cut and dry foam but am now a round make up brush convert. @CraftyBabs

Find all of the great advice over in the forum discussion - Ink Blending Tips

We also found this really useful ink blending do's and don'ts video which has so much great advice from blogger 'It's Me JD' in just a few minutes - CLICK HERE to watch the video.

Ink Blending Do's and Don'ts