Try Something New | Distress Markers

Have you played with Ranger’s Distress Markers from Tim Holtz yet? I was jumping up and down when I saw them. I never really got into Copics. I played with them a little but I’m way too left brained to get truly artistic with them and the cost was  prohibitive for me.

Distress Markers run about $3.50 each, which makes them so much easier to collect. Some colors can be found in collection packs at Michael’s and Hobby Lobby (so you can use your coupon!). I’ve been collecting these markers for a few months now but I haven’t had a chance to play with them. Until now.

Try it: Distress Markers with stamps

I’ve been wanting some good stamp markers for a long time so I was really excited when I saw Tim Holtz demonstrate these markers directly on a stamp (click to watch the video). I already adore distress inks so if the colors are the same and the properties are the same, I knew they would be fabulous!

Here is my first attempt at using these markers:

I used these markers on a stamp set from Hero Arts that comes packaged with matching Sizzix dies. This allows you to die cut your stamped images. I purchased this set at Archiver’s before I left Nashville but have not used them yet. (So many new products…so little time.)

I tried these markers in two ways:

  1. To color the image stamped in black ink
  2. Applied the markers directly onto the stamp.

I wasn’t crazy about my colored images. I was purposely using contrasting colors (rather than darker and lighter shades of the same color) to see what would result. I like the depth of color, but my coloring skills are rudimentary. I would like to try again with Tim’s water brush to see if I could get better results. The water brush would blend the colors better.

But I’m thrilled with the results I got from using the markers directly on the stamps.

You get more of a watercolor effect and the color is a bit muted. It was really easy to blend the colors right on the stamp. You can’t cross-contaminate the colors. You can go from darker colors to lighter colors and they work seamlessly.

Since the first experiment turned out so well, I got out the larger flower that came in the set to see if I could duplicate the good results. I used the markers directly on the stamp, but instead of the hot breath as Tim shows in the video, I spritzed mine with one spray of water from a mini mister and then stamped the image.


These Distress Markers are well worth the money. If you are a fan of distress inks, you will be happy with these markers. But remember, they are water based markers and will not give you the same results as the alcohol based Copic markers. That is fine by me because I am not an artist and I’m not looking to intricately color images.

I love that more companies are providing thin metal dies to coordinate with their stamps. I am not really into fussy cutting so this is the perfect solution for cutting out your stamped image. I will be adding more sets of these stamps and dies to my collection soon!


I am super impressed with how awesome my stamped images turned out. I am going to be doing a lot more stamping with these markers! I am going to pick up Tim’s water brush too and see if that doesn’t give me better coloring results.

Now…I just need to round out my color collection with some reds, yellow, maybe purple…

Thanks for stopping by today!


  1. Wow, what you did with these markers is beautiful! I love the look of using the markers directly on the stamps.

  2. oh your stamped images look awesome. the cards are beautiful with the clean look!! i have seen these markers but have yet to try them. mmmmm maybe i need to to get some! LOL!!

  3. Tammy – I actually have an post for Scrapbooking From the Inside Out kit club next week about the red distress marker we got in the kit! Would you mind if I linked your blog in my personal blog post when I talk about it? Just for more tips for the readers. I love your butterflies!!! 🙂
    And I love that you are talking about multiple colors. I only have the red one 🙂

  4. I love your demo and review. i have been wondering what special things these markers could do.
    I like the stamp and die combos too!

  5. Love the butterflies! Even though I’ve heard of the markers, yours is the first review I’ve read on them. Definitely going to check out the videos and see about a purchase! Awesome!!

  6. These look like fun – I just might have to give them a try.

  7. I did not need to see this 😉
    I have been on the fence about these marker and I have only heard great reviews about them.
    But I have stampin’ Up makers and the Copics. Thought that was all I needed.
    Thanks for the enabling, teehee.



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