Monday, May 24, 2010

Ink Blending Tool - Faux Wood Grain

Several people have requested more techniques using the Ink Blending Tool so I thought I would start with a quick and easy technique that is virtually mistake free. I like to start people off with this technique because it is great for getting a feel on how to swirl the ink as well as starting off the paper. Practice really does make using the tool effortless.

IBT - Faux Wood Grain

IBT Faux Wood Grain 001


Ink Blending Tool & Foam

Distress Inks

Adirondack Acrylic Dabber


Heat Tool (optional)


1. With a light touch, begin raking the paint across the paper. When I say a light touch, I just want to the paint dabber to barely come in contact with the paper. Begin off the paper and continue working back and forth until the entire piece has been covered.

IBT Faux Wood Grain 002

IBT Faux Wood Grain 003

Now the more pressure you add the more prominent the "faux wood grain" will become. For another variation you can create knots in the wood grain shown below....

Somewhere on the paper add a streak of paint...

IBT Faux Wood Grain 005

Add additional grain working around the original spot of paint adding gentle curves using lighter and heavier pressure.

IBT Faux Wood Grain 006

You can add more than one knot as shown here... A second knot was added in the lower right hand corner.

IBT Faux Wood Grain 007

2. Let the paint dry completely! This is very important...if you try to ink before the paint has dried it will just become a smeared mess.

IBT Faux Wood Grain 008

After your paint has dried your ready to move on to the ink!

3. Begin off the edge of your paper and move the IBT in a circular motion moving onto the paper as you go. This will give you a nice smooth transition onto the paper. Continue to swirl the IBT over the cardstock. When you need to re-ink, simply remove the IBT, re-ink and start off the edge closer to where you need more ink.

Remember - NEVER stop moving the IBT on the cardstock. It will create a nice square of ink that more than likely isn't in the game plan.

Now you will notice almost immediately the faux wood grain begin to pop right off the page!

IBT Faux Wood Grain 008

Continue inking until the entire piece of cardstock has been colored. You may remove any excess ink which may be left on the paint by swiping with a dry cloth or paper towel.

IBT Faux Wood Grain 011

Your faux wood grain paper is now ready for use!

The left is one I made in the instructions. The second example has a light streaky wood graining and 2 colors of DI.

IBT Faux Wood Grain 012

The left example was made using Rusty Hinge and Wild Honey DI's. The second example was made using Walnut Stain, Vintage Photo, Rusty Hinge and Barn Door.

IBT Faux Wood Grain 013

These two examples didn't photograph well...the one on the left is actually Copper Grain with Forest Moss DI. It's NOT pink ;) The second example has a more vibrant look that it appears. I used 3 colors of DI over the grain but it seems to be washed out here.

IBT Faux Wood Grain 014

A couple things I want you to keep in mind when working with this technique. If you make a mistake adding ink or if you have a square where the foam stopped, no worries! Most of the time you can add one or more layers of ink and blend it away. If that doesn't work you can always go with a darker shade of ink ;)

When you're creating your faux wood grain ~ you don't have to stick with brown or black can make your wood any color you want! No limits!

Try adding two or more colors of Distress Inks ~ as you can see in the examples it really adds so much to the finished look.

Tomorrow I'll try to have a few finished cards which incorporate these faux wood grain papers!

Tomorrow we'll also be finishing up the BFF Album and talking about bindings.

Hope you stop by and check them out!


  1. How clever and creative idea.
    Thanks! Cuchy

  2. Very interesting!!! I know I need more practice..but what else am I doing!??!! :)

  3. that is so cool. you come up with the best stuff

  4. Love this...wood grained backgrounds are great to have on hand!


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!