DIY “Distress” Stain!

OK, I have been keeping way too clean this week with the knitting so today I just had to get inky and make my own version of Distress Stain. Here is my first project with my homemade stain:


The only thing you need to get to make the stain is the bingo-dauber top bottles. If you play bingo you might be able to reuse actual bingo daubers but I don’t so I found this set of 12 dauber top bottles at Oriental Trading Company for $7.50, they are good quality and refillable! I also got their mini mister bottles that are wonderful and half the price of the ranger ones. I just did not want to recommend either of them until I had the chance to use them but they both get 2 big thumbs up from me! 🙂


The homemade stain is so easy to make and you can use the supplies you already have. Simply fill the bottle 2/3 full of water then I added some cheap student grade watercolor paint in it. I used a whole tube per bottle but the paint was cheap: $7 for all 12 paint colors. Try the Reeves brand, they have it at AC Moore. But you could also use reinker, gouache, liquid watercolors or even fabric dye! I actually used a bit of reinker to adjust the colors a wee bit. 🙂 I will say that the student watercolor paint will not stain your hands like reinkers do!


You can see how vibrant the stain is I made. Since I used a tube of cheap watercolor in each bottle the color is semi-opaque (cheap watercolors are more opaque than artist grade due to the chalk filler they use but still, the paint will not fade as dye or ink is wont to do.) If you want a more transparent stain stick to reinkers or dye. I love how you can scribble on the color like I did under the sentiment or smack down the tip on the paper for a starburst effect like I did on the background paper. Yep, I got good and inky today! 

You can also use this to dye fabric, ribbon, crochet flowers…you name it! I have some other cards I’ve been working on with these stains and I’ll share them with you later, til then happy crafting!


21 Responses

  1. I LOVE that card!! The paint splotches are perfect!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow they are very vibrant love the card u made

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, what a great card! Love the sentiment, too! I have actually been thinkin that I would love some of those stains, but they just cost so much I couldn’t bring myself to buy them. I though someone could probably make their own — so glad you came up with this! Thanks!


  4. Looks like such great fun! Love the colors!


  5. Awesome idea Lindsay, love the card you made too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So nice to see the vivid colors….will remember your tutorial when I need to buy stains…my wallet likes your way!!!!
    Paper Hugs,


  7. Love the card, love the idea! I’m definitely putting this on my “to-do” list. Thanks so much.


  8. Love the sentiment on your card front 😀 This card you created using your stains is really vibrant and quite cheery 😀



  9. I purchased those bottles a few years ago and could not remember where I had gotten them from! Kudos to you and thanks for the reminder AND the tutorial!


  10. Lovely card, thanks the the info on the stains and the dauber bottles.’


  11. Wow! Thanks! I’ll have to try this!


  12. You have so many amazing ideas! I keep finding your blog in varios ways, now I have subscribed by email. Seeing all your posts is a must!


  13. Hey Lindsay, do you know how you could make these permanent when dry like the Tim Holtz version?


  14. Can you use tempera paint instead of watercolor?


  15. I recall that Michael’s used to have their Artist Loft watercolors at a good price. I will have to check it out. Otherwise, I will have to find an online source. Thanks for the info!


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