Tim Holtz Distress Crayon Review and Comparison

Hi friends! Today we are going to take a look at new Distress crayons and see how they compare to other watercolor crayons so you can see how they work and compare the products you might already have.


Watch the video to see how!

Here is a list of products we looked at:

TH Distress Crayons ($13 for 6)
Faber Castell Gelatos/Gel Sticks (Gelatos 4/$10, Gel sticks 12/$10)
Target Watercolor Gel Crayons ($3.49 for 8)
Michaels Recollections Color Splash watercolor crayons ($24 for 12)
Sparkle gel crayons (kids section of art store or book store $10 for 12)
Portfolio Watersoluble oil pastels ($10 for 24)
Prima watersoluble oil pastels ($20 for 24)
Lyra Watercolor crayons ($19 for 12)
Caran D’ache Watercolor Crayons ($2.25 each)

Honestly, I did not think the Tim Holtz Distress crayons would be ay different that Gelatos. Granted you can do many of the same effects with all of the media here. The Distress crayons were the least watersoluble of the bunch which would be cool for resist techniques. I am glad they are different because I don’t like buying the same thing in a different package and I think it will compliment what I have.

But if you are looking for a watercolor crayon I’d give these a pass because they are not going to release the pigment like other brands will at a lower price.
If you want to purchase any of the products I mentioned here are some great shops! (Affiliate links) have a look around as every shop carries many of the crayons I mentioned above.

Hallmark Scrapbook (great prices but they sell out quick!)

Simon Says Stamp (Their selection can’t be beat)

Blitsy (it is hit or miss but you can find a steal)

I hope you found this helpful and it inspired to use the things you have and be informed when making new purchases. Thank for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

14 Responses

  1. Loved your comparison. I appreciate how you have products for all price ranges and give your honest opinion of each.

    The price you have listed for the Recollections Color Splash is the Canadian price. The list price in the US is 14.99, but I have never seen them not on sale, usually at 40% off, so that makes them 8.99, with occasional sales of 50% off. (I just purchased some and the US price is on the outer plastic wrapping, but not the inner case for some reason)

    Did not know about Blitsy before. Wish I had not clicked on that link. I’ll be wasting so much time wandering through that site.🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The Tim Holtz distress markers are made to dry quickly. There’s just a short time to be able to move the color. The color needs friction to move it (e.g., with your finger tool) or water will move the color if done quickly. They’re designed this way so that if you want to use distress inks over top of them, they will not blend with the ink – the markers resist the ink. These markers were not meant to be another gelato type crayon, but a different type of product.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the info, it is very helpful. I have the Tim Holtz but haven’t tried them yet. Hope you have a good week.


  4. I have the entire set of the Caran’dache crayons so I avoided the Tim Holtz crayons, however, I got one set from a sale and I too was surprised that I liked them – they are very slick going on. TH is doing another “Creative Chemistry” class at the Online Card Classes and he is going to be using these specifically so I’m looking forward to learning some additional techniques. Thanks for your honest review.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lindsay, you were about to say something about dry gelatos (maybe how to reconstitute them?)… Maybe misting with water? Thanks!, M.


  6. Thanks for comparing all those products. I love the fact that you compare low priced supplies and more expensive ones. I had the same question as Mary G. What can be done with dry gelatos? Thanks again!


  7. Thanks, have a lot of Tim holtz products, but have held off buying the crayons, very informative video.


  8. Thank you for doing this comparison. I have a lot of the Distress Inks and stains so have been very curious about the new Distress Crayons. My husband saw the Recollections crayons just this past week and offered to get them for me with a coupon, but I said I was waiting for the Tim Holtz ones. Now, since you said the Distress crayons don’t even match the Distress inks, I guess I’m not so interested in them. That was the main reason I was waiting for them to appear locally in stores. And their lack of reacting with the water in your video was a real shock to me since that is what Distress products are known for. Very strange, in my opinion.

    I like the look of the Target ones here, but I won’t shop at Target because of their insane bathroom policy so I guess those are out as well.

    Hmmm… I have some old Stampin’ Up watercolor crayons that I never used after buying them so maybe I’ll get them out and see what they do. Hopefully they are not totally dried out.

    Oh, that reminds me, I thought at one point in the video you were going to say something about what to do if your Gelatos dry out, but then you went in a different direction. If you do have any hints about dried out Gelatos, I’d love to hear them.

    Also, If you have any further info about the colors of the Distress crayons matching the Distress Inks, I’d love to know. I have been seeing nothing on the blogs I read about the Distress Crayons and these cardmakers usually have to have the newest products to use and talk about. 🙂


    • You will love your SU crayons!
      I suggest misting the gelato with water or a water glycerin mix and recapping to revive them.
      I will swatch out the crayons with the inkpads I have and see what I find on matching, I know another reviewer said the chipped sapphire crayon did not match the marker. I’ll post my finding:)


      • Thank you, Lindsay! I have not yet jumped on the watercolor trend for my card making, but keep telling myself I need to do some of it. I have the SU watercolor crayons and also their watercolor pencils and also a travel size set of Koi (I think that’s the brand.) watercolors. So, it’s time I did something with them.

        Thanks also for the Gelatos tip. I’ve had some of mine for a while and fear they might be dried up when I go back to them.

        I will look forward to any further info you get on the Distress Crayons. Your video made me not as anxious to get them, but I do love all my Distress inks and stains so I’m still trying to learn enough to make a good decision on the crayons.


  9. Fabulous comparison, Lindsay! I’m one of those people who want to dash right out and buy the latest-greatist new thing. Then I’m dissapointed because I don’t understnad what to use when. Yes, this was a bit overwhelming, but it’s a video, hey?! I can watch it over and over. Thank you.


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