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Magazine Collage Challenge – Distress Ink Pads Only

I thought it would be fun to challenge myself to use only magazine images and Distress water based dye ink to make backgrounds, papers and ephemera for a daily journal page! Collage ideas for using magazine collage with Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads in your mixed media artwork.

Magazine Collage Challenge - Distress Ink Pads Only

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Challenge “Rules”

I am making a “challenge book” for myself where I use a technique per page (like the Embossing Mixed Media Page). So the challenge for this page was to use ONLY Distress Ink pads to make all of the paper, ephemera, etc and then to pair it with magazine pictures.

Now for me this was WAY out there! I am more of a painting collage, or even permanent dye inks kind of gal, but I was always seeing the cool stuff that the card makers were using with the Ranger Inks that allow for water reactivity!

I used ONLY distress inks for backgrounds, ephemera and stamping!

Magazine Collage Using Just Distress Inks Video

Products Used In Video

Yield: 1

How To Do Magazine Collage With Just Distress Ink Pads

Magazine Collage Challenge - Use Distress Ink Pads

Tips and ideas for how to make a magazine collage using just distress ink pads for the background and ephemera.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Active Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Difficulty Medium
Estimated Cost $20


  • Distress Ink Pads
  • Stampers Anonymous Faded Type Stamp Set
  • Strathmore Mixed Media
  • Flower Petal Die
  • Clock Die
  • Art Glitter Glue
  • UHU Glue Stick


  • Scrapbookers Foam Pad
  • Ranger Mini Blender Tool
  • Big Shot Die Cutting Machine


  1. Select magazine collage images

    Select Magazine Collage Images
  2. Use distress inks and mini blending tool to make a background

    Make background with distress ink pads
  3. Dip a stamp into water, stamp and then remove ink with a paper towel.

    Use stamps and water to remove ink
  4. Add stamps with distress ink

    Use stamps and distress ink
  5. Make patterned background papers for ephemera

    Make patterned background papers for ephemera
  6. Use dies & Big Shot machine to cut out shapes

    Use Big Shot and Dies To Cut Out Shapes
  7. Assemble magazine collage parts

    Assemble Magazine Collage Pieces


This was a super fun challenge and making the papers was a fun way to have magazine collage elements from Distress Inks.

Magazine Collage, Magazine Art FAQs

I always get a bunch of questions when I do this kind of project, so here are a few that you may have today!

Distress Ink Pad Features

These distress inks are water reactive meaning you can blend them with water like I did on the flower petals or even “remove” some of the dye by using a stencil and some water.

I have to say that it was fun to be able to manipulate the background, but it was much less color saturated than when I use acrylic paint which can hold its pigment, even when diluted.

Paper Collage Art

Some may say that I “cheated” because I used “good paper” to make the pages in a junk journal (one of the collage artists I really love has STRONG feelings that junk journals should only be made of junk!)

But because distress ink is fancy, using it on really slick mailing pages would not have worked. It wouldn't have dried correctly and I would have had to fight it the whole way!

Could You Use Scrapbook Pages For This Kind of Journal Page?

I may do a scrapbook page challenge, but FOR SURE distress would work better on mixed media paper, tags or kraft stock than it would on printed scrapbook papers!

Can You Use Other Kinds of Things For Collage?

You can use WHATEVER you want to for collage! Papers, photos, magazine images, envelopes, anything!

The thing that bums me out about the gal with the “rules” is that I worry that you won't want to make art because you may be “doing it wrong”.

For sure I used the Distress Ink Pads in a way that card makers don't but that doesn't make it “wrong”.

You can use any of your supplies in any way you want!

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