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What are Distress Crayons and Can You Write Over Them?

What are distress crayons from TIm Holtz? Video showing how to use them in an art journal and what pens will write on it by Carolyn Dube

What do I do when I have a new art supply?  I play with it to get to know how it works and how well it gets along with other supplies.  As I experimented with Distress Crayons by Tim Holtz I wanted to know if I could I stamp on it and what pens would write on it. To find out, I created an art journal page in the video below.

Watch What are Distress Crayons on YouTube.

I’m thinking that these dreamy colors will become a free Spark of Art-spiration in an upcoming newsletter.  Not signed up yet? Just click here!

What are Sparks?  They are downloadable papers full of color and pattern for your play.  You can find out more about Sparks here.

The page started with just random scribbling comparing the Distress Crayons and Slick Stix (a kids art supply). These things are so dang creamy, it’s like coloring with butter.  And then when I added water to it…the little kid in me who is addicted to finger painting was jumping for joy!

What are distress crayons from TIm Holtz? Video showing how to use them in an art journal and what pens will write on it by Carolyn Dube

Would I be able to stamp on top of the Distress crayons?  Yup! But I did let the page dry completely before I stamped with a permanent ink pad. A bigger challenge was the uneven page that made it hard to stamp on since there was something bulky on the page before it.

What are distress crayons from TIm Holtz? Video showing how to use them in an art journal and what pens will write on it by Carolyn Dube

What about pens?  Could I write on top of Distress crayons?  Yup.  I did have to watch out for contamination.  The white pens picked up some of the color on the tip but in the video you see how I cleaned it off on a piece of paper so that wasn’t an issue at all.  The only pen that had any issue was the regular office store pen.  Anywhere that had a lot of the crayon on it, it wasn’t as good as where there was watered down or less crayon but it did still write on both areas.

What are distress crayons from TIm Holtz? Video showing how to use them in an art journal and what pens will write on it by Carolyn Dube

The stenciling was a breeze on it since I used an ink pad to do it. A group of women were added with the Finding Your Tribe stencil, a few words with Mixed Media Mail, and the pattern from Ornamental Compass Screen.

What are distress crayons from TIm Holtz? Video showing how to use them in an art journal and what pens will write on it by Carolyn Dube

Here is the final page and there really isn’t any white space left on this page…just the way I like it!  Be sure to stop back on Tuesday for the next Let’s Play video and link party inspired by art supplies I found in the hardware store!

What are distress crayons from TIm Holtz? Video showing how to use them in an art journal and what pens will write on it by Carolyn Dube

Here are the supplies I used. Some of these links are affiliate links which means I get a small percentage. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and you are helping me keep this blog and my videos ad free! Thank you- I don’t like ads any more than you do!


{ 18 comments… add one }

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  • Zsuzsa Karoly-Smith March 13, 2016, 5:47 am

    Thanks for this introduction to Distress Crayons, Carolyn! They look a lot like Gelatos – but it’s always nice to have a different colour range across the brands!

  • Sheryl March 13, 2016, 12:51 pm

    Just got my distress crayons, have only used mine with the brush that came in the kit. Worked just like any watercolor pencil or crayon. A nice soft water color effect. Nice to see the colors can be use both ways.

  • Tracey Boudine March 13, 2016, 2:55 pm

    Loved this video and the art journal page. Can you use the distress crayons over writing, stenciling and stamping? Does it show through? Maybe starting with stencils or writing and layering crayons, then another layer of writing or stencils? Thoughts on advantages or what effects would distress crayons be a better option than watercolor?

  • Rose McGuinn March 13, 2016, 3:34 pm

    Hi Carolyn!
    Where’s your link party?
    It would appear to not have been linked to your main Let’s Play page…?
    Sorry to be a pest, but I can’t get beyond the previous posts before this most recent. I had to follow a link in my stats to find the current one in the first place.
    Hope this helps.
    ~R

    • Carolyn Dube March 13, 2016, 5:29 pm

      Hi Rose, there is not a link party on every post, just on the Tuesday Let’s Play posts. There will be a new one Tuesday (or later Monday night depending on where you live). Hope this helps!

  • Corrine March 13, 2016, 6:57 pm

    Another tool/toy to play with, oh my I just saw this on my Blue Moon email, gotta get me some. xox

  • Jean Marmo March 13, 2016, 8:13 pm

    What a wonderful comparison!!

  • Sharon Field March 13, 2016, 11:13 pm

    Loved the video……..my distress crayons just arrived and I wasn’t quite sure what you could do with them. Thanks for the tips on using them. It really motivated me to go and give them a try! Thanks for sharing.

  • Maryann March 14, 2016, 11:50 am

    Just seeing how you put a page together frees my spirit. Love your videos and as a newbie to all this love the fact that you put all the products below. Thanks for feeding my muse.

  • Liane March 14, 2016, 3:37 pm

    I enjoyed this Tutorial very much, it will play a big part of my Purchase of these Crayons, THANK YOU !!!!!!

  • Sharon March 15, 2016, 6:41 pm

    Hi Carolyn, thanks for this really informative and fun comparison video. I love the spark you gave us from it. Do you think that distress crayons are more like or the same as gelato’s? They seem to be of a very similar texture etc. Thanks again, Sharon xx

    • Carolyn Dube March 15, 2016, 9:36 pm

      Sharon, There are similarities between gelatos and distress crayons but I need to experiment with them side by side but when I do I will be sharing it!

  • Julie Meyer March 16, 2016, 2:33 pm

    Hi!
    I am really enjoying the free workshop, Permission to Play. Unfortunately, both of the Lession 4 & 5 videos did not work properly, so I only got a few minutes of each. Is there something I can do differently to view them? I only got about 8+ minutes of the first, and the second one (the book binding) I got even less of. I tried video #4 on Vimeo and got only about 2 minutes before it cut off.

    Thanks!
    Jewels

    • Carolyn Dube March 16, 2016, 2:56 pm

      That sounds like a browser or isp issue Jewels but there is no way for me to know for sure. On the questions page in the workshop there are some solutions for you to try and a link to Vimeo’s help page too for more complex issues.

  • Bernice March 17, 2016, 10:15 pm

    Great demo of the distress crayons and I sure like your finished page!

  • carin chambers March 19, 2016, 12:31 pm

    found you today on pinterest and really loved your…..you! could fill in a string of words but it is the whole feel of the video and colors lots and lots of colors…I have trouble leaving white space…so you made me smile….a kindred spirt…Thanks

  • Lena April 3, 2016, 10:42 am

    I am new to art journaling and could go nuts ordering everything in site. I bought a small sample pack of gilatos but when I saw these crayons I decided to splurge on all the colors! Thank you for the useful tutorial and ideas?

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