TUTORIAL: Ink yourself happy with Diane Ingram

Hi Everyone, Leila here! I wanted to introduce myself to the Mama Makes readers, as I will be helping the lovely Loti share some beautiful makes and ‘how to’ projects from the Mama Makes Design Team and guest bloggers. You may see me in and around the Facebook group and even sharing some of my own makes on the blog and beyond. Don’t forget to pop over and like the Mama Makes Facebook page for more info on what’s coming up and the odd cheeky discount code!

This week, I wanted to start with the lovely Diane from the Mama Makes Design Team. This make was so popular when posted on the Facebook group, we thought we would ask her to show us how she created her beautiful masterpiece!

Inky Panels

One of the easiest way to make an original card is to create an inky background. Team that with one of the unique text stamps from Mama Makes and you have a special card that can suit many different ages, genders and occasions.

As you can see I have a bit of an addiction to inks (and all things messy).  Each set does have different properties and can behave in different ways when applied to paper and card…. which is a great excuse for some messy testing!!


But one thing I have discovered is sometimes ink does need a little helping hand to appear totally free form. It’s all to easy to get carried away with overloading the paper with too much ink, too much water and too many colours …trust me my bin has an interesting selection of backgrounds that resemble a muddy puddle.



To create my recent happiness card (beautiful words from the Mama Makes Jumbo Watercolour set) I used my new Ecoline inks on Watercolour paper. I did find it helps to prime (stretch) the paper first with a very fine mist of water which I allowed to semi dry (vigorous wafting did the trick), this is to try and minimise warping of the paper but is not crucial to the actual inking process.

To get started….

  1. Select your inks, have a fresh pot of clean rinsing water. A soft bristle brush, fine tipped brush and a blotting tissue (an extra tissue is useful if the ink pools or runs, just lightly touch the excess with the edge of the tissue but avoid blotting)



….then it’s time to play.


Working in panels, one colour at a time, swish some water on a section with the soft brush. (Only apply the water where you want the ink to flood) Wet the paper but avoid “pooling”.

Dip the fine brush into the ink and lightly touch the wet section until the area floods. Allow to settle and then start on the next section.



It is important to work with a clean dry brush,  so ensure the fine brush is well rinsed and blotted on the tissue before dipping into the ink bottle…its easy to contaminate or dilute your inks so be careful!!!!! It is advisable to work from a palette or use the lids….AND….always keep open bottles away from elbows, table edges, little fingers and clumsy crafters (can you guess I am talking from experience)!

It really is personal preference on how much water needs to be applied, how much the ink is allowed to bleed and how many colours are used. Type of paper i.e glossy, textured, coated, thin, thick will all not only change how the ink spreads but can also affect the hue of the  colours.

….and it’s also personal preference if the inking onto water technique is used, it is possible to just apply the ink direct, personally I prefer the softer bleed that occurs in the water but some interesting effects are also possible with ink to ink.

When placing colours next to each other, lay colours that would normally be  mixed , many colours when bleeding together will just turn into a horrible dark mass!! The green and red really didn’t like each other!

…. of course you can always stick to one colour.

Please, please, please! Share your artwork or I would love to hear your own inky hints and tips.

Happy inking and remember to head  to  https://mamamakesstore.co.uk  for some inspirational sentiments


Diane x