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coloring bleached images

I love being inspired by a technique. I want to do things over and over and try different ways of doing the same thing. For January's release projects that I created with the Fancy Folk Art set, I played around with bleaching embossed images on dark cardstock and then coloring them in. Today I am sharing that technique again, with step by step photos, and with a few new things you might want to try...


To be able to bleach out an image without bleaching the image itself, you need to emboss the image in some way. Here I embossed the Sunflower Bouquet image with black embossing powder - one on Ocean Tides cardstock and one on Smokey Shadow cardstock.

A note about cardstock and bleach: not all cardstock will bleach the same, even if it's the same color. You might want to test the bleach out to see what your results will be. I tried out bleaching for this project on True Black cardstock and the color only slightly lightened. Smokey Shadow gave me a much better result.


To "paint" the bleach onto my image, I used an old blender pen. You could use an old paintbrush as well. I literally put some bleach into the cap of the bleach container and dipped my pen into it. When I was done with my project I could easily pour what was left in the cap back into the bottle.


Apply the bleach to the image area. It takes a moment for the image to start lightening. Continue to bleach out the whole image.


When you have applied bleach to the whole image, then let it dry completely. If the image is still wet when you try to apply color, the color may bleach out too. In the picture above, the one on Ocean Tides is dry and the one on Smokey Shadow is not.


Because the images are embossed in black, I used Copic markers to color them in. If you remember from my previous project, I could not use Copics because I had embossed the images in white and the Copics are permanent on the white embossed areas - not the look I wanted. For that project I watercolored the images with reinkers - the embossing resists the dye based inks. It doesn't matter if the Copic colors get on the black embossing because it won't show up!

Isn't the difference of coloring on the different colors neat? I really LOVE the one on the Ocean Tides - the colors really pop. I really like the Smokey Shadow one too - more of a rustic and dark look.


I used the same Copic marker colors to color the images on each card.


To finish the cards, I added the sentiments chalkboard style. The "happy birthday" is embossed in white and then I added the leaf detail with Fresh Snow ink.


I am looking forward to trying this technique on different colors of cardstock and I love the result of coloring with the Copic markers.

If you give the technique a try, I would love to see your results! Link up to your project in the comments area.

Thanks for stopping by today!


all supplies from Papertrey Ink unless noted

Happy Birthday Sunflower Bouquet Cards

stamps: Sunflower Bouquet, Embroidered Blooms, Fancy Folk Art

ink: Fresh Snow, Versamark (Tsukineko)

cardstock: kraft, Smokey Shadow, Ocean Tides, Smokey Shadow & Ocean Tides polka dot

other: white & black embossing powders, Copic markers, Rustic Jute button twine, corner chomper (We R Memory Keepers), bleach (Clorox)