Using the Watercolor Stamping Technique with the Swallowtail Stamp

Have you tried watercolor stamping yet? This clean and simple quick project uses a great background stamp, the Swallowtail stamp by Stampin Up, and a simple – yet creative watercolor technique.

Watercolor stamping technique

The best part about this technique is that you can get more than one card with just one inking! To help showcase just how easy the watercolor stamping technique is, I made a video just for you!  If you like the video, be sure to give it a thumbs up on You Tube and subscribe to my YouTube channel for continued technique inspiration.

View video on YouTube

As you saw in the video above, this is a super easy stamping technique that gives you the look of watercolor, but with stamping and detail you’d never be able to achieve on your own.  Here’s a breakdown of just how to do it.

Creative Tips for the Watercolor Stamping Technique

First, pick a large image – this doesn’t work too well with tiny images as they get lost.  This particular project uses a rather large stamp – yours doesn’t have to be so big! We chose the Swallowtail stamp by Stampin Up.

Next, ink up your stamp – we chose Ranger Distress Inks for two reasons – translucency and how well they react with water.  The specific colors are Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Salty Ocean, Peacock Feathers and Faded Jeans.  Be sure to pay attention to the little tricks of how and the sequence we use them in, in the video!

Watercolor Stamped Swallowtail Stamp by Stampin Up

Spritz your stamp with a fine mister.  You’ll want a fine spray rather than too strong a spray – think of a garden hose Jet Spray vs. a Shower Spray…there’s a big difference.  You want to coat your stamp, not spray your ink away.  The amount is important too – too much water will leave you with an inky splotch, vs true watercolor stamping.  You want to be able to still see some detail mixed with watercolor.  I used the Stampin Up mister, Ranger has one too.

Stamp onto 140 pound cold pressed watercolor paper.  Choose the smooth side vs. the toothy side.  You’ll want to use watercolor paper.  This particular technique uses quite a bit of water, and that amount will degrade the fibers of regular card stock into an unattractive mess that will take away from your project.

Watercolor Stamping with Distress Inks

Hold your stamp down and with this particular stamp, put a fair amount of pressure on it – it’s big!  If you can put your project onto a foam pad, you’ll get an even better impression with ease.

Distress Swallowtail 008

You can immediately stamp a second time onto regular card stock for a second impression.  You’ll get another impression just fine.  The reason you don’t need watercolor paper the second time is that the watercolor paper the first time around took most of the water away allowing you to safely stamp onto regular card stock for your second image.

Matte and add embellishments as you want.  You can see here that I created two very different project with slight adjustments.  Both have the color spritzing for a little added effect.  I love them both – hopefully you do too!

Distress Swallowtail 010

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Have fun creating your own watercolor stamping projects – be sure to share them with us on our facebook page!



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About Ingrid Blackburn


  1. This technique is gorgeous using this stamp! LOVE these!!! Thanks for the video!
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