Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Favorite Distressing Tool

I love to heavily distress anything I make. These rooster tags were originally plain shipping tags the same color as the background in this picture. I think most of you are very familiar with distress inks that can be purchased at your local craft store. I've found something better though...and cheaper. I want to share!
Yup...shoe polish!  Now there may be some of you that have been using this for years, but you never shared it with me! lol  I was doing some online research about natural fabric dyes and ways to distress paper with things other than coffee and tea. I came across shoe polish and gave it a go with my trusty sponge. I love the end result.
Here's a tag that I rubbed shoe polish on in various places using a circular motion until the desired color  was achieved. Then I hold the tag in my left hand while brushing the edges in a downward motion with the sponge to distress the edges. See that the edges on the right are more heavily distressed than the left. All done with shoe polish. Distress inks work well but I really like the look and the color of shoe polish. It is much cheaper too! Do you have any tricks for distressing or coloring paper and fabric? Do share!
EDIT:  Many have asked if it rubs off.  If you let it dry thoroughly, it does not rub off.  I made these rooster tags over the weekend and just rubbed them on a white shirt. No residue. It gives the paper a real smooth texture too.

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49 comments:

  1. Brilliant! Thanks for sharing your top secret technique.

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  2. Thanks for sharing! I might have to swap out my Tim Holtz and give this a shot.

    -Aaron {the girl with the boy's name}

    www.mudpiesandmarigolds.blogspot.com

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  3. Vicki this is brilliant. How does the shoe polish dry and not rub off? Must you buff the tag after distressing it? The look is just perfect. Thank you so much for sharing your technique. Happy distressing...

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  4. Thanks for sharing. This looks really cool. I am also wondering how does the shoe polish stay on? Do you need to use some type of paper sealer or something to lock it in? Would love to know!
    Thanks
    Breana

    www.vault31.blogspot.com

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  5. well ya learn something new everyday! how clever! TFS! :)

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  6. Awesome! I already have shoe polish...I would have to drive 30 miles to get distress ink...THANK YOU for sharing!!!

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  7. What a super idea!! I'll have to raid hubbys' shoe polish stash and see if he has any the right color. I also just use a chocolate ink pad and sponge to put my distress on. I also use leftover coffee and tea...crinkle the tags a little and then soak the tags for awhile. Spread out on an old towel and let them dry. Don't drain them...just let the "dye" pool on them. Works great! Your tags look great!
    hugs, Sue K

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  8. Never thought of that before! That tab is so cute, at first I thought it was leather.

    ~Tricia

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  9. That's a great idea, Vicki. Love the look! Thanks for sharing.

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  10. Love the L@@K too. I'm wondering if it will rub off? I'm gonna try this first thing tomorrow. Thanks, for the *briLLiant* iDea.

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  11. I've always liked the look of the distressed edges but thought you had to buy something special! I think we still have some old shoe polish! Now I can try this! I have another collage frame I want to put some tags on! Great tip, Vicki! Thanks! ♥

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  12. I've used shoe polish, coffee and powdered chalk to distress paper :)

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  13. Perfect Vicki! I'll bet it would be good on painted surfaces too ie to distress a frame. Cna't wait to try! Thanks for sharing.

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  14. Thanks Vicki! Great tip. I'm definitely going to try it.

    Have a great day.
    Pam

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  15. Thank's for sharing that tip, I will use it
    from now on I think as nearly finished my ink.

    Love Carol xx

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  16. No great tips to share. A friend sent me a lovely stitched rooster if you check Monday's first post.

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  17. I've also used shoe polish for years. At the dollar store I get 3 of the tins, 3 different colors, in one package, and 3 colors of the daubers in another package. They are super cheap and work great!

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  18. Great tip! I had been looking at the stuff at the craft stores, but it did seem a bit pricey. I'll just steal my husband's polish.

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  19. Sweet tip! looks very vintage! xoxo

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  20. Ok, I am loving this idea!!!! I LOVE to distress paper in any way possible and usually I do it with tea or coffee. This gives it such a better look. Just curious about how long you let them dry before you use them. This is going to be my tip of the week. THANKS!

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  21. Hi Vicki, What a great idea! The distressing inks can get expensive. Now my husband is going to be wondering where all his shoe polish has gone. I am your newest follower.
    Hugs,
    Sherry

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  22. Girl, this is a great tip!!! thank you.
    so much cheaper too, especially when I just bought one of those old shoe polish boxes, with all the stuff inside!!

    woo hoo!

    blessings
    barbara jean

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  23. Who woulda thunk? (as my mom says) I'm going to have to give this a try!
    xo
    lynn

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  24. What a terrific idea! We made a bunch of tags when we first opened our booth and I have been wanting to make some more. This will go in my arsenal of crafting ideas!

    Thanks for stopping by and joining our giveaway and posting our button on your sidebar! It is much appreciated and earns you an extra shot at the goodies. Have a wonderful week Vicki!

    Tara~All That Jazz Vintage

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  25. Well that sure beats soaking it in coffee and drying it in the microwave and then spraying it with walnut stain and then distressing the edges.....Sold! I am going to use shoe polish

    Carol

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  26. PS I ordered my Cannon rebel from Sears online, I got the whole kit, tripod, memory card, bag, etc. It was $519.....Now if I can figure it out!!!!

    Carol

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  27. Your shoe polished tags, looks gorgeus--I actually doo have a shoe polish on my desk-that I forgot all about using--thank`s for reminding me.
    xo,Dorthe

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  28. Thanks so much for the great tip! It looks lovely!

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  29. Oh that is Sooooo Cool, I definately want to try that, thanks for a great idea!!

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  30. Brilliant and cost effective Vicki! I LOVE those tags!!!!!!!!!

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  31. Oh, Vicki, this is a great idea! Can't wait to try it....thanks so much for visiting me on my blog. It's usually a little chatty since I only post on Mondays. LOL I love your blog and will really enjoy following you and watching for tutorials! xoxo Karen

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  32. What a great tip! Thanks!!!! :)

    oxo laurie

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  33. My hobby room smells STRONGLY of shoe polish this afternoon...I'll let you know how it turns out! heehee! Hugs! Diane ♥

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  34. Thanks for sharing that (after I just bought a ton of distress ink!) Anyway, when I run out (next year) I hope I remember this!!!

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  35. I mentioned you on my post tonight! Hugs! ♥

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  36. I keep trying different kinds of paper, etc., to give my tags that "old" look. Then I stumbled upon this blog entry. Fantastic! Thank you!

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  37. i love this post! thanks for this precious tip!

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  38. That's brilliant, Vicki! I really like the way it looks...I use distress ink in a circular motion--tea didn't work for me--it soaked my tags--lol

    This will be fun to try!
    XO

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  39. Awesome idea! Thanks so much for sharing! Ive used coffee and tea, but I have also used chestnuts and fire... Shoe polish I have never heard of, thank you!

    Hugs,

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  40. Vicki, fabulous idea!!! Here's one I also use after everything is glued down....or stamped....brown paste wax! I love the stuff! Just rub it on, especially along the edges of the pieces of paper where it collects nice and dark...then let dry about 20 minutes and buff with a soft cloth! It gives a wonderful aged patina! I use it on all of my decoupage pieces.
    Hugs, Diane

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  41. Well done; Love it~ Thanks for sharing! It is amazing if we use what is on hand, what we can come up with!

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  42. Your idea is positively brilliant! Thank you. I have used the walnuts from my yard, soaked in water, to stain muslin, etc. I have used plain ol' brown paint and of course tea and coffee. Oh yeah, I also burn the edges of heavy cardstock on my tags sometimes too. (do that outside) :)

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  43. P.S. I forgot to say I love your blog and am following you too. xo

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  44. Love, love this resourceful idea...thanks for sharing it!

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  45. This is very cool. Thanks for sharing. I LOVE YOUR NEW PROFILE PIC!

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  46. I have recently discovered blogging!! I know it has been a round for a while but it is new to me. I could spend hours looking through and reading all of these wonderful blogs! I stumbled acrossed this tutorial from another blog. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and knowledge, especially to someone new to crafting and blogging! :)

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  47. You can use Shoe polish on almost everything I have been using it to refinish my wood furniture for yrs also liquid is great for fabric

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  48. When I put cans outside to rust, before I finish the project I will use black shoe polish on it, and it does dry, and won't come off on your hands and neither will the rust.....I will fill them with pine cones at Christmas time....I like the cans you fine in the paint department at the home and garden center, they really rust up nice and the polish finishes them !

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