Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sharon Briss: Reverse Bleach Tutorial

The wonderful season of Winter always makes me appreciate the beauty of the absence of color, the natural elegance of white.

For today's tutorial, I am going to show you a bleach technique I experimented with a few years ago when I was trying out a number of bleaching techniques. I liked the result and found bleaching to be a fun effect.

What you will need:

Colored cardstock
Image with medium to bold lines
Versamark Watermarking Ink
Clear embossing powder
Make-up applicator or cotton swab
Small dish for your bleach
Heat tool
Craft iron
Plain copy paper
Well-ventilated area

Your cardstock choice is important. Some colored cardstocks will go white when bleach is applied; others will fade to different colors.

The first step is fairly easy. Stamp your image, using Versamark, onto your colored cardstock.

Apply clear embossing powder and heat emboss.

Let cool. You should now have a lovely embossed image.

Fill a small plastic container with a minimal amount of bleach; a teaspoon should be lots. I generally use a disposable cup for easy clean-up. Ensure that you are in a well-ventilated area.

Dip your cotton swab or make-up applicator into the bleach and lightly swab bleach over your embossed image. Repeat several times until you see the area around the image lighten slightly. Wait a minute or two for the bleach to take full effect.

Now, the most important part! To get the bleach to stop bleaching (and it will continue to do so if left), you should use your heat tool to dry the area.

Once finished, you can remove the embossing powder by placing a clean piece of copy paper over the image and ironing over the image with the craft iron. Keep checking until you have removed all the embossing powder. The original color of the cardstock should become visible under the image. You will know that you have probably removed most of the embossing powder when your image shows through the copy paper.

For my finished card, I trimmed the image and adhered it to a white panel stamped with snowflakes in coordinating ink.

Stamp credits: Queen's Dresser Drawers, Stampington

For some projects, you may wish to leave the embossed area for a different effect as I did with the Vintage Santa card I made in 2008.

Stamp credit: Artistic Outpost

I hope you have fun with this simple technique!


  1. What a simple but cool technique - it really has a 'wow' factor! I can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Love this technique!!! I'm going to be doing that some in the near future!!!

  3. Oh you clever clever girl! I luv it!

  4. This technique does give a very cool effect! Thanks for sharing! Now I'll be looking through my stamps trying to find one that will work!

  5. That sounds great. I have worked with bleach before, but not this technique. I have to try it. Thank you for sharing!

  6. This technique is fabulous ...can't wait to try it ... really love the effect on the second card.

  7. Interesting technique and the stamp you used is perfect for the technique.

  8. You make it look so easy, I am going to give it a go but I doubt I will come close to your lovely images. Thanks for sharing. Happy Holidays!

  9. I really like the effect of this technique....looks great!! Thanks for showing this!

  10. Thanks for showing us how, I am going to try it.

  11. What a wonderful technique! thanks for sharing

    Love Dawn xx

  12. This is really lovely!!! I think I have everything to try it!

  13. Love, love, love these, Shar! What a great way to use bleach - the effect is stunning!

  14. This is a terrific technique, Sharon. I am not sure how I happened onto this blog, but it is a terrific site, too.


Thanks for your wonderful words!

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