Ghost Stamping

by Dina Kowal

Combine inks for a ghosted background print.


  • White pigment ink, chalk or watermark ink (Clearsnap® ColorBox® Popcorn Chalk Ink and TopBoss® WaterMark ink used here)
  • Dye ink pads or sprays (Clearsnap Blendable Dye inks and ColorBox Spritzers used here)
  • White cardstock or Bristol (Neenah Classic Crest Solar White #80 used here)
  • Stamps (used here: Impression Obsession CC329 Leaf Ledger, WP685 Layered Maple clear set, D13611 Raven Silhouette, D13594 Treat the World, CL327 (discontinued), CL886 Monster Mash; ColorBox Jumbo Swirls Molding Mat and Scribbles Mini Molding Mat)
  • Stencils (ColorBox Disco Art Screens Trio used here)
  • Ink applicators (Ranger Ink Blending Tool used here)
  • Other supplies as needed to complete the project (used here: Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 8, A2 Matting Basics and Classic Circles dies, Scor-Buddy, Impression Obsession DIE299 All-in-One Frames - Circles, ColorBox Black Bean Premium Dye ink, Clarity Stencil Brush)


  1. Step 1

    Basic technique:
    Stamp an image or pattern onto smooth white cardstock using watermark ink or white pigment or chalk ink.

  2. Step 2

    Stamp, spritz or blend dye ink over the background.

  3. Experiment with different combinations and applications of ink to see what produces the best effect.

    Some combinations may be more subtle, or produce color changes.

  4. Step 3

    Ink can be stamped, applied with a blending tool, or spritzed.

  5. NOTE:
    Some inks may have different results, but heat setting the white or colorless ink does not seem to be necessary.

  6. Step 4

    For an overall ghost print, stamp a background using white ink (ColorBox Chalk Ink used here).

  7. Cover the background with solid stamped images using dye ink (ColorBox Dyestress inks used here).

  8. Step 5

    Brush dye ink over the open areas.

  9. Complete the project.

  10. Step 6

    For another effect, stamp a small background area using a texture or patterned stamp.

  11. Spritz the stamped area using a dye-based spray (ColorBox Spritzer used here).

  12. Step 7

    Stamp a silhouette or collage image (ColorBox Black Bean Premium Dye ink used here).

  13. TIP:
    Use a matching colored pencil to move ink into patchy areas while the ink is still wet.

  14. Step 8

    Complete the project.

  15. Step 9

    For another look, stamp a background with pigment, watermark or chalk ink and sponge or stencil dye inks over the design (Combined here: ColorBox Popcorn Chalk ink and Dyestress inks).

  16. Step 10

    Complete the project.



    Try the technique using a light colored pigment ink (not white) with dark dye inks.

Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Ghost Stamping. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

Yay! I always love to see ways to create BGs...and now I know how those cool small area ones behind the solid images get done!

I did not know colorbox has their own version of distress inks-"dyestress" do they play with distress?
Wavejumper  |  Wed Oct 17, 2018 at 5:39 AM
Had fun with this!
muscrat  |  Wed Oct 17, 2018 at 5:13 PM
Oh, Dina, what a fun technique and such amazing backgrounds you've made! Loved the video and really love the last card with the great background. Loved the stencil and that adorable monster! So clever and creative, my friend! Hugs and love! xoxo
Cheryl Scrivens  |  Thu Oct 18, 2018 at 4:41 PM
Great tutorial, thanks so much Dina.
Susie Williams  |  Thu Oct 18, 2018 at 10:19 PM

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