The Distress Spritzer? well, not REALLY…..


This is one of those posts that is a weird confluence of events.  Someone once asked me Where do your ideas come from?  I thought for fun I would document it – the steps may be unique, but the process isn’t. It’s just the way my mind works and the benefit of a messy desk  Feel free to just look at the photos – they should tell you all you REALLY need to know.

1. I got an email from a UKS sponsor announcing they had received the new Tim Holtz Distress Marker Spritzer.  

The more I looked at it the more I was convinced I had one.  Not that exact thing, but something pretty similar. So I had a bit of a hunt and sure enough, in with my stamping markers (a drawer not opened since I got my Copics) there it was.


This has to be 15-20 years old – I know I got it while in the USA so it would have to be.  I had a check for the name and while I see the odd reference to it they no longer sell it that I can find.

2. I popped a few random markers in to it.  One thing I can see is that mine seems to be lacking the inner liner for the pen-holder.  Not a big deal, it works well enough without it but I could always as one of those rubber pencil grips to super thin pens and I bet that would do the trick.

3.  As I was looking across my desk, my eye landed on one of my watercolour brush pens.  I thought, I wonder….

Now, I only have maybe two watercolour brush pens.  I’ve meant to buy some, after seeing Dyan from Art from the Heart show how she has as many water brush pens as she has colours of Dylusions and she uses them to colour with.  But I just never got around to it.  Deep in the back of my mind I had a tickle.  I KNEW that somewhere, probably in DDs “art cupboard” I had some kids version of the waterbrushes.  And guess what? Not only did I have them, I found them.


I know we got them maybe 8-10 years ago at Costco. Some of them are fairly empty.  I deconstructed one of them, thinking I could just replace the cheap ink with good ink, although I thought as the Dylusions aren’t waterproof either, I might as well just pick one or two of the near-empty ones to play with and use up the rest of the ink with mixed media stuff rather than just empty them.


There is no seal on the pens, which surprises me as it’s for the kids market.  I would expect them to be sealed and you would need to buy new ones once these ran out. But no, they disassemble just fine.


I tossed out the cartridge and the little slim tube.  For use with the spritzer you don’t WANT to slow the flow, like you would with a potentially messy pen, with kids, so I binned the cartridge and the tube.

4.  What to fill it with?  Obviously ink is going to be pretty much the same as using a marker, but then…


Perfect.  Acrylic liquid ink. This gives me something, a matte and almost chalky look, that I am not going to get from a marker (I only have ONE Distress marker, the Picket fence one, so I don’t really know if that would be similar to using acrylic ink) and is waterproof. Note:


And wipe over it with a baby wipe


The ink on the wipe is not from the acrylic ink, it’s from rubbing the paint off the stencil.  It give a nice watercolour-y effect.  I also did the flip-and-stamp you might normally do with an ink loaded stencil. The acrylic ink dries really fast so the stamping part has to be done after a spritz of water  on the slick surface of the stencil, and you can also then smear the acrylic ink thru the stencil with a wipe. Kinda both on the same area here


5.  And then, of course, there is WHITE.


Using the spritzer gives you a way more controlled spray than the spray bottle does, so you would use this for either the Acrylic ink OR the Dylusions for this sort of scatter.

So there you go.  I’m still in my jammies and my hands are covered with ink and paint, and my stamp-storage tower (with the wood-mount stamps, where the Blitzer was hiding) is pretty much dumped out on the floor, but now I have a new toy to play with, a whole heap of waterbrushes, a bunch of ink to use up, and it’s only just after 9 AM.  Or was when I started typing….

And Texas Flood is playing from my playlist, the accident payment has been sent, DH is back from his conference, so no school run, and the house is pretty tidy (well, downstairs, anyway) and the laundry done.  Where can the day go from here?  Downhill, probably, but I can always hope ….


13 thoughts on “The Distress Spritzer? well, not REALLY…..

  1. I just got the Distress Spritzer and it is just Waaaaaay too much squeezing for a “meh” look, if you ask me. I personally am very disappointed. 20 years from now, MY daughter will find my Distress Spritzer in a box, and probably have the same reaction. This tool will be rarely used by me, since I would much rather just use a dauber and ink or paint for a faster, easier, more controlled look. I may even return this thing I paid $9 for.

  2. I still have mine! I would have been around 10 when I got it, so it’s been with my craft stuff for 19 years!

  3. Do you know what, I saw the spritzer advertised and thought the same thing, got my Mum to dig around in her craft cupboard and found my old blitzer too. I have water brushes, gotta try it with them. I used Promarkers and kids fat felt tips with mine through stencils.

  4. Another fabulous “I’m sure I have something similar somewhere” post – you are so very inventive. I have a Stampin’ Up airbrush tool that is meant to be for their equivalent to Promarkers (just remove the inner ring to make room) but never thought to use brush markers … off to Wilkinsons tomorrow to see if ours stock the kids’ variety! We have some of that ink somewhere too! TFS xxx

  5. great post! thank you!

  6. Vicki B thank you for your mention about mini misters. I use mine directly on a watercolor pallett as I do not have a water source in my Studio. It is great to be able to paint on a whim and not have to pre-plan and get a cup of water from the other end of the building.
    I am also encouraged to find some watercolor pens – Elmer’s and I’ll bet they are economical as well.

  7. I love it! I also noted that when Tim came out with his spritzer tool that I have one in the drawer that I rarely use. I also have the Elmer’s paint brushes and refilled them with liquid water color paint from a school supply. I paid less than a dollar for each of the liquid watercolors and they are huge bottles. Whenever my water brushes gets empty, I just refill them. I also was able to order mini misters from 10 for $7.50. They sell soap making supplies and essential oils and such. I was totally in heaven when I found these at such a great price. I filled some with liquid watercolors, some with dye reinkers and one with white pigment ink mixed with water and added a small metal ball from my stash as a mixer.

  8. I remember these air puffers from the 70’s! Not got any of his markers but i love the fact that you took it all apart! Though I do have the vision of you in your PJ’s with inky hands!!!

  9. I knew those spritzer’s weren’t new, well done for finding yours and the brilliant test you’ve done. Hope you’ve cleaned up by now….. !!

  10. Another great day – thanks to you. I found my spray thingy tucked away as I had not used it in probably 15 years. I had bought a 12 pack of water pens about a month ago after seeing a sweet idea and then never got around to it. Oh what fun I am going to have today, as I am just finishing up the laundry.
    I am more than thrilled with the idea that I can use this instead of a toothbrush and white paint as it makes my thumb always look like a monster.
    Thank you, a million fold, for your neat, clever posts. Mostly, thanks for inspiring me…what we all need more of. I am glad there is you!
    Happy thoughts,

  11. I enjoy your posts SO MUCH!! THANK YOU for all the time you take sharing your talents/wisdom/research!!!

  12. Fascianting. I have one that Bart used as a boy for airbrushing model aircraft. We have loads of those child’s pens by Crayola and they’re still available, last I saw them in niece has a set that you blow through!! This is proof and evidence that what goes around comes around and depends only on marketing…..!

    • Yes, I had heaps of the Blo-pens, DD loved them, and I am convinced that you can insert a normal pen into the blower attachment and make them work the same way. I’m sure I tried it with a Marvy marker at some point many years ago, but I think they are one thing I either actually threw away or stashed someplace that I can’t drag out of my memory. That was the first thought I had when I was the spritzer thing. Interesting. It does give a kinda neat effect, but to be honest if I didn’t already HAVE one I’m not sure I would BUY one, IYKWIM. The water pens I’m happier about, given that otherwise I would have to lay out cash to acquire them 🙂

      PS did I mention the the chili cookoff on WOYWW crop day is missable? So I should be there 🙂


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