Tip-to-Tip Marker Blend

A great feature with Spectrum Noir markers is the ability to blend colours together. The “Tip-to-Tip Marker Blend” technique is easy to learn and gives amazing results. With this method, you can easily colour a darker marker shade that will gradually fade into a lighter marker colour.

Before you start

Like any other colouring or blending technique, you will want to practice. This tutorial shows how to apply dark green marker to the tip of a light green marker, then colour with it. The end result is a beautiful green ombre effect.

Tip-to-Tip Blending is also a great way to colour small areas that regular blending techniques would be difficult to do. Try this technique using the fine bullet nib to colour with.

The Tip-to-Tip Technique

To begin, open the broad chisel nib end of your CG3 marker. Then, using the fine bullet nib end of the CG4 marker, touch it directly to the chisel nib of the CG3 marker as shown in picture.

Hold it there for about three seconds. As shown in the sample picture, the darker ink will begin to transfer on the nib of the lighter marker. The longer the marker tips are touching, the more ink that will transfer to the lighter marker.

You will be colouring on to the paper with the lighter coloured marker.

Before you start colouring, think about where you want the darkest colour. That is where you will begin colouring. The darker ink will transfer to the paper first, and then begin to fade to the lighter ink colour.

This spot was coloured by stroking the marker back and forth. Try colouring several “green ombre” patches, following the same process of adding dark marker colour to the light marker nib, and colouring back and forth.

Will it hurt my markers?

Tip-to-Tip blending does not ruin or cross-contaminate Spectrum Noir markers. Simply scribble onto some scratch paper until the darker colour comes completely off.

This can also be done anytime during the coloring process, if you applied to much dark. When you are finished colouring, always remember to clean the marker nib by scribbling onto scratch paper until it returns to the original ink colour.

Make a project

Now that you have some nice green ombre patches of colour, die-cut some shapes to use on a project.

When die cutting the four hearts, position the bottom tip of the heart in the darker green area.

Use the hearts to make a 4-leaf clover. Notice the nice fade from dark green in the centre to lighter green.

The little “pocket” was die cut from black cardstock and will be used as a pot. What a great way to stretch your supplies!

More ways to use this technique

Here’s another version that was made into a note card.  The blending possibilities with your Spectrum Noir markers are endless with the Tip-to-Tip Marker Blend technique. Try using the Blender marker for a fade from colour to white. Alternatively, try using markers from different colour families, such as red and yellow. Have fun!

Tutorial credit: Lori Barnett

Share your work with us on our Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest (use our #spectrumnoir or #spectrumaqua tag) – we’d love to see what you’re colouring!

Supplies used to complete these projects:

  • Spectrum Noir Markers – CG3 and CG4
  • White Cardstock
  • Kraft Cardstock
  • Crafter’s Companion Little Angel Signature Collection by Sara Davies – My First Outfit Die Set
  • Crafter’s Companion Shimmering Cardstock – Black Pearl
  • Gemini Die cutting and Embossing Machine
  • Sequins and Rhinestone
  • Dimensional Foam Adhesive
  • Liquid Adhesive
  • Foam Blending Tool
  • Distress Ink – Gathered Twigs

Watercolored Three-Tier Gift Box

This watercolored gift box set uses just one Spectrum Aqua Marker. An easy to make project that is sure to impress!

How to watercolor the box lids

First, trim two sheets of 8 1/2” x 11” Spectrum Aqua Watercolour Cardstock as shown in picture.

Then apply anti-static powder to each panel, if desired. On the three lid panels, use VersaMark ink to stamp flowers. Heat emboss with white embossing powder. On the left-over scrap panels, stamp and heat emboss more flowers. These extra flowers will be used to embellish the boxes.

Next, to watercolor the box lids, color Kingfisher Aqua marker randomly around the flowers.

After that apply a wet watercolor brush to an uncolored area, and then work the brush into the ink color. The ink will begin to flow into the wet areas, and you can continue to brush the color around as desired. The goal is to create a watercolor background around all the flowers.

How to watercolor the flowers

First, color the flower centers, and then blend out with watercolor brush.

Next color the flower embellishments with the Kingfisher Aqua marker in the areas you want darkest.

Then apply a wet watercolor brush to uncolored area, working the brush up to the ink. The ink will flow into the wet area and create beautiful watercolor flower petals.

Finally, set aside the panels to completely dry. Once dry, trim out all the flowers from the scrap panels and add a pearl to the centers. These will be used to decorate the boxes.

How to make the lids using The Ultimate Crafter’s Companion and The Boxer Board.

First place the lid panel onto The Boxer Board with one edge butted up against the “Box Lid” sidebar. Score at the 1″ line. Repeat this on all edges of all three panels.

Next cut a small v-shaped notch in each of the corners, where the scored lines intersect. The first cut should be along one of the scored lined, and the diagonal line should be cut from the excess corner piece. Fold and crease along each of the scored lines and adhere the corner tabs to form the lids.

How to make the box bottoms using The Ultimate Crafter’s Companion and The Boxer Board.

Start by creating the bottoms using three panels of white cardstock (measurements below). This time butt them up against the “Box Bottom” sidebar to score the lines. Cut corner notches, crease, and adhere the same way as the box lids.

Box bottom cutting and scoring measurements:

  • Large box bottom – 11 1/2” x 11 1/2” panel, score at 2 1/2” Box Bottom score line.
  • Medium box bottom – 9 1/2” x9 1/2” panel, score at 2 1/2” Box Bottom score line.
  • Small box bottom – 7 1/2” X 7 1/2” panel, score at 2 1/4” Box Bottom score line. (Note: The side tabs may need trimmed off a bit on this box bottom before adhering.)


Finally, assemble the boxes by stacking on top of each other, adhering together if desired.

Tie ribbon around the stack and embellish with cut out flowers.


Tutorial Credit: Lori Barnett

Supplies used for this project:

  • Spectrum Aqua Watercolour Cardstock
  • Spectrum Aqua Marker – Kingfisher
  • Crafter’s Companion Sheena Douglass Groovin’ 60’s Collection – Bloomin’ Sixties EZMount Rubber Stamps
  • The Ultimate Crafter’s Companion and The Boxer Score Board
  • Watercolor Brush
  • Anti-Static Pouch
  • VersaMark Ink Pad
  • White Embossing Powder
  • Heat Embossing Gun
  • 12” x 12” White Cardstock
  • White Pearl Stickers
  • White Ribbon
  • Dimensional Foam Adhesive
  • Adhesive

Custom Made Gift Box

Finished Gift Box

Want to create a quick & easy-to-make thank you gift box? Use Spectrum Noir Illustrator markers to make a stunning topper for a gift box perfect for not only a thank you gift, but to use throughout the year.

To color the image:

Gift Box step 1

Coloring the petals:

First, stamp or print the image of your choice onto alcohol marker coloring paper.

Then starting with the lightest Spectrum Noir Illustrator shade Daffodil color the petals.

Second, use the blender pen to fade out the Daffodil creating a smooth blend.  If pigment bleeds remove with the blender pen.

Gift Box Step 2

Third, add further color detail to your petals.

Color one flower on the outside of the petal with Flame Red. Blend in the lighter shades Vintage Pink and Pink Lace. The fine nibs create small strokes of color build up.

Extra definition is  given with small dots of True Black where areas of deep shade would exist.

Gift Box Step 3

Fourth, tone and depth detail has been created on the petals with Mango.

Start from the central stem section of each petal and blend with Sunshine.

Gift Box Step 4

Finally, color all the flower petals in the same manner.

Use the markers to create dramatic petal detail.

Color the center of the flower shown with the True Black marker.  Add small highlight details with white gel pen or leave the areas uncolored.

Gift Box Step 5

Coloring the leaves & stem:

The leaves and stem of the tulips are next.  Here the light is coming from the right of the image and the marker color gradient reflects this.

First, start with the darkest marker shade Green Gray.  Lighten the color gradient using Pear Green, Pale Citrus, Moss Green, Olive Green, Khaki.

The lightest shade used is Chartreuse.  Apply using the palette blending method or the Blender pen.

Gift Box Step 6

Second, the rest of the tulip leaves and stems are colored with the same markers.  Add extra color detail with a light flick of Sand to the edges of the Chartreuse and blend.

Third, small strokes of white gel pen added create areas of light and detail.

Gift Box Step 7

Finally, to make the image pop add an outline coat of Gray Green.  Blend to create a light shadow with the Blender Pen.

Gift Box Step 8

Mount the image on gold mirror card.

Gift Box Step 9

To make the gift box:

First, cut a piece of card to form the cover of your box.  Card measures 6.5” wide and 12” long and is double sided Centura Pearl.

Score card at 5.5” and 6.5”.

Gift Box Step 10

Second, make the inside of your box by cutting a piece of card measuring 8” x 7”.   Score round all 4 edges at 1” and create 4 tabs cut on the diagonal.

Gift Box Step 11

Third, apply Collall Tacky Glue to each of the 4 tabs and attach each tab to a scored box side.

Gift Box Step 12

Fourth, attach a strip of double sided tape across the middle of the inside of your box cover and add a length of ribbon.

Leave enough ribbon to tie a large bow at the side of your box construction.

Finish by adding the colored topper to the gift box cover.

Insert the box base into the box cover and glue to secure.  Tie a bow on the side of your box construction and your project is complete.

Share your work with us on our Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest (use our #spectrumnoir or #spectrumaqua tag) – we’d love to see what you’re coloring!

Tutorial credit: Laine Webb


Image – Power Poppy
Spectrum Noir Illustrator markers: Daffodil, Blender Pen, Flame Red, Vintage Pink, Pink Lace, True Black, Mango, Sunshine, Grey Green, Pear Green, Pale Citrus, Moss Green, Olive Green, Khaki, Chartreuse, Sand.

Create a Marbled Mug

Create a Marbled Mug

Make a marbled ceramic mug! Looking for a quick and easy handmade gift for a friend (or for yourself)? I spotted a video recently detailing how to create marbled ceramic mugs with alcohol inks and thought I’d give it a try for something new and different!


For this project you will need some Spectrum Noir alcohol ink refills, rubbing alcohol and dishwasher-safe Mod Podge.

I have used IB1, IB2 and BT1 inks.

Marbled Mug Step 1


Here is how I prepared the mug for ink:

First I washed the mug.

Second, I stuck some tape around the lip to protect from the ink. (Tip: use painter’s tape, masking tape, or another low-tack tape)

Third, I painted it with the rubbing alcohol.

Marbled Mug Step 2

To apply the color:

First, I loaded my paintbrush with some of the ink and painted around the bottom of the mug. I held the mug by the handle and moved it around to swirl the ink.

Second, I added another color of ink and repeated the step above to add two more colors of ink.

Marbled Mug Step 3

After, I left the mug to the side to let the ink dry.

Most importantly I  then added a coat of Mod Podge to seal the ink.

I used glitter Mod Podge which actually has given the mug a nice sparkle!

Marbled Mug Step 4

I hope you can give this tutorial a try soon – it’s quite easy to do with just a few supplies. You could create sets of these mugs to give as gifts, or make a few to have on hand for those last-minute presents needed for teachers, hostesses, belated birthdays and other occasions!

Share your work with us on our Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest (use our #spectrumnoir, #spectrumaqua, or #spectrumnoircolorista tag) – we’d love to see what you make with this tutorial or what you’re coloring right now!

Tutorial credit: Fiona Robertson

Christmas Ornament Using AquaTint Inks


The Christmas is almost upon us and there is nothing more special than receiving a present that shows attitude and personal touch.
That’s why I offer you to make a traditional Christmas tree ornament by using your Specrum Noir AquaTint Inks. The theme is snowy winter night because of how much I like the color combination blue, white and gold.
It takes less than half an hour and will be fun.


Here’s the list of what you’ll need to make you Christmas ornament:


Step 1
I decided to recreate a snowy Christmas night into my ornament and I have chosen dark blues Spectrum Noir AquaTints Inks and a stamp with trees used as a foreground on my winter sky.  You have to create the background with your Spectrum Noir AquaTints Inks – I  did choose wet on wet watercolor technique.


Step 2
After making the background you need to outline the template that was into the ball.  If there’s no template, outline the half of the ornament but in this case cut inside the shape to be sure the contour will fit into the plastic ornament.


Step 3
Once you outline the shape continue and stamp the background. Make some snowy winter sky and trees. I wanted my winter night to be more realistic, so I stuck the warm yellow cardstock on the back of the wooden house. This way it looks like there’s light through the windows.

Step 4: Decorate the second background with AquaTints Inks and stamp. Use it for the back side of your ornament because it has to be perfect on both sides. You can use some sentiment like me or even put a picture of your sweetheart or a baby etc.

7_sn Front side

8_snBack side

Step 5: In the end assemble the Christmas ornament. You could insert some artificial snow or ice.

Add some embellishments – for example I put paper poinsettia and a few tiny cones.

1_snSpectrum Noir AquaTints Inks list:
02,07, 08 – Landscape & Primary sets

I hope you enjoy this and give it a try !
Share a project you make using this tutorial with us on our Facebook page, tag us on Instagram (#spectrumnoir or #spectrumaqua) or on Twitter (@SpectrumNoir)! We’re also on Pinterest so tag us there as well for a chance to get re-pinned to our Colorist Creations board!

Tutorial credit: Mila Popova

Quick & Easy Christmas Tag


Short on time this festive season? This tutorial will give you an idea how to use pre-colored images on an easy Christmas tag and utilize another thing that there is always an abundance of in any crafter’s stash –  scraps of patterned paper.


The materials you need are:
– a colored image
– tag base (from some leftover pieces of CC Kraft Cardstock )
– frame and snow slopes (from Snow White Silver – Centura Pearl which is perfect for Christmas projects)
– some scraps of designer paper in the same palette as the colored image
– and whatever your favorite Christmas embellishments and decorations are.

The colored image has been previously colored with Illustrator markers:
Skin: FS3, FS5, FS7, FS9
Hair and Boots: BO1, BO2
Coat: YG1, YG2, YG3, CG3, CG3
Hat and Scarf: AP1,3 PP2, DP2

Arrange the tag base, the frame, the front piece of paper the image and the snow slopes (you can cut them by hand if you don’t have dies) to lay out the front as desired.

Since it’s a scrap project you can use whatever dimensions your paper pieces are – these are approximately 8/15 сm.


Cut the top sides into tag shape.

Make it symmetrical by using some of the first cut pieces as a model to trim the second edge.

Distress a bit the edges of the paper then glue all the layers together.


The fun part is in the back! Use some thin strips of paper that are usually left from making cards.

The base is an additional piece of paper that is approximately half centimeter smaller then the tag base in every direction.

Arrange the strips in any order that and glue them on this base.


The only thing left is to cut the spares from the back.


Tip: to add a personal message on the back, place a die-cut shape on top of the patterned paper.


Put some decorations like thousands of snowflakes, some ribbon, twine and lace and the tag is ready to be the centerpiece of a perfect Christmas gift! It would look marvelous wrapped in kraft paper. How easy was that?

Tutorial credit: Kalina Pavlova

Custom Coloring Shaker Beads with Spectrum Noir Refill Inks


Refill inks are often thought of as just to refill your markers, but you can do so much more with them.

Shaker cards are great fun to make and receive, but I often find that I don’t have the color shaker material I am looking for…this is where my refill inks come in.

This is so quick and easy to do, and I tend to make batch amounts so I always have some on hand ready to use.

You will need –

zip lock bag
Shaker material of choice, I am using Micro beads.
Refill ink
Scrap Paper
Something to stir material with…it will come into contact with the ink and will get stained.
A small container


Take your shaker material and pour into your zip lock bag.

Using your Refill ink add a drop at a time until you are happy that everything is covered.


Once all the material is covered CAREFULLY tip out onto scrap paper. Using your stick you want to level the material out as much as possible.

As it dries due to the properties of the ink it will clump together so use your stick to continue to break it up and level out.

Once it is fully dried you can use it in your project and then any left put into a suitable container. As you can see below I have used it in a shaker pouch and still have plenty left for more projects.

And here is the finished card using my colored shaker beads.


I hope you enjoyed the quick tutorial today and I have shown you another use for your pen refills. Share your work with us on our Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest (use our #spectrumnoir or #spectrumaqua tag) – we’d love to see what you’re coloring!

Have a great day and happy crafting.

Tutorial credit: Tracy Freeman

How to match the wrapping paper with your card


In this tutorial I’ll show you a quick and easy way to make a beautiful gift set.

I love to match the wrapping with the card on which I write the birthday wishes on. That’s why I always keep a pack of simple kraft paper in my stash because it’s very easy to be modified.

One of the easiest ways to make it colorful is to take a stencil (or two) and to apply different patterns.


I usually go with some acrylic paints which I apply with a makeup sponge.


Then when I make the card I stick to the same color scheme (kraft and green) to color the central image.

Here I used my favorite Spectrum Noir markers to color the trousers in khaki with EB1, EB2, GB8, and GB11.

For the brown coat I used TN2, TN3, TN4, TN5 and EB3, EB7 and added the contrast blue-green vest (BT4, BT9; GT2, GT3) and scarf (BT2, BT4; GT1, GT2).

Then I stenciled the same patterns on the designer paper on the background and added some more hexagon shapes using Crafter’s Companion dies to unify the whole set.


Wrapping and tying with a simple brown string and it makes a stylish gift for one of the boys in your life, don’t you think?

Tutorial credit: Kalina Pavlova

Coloring a Watermelon Slice


What is your favorite thing about summer? The sweet and juicy watermelon is one of my favorite fruits and in this tutorial I’ll show you how to color a slice of it with the Spectrum Noir Markers.


My image is called Anna Belle Sweetness from Tiddly Inks.

I’ve colored the skin with TN2, TN3, TN4, FS4 & FS9 and added some rosy cheeks with FS6 & FS8. T

The hair is colored in BG1, BG3, BG5, BG7 & BG10. The dress is colored with GB3, GB9, CT2, CT3 & CT4.


Now it’s time to start with the watermelon slice. I’ve colored the darkest parts with DR3.


Next, almost two-thirds of the way in, is the layer of DR1.


Then you color all the rest with CR7 or CR6.


The secret of making it natural is to add some dots – in the darker regions with DR6 and DR3 and in the lighter with CR5 and CR3.

Add a little bit of shade with BG1 on the inner part of the watermelon rind.


The rest is a an outer layer of LG2 and finishing the shoes (DR1, DR3 & CR7) and the hairband (LG1, LG2 & LG3).


I mounted the image in my art journal to celebrate the sweet taste of summer.

Share your work with us on our Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest (use our #spectrumnoir or #spectrumaqua tag) – we’d love to see what you’re coloring!

Tutorial credit: Kalina Pavolva

Spectrum Noir Sparkle Marker Keychain


Spectrum Noir Sparkle markers color beautifully on ink jet printable shrink film. This tutorial will show you how to make a sparkly keychain using shrink film and Spectrum Noir Sparkle markers.


Using StazOn ink, stamp an image on the printable (textured) side of the ink jet printable shrink film.


Color the image using Spectrum Noir Sparkle markers on the printable side of the shrink film. Don’t panic if the color goes outside of the lines a little, it won’t be very noticeable once the material has been shrunk.


Trim the design down to a fun shape. Using a paper punch, punch a hole at the top. The sparkle may not be very noticeable for some of the colors at this point, but the sparkle will pop during the baking process.


Bake the shrink film per manufacturer’s directions. Here, you can see how the sparkle really shines after the baking process.

After the film has cooled, seal it with a couple light coats of Crafter’s Companion Spray and Seal varnish.


Insert a keychain and the project is complete.

Share your work with us on our Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest (use our #spectrumnoir or #spectrumaqua tag) – we’d love to see what you’re coloring!

Project details:

Spectrum Noir Sparkle Markers – Blue Topaz, Moonlight, Inspired Violet, Emerald Green, Pink Garnet, Harvest Moon, Red Berry
StazOn Jet Black ink
Between the Lines stamp set from Stampology
Ink Jet Printable Shrink Film
Crafter’s Companion Spray and Seal varnish
Paper punch, keychain

Tutorial credit: Jodi Clark