Inky Folder Tutorial

This is a simple technique using dye re-inkers and an acetate report cover. I think it may have been first shown on a Clearsnap video using Ancient Page dye re-inkers. However, permanent dye re-inkers are not required. This is how I do this technique, as I was introduced to it by Sue Shotwell.


  • acetate folder-I used the sort that is an 8 1/2 by 11 folded sheet of plastic, with the plastic spine that holds the pages inside. I imagine other things would be adaptable, such as an acetate page holder cut open so that only one side is still folded. The fold is important-the process would be a lot messier without
    the fold.
  • rubber brayer-any size
  • spray mister-I use the small one sold by Judi-kins since it produces a fine mist. I don’t know how well a coarser mister would work.
  • glossy paper-King James Cast Coat works well. I am going to try mulberry paper also at some point, as Julie recommended.
  • dye re-inkers-I’ve used both Vivid and Ranger. I haven’t yet mixed companies, but doubt there would be a problem. I have only used analogous colors (those close to one another on the color wheel) I am afraid that complementary colors would combine and make mud. Ranger Conch, Butterscotch and Rust work pretty well.
  • absorbent paper to work on. I didn’t have any leakage last night, but I do have some leakage occasionally


  1. Cut 8 1/2 x 11 card-stock in half. Place non-glossy sides together. Put aside.
  2. Open acetate folder. Pick up inker. Re open folder. Weight folder edges while snarling. (This won’t be a problem once things get wet.)
  3. Drop a few drops of dye on the folder at widely space intervals. Pick up another inker, and space more dots between the previous dots. Pick up third inker and drop in a few places.
  4. Close folder. Put on surface and brayer well, trying to get the various blobs to intermix slightly, without mixing totally. If blobs don’t over lap, open up folder and add more ink, or lightly spray with mister. Close it and brayer again.
  5. Open folder. Lay glossy card-stock on bottom facing ink, and matching piece on top with glossy side facing ink on top.
  6. Close folder. Brayer again.
  7. Carefully open folder and removed card-stock, one piece at a time, and put in a safe place to dry. I try to handle it by the edges, so I don’t mar the surface, though I do end up getting a little ink on my hands.
  8. You can either re-ink for the next set, or spray mister over the folder after one “printing” and use the folder again to pull a lighter set of sheets. If you stick to one color family, you can use the folder for quite a few runs. I only washed it out at the end of the session, and it came quite clean.
  9. If one is restrained about the ink added at any one time, one can generally confine the ink to the insides of the folder. Otherwise, you may get some very background paper on your work site. Check before you pitch it.

I have used the following color combinations successfully:

  • Vivid taupe, straw, and olive green
  • A variety of Ranger seashell inks together
  • Vivid taupe, brick, and tea rose


I frequently have white spots on my pages where there were air bubbles under the acetate. These can be touched up with a sponge and one of the dye ink colors if desired.

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