How to Color Your Projects With Water-Based Markers

9 minute read

Are you looking for a way to add some extra color to your crafting projects? Water-based markers are an excellent option for jazzing up your work and are easy to use! Available in a wide range of vibrant colors, you can use them to add life to various projects - whether you're a cardmaker, scrapbooker, journaling lover, or paper crafter! 

In this blog post, we'll discuss how to use water-based markers, how to blend water-based markers, and how they fare well in crafting compared to alcohol markers. We'll also share tips for getting the best water-based markers for 2022, so read on to find a new and fun way to color your paper crafting projects! 

Vibrant and bold swatches of the Hawaiian Shores Water-Based markers

Watercolor With Brush and Fine Tip Pens!

What Are Water-Based Markers?

Water-based markers are a must-have tool for paper crafters and cardmakers. They come in various colors and can be used to add fun detailing and shading to any project. Water-based markers are filled with dye-based ink that is activated by water. When the ink is wet, it flows easily and can be blended to create subtle gradations of color. However, the ink will take some time to dry, similar to a watercoloring medium.

A gorgeous floral card colored with water-based markers

Botanical Watercolor Card

Moreover, because the ink is water-soluble, there is no need to worry about smudging or smearing. This feature is why water-based markers are a great way to add some extra flair to your projects if you are a beginner since they are more forgiving than other coloring markers. 

Learn More Fun & Colorful Facts About Markers!

Most water-based markers also come with a dual tip, one for a fine nib, and a brush nib. This feature makes them perfect for calligraphy, coloring, and for adding finer details to your stamped images, cards, scrapbook pages, and other paper crafting projects. 

Take a look at this engaging video showcasing our Hawaiian Shores Brush & Fine Tip Pens, our best-selling water-based marker:

 How Do You Know If Markers Are Water-Based?

Water-based markers typically have a label that says "water-based" or "washable" on their product packaging. However, if you need clarification on whether a marker is water-based, test it on a scrap piece of paper before using it on your project. Make a swatch and spritz it with water. If the ink moves and budges, then it is most likely a water-based marker since alcohol markers are waterproof. 

If the ink begins to run when you brush it with water, it's probably water-based. Remember that the ink in these markers is designed to be easily removed from skin and clothing, so water will be the ultimate test of whether it's a water-based marker.

A card designed with breathtaking blue daisies that were colored with water-based markers

Lovely Daisies Die Set

Knowing how to identify water-based markers is essential to creating beautiful projects that are safe and easy to clean up! 

Are Water-Based Markers Permanent?

Water-based markers have become increasingly popular among crafters in recent years thanks to their vibrant colors and ease of use. But one burning question remains: are they permanent?

The short answer is: no. The ink will eventually fade on porous surfaces like paper or fabric, especially if exposed to direct sunlight. This feature is because water-soluble dyes are not very durable. As the paper fibers absorb the ink, it causes it to spread and eventually fade in time. We must remember that, unlike alcohol markers, water-based markers are not waterproof and washable. 

Find the perfect set of water-based markers for all your paper crafting projects at Altenew!

So, what does this mean for paper crafters and cardmakers? There may be better options than water-based markers if you're looking for a marker that will produce long-lasting results. However, if you are okay with reworking your projects every now and then, water-based markers can be a fun and easy way to add color to your paper crafts.

Do Water-Based Markers Bleed?

One thing that crafters often wonder about water-based markers is whether or not they will bleed through paper - it depends on some factors. Some water-based markers are designed not to bleed, while others may bleed depending on the paper you're using. 

Generally, water-based markers are ideal for use on paper, as the ink will not bleed or smudge through as much - making them perfect for coloring books and journals. They are not as juicy as alcohol inks, so you have fewer tendencies for bleeding. However, if you use too much water when coloring with these markers, your paper may experience warping. This is why when using water-based markers or any other medium that uses water, make sure to use watercolor paper pads for the best results.

A bold and vibrant floral card using the PAF Himalayan Poppy Outline Stamp Set

Paint-A-Flower: Himalayan Poppy Outline Stamp Set

If you're concerned about bleeding, it's always a good idea to test your markers on a scrap piece of paper before using them on your project. That way, you can see how they perform and make necessary adjustments. With some experimentation, you'll be able to adjust to the features of water-based markers and color away! 

Find Out What Other Markers You Can Use for Coloring!

How to Use Water-Based Markers

Water-based markers are a versatile tool for paper crafters, cardmakers, scrapbookers, and coloring enthusiasts. You can use them to color and write as regular markers, make calligraphy, and even create faux watercolor looks with them! Whatever project, you will not run out of uses for your water-based markers.

So when you decide to use them, here are some tips:

  • Water-based markers are great for watercolor paper and other absorbent papers. If you're using thin or smooth cardstock, then these markers won't show their full potential because the water won't stick well enough to make an impression in the material - so keep that in mind before your project!
  • Experiment with blending. You can combine water-based markers to create new colors and shades. Blending is also a great way to smooth out any lines or edges since water-based ink shows your brush strokes once they dry.
  • Use water to dilute the color. You can use a damp paintbrush or sponge to pick up color from the marker and then apply it to your paper. 

Watch this video for more crafty ideas on how to use these versatile markers:

How Do You Revive Water Based Markers?

Sometimes, the ink in water-based markers can dry out. Luckily, if there is still ink left in the barrel, there are a few simple tricks that may help reactivate water-based markers. One method is to simply dip the whole tip of the marker in hot water and let it sit for a few minutes. Another method is to dip the entire markers in cups of warm water for at least five minutes. These methods will usually cause the ink to start flowing again. With just a little effort, you can keep your water-based markers working like new. 

A bundle pairing of water-based markers with a lovely floral stamp set is the perfect craft room companion!

Paint-A-Flower: Camellia Waterhouse Outline Stamp Set

 Additionally, since water-based markers are soluble in water, reactivating them on your projects is easy. By using water, you simply re-wet the ink and move it again - which is why water-based markers are such a forgiving medium! 

How Do I Color With Water-Based Markers?

You can use water-based markers for watercoloring since their ink is water-soluble. This feature means that the ink will flow when wet and can be blended to create different colors and shades. When coloring with these markers, you can choose either one of these application techniques: 

  • Wet on wet: You scribble ink from the marker onto a palette, pick it up with a paint brush and then apply it onto wet paper.
  • Wet on dry: Apply the marker directly on your paper, then use a clean brush wet with water to spread and move the ink as you wish.  

You can layer colors on top of each other to create different effects and explore the amount of water you want to use. Use less water for a more solid color, and do the opposite when you want a more washed-up look. Experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you!

A beautiful floral card designed with ink sprays and colored with water-based markers

Stylish Cardmaking Techniques with Jenny

How Do I Blend Water-Based Markers?

Blending with markers is easy, and it's a great way to add some color variation to your designs.To blend water-based markers:

  1. Start by selecting two or three markers in similar colors.
  2. Color your paper with each marker, overlapping the colors slightly.
  3. Next, lightly blend the colors together with a damp brush or Q-tip.
  4. Experiment with different blending techniques until you find a look that you like.

Just remember, if you want lighter colors, use more water! Did you know that you can create multiple hues and shades with just one color? Simply control the amount of water, and you'll be able to make one happy color family with just one water-based marker! 

Which Is Better: Water-Based Markers or Alcohol Markers?

If you practice the wonderful hobby of paper crafting or cardmaking, you probably use many markers. But have you ever wondered if you're using the best type of marker for your project? Water-based and alcohol markers are both popular choices for crafters, but which one is better? What is the difference between water-based markers and alcohol markers?

 Water-Based Markers  Alcohol Markers
More affordable than alcohol markers More expensive than water-based markers
Perfect for adding fine details and smaller coloring projects Perfect for coloring large areas and making vibrant images
Less vibrant inks Richer and pigmented inks
Non-toxic, has no odor Alcohol fumes can be harmful when inhaled
Fades over time Resistant to fading
Slow drying time Quick drying time
Water soluble Waterproof
Washable, easy to rework and clean mistakes More permanent, cannot edit mistakes easily
Best for coloring journals and coloring books Best for coloring all types of projects
Perfect for beginners and kids Perfect for artists and pros

If you want to know how coloring with alcohol markers work, try watching this helpful video:

Get Your Set of Rich & Vibrant Markers Today!

Color Your Projects With The Best Water-Based Markers of 2022!

Whether you're making cards, scrapbooks, or other projects, a set of the perfect markers can make all the difference. And when it comes to water-based markers, there are a lot of great options out there. But which ones are the best? Here are our top five picks for the best water-based markers of 2022:

  1. Altenew Hawaiian Shores Brush & Fine Tip Pens (Water-Based)

These markers have a fine nib and brush nib, making them perfect for blending and creating unique effects. Their vibrant ink coordinates with the Altenew family of ink colors and is water-based and non-toxic.

  1. Ohuhu Water-Based Brush Markers

Coloring has never been so fun with these dual-tipped adult coloring marker pens! These pens have two tips - a fine point and a brush tip - so they're perfect for detailed work and broad strokes. 

  1. Dual Tip Brush Marker Pens (Set of 24) By Vaci Markers

 These markers are great for detailing with their dual tips, which allow you to work with thin and thick lines. 

  1. MIHIYIRY 80 Colors Water-Based Art Dual Tip Markers

These markers are a great way to start your creative journey! They come in many colors and blend evenly - perfect for kids and beginners! 

  1. Crayola Ultraclean Broadline Classic Washable Markers (2-Pack)

Crayola is the most well-known brand for creating high-quality washable markers. Non-toxic and very kid-friendly, this set is perfect for coloring with thick lines and drawing with thin lines. 

So there you have it - our top five picks for the best water-based markers of 2022! Whatever your paper crafting needs, one of these sets is sure to be perfect for you.

We hope you learned a lot from this blog post - everything you need to know about water-based markers - how to use them, how to revive them, how to paint with them, and where to find the best water-based markers for 2022!

So the next time you go on your next supply run, we hope you consider water-based markers as an excellent option for a bright and fun coloring experience. If you want even more blending and color options, check out our selection of alcohol markers – they’re a bit different but just as much fun to play with. We hope you enjoy using these tools for your next crafting adventure! 


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