Craft Supply Review: Tim Holtz Distress Collage Crazing Medium

Note: The following review is my own personal opinion of a craft supply I purchased myself.  I was not asked to review this product, nor is it a showcased product.

I’ve always like the look of crackle mediums, whether they were found on refinished furniture pieces or even nail polish, something about catching a glimpse of another layer through cracks in the top coat added interest for me.  It’s no surprise that when Tim Holtz demonstrated his new Crazing Collage Medium that I immediately wanted to try it in my papercrafting.

I was over the moon at the thought of this new collage medium creating those fine little cracks that you always find in old porcelain tea cups or antique porcelain lamps.  The ability to add another subtle layer of depth to my mixed media pieces appealed to me so much that the minute it came in stock at my local Michael’s I scooped it up. (With a 40% off coupon of course!)

Then my business got busy, as it often does, and the crazing medium sat un -opened for weeks.  Finally, last week I decided it was time to play with it, just to see exactly what it could do.



I started with two items, a scrap of a book page and a manila shipping tag stamped with a Hero Arts newsprint stamp that I had used to wipe up some excess Dylusions ink and paint.

I started by applying a super thin coat of collage medium with my finger to both surfaces.  I used my finger because I’d seen a YouTube video where it had been pointed out that it was much easier to get a uniform thin coat with your finger without leaving brush marks.

The book page immediate curled under at the edges after application, but the thicker tag didn’t warp at all. Of course, at this point there was no visible cracking or crazing at all.

After about 30 minutes of drying time the book page had curled up considerably, this is something to keep in mind when working on thin papers. Even the heavier manila tag was bowed a little bit as you can see in the picture.

Looking closely at both items at the 30 minute mark I could see tiny little cracks starting to form. It was more noticeable on the book page then on the manila tag at this point. It could have been the mix of colors on the tag that kept me from seeing them at this early stage of drying, but although I could see them when magnifying the pictures I took, the naked eye wasn’t picking up the crazing process on the tag.


As hard as it was, I let both items dry overnight after this. As difficult as this was, I wanted to be sure I gave them plenty of time to ‘cure’ and develop.  The next day I again examined both items and took pictures.  The crazing effect that I was so looking forward to was very evident on the book page and much more easy to see on the tag as well.  I was thrilled with the results. But…

I wanted to see if adding some distressing via Distress Inks would make a big difference in how the results looked.  Would it be more visible or would it cover up the cracks.  This was a logical question to have since unlike crackle medium that happens on the top layer, the crazing cracks are beneath the surface, leaving a smooth finish.  Like the porcelain I mentioned at the beginning of this post.


I started with some Vintage Photo Distress ink.  Although I liked the aged effect I didn’t feel it changed the visibility of the crazing all that much.

Next up was Walnut Stain.  This actually did seem to make the crazing on both items show up a bit more.

Finally I added a bit of Black Soot. The effect on the book page was pretty much the same as with the Walnut Stain, making the crazing more visible, but not more so.  The tag however was a different matter, the Black definitely made the crazing show up even more.  It could have been the fact that the areas I used the Black Soot on were at the edges, or it could have something to do with the colors on the tag. More experimenting will be required to know for sure.

Of course, after applying the Distress Ink I had to see what happened when I added water.  We all know how wonderfully the Distress inks mottle and give that aged look when sprayed with water.  What would it do to the crazing?

In some areas it definitely amplified the crazing, especially on the book page.  In others, it really didn’t change the visibility of the crazing.  It did however give a really, really cool distressed look to both pieces.

My conclusion after testing out the Crazing Collage Medium is that I’ll most likely have to determine what materials and projects will get the desired effect and which ones won’t.  For example, in my next post I’ll share how I created a paper mosaic and decided to use the medium and something unexpected happened.  All in all, I’m glad I bought it and added it to my mixed media supplies. I can see finding numerous ways to use it to create unique effects in my mixed media, craft and card making projects.

Have you used the new Crazing Medium? What were your thoughts? Is it a must have in your supply stash or just ‘meh’? Let me know in the comments below.


  1. leslie modena on June 28, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    so far, meh for sure.

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