Tutorial: Embossed Resist

Recently a friend RAK’d me some manila tags embossed with the Tim Holtz Clock Texture Fade.  I have been looking at them for a couple of weeks now trying to decide what I wanted to create with them.  I have a new love for tag making and wanted to do something fun with this one.  I decided that aI wanted to find a way to add color to the raised and recessed areas separately.

tammytutterow make time tag

I decided that I would use a technique that I learned at Ranger U where you stamp an image in color (we used Distress Ink) and emboss it with embossing powder.  After embossing you continue to stamp and ink your project.  The embossing powder acts like a resist and protects your original stamped image, very much as if you had masked the image off.  Once you finish stamping and inking, you can cover the piece with paper and heat it with an iron to melt and remove the embossing powder, leaving a smooth matte image.  I wasn’t sure what the ironing process would do to the raised design from the texture fades.  I never found out, because I ended up liking the look of the clear embossing powder on the raised portions of the tag so much that I decided to leave it.

tammytutterow make time tag

To create my tag I started with a manila tag embossed with the Clock Texture Fade.

tammytutterow make time tag

I wanted my colors to be softer so I coated my tag with Picket Fence Distress Stain.  (I got to use it for CHA samples and trust me, you NEED this stain!)

tammytutterow make time tag

Here is a side by side comparison of a plain manila tag (left) and one with Picket Fence Distress Stain (right).  (If you click the photo you will get a larger view)

tammytutterow make time tag

Apply Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink to the raised areas of the tag with an ink applicator tool.

tammytutterow make time tag

Dry the ink with a Heat It heat tool.  Apply clear embossing ink to the raised areas of the tag by tapping the pad lightly on the tag.

tammytutterow make time tag

Cover the tag with clear embossing powder.

tammytutterow make time tag

Lift the tag out of the powder and tap off the excess powder.

tammytutterow make time tag

Use a dry paint brush to brush away any powder that may be in the areas you don’t want it.  You don’t have to be meticulous with it, leaving some stray powder will add to the distressed look on the finished tag.

tammytutterow make time tag

Heat the tag until the powder melts.  You can tell it is melted when the powder has turned shiny and glossy.

tammytutterow make time tag

Apply Distress Ink colors of choice to the tag.  (I can’t tell you the colors I used because I used the ink already on my ink applicator tools without re-inking them.)

tammytutterow make time tag

After applying colors, accent the edges of the tag with ink.  I used the same brown, Brushed Corduroy that I used on the raised portion.

tammytutterow make time tag

To embellish my tag, I added a scrap of pattern paper to the top to cover the non-embossed area.  I used paper from BasicGrey’s 6×6 Basics paper pad.  I added a Tim Holtz Reinforcer to the whole, some machine stitching, and finished off the edges with more Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink.

tammytutterow make time tag

For my sentiment, I stamped a phrase on strips of the same pattern paper with my very favorite letter stamps stamped with Brushed Corduroy.

tammytutterow make time tag

I totally love the way the finished tag turned out.  I am not sure that the photo really does it justice.  The random specks of embossing powder on the clock faces helped create a really worn effect.

tammytutterow make time tag

I also really like how the embossing powder helped to keep the brown portions defined and added texture and shine to the tag.

tammytutterow make time tag


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My next event: August 21-23, 2015 The Doodlebug, Inc | Jasper, IN


  1. Faith says

    BEAUTIFUL! Just got my Picket Fence Distress Stain the other day and haven’t played with it yet… I feel a tag coming on. Thanks for the inspiration – have a wonderful weekend.

  2. says

    Love how your tag turned out! Thanks for the tutorial. Gonna go try it.
    {Pattie’s passion}
    I Scrap So All Moments Are Remembered!

  3. Peggy says

    Love, love, love this tag. Thanks for all the great detailed instructions. I love your work.

  4. Elaine Allen says

    Tammy –
    This is wonderful! I really love how this turned out, great job! Thank you so much for posting this tutorial.
    Elaine Allen

  5. says

    Oh this is a great tag…You give me a verry good reason to buy the new stains!!!..;)
    Thanks for sharing I am going to use it that’s for sure

  6. Beth W says

    I’m in love and I have to have that embossing folder.I never paid any attention to it until I saw this-you worked your magic with this!

  7. says

    This is absolutely gorgeous. I’m new to your blog so off to check out the rest of it. Love your blog decor too – very stylish.

  8. Wilma B says

    Oooh wow thank you so much for showing how you made this gorgeous tag! I’m going to try it myself!!

  9. Marijane says

    Cool technique. I tried it without the picket fence layer, and I didn’t ink the raised surface – just wanted the natural tag color showing through. I clear embossed, then used distress colors over the whole tag and WOW! Next time I will press a little lighter with my embossing stamp pad – got a little too much embossed areas, but still looks great! Thanks.

  10. Barbara K says

    Thank you for sharing. I tried to do this without the embossing powder and usually made a mess. I’ll try this myself tonight!

  11. Robin says

    Tammy – what a wonderful tag – it’s another amazing Tammy tutorial. I thank you so much for sharing this great technique & tutorial with all of us. thank you!