I am so excited about the projects I have to share with you this week. Back in January I created a card for CHA that I absolutely loved. I had never shared it here though because I knew that I would want to explain it and I just wasn’t sure words would do the trick. Sunday morning (usually work on Tuesday Tutorials on Sunday) I was feeling stumped about what to make for this week’s tutorial. It dawned on me that instead of re-inventing the wheel, I should re-make the card that I hadn’t shared. Instead of a card though, I decided I would do a tag so that I could share two ideas for the same technique. From that an idea was born…
Take Two Thursday. From now on, I plan on giving you not only a tutorial on Tuesday but also an alternate idea for the technique on Thursday. This week for instance, I have a tag today with a technique and will have a card on Thursday featuring the same technique. Some weeks I may use the same products from the supply list and create a completely different project. Either way, be sure to visit again on Thursday to get a second dose of inspiration!
Today’s tutorial is a simple technique that I think creates such a nice pastel background effect. What makes this technique neat is that the base surface is kraft cardstock, which normally would make your inks much darker. For this background, Picket Fence Distress Stain is the magic element.
Begin by applying a coat of Picket Fence Distress Stain to the tag, applying it in straight lines from the top of the tag to the bottom. Don’t worry about covering the entire tag. Having some areas not covered with stain will make the final tag more interesting. You will be applying multiple layers, so thin layers will work best.
Dry the stain with a heat tool.
Apply a second coat of stain applying it in straight lines from side to side.
Dry the stain with a heat tool.
Apply a third layer of stain in straight lines from top to bottom. Dry the stain with a heat tool.
Apply a fourth layer of stain in straight lines from side to side. Dry the stain with a heat tool.
Apply two more layers, top to bottom and side to side as before. Dry the stain in between each layer.
After six layers (three top to bottom and three side to side) the tag will have a nice white base. There will be areas that are more solid than others and areas that are totally uncovered. One of the reasons I use manila tags a lot is because they are coated and stand up well to lots of layers of products. The kraft tags are not coated and can easily become warped from multiple layers. One way I try to minimize this is by heating both sides of the tag as I dry it. If that doesn’t do the trick, the tag can be mounted on a sturdier paper base. More on that in a minute…
Apply Scattered Straw Distress Ink with an ink blending tool over the Picket Fence Stain.
Dry the ink with a heat tool. The multiple layers of Picket Fence Stain will create a somewhat slick surface. Ink applied to the top of it can wipe off while wet. If you don’t dry it and then handle the tag, you will leave fingerprints in the ink. Trust me. 😉
You might notice that in the photos the layers of stain applied in the cross hatch pattern kind of resemble the Faux Linen Texture tag from last week. While you do get a kind of similar look, the texture is completely different. This background created with stain is completely flat without any texture. On the Faux Linen Texture tag the paint actually creates texture that you can see and feel.
Apply Tumbled Glass Distress Ink with an ink blending tool to the left half of the tag.
Dry the ink with a heat tool.
Sand the edges lightly with a sanding grip. Sanding helps knock off some of the slick finish from the edges of the tag so that a crisp inked edge can be created.
If you love the background as it is, you could skip ahead a few steps and ink the edges. If you would love to give it a little something more, give it a little “spritz and flick”. Mist water into your hand. Flick the water onto the tag. The ink will react to the water and create spots.
Use a dry cloth to gently blot the excess water.
Dry the tag with a heat tool.
Use an ink blending tool to apply Vintage Photo Distress Ink to the edges of the tag. The brown ink applied to the edges will be softer where it is layered on the Picket Fence and other colors. The sanded raw edges will be much bolder and will create a nice frame to the tag.
Scribble Vintage Photo Distress Stain onto a large background stamp. (Shown: Hero Arts Envelope Pattern.)
Stamp the image onto the tag. Stamping with stain will create a very fluid and imprecise image. I love the look of it. It gives you the pattern without it being really crisp. A crisper impression might compete with the tag focal point. With this softer image, you get the idea of the pattern with out it being a focal point.
Blot the excess stain with a dry cloth.
Dry the stain with a heat tool.
Place adhesive on the back of the tag. (I ran my tag though my Xyron.)
Adhere the tag to a piece of manila cardstock.
Trim around the tag leaving a thin border. To make the trimming quick, easy and precise, I used the 1/16″ edge on my Perfect Layers along with a craft knife. The manila base will help flatten out the craft tag and make it very sturdy.
Brush the edges of the manila border with Scattered Straw and Tumbled Glass using an ink blending tool.
Brush the edge of the manila tag also with Vintage Photo Distress Ink using an ink blending tool.
Stamp a large flower (Hero Arts Wildflower Garden) on manila cardstock using Jet Black Archival Ink.
Scribble Distress Ink Markers onto a craft sheet. Use a water brush to pick up the colors and apply them to the stamped image. When you are finished coloring the image, dry the paper with a heat tool.
Cut out the image with find tip scissors. Although it looks like it would be difficult to cut out, images like this one are actually easy to cut out because it can be cut out with mostly straight cuts (think Vs). Save any areas that will be fragile like where the stem connects to the flower for last to keep it from getting bent or weakened.
Tap over the flower with an ink blending tool that has been used for Vintage Photo ink. I like to use the blender without re-inking it so that I don’t accidentally add too much ink. I only want to add a subtle amount to help the image blend in more with look and feel of the rest of the tag. Without muting it with ink, it might look too bright in comparison to the background.
Stamp and color a second flower (without the stem). Cut the flower out and ink it as before. Adhere the first flower and stem to the front of the tag. (I ran mine through my Xyron to make it easy to adhere without having any loose edges or seeping glue.)
True confession time… I added textured embossing powder to the center of the flower thinking it would give it a cool rough texture like a real flower has. It was a craft fail moment. The fix, creating a second flower to cover the first. It is a great fix because it adds dimension and more interest than the single flat flower alone.
Apply adhesive to the center of the second flower. Adhere the second flower to the first flower. Bend the petals of the second flower up to lift them off of the front of the tag.
Choose three text strip stickers for the tag sentiment (Cosmo Cricket Tiny Text- Just Because). Place the stickers on scraps of manila cardstock.
Trim around the stickers leaving a thin 1/16″ border. (I used the Perfect Layers ruler and a craft knife to make it quick and easy.)
Sand the edges of the strips and slightly onto the surface of the stickers to soften and distress them. The stickers and a slick surface that will resist ink. Sanding will remove the finish and allow them to take ink. It can also sand off the printing so be careful as you sand to not take off the words.
Use an ink blending tool to apply Scattered Straw and Tumbled Glass Distress Ink to the word strips.
Use an ink blending tool to apply Vintage Photo Distress Ink to the edges of the strips.
Adhere the strips to the front of the tag over the stem of the flower. Use a Tiny Attacher to add a staple to the end of each strip.
I love the way you see all of these layers here, both individually and together. I really like the bit of kraft showing and the way the Distress Stain stamping looks on it.
The water spots and fluid look of the Distress Stain stamping look so cool combined here. I like that it creates something interesting but is still subtle. I lets the flower be the focus but keeps the background from being boring.
I love when art goofs lead the way to something even better. Adding a second layer to the flower to hide my embossing powder fail really made this flower jump off of the tag.
Not many people would think of the Distress Ink palette as pastel, but layer them over Picket Fence Distress Stain and they take on a creamy pastel look. I love that Picket Fence you take the colors of Distress in a whole new direction.
I have mentioned before that often times my tags are like an art journal for me. This tag is no exception. When I looked at the sheet of stickers for the sentiment, it was almost as if the three were highlighted. They were exactly for me. I am pretty sure that these stickers were made for this tag and for my thoughts and mood today. I find more and more often that just by taking the time to just be quiet and make some art that my heart seems to find its voice. I don’t always know the words to say how I am feeling, but somehow through the art I find them. Today it was telling me to be true to myself, to not let things that others do rob me of the joy in art and creating, and to be brave to go after my dreams. I think that is pretty good advice found on a sheet of stickers!
Don’t forget to come back Thursday for Take Two Thursday to see the card I made using today’s technique!