Today’s tag tutorial is all about April and spring. April is by far my favorite month of the year. I love the spring. I love the colors of spring, the smell of the flowers, the smell of a good spring rain. I always have felt lucky that my birthday month was one that was so special. I wanted to make a tag this week that captured some of the things I love about April and spring. I think I did just that along with finding a perfect quote to tie it all together.
Begin by sanding the surface of a manila tag lightly and randomly to remove some of the coating. The sanded areas will absorb the ink differently than the coated areas.
Die cut a Trellis Frameworks from manila cardstock. Sand the surface lightly. (Note: Do NOT sand on a craft sheet, it will damage the surface. I hold pieces like this in my hand to sand them and only sat it down on the craft sheet for the photograph.)
Mist or splatter Picket Fence Distress Stain onto the tag. The stain will resist color added over it so add as little or as much stain as you would like to depending on the amount of resist you want.
Use a heat tool to dry the stain.
Scribble colors of Distress Ink directly onto a craft sheet. (I used Distress Ink Minis in this project. I have linked the sets as well as the full size colors in the supply list below.) I wanted the colors of spring so I used Peeled Paint, Broken China, Shaded Lilac, Scattered Straw, and Spun Sugar.
Mist the ink with water. The ink and water will blend and bead up on the craft sheet.
Drag the tag through the ink and water droplets. Let any excess drip off.
Use a heat tool to dry the ink. I try to dry drips in place.
Drag or tap the tag again into the ink. Focus on applying ink to areas of the tag that need more or different color.
Use a heat tool to dry the tag again. Continue dragging and drying the tag until you are happy with the result. Each time to apply more color and dry it, it will add a layer. Drying between each layer will keep the colors from getting muddy.
To add a bit of shine, scribble some metallic Distress Stain on the craft sheet. Mist with water.
Tap the tag into the stain and dry like before.
Color the die cut with the watery ink like the tag.
Mist a long piece of Crinkle Ribbon (apx. 30″) with water. Use the ink on the craft sheet to color the ribbon. Use a heat tool to dry the ribbon.
To add more shimmer, mist the tag with Biscotti Perfect Pearls Mist. Perfect Pearls Mist adds only shimmer to a project, it does not add color. The color of the fluid in the bottle is a reflection of the color of the shimmer.
Blot the excess mist with a dry cloth and dry with a heat tool.
True confession time… I have shared before that I photograph these tutorials as I make them, I don’t pre-plan them at all. I just create and photograph as I go. On this tag, I LOVED this background at this point. I wish I had left it was it was. But I had in my mind that I wanted to add some stenciling. The second I add the stenciling, I was sure I had made a mistake that I couldn’t take back. In the end, the finished tag is pretty, but part of me still really regrets the stenciling…
Thinking about April, I thought about Easter services and stained glass windows. I decided that this Dylusions Shattered Stencil would capture the feel of stained glass. I inked through the stencil with Pumice Stone Distress Ink. Perhaps a better choice would have been to used some of the colors on the tag already, I am not sure. I just know that I didn’t love this look.
To soften the effect of the Pumice Stone mist the tag with water. Blot the tag with a dry cloth and then dry with a heat tool.
To add “raindrops”, place the circle stamp from the Dylusions Graphic Backgrounds stamp set face up on your craft sheet. Tap Pumice Stone Distress Ink onto the stamp. Place the tag on the stamp randomly to transfer the image onto the tag. You should be able to stamp the image 2-3 times without having to re-ink.
Use an ink blending tool to apply Vintage Photo Distress Ink to the edges of the tag.
To apply a “faux soldering edge” brush the edge of the tag with Brushed Pewter Distress Stain.
Sprinkle clear embossing powder into the wet Distress Stain. The wet stain will hold the powder while it melts. (I use my Milwaukee Heat Tool for melting embossing powder.)
Use a heat tool to melt the embossing powder and dry the stain. The melted powder leaves a texture in the stain that resembles a soldered edge.
Brush the edges of the “faux soldering” with Vintage Photo Distress Ink directly with the ink pad to add some age to the solder.
If the brushed edge looks too harsh, blend it out with an ink blending tool.
Dry the ink with a heat tool
Tear a strip of vellum that is as tall as the Trellis die cut and wider than the tag. Wrap the vellum around the tag. Secure it in place on the back of the tag.
Wrap the Trellis die cut around the tag over the top of the vellum. Tie the ribbon around the tag in a simple tie as shown. Trim the ends so that they are about 1 1/2″ – 2″ long.
Machine stitch along the sides of the tag through the vellum, die cut, and ribbon.
Form the remaining ribbon in figure eights between your fingers.
Lay the bundle of ribbon over the tied ribbon. Tie the tails of the first piece of ribbon around the bundle. Fluff into a bow.
Scribble Peeled Paint and Mowed Lawn Distress Inks on the craft sheet. Mist with water and Biscotti Perfect Pearls Mist.
Drag a piece of manila through the ink and mist. Dry the manila. Drag, dip, and dry multiple times until you are happy with the results.
Place the two leaf stamps from the Daydream stamp set on your craft sheet. Ink the stamps with Leaf Green Archival Ink. (You can also place them on a stamp block to stamp. I am sometimes a lazy stamper. 😉 )
Ink the stamps also with Potting Soil Distress Ink. I focused the brown ink on the stems and outer edges. I like the effect of double inking a stamp. I like that it gives me two colors on my image with only one stamping.
Stamp the leaves onto the green inked manila. Stamp two sets of leaves.
Cut each leaf out. Use an ink blending tool to apply Vintage Photo Distress Ink to the edges of the leaves.
Place one large and one small leaf above and below the bow. Adhere in place.
Scribble Broken China Distress Ink on the craft sheet. Use a water brush to pick up the color. Color the “raindrops” randomly on the tag around the leaves.
Take three small Petaloo Forget Me Not flowers. Cup each one into a ball shape.
Brush the tips of the petals with an ink blending tool and Distress Ink.
When cupped like a ball, these small flowers reminded me of Lily of the Vally flowers, another spring favorite. The blue color wouldn’t really be correct for those flowers, but I loved the punch of color it added and the way it ties the flowers to the background of the tag. Adhere the three flowers to the tag around the bow.
Add a sentiment using alphabet stamps and Potting Soil Archival Ink.
I think the “faux soldering” on the edge adds a really interesting touch. It adds a defined edge to the project, some shine, and texture. It was a good tie in to the stained glass that I was thinking of when I stenciled.
Biscotti Perfect Pearls Mist is such a favorite product for me. I love the subtle shimmer it adds to projects. If you can only pick one color of Perfect Pearls Mist, you can’t go wrong with Biscotti. I love it.
I love the color variation in the leaves from coloring the manila first and from double inking the stamps. These leaf stamps are some of my very favorite leaf images ever. I know I will be using them over and over.
In April my garden is full of green leaves emerging. I loved that these stamps let me make green leaves such a key element on the tag.
I love the quote I found about spring…
“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke
I think it was the perfect complement and finish to the tag. It ties together the elements with the tag and the sentiment that was on my mind while creating it. Spring is like a beautiful poem to me. The second I saw this quote, I knew it was the one.
PS. If you would like a printable version of this tutorial, you can find it in my Tags of 2014 e-book.