The weather has finally started its cool down here in St. Louis. It has me dreaming of fall leaves, cool evenings, long sleeves, and boots. When I think of fall colors I think of warm oranges and rich browns and textures like frost and tiny drops of dew on leaves. Those colors and textures inspired my tag in this week’s tutorial.
Begin by applying Squeezed Lemonade and Fossilized Amber to the upper left and right of the tag using an ink blending tool. Dry the ink with a heat tool.
Place the Crackle Layering Stencil over the tag on your craft sheet.
Use a palette knife over the tag through the stencil. Apply the paste randomly leaving some areas of the tag clean.
Sprinkle clear glass microbeads over the wet paste. (My microbeads are clear but show white in the photographs because of my camera flash.)
Sprinkle a pinch or two of Clear Rock Candy Distress Glitter over the wet paste.
Carefully lift the stencil off of the tag. Rinse the excess paste off of the stencil and palette knife with water.
Gently press the glitter and beads down into the paste to help set them in place using the flat bottom side of the palette knife. Be careful to not smash the design in the texture paste.
Allow the texture paste to air dry. It will be completely clear when dry.
When dry, you will see all of your tag’s color through the texture paste. The beads and glitter will be securely adhered to the tag.
You can blend ink over the dried paste (and beads and glitter) to darken the edges of the stenciled design. To do this, use an ink blending tool with a darker shade of Distress Ink (I used Ground Espresso) and gently blend over the stenciled design.
Use a slightly moistened cloth to buff over the texture paste, beads, and glitter. The cloth will remove the ink from those surfaces, leaving the color down in the grooves on the tag “background”. (See more of this technique on the Shattered and Work in Progress tags.)
Ink a text or script stamps with Distress Ink using one of the same colors from the background blend. Randomly stamp the image onto the background. If you get stamp ink on the texture paste or beads, simply buff of with the cloth.
I keep all of my “reject” and “craft fail” tags or duplicates that I don’t end up using in a scrap bin. I save these for die cutting. (This background effect was created following the Great Things Take Time tutorial.) The great thing about keeping reject, fails, or duplicates is that they create amazing die cuts. I love die cutting from a pre-colored surface instead of trying to color a small die cut. It is much easier to create interesting ink effects on a larger piece of paper than on a tiny die cut.
On this tag, I wanted to bring in more color. I used my blending tools that already had my background color inks on them and blended the ink onto the tag over the existing color. This tag had paint on it that when combined with the ink creates a really beautiful background.
To add a touch of shimmer, mist the tag with Perfect Pearls Mist. I used Cappuccino.
After misting the tag, blot the excess mist with a dry cloth. Dry the tag with a heat tool.
I definitely need to recreate this background in the future. I love it! But today, I need to use it for die cut leaves!
Always check the back sides of your scrap bin pieces. Sometimes the back is the best side for a really interesting colored die cut.
In this case, I like the back, but I really want more color. Coloring both sides of a piece gives you two options for your die cut. To add color, I again, added colors that I used on the background. I also brought in a green and a second shade of yellow (Peeled Paint and Scattered Straw). I wanted to bring in the lighter colors so that some leaves could be more on the “summer side” than the “fall side”.
To create some “weather” on the surface, mist water into your hand. Flick the water onto the tag. The water will create spots in the ink. Blot the excess water with a dry cloth.
To add a shimmer, mist the tag with Cappuccino Perfect Pearls Mist. Blot the excess mist with a dry cloth. Dry the tag with a heat tool.
This would be such a pretty background! But alas… it needs to be die cut leaves!
Die cut several leaves from the tag using the Autumn Gatherings die. Since both sides are colored, you will be able to mix and match which side of the die cuts to use to get a really good variety of colors.
Ink the edges of both sides of all the leaves using a brown Distress Ink (I used Ground Espresso). In most cases, only one side of a die cut will show so having both sides colored isn’t necessary. In this case, you actually may see the backside of the leaf so it is a good idea to have both sides colored.
Decide which side of the leaf you want to use. Fold the leaf in half to create a center vein. Lightly brush the vein with brown Distress Ink.
Repeat for all the leaves.
Brush a paper wrapped flower stem (Petaloo) with brown Distress Ink. (I always use the same brown through a whole project to keep it unified.) Adding ink to the stem will help knock down the brightness of the green making it feel more fall-ish.
Tip- You could also use a small twig or branch from a tree or shrub in your yard or neighborhood. I love adding twigs from my yard, I feel it adds a unique and personal touch.
Brush over the stem generously with Multi Medium Matte. If your brush picks up any ink wipe it off on a dry cloth before returning it to the bottle.
Sprinkle glass microbeads onto the stem. Set aside to dry.
Cut a 1″ x 7″ strip of burlap from the Textured Surfaces pack. Peel the adhesive backing off of the back of the piece of burlap. Pull some of the strings of burlap from the piece so that there are frayed edges.
Tie the strings around the floral stem.
Adhere the burlap strip along the left edge of the tag using wide clear adhesive tape. Adhere the branch with the burlap string to the tag on top of the burlap strip using a strong clear quick drying glue.
Use a clear quick drying glue to adhere the leaves on and around the stem.
Die cut a label from a scrap of manila cardstock (or from a scrap tag). Don’t be afraid of using something with some random ink on it. It adds a fun punch of color. After die cutting, brush the edge of the label with brown Distress Ink using an ink blending tool. Add a rub-on sentiment to the right side of the label.
Note: You must dry Distress Ink before attempting to add a rub-on. If your ink has not been heat set, your rub-on may not adhere well.
Add a bit of glue to the left end of the label. Slip the label under the bottom of the floral arrangement.
Let’s talk about the details… when I shared a sneak peek of this on Instagram someone wanted to know if the beads and glitter would fall off when handled. I am happy to say no, it sure doesn’t! The texture paste holds the beads and glitter perfectly! I haven’t had any flake off while working on the tag!
The beads on the stem are not bonded quite as well. If handled too much, you may lose a few beads. They won’t all fall off, but you may lose a few.
I love how dramatic the edges are that are inked after the texture paste dried. It really make the edges and design stand out.
Didn’t the leaves turn out so amazing? I love all the variations in them, each one unique just as they are in nature!
One fun thing about clear glass beads is that they reflect the color underneath them. Look at how the beads on the fabric leaf on the stem looks brown, isn’t that so cool?
I love the bit of color on the label. It helps to draw attention to the label and also brings in another color of fall.
I just love the way it captures a bit of fall. Wouldn’t it be a fun place tag for holiday dinners? Simply change out the sentiment for a name. Each guest would have a personalized keepsake of a special day.