12 tags of 2014 – august…


our style is as unique as our individual personality, the art we make is an expression of that, and sometimes we simply have to follow that creative muse… now usually i try to have an idea of what i want to create before i start the tag each month however this month i didn’t plan a thing.  instead i just gathered some of my favorite stamps, stencils, idea-ology findings, and distress products in a pile on my table.  i wanted to create something for the art of it.  this tutorial will give you a glimpse into my creative process (however crazy it may be), and you will see that like anyone else who creates, i change my mind along the way, think of new ideas that probably should have been done before something else, but nevertheless i just keep going until i’m happy with the end result.  i’ve learned long ago to embrace my imperfections and that sure makes creating so much more enjoyable.  so whether you’re obsessed with distress, or clean and simple is your thing, perhaps your happy place is bright colors, heck maybe even glitter is your sparkly obsession, this month i challenge you to create showcasing your own creative muse.   it doesn’t get any better than that…t!m


  • surfaces: #8 manila tag
  • layering stencils: numbered, speckles, latticework,
  • stamps: cms189
  • embellishments: mini gears, pen nibs, word bands, stencil marks, type charms, mirrored stars, tissue tape, vial labels, remnant rubs, film strip ribbon, crinkle ribbon, jute string
  • distress stain: evergreen bough, stormy sky, rusty hinge, frayed burlap
  • distress ink: walnut stain/black soot
  • distress paint: evergreen bough, iced spruce, antiqued bronze, black soot
  • distress embossing powder: vintage photo
  • distress embossing ink
  • archival ink/jet black
  • mediums: texture paste, multi-medium- matte
  • tools: mini ink blending tool, palette knife, mister, craft sheet, heat tool, grid-blocks, scissors, paper distresser

DSC00587step 1: i wanted to create a mask area for my focal image so i adhered strips of torn tissue tape about the size of the image to the tag.

DSC00589step 2: stamp the image with jet black archival ink.

DSC00591step 3: repeat the previous steps for any additional images and dry the ink with a heat tool.

DSC00592step 4: place a layering stencil over the tag and apply texture paste using a palette knife.

DSC00594step 5: repeat in various areas of the tag using any stencil designs you choose and let paste dry completely.

DSC00595step 6: apply several colors of distress stain to the craft sheet.

DSC00596step 7: lightly mist the tag with water using a mister.

DSC00597step 8: swipe the tag through the stains one time to create random color areas.

DSC00598step 9: fill in color areas using distress stain directly from the bottle and mist with water to blend.

DSC00599step 10: dry tag completely with a heat tool – notice how the ranger texture paste will absorb color?  so cool. (if you haven’t checked out the texture paste video yet, click here to watch it)

DSC00600step 11: drag a paper distresser along the edges to tatter.

DSC00601step 12: at this point i decided the background was too dark so i sprayed the entire tag with water (this is why i like to stamp in archival ink most of the time because i never know when i might have to wet the whole dang thing).

DSC00602step 13: next i placed a paper towel over the tag to lift off some of the excess color and dried that tag again with a heat tool.

DSC00604step 14: place the speckled layering stencil over the tag and ink with distress ink using an ink blending tool – this will create “planned” specks of ink.

DSC00605step 15: continue adding ink specks to fill in areas of your background and ink the edges of the tag with distress and the mini blending tool.

DSC00606step 16: remove a vial label from the sheet and scuff the edges using a sanding grip.

DSC00607step 17: cut various words from remnant rubs (i like using these random words to express my creative thoughts).

DSC00608step 18: apply remnant rubs to vial label with a craft stick.

DSC00609step 19: ink the vial label AFTER the remnant rubs are applied since rubs can’t stick to the resin in distress if you were to ink first.

DSC00610step 20: cut a piece of film strip ribbon and attach the film strip and vial label to the tag by sewing it in random places.

DSC00611step 21: dab various colors of distress paint to craft sheet for a palette to alter any embellishments.

DSC00612step 22: using your finger, dab and wipe various colors over the embellishments.

DSC00614step 23: adhere elements to the tag using multi-medium and tie on word band with jute string.

DSC00615step 24: using a clean mini blending foam, lightly dab distress embossing ink to various corners and areas of the tag.

DSC00616step 25: this time i want to share another cool way to use distress embossing powder…creating a rust effect!  shake distress embossing powder first, and pour over embossing ink areas.

DSC00617step 26: heat emboss the powder until the color begins to darken, let cool, and remove any release crystals from distress powder by wiping over the embossed areas with your fingers.

DSC00618*check out that cool rust texture – love it!!!

DSC00619step 27: stain a piece of crinkle ribbon using distress stain and tie it through the top of the tag. (note to self: this is what i meant when i said that some steps would have been better done before others since embossing the distress powder along this edge began to melt the film strip ribbon)

DSC00627*the details: i think the resist of the tissue tape and stamped image is a great effect since you can see the designs of both layers.

DSC00626*the details: the colors of the stained texture paste, layered metal elements, and distress embossing powder rust makes me so happy!

congrats to the winners from the july 12 tags of 2014.  if you see your name (and it links to your tag), please email mario@timholtz.com to claim your prize…
1. Julia Aston
2. Synnøves Papirverkstdet
3. Wanda G
4. Mo Stokes
5. Kourtney Osborn-Vallee
6. Kathy Jacobson
7. Anita Houston
8. Elina Stromberg
9. Nanci Holtsford
10. Donna Gibson
11. Tammy C
12. Charyn

*be sure to check your local stores for these supplies or you can
click the links below to purchase online…
(SSS=simon says stamp / IE=inspiration emporium)

GREAT NEWS! both of these online stores are offering a discount of 10% off your purchase – use the following codes with your order:
(SSS code: AUGTH10 / IE code: timtime)

Evergreen Bough Distress Stain (ie|sss)


Stormy Sky Distress Stain (ie|sss)


Rusty Hinge Distress Stain (IE|sss)


Frayed Burlap Distress Stain (ie|ie)


Walnut Stain Distress Ink (IE|SSS)


Black Soot Distress Ink (IE|SSS)


Jet Black Archival Pad (SSS|IE)


Evergreen Bough Distress Paint (IE|SSS)


Iced Spruce Distress Paint (IE|SSS)


Antiqued Bronze Distress Paint (IE|SSS)


Black Soot Distress Paint (IE|SSS)


Vintage Photo Distress Embossing Powder (SSS|IE)


Distress Embossing Ink (IE|SSS)


Mini Ink Blending Tool (SSS|IE)


Palette Knife (sss|ie)


Texture Paste (sss|ie)


Mister Bottle (IE|SSS)


Craft Sheet (IE|SSS)


Heat Tool (IE|SSS)


#8 Manila Tags (SSS|IE)


Multi-Medium Matte (SSS|IE)


Mini Gears (IE|SSS)


Pen Nibs (IE|SSS)


Word Bands (SSS|IE)


Stencil Mark (IE|SSS)


Type Charms (IE|SSS)


Mirrored Stars (IE|SSS)


Tissue Tape (sss|IE)


Vial Labels (IE|SSS)


Remnant Rubs – Life Quotes (IE|SSS)


Film Strip Ribbon (IE|SSS)


Crinkle Ribbon (IE|SSS)


Jute String (IE|SSS)


Stencil – Numbered (IE|SSS)


Stencil – Speckles (IE|SSS)


Stencil – Latticework (SSS|SSS)


CMS189 Merchantile (IE|SSS)


Grid Blocks (IE|SSS)


Tonic Scissors (IE|SSS)


Paper Distresser (SSS|SSS)


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112 Comments to “12 tags of 2014 – august…”

  1. Patty Pearson says:

    Great tag! Since I went to your classes in Columbus, Ohio, my friends have noticed that I am getting more into the distress look on my cards. I am loving it!!!

  2. OH MY GOSH!!! Just home from a little vaca, and heard that I won! I am SUPER STOKED!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!! Congrats to the other winners too! WOOHOO! Your tag this month is my new favorite, and I LOVE all the different techniques you used…just a WOW!!! Thanks again so much for the inspiration!

  3. Nancy Osborn says:

    I feel so behind in products! Reading this post was like Christmas… I didn’t realize I was so far behind in cool products! I really want to attempt this tag so I need to make a shopping list! Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

  4. rhonit says:

    Did not realize or think of 1- stamping on tape 2- that ink would not discolored said tape. Sweet!!

  5. So many techniques with an awesome result! xx

  6. KathyJH says:

    Wow – great tag! Love the rusty edges. Thanks for the heads up about inking remnant rubs after applying them to surface. Just bought some of them.

  7. Maureen Chandler says:

    Great tag Tim – thanks for explaining all the steps! I love to just play with stamps and embellishments and stuff!! 🙂

  8. Wilma Fox says:

    What a wonderful creative tutorial, love that you share your creativity with us.

  9. Lisa Leavitt says:

    Just purchased the Texture Paste ! Time to get crafting. Thanks for all the continual tutorials and ideas that help keep our crafting mojo working.

  10. Heather P says:

    This is so beautiful. So much inspiration!

  11. ruby t says:

    Demo imposter?? Are you sure this was you, Tim, doing the demo as there was not a ring on any of your fingers?! They looked naked. 🙂
    The rust technique with the embossing powder is duly noted for the next project. Thanks!

  12. Cindy says:

    I have GOT to start making some of these tags, they’re so full of technique and product (not all of which I have, but I’m sure I can substitute some of it). Can’t wait to find that texture paste in my LSS.
    Great tag Tim!

  13. Marilyn says:

    – and that’s why it is called art! Would love to see this and more on a larger canvas.

  14. Lori W. says:

    I think this is my favorite tag of the year, Tim. I love the layers and textures that are going on. PS: I also have to say (maybe I’m just sentimental) I REALLY miss the 12 tags of Christmas! I couldn’t wait to get home from work each night to see what magic you created.

  15. gorgeous tag – lots of scope here – well done to last months winners – especially Mo – woo hoo – well done you xx

  16. Wanda Thomas says:

    Great ideas as usual! Glad to know my creative process is not total chaos. I do much the same thing….

  17. Yvonne Boucher says:

    …and that (tag) is why, Tim, you are so admired. your creativity inspires others to want to create.

  18. Jo says:

    Awesome – truly

  19. I like it… didn’t know where you were going with this one when you started with the tissue tape, but I love to know about the effect you can get stamping on top of it in the end. Love the rusty edges!

  20. Boo says:

    So glad you created this month for the “art of it.” It must get old always having to create to advertise a product or to teach a technique. You work really hard… You deserve some fun creative time.

  21. jenni farnes says:

    ANOTHER fabulous tutorial! the muses keep gracing you with ideas and more ideas and still more inspiration. you amaze me. i am crazy about this tag….but craziest of all about those rust effects! you have changed my entire life with your products and vision, but this….the rusty stuff….man. i love rusty stuff. now i can rust up so many things. such a simple thing, really, but it just stuns me. thank you for your continued inspiration, which comes from playing with such cool stuff all the time. you are a genius.

  22. Johanne Lacombe says:

    Your tag looks amazing. I love it. And I love your tutorials. You’re very inspiring. Thanks for sharing,

  23. wow love this tag and the peak into yoour creative process! love these stamps and the colours are fab! LOVE the stamping over the tissue tape x another great tag !!

  24. Mrs B says:

    Hi Tim. Love the tag. Take care.

  25. Sheri K says:

    Another awesome tag Mr. Tim! I love that you just “played”–and created and let it flow and happen! Cool!

  26. Jan Bianchi says:

    Great tag…love it.

  27. JaninTucson says:

    Stamps on top of Tissue Tape…GENIUS! How do you keep coming up with great idea? ADORE your tag…AGAiN!!!

  28. cheiron says:

    I love this tag, especially masking the focal image with tissue tape. Can’t wait to try some of my favorite techniques in one tag!

  29. SusanK says:

    Thank you for sharing your creative process with us. I always find it fascinating to see how others go about achieving the results they get. Super looking tag; can’t wait to make my own this weekend!

  30. Nonnie says:

    love the rusty look at the bottom!

  31. carol watson says:

    Great tag! Love the yummy rusty edge and the stampingon top of the washi tape.

  32. durandconnie says:

    <3 your tag! I'd like to get what's needed to make this;) just need to start saving up! thanks for the technique, -con

  33. Brandy says:

    So many awesome layers and techniques used on here. I love the way it turned out!

  34. Helen Cooke says:

    Another fabulous tutorial – thanks Tim!!!

  35. Amante del Papel says:

    es fantastico!

  36. so cool! love the colors

  37. Samantha Reed says:

    Love how you incorporated multiple techniques on one tags…digging the “rust” and layers

  38. Laura Lavoie says:

    I think this is my FAVORITE tag of yours! And that’s saying a LOT because I LOVE sooo many of your tags!! Thanks T!m!!

  39. Julia Aston says:

    Love this tag and the beautiful background – can’t wait to play this month!!

  40. So wonderful, thank you for showing more of your fabulous techniques! Can’t wait to play!

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