12 tags of 2014 – june…

DSC00308 3.37.51 PM
if you love the look of blended watercolor and looking for a different way to create colorful backgrounds, this month’s tag is just the thing.  like many crafters, i have a new love and appreciation for using stencils on my cards and projects.  their unique and often bold shapes allow me to incorporate them by layering with other imagery.  layering with stencils is key in my opinion.  of course there are so many different ways to use layering stencils, but today i wanted to show one of my favorites that is also in my book “a compendium of curiosities vol.III”.  this technique also incorporates the new mini distress inks, but you could use your regular size distress pads too.  i just prefer the convenience of being able to add color to smaller areas with these little guys.  so before we start i want to remind you not to judge the success of this technique until you dry it.  the look and effect of this watercolor monoprint using a stencil often changes when it’s completely dry.  the definition and detail really come to life so hang in there and have fun playing with both color and design – here we go…t!m


  • surfaces: distress watercolor cardstock, #8 manila tag
  • layering stencils: star
  • stamps: cms182
  • dies: stamp & framelits- french flight
  • embellishments: mini gears, game spinners, mini fasteners,
  • trimmings: crinkle ribbon
  • distress ink: mini distress ink pads- assorted
  • archival ink: jet black
  • adheisves: foam tape
  • tools: mini ink blending tool, detailer waterbrush, heat tool, craft sheet, mister, vagabond, magnetic cutting pad

DSC00268step 1: gather various colors of mini distress inks and a layering stencil.

DSC00269step 2: begin tapping or lightly rubbing the distress ink on the back of the layering stencil (since we will be “printing” the design i always get in the habit of inking the back of the stencil – this is really important when working with things that have letters or numbers so they don’t print backwards)

DSC00270step 3: continue inking the stencil until you have color in most areas.

DSC00271step 4: generously mist the inked stencil with water from a mister to react the distress inks.  remember, distress reacts with water so the color will actually become more intense now and blend beautifully.  *note: this is the one step what you will need to play with to find the right amount of water that works for the look you want to achieve.

DSC00272step 5: lift the stencil from the craft sheet and place it on to the smooth side of distress watercolor cardstock.  *note: i found this technique worked on many surfaces including directly on to the tag, but the watercolor cardstock provides more “play” with the colors and water which i prefer.

DSC00273step 6: place the inked layering stencil directly on to the cardstock.

DSC00274step 7: while the stencil is on the cardstock, press down over the entire design using a paper towel to print the color as well as immediately absorb any ink that might seep out inside the stencil openings.

DSC00278step 8: lift the stencil off, set it aside, and immediately dry your print with a heat tool.  *note: as i mentioned in the opening, this step is very important since initially the image appears blurry and washed out at times.  heating the image defines the color and design much more than what you see while it’s wet.

DSC00279check this out…colorful and cool don’t you think?

DSC00280step 9: cut the cardstock to fit the tag, tear the bottom edge if you wish, and adhere to the tag.

DSC00282step 10: ink the edges with distress ink using an ink blending tool.

DSC00283step 11: stamp the butterflies image from the “french flight” framelit set using black archival ink.

DSC00284step 12: stamp the butterflies a second time on the smooth side of a piece of distress watercolor cardstock using archival ink.

DSC00286step 13: stamp the creativity verse on the tag along side of the butterflies using archival ink.

DSC00285step 14: watercolor the butterflies using your mini distress inks by swiping the waterbrush directly across the pad.

DSC00287step 15: continue coloring until desired look is achieved (make sure to color outside the lines for this one), and dry with heat tool.

DSC00288step 16: place stamped images on magnetic platform over a clear cutting pad.  place framelits around the image and die cut.  *note: you can use any stamped image and hand-cut around them if you don’t have this stamp/die set.

DSC00289step 17: die cut all butterflies (see why it’s good to color outside the lines?).

DSC00290step 18: ink the edges of butterflies with distress ink using ink blending tool.

DSC00291step 19: apply a small piece of foam tape on the back of each butterfly behind the body area only.

DSC00292step 20: secure each butterfly to the tag slightly bending the wings to create dimension.

DSC00293step 21: embellish the tag using mini gears, game spinner, and mini fasteners.

DSC00295step 22: apply various colors of mini distress inks to craft sheet.

DSC00296step 23: mist the inks with water from a mister to react the inks.

DSC00297step 24: press 2 cut pieces of crinkle ribbon into the inks until covered. (i cut the ribbons at 8″ and 24″ for my tag)

DSC00298step 25: crinkle the ribbons into a ball and dry with a heat tool.

DSC00299i love how the custom ribbon matches the tag background perfectly…

DSC00301step 26: next we’re going to make what i refer to this as the “paula bow” – start by inserting the short ribbon through the hole in the tag as shown.

DSC00302step 27: take the longer ribbon and secure one end under your thumb as shown.

DSC00303step 28: wrap the remaining ribbon around your fingers until you run out.

DSC00304step 29: slide the loop of ribbon from your fingers and pinch in the center to hold as shown.

DSC00305step 30:place the loop on to the top of the tag and tie the short ribbon around the loops to hold.

DSC00306step 31: tie again to create a knot and trim ends of ribbon if needed. cool right?  thanks to my friend paula cheney for that great bow trick!

DSC00313 3.38.05 PM*the details: i really like the colors in this background, the coordinating ribbon, and of course the dimensional stamped butterflies…

DSC00322well i hope you like this technique, but more importantly i hope you take time to play with this technique.   try different stencils, different colors of inks, and even different surfaces to create these colorful watercolor backgrounds.  i wanted to share a few of my other favorite layering stencils for this technique…

stencils1 stencils2

congrats to the winners from the may 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. S@ndy Diller
2. Danielle Mack
3. Lisa F
4. dj@CardsPaperAndScrapbooks
5. Karen Knight
6. Katy Leitch
7. Katie K
8. Nikki Acton
9. Lottie Luvs Lilac
10. chris
11. Cheiron
12. Donna Buchner

*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: 10JUNETH / IE code: timtime)


Crinkle Ribbon (SSS|IE)


click here (SSS|IE)


Distress Watercolor Cardstock (IE|SSS)


click here (SSS|IE)


click here (SSS|IE)


click here (SSS|IE)


Distress Mini Ink Pad Kit 3 (SSS|IE)


click here (SSS|IE)


click here (SSS|IE)


click here (IE|SSS)


Mini Ink Blending Tool (IE|SSS)


Mister Bottle (SSS|IE)


Heat Tool (IE|SSS)


click here (IE|SSS)


Metal Game Spinners (SSS|IE)


Mini Fasteners (IE|SSS)










Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Email

211 Comments to “12 tags of 2014 – june…”

  1. Sharon L-S says:

    Love the tag! The bow trick works – we used it in CREATE 2014 this past weekend. tfs it TH. The watercolor dyeing on the ribbon is fab the colors just add so… much to the tag. Thanks for 3 fabulous classes and hope MArio has fully recovered.

  2. Yvonne Boucher says:

    love this technique. you are so very clever and creative. thank you for sharing your ideas, techniques, etc.

  3. stephanie says:

    Great project! Thanks for sharing

  4. Winnie says:

    Love it! Can’t wait to try this! Congratulations to all the lucky winners!

  5. Mary Gordon-Hagler says:

    Aaarruugghh ! The French flight framelet isn’t out yet !!!!

  6. Mary Gordon-Hagler says:

    Amazing ! Thank you Tim ! And thank you for the great time at Simon Says Create this weekend ! Hugs to you and Mario !

  7. Woody Ski says:

    Fantastic as always. Love the bright colors

  8. Frankie says:

    I love that watercolor background! It was the first thing that caught my eye — it’s gorgeous. I can’t wait to try out this technique — thanks so much for the tutorial because I’d never have come up with it on my own!

  9. Anna-Karin says:

    Such a gorgeous tag Tim! Love the colours and the wonderful inky stencil background. Thank you for sharing! Congrats to the winners!!

  10. Bonnie Eng says:

    LOVE this use of the stencils – it looks wonderful and I can’t wait to try this myself! Thanks!

  11. Sharon Young says:

    Oh Tim! What a fun technique. Thanks for sharing. I can see doing a whole series of cards with this one. Or art journal pages. Or backgrounds for other projects. Or . . . Oh the possibilities. Great way to start out June. Thank You!

  12. Retta says:

    I’ve been bitten by the bug….I ADORE this technique, and can’t get enough!

  13. Cristina says:

    I love the watercolor background technique!!

  14. Sharon P. says:

    Love the bright colours and butterflies on this tag!

  15. I can’t wait to try this!!!

  16. Linda E says:

    Love the new tag and technique, Tim !! Thanks so much for sharing your amazing talent. I love all of the new stencils, hope to purchase a few this year!!

  17. Johanne Lacombe says:

    This is a great technique. Love your tag, it looks amazing.

  18. Caitlin says:

    Another beautiful tag! Love the technique. Can’t wait to try it! Thanks, once again, for the inspiration!

  19. Lottie says:

    Goregeous tag, love the look of this this technique and the colourful but vintage result it gives. Perfect 🙂

  20. Theresa G. says:

    I am diggin’ this tag! VERY sweet…so summery!!

  21. jo.m. says:

    This is a fabulous tag. I am constructing it in my head – planning all the inks, and doing all the steps. Unfortunately, I am at work, starting my day. I can’t wait until I get home, get everyone fed and then to bed so that I can hop into my craftroom and create the gorgeous tag. Thank you for sharing all that you know, time after time.

  22. Pam B says:

    This looks like fun!

  23. What a great background technique – can’t wait to try it. Beautiful tag, Tim! And congrats to all of the May Tag winners!

  24. WilmaB says:

    This is a very very beautiful tag. Love the bright colors, and the technique well i need to try this one ofcourse! Thanks for the inspiration.
    Congratulations to all the tag winners!

  25. stampersuzz says:

    Love it! The colors are simply fantastic and your other backgrounds are gorgeous that sunrise caught my fancy and I am going to have to try that one! Off to ink up!

  26. Sue W. says:

    I LOVE this technique! Beautiful tag!

  27. Joanne says:

    Oh boy this tag is exciting can’t wait to play again this month

  28. Chris Warner says:

    A stunning tag Tim, can’t wait to get started, thanks! Congrat’s to all of the May winners, great work! >:o) Chris xxx

  29. Debbi Glennie says:

    I love this effect, looks like it’s going to be quick and easy. It’s coming up for two weeks since I had my total hip operation so in hoping to get back to crafting really soon and this is going to be the first thing I try
    Debz x

  30. Renee S. says:

    Very cool! Thanks for always sharing new creative ideas. I love the distress colored butterflies and stencil technique. An extra thank you to Paula for the bow tying lesson.

  31. Jennifer Rogers says:

    Congratulations to all the winners! This June tag is inspirational and achievable at the same time, and you have to love that “Paula bow”. One of my all-time favourite tricks. Off to colour outside the lines…

  32. This is a stuuning tutorial, Thanks Tim

  33. NGCARDS says:

    This month’s tag looks great, I can’t wait to give it a go! xxx

  34. Gorgeous tag, the colours are beautiful – perfect for June. Thanks Tim & congrats to May’s winners.

  35. Helen Cooke says:

    OK, this is next in line on my list to try out – looks FABULOUS!!! Thanks, Tim!

  36. theCook says:

    Love that creative use of stencils! Thanks for the tip!

  37. Laura Strack says:

    Can’t wait to try this technique. It is so pretty and colorful. Thanks, Tim!

  38. Katie K says:

    Another month of gorgeous tag and awesome technique Tim. Can’t wait to try this out. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

  39. Hetty says:

    Very pretty and very Summer! Love my stencils!!

  40. Mrs B says:

    Hi Tim. Love the fabulous tag, such great colours used and I love the effect : ) Take care.

  41. Fantastic tag, Tim, that is a great way to use the stencils. Can’t wait to play.

  42. Patricia A Paola says:

    This tag would be great to extend the idea to greeting cards. I love alll the colors you used.

  43. Lagene says:

    Wonderful tag! thanks for the information!

  44. Rosiej says:

    Love this technique of watercoloring!!! I just have to try this asap!! It seems like it is very forgiving so you csn always create a masterpiece the first time you try it!!!! And the paula bow is spmething I just have to try!!!!

  45. Inkypinkycraft says:

    Another gorgeous make ! Cannot wait for the framelit sets to arrive in the UK. Love the effects you can get with the layering stencils which I love ! X

  46. Renee M. says:

    I have the lines stencil, but want to get the stars one and the rays one to try this out. Is it wrong that I like how the paper towel looks in step 7? 🙂 I also like the Paula bow. Great tag and such a fun watercolor technique–thanks for sharing!

  47. Lisa H says:

    oh, I love this tag and technique! Thanks for the Paula bow lesson too – I’ll be using it often. =)

  48. Linda J.W. says:

    OMGoodness I love your tag thanks for sharing. I look forward to
    seeing your new tag

  49. Wendy King says:

    Tim I just love your tag. It’s so beautiful and colourful. I especially love the stencilling technique. Thanks for the inspiration to create 🙂

  50. Kriss says:

    Beautiful tag Tim! I’ve been waiting patiently for the French Flight set and I’m so excited it’s finally released! Thank you for all the inspiration!

1 2 3 4 5

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *