12 tags of 2014 – may…


i always love the creative challenge of the 12 tags series.  i’ve said it many times that for me, these tags are a way to express whatever artistic inspiration i may be feeling at the time.  these tags are never planned in advanced, i’m literally always down to the wire when i create them on the last day of the month – it’s just what i do.  so when i was in my studio ready to start this month’s tag, i looked at all of the previous tags i’ve done so far this year and really enjoy the versatility of each one…

january: an industrial tag using metals and texture fades
february: using layering stencils and faux chalkboard
march: smudge stamping images with distress ink
april: we used the new frameworks dies and tattered roses

this month is really going to be a challenge for many of you since we’re using our favorite trinkets and embellishments (you know, that stash of things we collect just to admire and cherish the fact that we simply have them).  well it’s time to put those treasures to use with a “creative composition” assignment.  now as you take a deep breath, keep reading to see the simple process to layer and incorporate an eclectic mix of elements into an artful tiled tag.  as you can imagine, i can’t wait to see what wonderful creations you share this month – let’s get started…t!m


  • surfaces: #8 manila tag, wallflower paper stash, chipboard
  • shadow press: authentic
  • embellishments: industrious stickers- frames & trims, adornments arrows, remnant rubs botanical, wishbones, vial labels, heart charms, pen nibs, muse tokens, mirrored stars, trinket pins, mini fasteners
  • trimmings: linen ribbon
  • distress ink: assorted
  • archival ink: jet black
  • mediums: matte multi-medium
  • adheisves: collage glue stick
  • tools: sanding grip, design ruler, mini ink blending tool, mister, heat tool, craft sheet, vagabond; tonic shears

DSC09457step 1: create a background on a manila tag using any colors of distress inks, stains, or paints (you’ll see at the end of this tutorial how various colors can impact your finished composition).

DSC09460step 2: next create a placeholder with a ShadowPress word so i embossed a piece of chipboard with “beautiful” ShadowPress.

*note: 2 sets of ShadowPress ARE AVAILABLE are released in april.  there are still 3 more sets of ShadowPress being released in june…

here’s a demo video from cha (compliments of scrap time)…

DSC09462step 3: cut this sample piece to size (i will show the technique using ShadowPress later in the tag).

DSC09464step 4: since this word is the focal point, place it on the tag first for positioning.

DSC09465step 5: i want to start with a large embellishment to make it easier to explain the process of “tiles” so i die-cut an embellishment from covered chipboard using the mini movers & shapers butterfly die.

DSC09468step 6: place the cut piece over an industrious sticker frame ( i like the butterfly being larger than the frame).

DSC09469step 7: now we’re going to start our tiles for the tag by measuring the size of our embellishment.  take a design ruler (since we can see through it) and place it over your embellishment (this makes it easy to see what size tile we need to cut).

DSC09470step 8: cut a piece of chipboard or grungeboard to size and place your embellishment on the tile – do not glue anything at this point. *note: i used my tonic shears to cut the chipboard pieces with ease.

DSC09459step 9: gather some of your favorite trinkets, findings, and treasures – c’mon you can do it.

DSC09472step 10: place the butterfly tile on your tag and begin filling in the tag with other trinkets, but leave enough space between them as each piece will be it’s own tile.

DSC09474step 11: measure the embellishments using a design ruler and cut a chipboard tile for each piece.

DSC09475step 12: place all tiles on the tag and trim any pieces if they don’t fit.

DSC09476step 13: next choose your background papers for the tiles.  i’m using my new wallflower paper stash from idea-ology and chose the 3″x4″ collage sheet. *one thing i love about the paper stash is that it contains various design sizes in one pad like (12″x12″, 6″x6″, 3″x3″, and 3″x4″).  this allows me to choose designs that have the right scale for the projects i’m working on.

DSC09477step 14: i cut the sheet of cardstock into the 3″x4″ cards as shown.

DSC09508step 15: now it’s time to cover our chipboard tiles so let’s first do the ShadowPress tile by adhering a piece of cardstock to chipboard using a collage glue stick.

DSC09509step 16: open up the ShadowPress debossing folder and lightly “tap” the archival ink on the RAISED side of the word only.  do not rub the ink pad or press too hard – we only want ink on the raised shadow areas.

DSC09510step 17: place the covered chipboard inside the inked ShadowPress and hold in place.

DSC09511step 18: i think it’s better to secure them with a piece of removable tape like washi/tissue tape before running it through the machine.

DSC09512step 19: once you’ve run the piece through your sizzix machine, carefully remove the ShadowPress from the chipboard to reveal your debossed shadow – so cool right? (note: you can simply clean the ink off of the ShadowPress with any stamp cleaner or soap and water)

DSC09513step 20: ink the edges of the ShadowPress tile with distress ink using a mini ink blending tool.

DSC09516– i wanted to show you a comparison of ShadowPress since there are many options including not inking the folder.  for this i suggest sticking with a plain background like the top piece.  you can see on the second piece with the background, that the drop shadow gets lost on a printed background even when inks.  the third piece shows what we just did by inking the folder.  of course another option is to add color with a fine tip marker into the drop shadow after you deboss it if you choose not to ink the folder.

DSC09483step 21: cover the rest of the tiles by selecting the area of background paper for each one.

DSC09484step 22: apply collage glue stick to one side of the chipboard.

DSC09485step 23: press and hold the chipboard to adhere to the BACK of the paper design you selected.

DSC09486step 24: trim the excess paper to the size of the chipboard tile. *i love my new tonic shears for projects like this – just so easy to make longer cuts with ease.

DSC09488step 25: sand the edges of the covered chipboard using a sanding grip.  this will eliminate any rough edges and make it easier to ink.

DSC09489step 26: ink the edges of the sanded piece with distress ink using a mini ink blending tool.

DSC09490step 27: adhere your embellishment to the chipboard tile with multi-medium and set aside to dry.

DSC09482step 28: the adornment arrow tile.

DSC09504step 29: the pen nib tile.

DSC09518step 30: the muse token tile (attached with a mini fastener).

DSC09519step 31: the mirrored stars tile.

DSC09493step 32: to create a heart charm, select one of the included heart collages and layer with an included heart epoxy sticker.

DSC09494step 33: the heart charm tile (attached with a mini fastener).

DSC09491step 34: under the wishbone i added a small vial label – love these.

DSC09492step 35: i applied a remnant rub to the vial label that says “wish”.

DSC09495step 36: the wishbone tile.

DSC09527step 37: place all of your finished tiles on the background tag.  now before you adhere anything, check out these next couple of photos to see what i was referring to in step 1 about the background color impacting your final composition.

DSC09528– here are the same tiles on a pinkish background – notice how certain tiles pop more than others?

DSC09529step 38: here are the same tiles on a blueish background – this ended up being my favorite so i actually changed the tag to this one.  adhere all of the tiles to your background tag of choice using multi-medium and let dry.

DSC09530step 39:  cut a piece of linen ribbon to tie through the top of the tag and ink with distress ink using a blending tool.

DSC09531step 40: using your fingers, begin to pull at the sides of the linen ribbon to expand it.

DSC09532– check out the difference inking and stretching the linen ribbon.  love the versatility of creating various colors and widths of this natural ribbon.

DSC09533step 41: tie the linen ribbon through the top of the tag and fray the ends of the ribbon.

DSC09560*the details: love the depth and texture of these ShadowPress folders – they make such a statement on projects.

DSC09561*the details: how fun are these mini collage tiles?  just some background papers and cool trinkets is all you need.

DSC09562*the details: don’t forget about your die-cuts since many of them make great embellishments too.

congrats to the winners from the april 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. Anna-Karin
2. Chris
3. Agnieszka ‘Meresanth’
4. Karen M
5. Joanna
6. My Scrap Asylum
7. Emma
8. sannie
9. lisa a mares
10. barbarayaya
11. Deirde Smith
12. Tincan

*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: MAY10TH / IE code: timtime)

ShadowPress Authentic (IE|SSS)


ShadowPress Documented (IE|SSS)


Wallflower Paper Stash (IE|SSS)


Wishbones (SSS|IE)


Arrows Adornments (SSS|IE)


Industrious Stickers Frames & Trims (SSS|IE)


Linen Ribbon (SSS|EH)


Trinket Pins (IE|SSS)


Heart Charms (SSS|IE)


Pen Nibs (SSS|IE)


Muse Tokens (SSS|IE)


Mirrored Stars (SSS|IE)


Vial Labels (SSS|IE)


Design Ruler (IE|SSS)


click here (SSS|IE)


Mini Fasteners (SSS|IE)


Sanding Grip (SSS|IE)


Vagabond (IE|SSS)


Mini Butterflies Set (SSS|IE)


Distress Ink Pads (SSS|IE)


Jet Black Archival Pad (IE|SSS)


Mister Bottle (SSS|IE)


Distress Mini Ink Pad Kit 3 (IE|SSS)


Mini Ink Blending Tool (SSS|IE)


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182 Comments to “12 tags of 2014 – may…”

  1. […] weeks, so I have had to combine two of my favourite challenges. The compendium of curiosities and Tim Holtz’ 12 tags of 2014. Tim’s May tag was all about using our embellishments and displaying them mounted singly […]

  2. Becky Walker says:

    I didn’t get my tag for May uploaded in time…because I’m just finishing it today. After a month and a half of procrastinating on this one, I’ve ended up really enjoying making the tiled tag!

  3. […] is to make a “creative composition” using tiles and embellishments.  His tag can be seen here and mine can be seen […]

  4. […] leaving it to – almost – the very last minute. Here’s my take on Tim’s May tag, which you can see here. Tim challenged us to use those metal embellishments that we’ve been saving for that ‘special […]

  5. tracy says:

    Another fun tag Tim 🙂
    It was hard to use some of my treasured embellishments 😉

  6. Anna-Karin says:

    I enjoyed this tag so much, that I needed more space for all the embellishments I wanted to use. Perfect time for another burlap panel. Thanks so much for this fabulous tag Tim!

  7. Robyn Oliver says:

    Thank you so much Tim for encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone…I do so enjoy at least trying to learn from your fabulous tutorials

  8. Judy Cantrell says:

    Always fun to see your new tag for the month!! Thanks for sharing, Tim!

  9. Judy Cantrell says:

    Always fun to see what you make each month!

  10. […] what I was inspired to make by Tim’s May Tag.  I ended up giving this to my Mom for Mother’s Day, but could be a Birthday Card or just to […]

  11. butterfly says:

    Such a stunning tag… wasn’t sure I’d get to play along this month, but so glad I squeezed it in – the most fun I’ve had at my Mojo-less craft table in weeks, so thank you for that!
    Alison xx

  12. Maureen says:

    Lots of fun to play along (and learn all the while) each month! Thanks Tim!

  13. Finally posting mine! Had it done since the first week of May but summer is here and we always seem to be….THERE instead of HERE. Thank GOD for tech toys…and TAGS!!! 😉

  14. Julia Aston says:

    I finally joined in and got my first tag done! I’m going to work backwards and forwards to get them all done! love playing with all the fun techniques you show us as well as all the fun pieces we work with!! Your tags are a great way to actually USE all the Ranger stuff we purchase!!

  15. Rachelle says:

    is it ok to create and post more than one project? I had so much fun with this months tag that the day after completing and posting it I made another that I like even better!

  16. Antonia says:

    More fun and games with this month’s tag ! only six days to go till we see another ! yay x

  17. barb cady says:

    Awesome tag this monthh Tim, really enjoyed making it, thank you.

  18. Deb Horst says:

    another great challenge….this technique was perfect for a graduation card…thanks for the inspiration!!

  19. […] post today is for Tim Holtz’s 12 Tags of 2014 challenge.  This month he was showcasing a trinket tag.  When I saw this I right away thought it […]

  20. Actually I found it very liberating using some of my favourite things! Thank you Tim for such a great opportunity – this tag will be really special!

  21. Terry says:

    This really was such a fun challenge! Love playing with so many different elements and layouts! Thank you for another great month!

  22. durandconnie says:

    Nice tags Tim! thank you so much for the products you develop plus showing us all how to utilize them;) -con

  23. Lisa S says:

    Love your tags Tim and I’m finally joining in on the fun! xx

  24. kath says:

    had great fun with this one…love the tiled effect and oh my goodness…the shadowpress folders are my new addiction…hugs kath xxx

  25. Cool! I remember making shadow boxes as a teenager that looked like this, so I had a blast making the tag. Blessings!

  26. […] is my May Tag, I love this idea of tiling with different embellishments – a great way to use those things […]

  27. […] playing along with Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2014.  This month we are to mount some of our stashed trinkets on chipboard and adhere them to a tag. […]

  28. […] Tim has urged us to use some of our precious charms & embellishments on our May tags. You can see Tim’s May tag inspiration HERE. […]

  29. Terry says:

    I do not have the shadowpress, but sure do love what I am seeing! Gorgeous tag for May!

  30. […] pulled out one of my jars of embellishments, in support of Tim’s May Tag challenge of using ‘creative composition’ for this month’s installment of […]

  31. Sherry says:

    I couldn’t wait to get started, but had to wait for the ShadowPress folder to arrive. Thanks for the wonderful inspiration as always 🙂

  32. […] started thinking about this month’s 12 Tags of 2014 tag the day Tim posted the challenge, but it’s taken me some time to come to terms with using […]

  33. This tag was so fun to create and I actually enjoyed using some of my idea-ology stash!! Thanks for sharing your idea!

  34. Hope says:

    So glad to have come across this today! So inspired!

  35. Monika says:

    Hi.justwondering whattherules are fortis challenge…

  36. Elle says:

    Awesome inspiration. Love this tag and your encouragement to use the embellishments we all love to hoard.

  37. […] tag proposta da Tim questo mese è molto lineare, ci invita ad usare i nostri abbellimenti creando una composizione e […]

  38. Joanne says:

    I’ve just completed my May tag and had a ball, thank you

  39. Glenda Hart says:

    Gorgeous tag as always. I love the shadow press embossing folders and how you showed all the ways they can be used.

  40. […] STEP 2:  Ink raised portion of embossing folder with Potting Soil Archival Ink and run through again.  *You can see a more versions of this technique on Tim Holtz’s Blog HERE. […]

  41. […] I did get in some studio time and ended with my April tag for the 12 Tags of 2014: […]

  42. Diane Davis says:

    I was surprised to see that you can spread out the linen ribbon! Every time I read your blog posts I learn something new!

  43. Shawn Wenrich says:

    I just love your tags! So many amazing details. My fav on this tag is the heart charm!

  44. Nancy B says:

    Wow! I love all the goodies on this tag. I definitely want to try this. I will be checking out all my little treasures now and thinking of all the possibilities.

  45. Sara Annau says:

    This has been one of my favourite tags to make, though it took me ages deciding which part of my hoard I could bear to use! You are so right to tell us to get using and not stashing bits away.

  46. I like all the tags! Have already added my version for this month 😉

  47. Feikje says:

    Wauw another gorgious tag!

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