12 tags of 2015 – april…

mainimagegetting the most out of products has always been one of my main goals as a designer.  i try to inspire different ways to think about the products and their many uses.  first we’ll explore distress markers and a few creative ways to use them including layered watercoloring, background spritzing, and even tinting ribbon.  next we’ll learn about the new flower garden stamp set which are sketch illustrated flowers allowing you to “design your own garden” simply by playing with the juxtaposition of the images.  the thin outlined flower heads and stems are separate and also provide a simple way to color especially if you’re like me and don’t mind coloring outside the lines.  lastly i’ll show you a few tricks to use some new sizzix word dies to layer a sentiment on the tag using both the positive and negative space cut from the dies.  the more you play with products in various ways, the more likely you are to use them for more than you imagined…t!m

supplies used:

  • surfaces: #8 kraft tag, distress watercolor cardstock, black cardstock
  • stamp: CMS215 flower garden, grid-blocks
  • dies: adventure words: block, adventure words: script
  • embellishments: crinkle ribbon, mirrored stars
  • distress markers: worn lipstick, abandoned coral, brushed olive, pumice stone, wild honey, vintage photo, gathered twigs, black soot
  • distress ink pads: frayed burlap, walnut stain
  • archival ink pad: jet black
  • alcohol ink: mushroom
  • adhesives: collage glue stick, xyron
  • tools: waterbrush/detailers, distress marker spritzer, heat tool, mister, craft sheet, design ruler, paper distresser, craft knife, cutting mat, vagabond
  • optional: sewing machine

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 1: cut a piece of distress watercolor cardstock 2 3/4” x 5 1/2”.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 2: stamp the flower heads with archival ink on the textured side of the cardstock.  distress cardstock is unique since once side is smooth and one side is textured.  the textured side provides more “peaks and valleys” to hold color and it’s actually quite easy to stamp on, even with detailed images like these.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 3: stamp the stem portion of the flowers with archival ink.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 4: gather a couple distress markers to use for the background.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 5: insert one of the colors into the distress marker spritzer to have it ready.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 6: mist the cardstock with a thin layer of water covering it completely.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 7: spritz the marker over the wet cardstock and watch the distress ink immediately react with the water and “wick” out.  quickly change colors and repeat with the second tone.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 8: dry the cardstock with a heat tool.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 9: check out the cool spritzed watercolor background.  starting with wet paper allowed the inks to spread faster creating a more mottled effect vs. spritzing dry cardstock and trying to wet the inks which would result in a more speckled background.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 10: gather a few colors of distress markers to color your image and a detailer waterbrush.  i’ve found if you choose a simple palette to start with it’s easier to get started colors.  i also find using a waterbrush with detailed bristles helps to control the amount of water used to blend the colors.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 11: begin by coloring directly on a couple of the lines of the image using the brush tip of the marker.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 12: blend the color by pulling it into the open area of the image with a waterbrush.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 13: continue following the lines of the image remembering to only outline a couple of the lines and not the entire image with color.  let the water pull and blend the color going from the darker shade to a lighter shade and remember to “embrace the space”.  leaving areas uncolored will give your finished image more depth.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 14: once your outline coloring is finished, dry the image with a heat tool or allow it to air dry.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 15: scribble a couple of colors of distress marker on to the craft sheet to create a palette.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 16: pick up some color using just the tip of the waterbrush.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 17: begin adding color to your image along the outlined areas you initially colored.  this will provide more intense color in these areas adding contrast to the areas you shaded earlier.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 18: repeat the previous steps for the stem, coloring with the marker itself along parts of the lines, then blending in with the waterbrush.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 19: apply the distress marker to the craft and apply more color for contrast.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 20: once you’re finished watercoloring, dry the entire image with a heat tool.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 21: next we’re going to add a drop shadow and pumice stone is my color of choice for this step.  scribble some of the marker on the craft sheet.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 22: using your waterbrush, create a wash of the color by freely applying it along the outer edges of the image.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 23: when you’re finished adding shadow, dry with a heat tool as well.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 24: repeat the previous steps for the second flower – looking good.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 25: make sure your watercolor is completely dry and ink the outside edges with distress ink using an ink blending tool.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 26: insert a dark colored marker into the marker spritzer (i used black soot),

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 27: lightly spritz over your entire background creating contrasting speckles of color – this is one of my favorite uses for the spritzer.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 28: ink the edges of a kraft tag with distress ink using an ink blending tool.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 29: distress the edges using a paper distresser.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 30: grab your word dies, a metal edged ruler, and a craft knife.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 31: place the design ruler along the bottom edge of the tag with the metal edge of the ruler 1/2” above the edge of the tag as shown.  the grid feature of the design ruler makes it easy to create a straight edge.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 32: place the tag on a cutting surface (i use a glass mat over my craft sheet) and cut along the ruler with a craft knife leaving 1/8” on each edge of the tag UNCUT.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 33: move the ruler up 1 1/2” above the bottom edge of the tag, and since this ruler is 1 1/2” wide, this step is easy.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 34: cut along this edge as well leaving 1/8” on each edge of the tag UNCUT – now we’ve created a 1” strip cut into the tag.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 35: place your “block font” thinlit die face down over the strip making it slightly off center, but do not go all the way to either edge of the tag with it.  make sure you leave enough space above and below the word so it doesn’t cut through the edge.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 36: run the tag through your die cut machine and this is what we get – a cool knock out of the word along the strip (of course we’ll save the actual cut letters to use on another project sometime, but this time we’re using the negative space of the letters).

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 37: cut a piece of black cardstock and run it through your xyron to apply adhesive to one side.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 38: place the “script font” thinlit face down and die cut.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 39: remove the detailed die cut word from the die using a die pick, and we’ll be ready to add it to our project without any messy glues.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 40: carefully slide the watercolored background under the top cut in the tag as shown.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 41: slide it under the strip and out through the bottom cut in the tag as shown.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 42: apply some collage glue stick to the large background of the tag to secure the watercolor background.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 43: sew around the entire background with a sewing machine (it’s all in the details, c’mon you can do it).

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 44: tint a piece of crinkle ribbon by coloring along one edge of the ribbon with the side of the brush tip marker.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 45: repeat with a second color directly above the first strip of color as shown.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 46: mist the ribbon with water allowing the inks to react and the color to wick through the ribbon.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 47: crinkle the ribbon into a ball and being drying with a heat tool.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 48: once the ribbon is almost dry, set it aside to air dry completely.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 49: tie the ribbon through the top of the tag.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comstep 50: tint a mirrored star with mushroom alcohol ink to create a vintage look.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comfinish the tag by adding the die cut script word as shown and adhering the mirrored star with glossy accents.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comi love the finished layered look of this watercolored tag.  hard to believe the the background, image, and ribbon are all colored with markers right?

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comonce you get your first tag finished, i assure you creating more will be so much quicker.  stamp and watercolor all of your backgrounds, then die cut all of your tags and words, then color all of your ribbons, then just assemble.

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.comthis style of watercolor gives such depth, and it’s pretty amazing what a few distress markers can do.

Pin it to remember it!

12 Tags of 2015 - April | www.timholtz.com

congrats to the winners from the march 12 tags of 2015.  if you see your name (and it links to your tag), please email mario@timholtz.com to claim your prize…

  1. Becky Colvin 
  2. Notty
  3. Elaine Lin
  4. Ellie Knol
  5. Carol Dunham
  6. Audrey
  7. Joi@RR
  8. Katy D
  9. Julie Lavalette  
  10. LaVon Hall
  11. Mylissa Stout
  12. Pawsitively Creative

*be sure to check your local stores for these supplies or you can click the links below to purchase online with a discount of 10% off your purchase – use the following code with your order: SSS code: 10APRILTH

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140 Comments to “12 tags of 2015 – april…”

  1. sue says:

    I love the spring flowers card. Great technique.

  2. Kathy Eddy says:

    Gorgeous! And I just got my order yesterday that included this stamp set. Love it!

  3. Gigi B. says:

    Thanks for the great ideas.

  4. love these tags, thanks for the tutorial, will try it!!!!

  5. Sharon P. says:

    Beautiful stamp set! Love the tags!

  6. Helen says:

    Beautiful tags! Love the flower stamps so much I already bought them. Thanks for showing another technique by slipping the image thru the die cut slit in the tag.

  7. Susan Mathews says:

    These are a few of my favorite things….wildflowers. These tags are wonderful!

  8. Marilyn C. Lojek says:

    The tags are beautiful and I love the tutorial on using markers to color the tags.

  9. I love it. I am going to try and do this tag. The cut the tag at the bottom and diecutting the word out is amazing and then threading the water color piece behind is beautiful. Keep the ideas coming.

  10. Linda Newcomb says:

    Love these tags!

  11. Lacey Gasper says:

    These are beautiful! I love all the tips and now I need to do some shopping for more supplies! Love those word dies!! Thanks for the inspiration!

  12. Laura Papercuts says:

    Wonderful….love the way you did the die cut and slipped the flower thru it.

  13. Avra says:

    Beautiful! I love this stamps!

  14. Pamela Gibbons says:

    Wow what a great tutorial! I learned so much including several techniques that have never tried. Now I want to try!

  15. Holly Saveur says:

    STUNNING tags..great tutorial!

  16. Eva R. says:

    Wow, these are gorgeous!

  17. Lots of good ideas here! Bet the technique would make a sensational greeting card, too! Love these tags!

  18. Debbie says:

    I love the watercolor look of these flower tags. So perfect for April!

  19. Vera says:

    Wow…such an informative tutorial. Love it. Have almost everything I need for these fab tags, but, oh man! I WANT THOSE STAMPS!!!

  20. Jeanne d'Arc says:

    Beautiful as usually. Love the technique.

  21. Awesome tags, love the slit you added for the die, great touch and thanks for sharing how to use the markers and the spritzer, I am still having troubles getting the hang of using it.

  22. Carmen Graulau says:

    I love all of your start to finish pictures and instructions. Lovely tags. Thank you so much for the detailed walk-through 🙂 Hugs 🙂

  23. Monika/buzsy says:

    Beautiful. Love the techniques and those dies.

  24. Marjorie says:

    Thanks for the detailed tutorial. The tags are gorgeous

  25. Julia Aston says:

    congrats to all the winners! What nice techniques to try on your lovely spring tag!

  26. Carol H. says:

    LOVE your tags! Thanks for giving me a “duh”! moment: running the cardstock through the Xyron before die cutting–why didn’t I think of that! Haha! Thanks for the inspiration!

  27. Blue Shirt says:

    Oh yeah … that’s what I’m talkin’ about. Perfection all the way around – way to go, Tim!

  28. Lovely tag as always!…congrats to the winners! VERY Nice tags everyone!! (the new xyron sure looks different)

  29. Great flower stamps! Thanks for the excellent tutorial .. . my submission will be created this weekend!

  30. Claire says:

    Just gorgeous! Inspires me to make time for some playtime this weekend!

  31. Carol Watson says:

    Love how your watercolor slides behind your tag!

  32. Joi@RR says:

    I’m in awe. Always am – every time you do a demo – it’s incredible Tim. I dont have a cutter but somehow I am going to make this tag. It’s sooooo wonderful. HAPPY EASTER! j

  33. Joan says:

    I love flowers; it’s Spring; and these are so lovely. I need to make tags now!!! lol…

    Thanks for inspiring me . . and . . . Thanks for sharing your creativity.

  34. Theresa G. says:

    way cool tags….so simple and yet so pretty……

  35. Diane MW says:

    I love your April tag and the positive thoughts of spring. Thanks for the wonderful flower set….

  36. Genevieve says:

    I must say I am a huge fan of both tags! They are simply spectacular, thanks a million for sharing with us each month.
    Congrats to all March winners!

  37. Patricia A Paola says:

    It is so good to see some floral tags, especially for me as April is my birth month and it has been so long since I have seen any kind of foliage,here in Central VT. We just had 4″ snow yesterday on top of about 18″ of what we still have left from winter.
    You used so many toys and mediums for these tags, I love when everything is “mixed-up” on tags. Tags are such a way to experiment and at the same time, complete a project.

  38. Cindy says:

    Love the tag! The stamps set is so elegant. I can think of all kinds of great ideas with it.

  39. Bonnie says:

    LOVE the beautiful watercolour flowers and the fantastic dimensional layered effect.

  40. SusanHnSC says:

    I love what you did with the die/diecuts! The flowers are gorgeous too. Thanks for sharing your techniques – I learn a lot from you and always enjoy your stuff!!

  41. Whoot whoot! This is awesome news and I am more than thrilled to be one of the winners. Doing a happy dance right now! Congrats to all the winners and to everyone that joins in with these tag challenges! ~Niki

  42. Simply gorgeous! You never disappoint!

  43. marileew says:

    Beautiful tag. Really love the watercolor technique on these sketch flowers. Looking forward to getting the stamps!

  44. Gayle says:

    I just love this stamp set. It is the one that I reach for most often and am always looking for new ways of coloring. Would love to see some framelits for this set. Hint. Hint.

  45. Dria says:

    I like the shadowing technique and the way you colored the ribon to give it an ombre effect.

  46. Carol says:

    such beautiful tags. . . can’t wait to try the watercoloring-maybe I can actually make this work. . .LOL

  47. Cathy Osborne says:

    Awesome. I loved the detail at the bottom edge, the “cut-out” to slide the color behind – beautiful. Another winner.

  48. […] If you didn’t see this fun little project on the Tim Holtz blog recently you’ll want to check it out!!!  And while you’re there be sure to check out his April tag! […]

  49. Hi Tim,
    your flowertags are amazing,just feel in love with!Love the use with the spritzer = last month I bought me an own :o))) and some other items.So great using them!!!! Also love the crazy birds,but they´re almost sold out in Germany :o((( ,
    hugs die waldfee

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