12 tags of christmas…day 1



supplies: (ranger) craft sheet, heat tool, ink blending tool, mini mister, distress inks/stormy sky/tumbled glass/faded jeans/vintage photo/walnut stain, distress crackle paint/picket fence, glossy accents, wonder tape, paint dabbers/snow cap, perfect pearl mists/pearl, #8 manila tag; (idea-ology) mini pins, mini clips, adornments, jump ring, grungeboard, grungepaper, trimmings, sanding grip; (sizzix alterations) rickety house bigz, pine tree bigz, on the fence on the edge, notebook texture fade; (tonic) scissors; (stampers anonymous) winter sketchbook stamp set, odds & ends stamp set; (misc.) sparkly fluff, holly garland, mica, q-tip, hot glue

about the tags: before we get started i wanted to address the most asked question i get…"why tags?".  i guess the first reason is i like them.  i like the shape of them, the versatility of them, and the ability to create something finished in a short period of time.  they're fun to decorate with, fun to trade, and fun to use on gifts or even send in the mail.  i prefer to work on #8 13pt. manila tags.  for the most part, the manila coating on the tags have nothing to do with any technique i do, but they do tend to hold up better when wet than regular cardstock does.  i know for many people getting this large size tag is difficult, but now you have options!

ranger has these #8 tags in packs of 20 as part of their inkssentials surfaces:

or, you can always die cut your own with my alterations tag die which also cut the reinforcers and 2 decorative bookplates (but more on that later).  i simply cut up file folders, and now i have the same manila tags to use!  you get about 6 tags per folder.

(step 1): cut a piece of grungeboard, grungepaper, and wonder tape to 4 1/2"x 6 1/2" each.  *if you don't have wonder tape no worries you can use your favorite adhesive later.

(step 2): place the grungeboard into the notebook texture fade it doesn't matter which side of the grunge is where. * i love this folder to create a cool lined pattern.

(step 3): emboss the grungeboard with your machine of choice…and we all know what mine is!

(step 4): working on your craft sheet with the textured side facing up (where the thinner lines are recessed) paint with white paint dabber .

(step 5): continue painting until the entire piece of grunge is covered with paint especially in the thin recessed areas. let dry.

(step 6): place grungeboard on a scrap piece of paper or chipboard and sand the raised texture with a sanding grip .  continue sanding until the raw grunge is exposed (the white paint should remain in the recessed areas).

(step 7): cut into random strips staying parallel with the embossed lines.

(step 8): ink over the painted/sanded side with vintage photo distress ink using an ink blending tool.

(step 9): repeat inking one side of all grungeboard strips.

(step 10): mist towel with water from mini mister.

(step 11): wipe over inked strips to remove excess distress ink and reveal white paint. *the paint works as a resist so the paint not sanded reappears white!

(step 12): repeat for all strips.

(step 13): remove one side of the backing from wonder tape sheet and adhere to grungepaper sheet.

(step 14): remove other backing of wonder tape exposing adhesive and begin adhering grunge strips to sheet. *if you don't have wondertape you can simply glue the strips to the grungepaper with your favorite adhesive.

(step 15): continue with strips until entire surface is covered.

(step 16): place grunge sheet face down (strips down) on to rickety house die and run through die cut machine.

(step 17): carefully remove house from die.

(step 18): okay here is where you need to take a deep breath.  there's no doubt that when you try to remove these thick layers from this detailed die, that some little pieces will get stuck and tear away from the grungepaper.  don't worry!

(step 19): using a craft pick, remove stuck pieces from the die and stick back on to grungepaper.

*die maintenance: whenever you cut thicker materials with detailed dies, it's important to always remove the "stuck" pieces left in the die with a craft pick before using the die again.  over time, your die may look like a pin cushion, but not to worry, it will still cut just fine!

(step 20): ink edges of the house with walnut stain distress ink using an ink blending tool.

(step 21): flip house over and tear scraps of mica to the back for the windows.  i like to tear the scraps to create more reflection.  *if you don't have mica, get creative and recycle some of that clear packaging – it works great too.

(step 22): adhere mica to back of house with glossy accents.

(step 23): using a paint brush, paint a thick layer of picket fence distress crackle paint on top edges of the house for dimensional snow.  use the brush to drag some of the paint down to create icicles.  let dry and crackle completely.

(step 24): cut a piece of grungeboard 2"x6" and die cut the on the fence on the edge die.

(step 25): paint one side of the grunge with a medium layer of picket fence distress.  let dry and crackle.

(step 26): for tag background, apply distress ink directly to craft sheet by pressing down hard on the ink pad to transfer ink to the sheet.

(step 27): repeat with various tones of color.

(step 28): shake the perfect pearls mist VERY WELL and mist ink to create droplets of color. *you can also use a mini mister filled with water and perfect pearls for this step if you wish.

(step 29): press tag down on to inked sheet covering the entire tag with ink.

(step 30): flip tag over and dry with heat tool.  repeat previous steps creating as many layers of color as you want until the desired look is achieved.

(step 31): stamp snowflakes on tag with darkest shade of blue distress ink (i used faded jeans).

(step 32): ink edges of tag with walnut stain distress ink using ink blending tool.

(step 33): cut a couple of pieces of trimmings "crinkle ribbon" and mist with water from mini mister.

(step 34): swipe distress ink pad directly over ribbon.

(step 35): crumple into a ball and let dry.

(step 36): once crackle paint is dry on the house you'll notice the crackle absorbed some of the brown distress ink, that's okay we used crackle just for added texture.  apply glossy accents over crackle painted areas.

(step 37): cover areas with sparkly fluff (i used sugar color).

(step 38): remove excess sparkly fluff and set aside to dry.

(step 39): you'll notice the crackle paint has stuck in between the fence areas of the grunge – leave it there, it looks like snow drifts don't you think? (i applied a little glossy accents and sparkly fluff to the bottom edge of this too).

(step 40): die cut a piece of grungeboard using pine tree die and apply a heavy layer of paint with snow cap dabber.

(step 41): while paint is still wet, apply sugar sparkly fluff.

(step 42): using scissors, cut various tips from the white tree to look thin out the snow covered branches.

(step 43): apply glossy accents to the back of the grunge house.

(step 44): adhere to the tag and hold in place to dry.

(step 45): trim grunge fence to desired size for tag.  i trimmed some of the bottom off, and some of the side but kept it a little longer than my tag so i can create some dimension with it.

(step 46): apply hot glue to the back of each end picket.

(step 47): adhere each end picket to tag creating a slight bend in the fence.

(step 48): create a wreath but cutting a 6" piece of mini garland and wrap garland in a circle.  make a tiny bow to adhere to the top.

(step 49): remove cotton from a q-tip.

(step 50): embellish tag by adhering the tree, wreath, and cotton "smoke" with hot glue.  attach trimming ribbon to top of tag and sure a star adornment to ribbon with a mini pin.  finally add a stamped ticket to the side of the tag with a mini clip.  (i'll share the trick to how that ticket was made on tomorrow's tag!).

whew!  not bad for our first tag right?  like i said, sometimes there are just more steps on certain tags than others.  it just depends on the details – and i love details!  one more thing i wanted to share about details are some other cool things that go with the rickety house die – trees…


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489 Comments to “12 tags of christmas…day 1”

  1. kwittlock says:

    great! Yes -we must use these items for more then what we think they should be done with- I am so glad you think OUT of that box…
    beleive me my “stuff” is overflowing with thoughts – I know my tags won’t be the same but thats ok I don’t follow dirsctions to good either! Looking forward to more days!

  2. kate says:

    looks like another great holiday season!

  3. Linda says:

    That’s just awesome! Love this series BTW!

  4. is it possible this is the best yet ????
    these dies are amazing & yeah sooo versatile
    Thank you again Tim, what an awesome beginning

  5. Sarah says:

    An amazing first tag, can’t wait to see what the other 11 days bring

  6. Fiona says:

    What a great tag! Can’t wait to try out the snow crackle paint technique! I love visiting your blog Tim as i always learn something new or get loads of inspiration from your projects. Looking forward to seeing the next 11 tags :o)

  7. Carol S says:

    The 12 Tags almost make me like winter. It is not my favorite season, because of the cold,but when you can be in by the fire, creating something, it makes it so much better.

  8. Danielle says:

    Tim! I don’t know how you do it every year and every year you out do yourself!! This is so amazing! I can’t wait to try these techniques!

  9. brigitte says:

    ok do you Know where i will be all day?? yes in my scraproom !!! and i think for the reste of the 12 days !!! awsome tag !

  10. Heidi Roux says:

    every time a new take on it! you are amazing!!!

  11. sandie says:

    Wow wow wow wow, you are the master!!!!

  12. mary w says:

    Woke up this morning to a snow storm and the 12 tags of Christmas…let the Holiday Season begin!!

  13. Judi mh says:

    It must be a fascinating trip through your mind. I am always amazed at how you pull these ideas together. I’m anxious for the next 11 days.

  14. Debbie says:

    If one knocks something out of the park the first time up, what do you call it if they do it 11 more times? Hmmmmmm…..have to think about that one for a minute. After waiting a full year, I can say T!m, that you did not disappoint. What an awesome start to your 12 days! I am sooooooo ready to play!! The details, is what makes you…well, you!!

  15. Joan Hajek says:

    Unreal! This is a present in itself! You amaze me!

  16. gabby says:

    just love it ! thanks tim, let the festive season begin x

  17. Tina Nilson says:

    I´m in love.
    With your tag.
    In love.
    Tina from Stockholm,
    covered in white crackle paint 🙂

  18. Stephanie Patterson says:

    I’m always amazed at a creative mind. This is so cool and I wish I thought this way to come up with such great projects.

  19. laura huffman says:

    WOW. how fun is that? cleaned my desk ready to play.

  20. Jeannie D says:

    Let the magic begin! I love how your products can be used in multiple ways – I never would have thought of using the rickety house for summer or holiday hideaways! Thanks for helping me get out of my comfort zone!

  21. Erin Granigan says:

    What a great way to start the season! Thanks for sharing your creativity with all of us!

  22. melanie o says:

    I am in love with this house and how you can turn it from rickety to luxurious….Cant wait to see the others….

  23. danielle says:


  24. Betheroo says:

    This is my second year of “12 Tags” and I continue to be amazed by all of your new ideas! Can’t wait to get started!

  25. LoralieH says:

    That is awesome! Love how the house is so versatile! The tag looks great!

  26. What a cool tag! I love the house!!! Thanks so much for sharing your talent! I love your tag series!

  27. SannaS says:

    Oh WOW!! Absolutely gorgeous tag!!! Love it!!! =)
    Can’t wait to see what’s up tomorrow!!! =)

  28. Congratulations, it is a beautiful tag once again! I always read every bit of text and then I just feel the ideas building in my head. Which supplies do I have and don’t have? What to substitute, how to decorate with the things at hand. I lvoe this feeling! I’m at work now but I can make my own version of TToC #1 tomorrow!

  29. Lynnda says:

    always something to make us think, thank you so much

  30. judy b says:

    Got up and had to look at Tag #1 even before I got my morning coffee. It is great. I need the house die now. Didn’t think I would, but now i see lots of possibilities. Thanks Tim. Now I am going to get my first cup of coffee.

  31. Patti says:

    Thank you so much for sparking my creativity. I’ve lost my mojo recently and your tags are just what I needed to jump start me! You’re generosity and inspiration is, well….inspiring…LOL! Thank you, Patti

  32. Linda Lynn says:

    Tim, I have the notebook texture fade and didn’t know what it could become! Great tag with lots of ideas to play with.

  33. Donna says:

    I adore this project! Your attention to all the little details is incredible. I have toyed with getting this die for awhile but now I know it can indeed have multiple uses. Tim – YOU ROCK!!

  34. Dawn Watson says:

    How awesome. I am new to the 12 tags of Christmas but I love it already!!! Can’t wait for each day now. Looks like I have some stock to buy in now.lol.

  35. Joy Anderson says:

    It’s here, it’s here…that wonderful time of year 🙂 What a beautiful project! Thanks for sharing your creations with us.
    Joy in GA

  36. Kristy Hansen says:

    You are so creative–what a great way to create the house. Every little piece is the perfect way for the tag to look. I love the ticket. I am going to give that one a try for sure. Enjoy the day. KSH

  37. Jill Foster says:

    Incredible! I learned so much from each step! Thanks for taking the time to share these 12 days with us!!! WOw, wow, WOW!

  38. dani b says:

    Love the house–silly me thought it was corrugated cardboard at first! It is 0620…kinda early….anyway I love the house and the tree!

  39. VJ Sanchez says:

    Wow Tim, simply beautiful…Love how you apply different techniques to get such a unique look….I purchased the branch tree, fence, and rickety house for Halloween and cant wait to try something Christmasie with these dies. You have inspired me once again…love the haunted house must add this to my Halloween layout!!!!

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