it’s day 4 – still 8 more…

Tag4 "Christmas memories" – tim holtz 2007
craft sheet (ranger)
archival ink pad (ranger)
distress re-inkers: fired brick, mustard seed, faded jeans, peeled paint, black soot (ranger)
distress ink: brushed corduroy (ranger)
ink blending tool & foam (ranger)
cut n’ dry FELT (ranger)
stickles (ranger)
stamp set (stampers anonymous)
scissors (tonic studios)
double stick foam tape or glue dots
tags and embellishments


step 1: ink stamp completely with archival ink (*tip: any other permanent and waterproof ink will work for this step)


step 2: square the BLOCK of the stamp on to a corner of your cut n’ dry felt pad with the felt/fabric side facing up and stamp image (*tip: be sure to use pressure to do this as the cut n’ dry is squishy)


step 3: while stamp is STILL on the felt, trace around the block with a marker.  lift off stamp and wipe clean. cut out with scissors. (*tip: this will make sense later, promise)


step 4: using distress re-inkers begin coloring your stamped image whatever color you want each area to be – here’s how: when inking your image be sure to ink ON the stamped lines and not inside the lines (fight those grade school urges to "color inside the lines"!). keep in mind that we creating a stamp pad so the ink will start to spread as soon as you apply it to the pad so you need to work quickly (*tip: i like to use distress or adirondack reinkers for this technique as they both have detailed applicators.  just make sure you are using water based dye reinkers for this technique).


step 5: continue inking your pad coloring the stamped image.


step 6: ink until your entire stamped image is finished, do not be concerned about inside the lines of your image – ink will spread there anyways and it doesn’t matter. the best part about cut n’ dry felt is that when 2 colors of inks meet up they WILL NOT cross over each other!  weird i know, but the cut n’ dry felt suspends the inks and they won’t contaminate.  that’s why it’s so important to work quickly so each color can "stake it’s claim" on the pad so to speak. also remember that if you want an area of your stamp to be black, you need to ink it black (*tip: if you happen to get a color where you don’t want it, you can always re-ink over that area as long as your using a darker color ink)


step 7: once the image on your cut n’ dry is all inked it’s time to try it out – are you ready?  okay so this is where that whole draw with a marker and cut out come into play because your "custom" ink pad should be the same size as your stamp block – right?  so all you have to do for lining up your image is to stack your stamp block on top of your cut n’ dry pad and it’s lined up. (*tip: if you are using a clear stamp or ez-mount stamp on a clear block, make sure you position your stamp on the block the same way each time so it lines up)


step 8: tap the stamp on the custom pad several times to ink up the stamp – look at the stamp to make sure everything is inked up and ready to go (*tip: i don’t like to press down hard as this is a freshly inked stamp pad and it could get messy, so just tap it)


step 9: stamp your image on to the tag.  WOW-check it out!  everything is colored already – woohoo!  no more endless coloring with markers and huffing and puffing on your stamp!


step 10: re-ink your stamp again by tapping it back on your pad – remember to keep track of which is the top and bottom of the pad so everything lines up and stamp the image again on another tag. (*tip: i like to make a mark on the top side edge of my custom pad with a sharpie as the inks will bleed out to all the edges and sometimes it’s difficult to figure out)


step 11: repeat above steps one more time so you have 4 tags stamped.  if you were creating single layer cards or tags you could just keep inking and stamping, inking and stamping – i’ve gotten over 100 stampings from one inking of the pad…. (*tip: for storage of your custom ink pad, place in zip-lock bag or something air-tight. i also like to stamp the image once more and stick it to the outside of the bag to remember which stamp the pad if for.  over time the pad will look very inky, but not to worry it will work great next time you go to use it!  as for re-inking the pad, when the pad dries up re-ink it using the same inks as you did initially.  you may also want to write which colors of ink you used on the back of the stamped sample – just a thought!)


step 12: now that our images are stamped and already colored, we are ready to layer them for a dimensional tag.  set aside one tag for our background. on the second tag, cut out the "bubble lights", and "Christmas tree" sections – this is LAYER #1. (*tip: having a good pair of scissors is a good thing, having a GREAT pair of scissors is the best which is why i love my scissors from tonic.  they are self-sharpening (that’s right), non-stick, and they cut with detail and comfort! – a shameless plug i know, but if you’ve ever used these you know exactly what i’m saying…)


step 13: on the third tag, cut out the "flexible flyer", "ribbon icicles", "ornaments", and "ornament hangers" sections – this is LAYER #2.


step 14: on the fourth tag, cut out the "ribbon icicles" and "ornament hangers" sections only – this is LAYER #3.


step 15: using your scraps from other tags, cut out the "tree" from the paramount lighting section.


step 16: ink the edges of all cut layers and background tag with brown distress ink using the ink blending foam and tool.  simply tap the tool on to the distress ink pad and lightly rub along edges (*tip: we are only trying to create a slight shadow on the edges, do not over ink!)


step 17: begin layering the tag by adhering the largest cut layer (LAYER #1) to your background tag using foam tape lining up the images with the background ones (*tip: i like using black foam tape or glue dots for layering to create a deeper shadow – and because i don’t like white tape showing – yuck!)


step 18: adhere the next layer (LAYER #2) over the last layer lining everything up.


step 19: adhere the last layer (LAYER #3) over the "ribbon icicles" lining it up, and finally adhere the "tree" over the same tree on paramount lighting box. pretty neat huh?  adding just that little bit of distress ink really casts a nice shadow on the layer, and having each layer custom colored couldn’t be easier!


step 20: accent your layers with stickles glitter glue and add any other embellishments – you’re done!

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596 Comments to “it’s day 4 – still 8 more…”

  1. Kristin in Lombard, IL says:

    Holy smokes! This is an absolutely awesome tag! I just LOVE it! You are incredible. I’m going to start my own tags this weekend & can’t wait to do all of these fun techniques! Thanks, Tim!!!

  2. Carole says:

    Wow – I can’t tell you how inspiring you are with your amazing eye for color and design and your ability to teach how to use the products. I buy all this stuff and then it sits here for want of some inspiration and you have certainly provided that with these tags Tim. I’m going to go PLAY with my supplies now – THANK YOU for a wonderful gift!

  3. Kim DeRonde says:

    What can I say…VERY COOL. I love seeing this one over and over. Reminds me of a missing inked pad at Carson.
    Your writing style is also a huge hit with me. You explain everything without making it confusing. It is a true gift. Im so happy you are living your dream!
    54 hous and 13 minutes…
    Kisses – Kim

  4. Anne says:

    I love that stamp, it’s just gorgeous! Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. NANCY says:


  6. Retta says:

    It continues to amaze me all the uses we have with these supplies. Keep them coming. I am inspired. Thank you for taking this project on.

  7. Wow another awesome project! I love the 3D layer effect..:) TFS 🙂

  8. Lynda Stone says:

    I Love dimensional tags… lots of work, but well worth it when you can stamp multiples without re-inking… your detailed pictures are great! Keep ’em coming! Thanks…

  9. Alison says:

    Excellent! This is one of those techniques I’ve often read about but never tried. If I win today, I’ll get to try it out! Very cool tag!! (

  10. Tim – I have been stamping for over 15 years, and you just taught me something new. AGAIN!! I am at my parents’ house visiting right now and am limited to their dial-up internet connection. Needless to say my blog reading is on hold until I return home mid-December. I am, however, reading your blog (and only yours, LOL!) each day. I feel as though I will miss something if I try to catch up when I get home because I won’t take the time that I take soaking in details when I read on a daily basis. Thank you for sharing your awesome techniques! It is like having you for a personal tutor and I am learning so much!
    Elizabeth from Montana (currently in Texas)

  11. Kari says:

    Another great tag! Thanks so much for sharing your time and talent, Tim! Looking forward to tomorrow.

  12. Jan Francis says:

    Tim, I wish I’d BOUGHT this stamp instead of putting it back on the shelf. It reminds me of my childhood and all the old ornaments that I wish I still had. The 50’s were such wonderfully innocent times. Now, where can I get that stamp!!! Have a happy day and thanks for the memories. Jan from Tucson

  13. Tamara says:

    All these new ideas and techniques might soon overload my brain. I love the idea of creating my own stamp pad. So cool!

  14. Abigail B says:

    Hey Tim,
    Love the look with the layers and dimension. By the way I had never even heard of black foam tape now I have to find some. You never fail to inspire! Thanks Tim.

  15. Sue McG says:

    Super-cool – I love the custom ink pad for this stamp, what a great idea! Your tag countdown is my advent calendar, so much fun to visit here every day and find a new (stunning!) idea 🙂

  16. Renee says:

    This is MY favorite so far!!!!
    I just LOVE,,,,and I mean LOVE this stamp set!!!!
    WOW…that technique is just AWESOME.
    I’ll have to jot that one down in my book!!!
    Renee B.

  17. Judy Johnson says:

    Wow, a friend just directed me to this blog. This is fantastic! I am so excited to see the how to’s of some of your creative work. Thanks.

  18. Jessica says:

    Awesome! I love this technique. I’ve heard of it before, but now I’m actually going to try it 🙂
    I watched your demo video on grungeboard. I honestly didn’t give it much consideration when you mentioned it in your posts, but I get it now. The flexibility is awesome and I want the hinges badly!
    Thanks again for sharing. This tag was wonderful!

  19. Ros says:

    Thnaks for the reminder of this technique – so are so good at enthusing us all. I love the 3D effects on this tag.

  20. Roxann says:

    Confession Time….. I have always been a little scared of using reinkers for anything but reloading the original stamp pad. I know that sounds silly, but this is one thing that I have never tried in over 10 years of scrappin’! Sad, I know!!!
    Thanks for showing me the way to do it!!!! You totally *rock* !!!

  21. Claudia Feher Zilenovski says:

    Hello from São Paulo, Brazil!Today’s tag is so amazingly cool! Everyday they are more and more beautiful and I can’t wait to see what’s next.Today’s tasg is really awesome and so many new techniques!I loved the stam you chose to do it with.Hope to be the chosen one o get this amazing ensemble! Oh boy!My wish-list for X-Mas is getting bigger and bigger everyday!Havea nice day and til tomorrow with another surprise!

  22. Patti A says:

    Another amazing project. I think you showed us this technique or something similar I don’t remember the felt being cut and dry in a class I took but with this particular stamp and all the layering it is just amazing. Thanks so much for the inspiration. I so want to try this.
    I really hope that after the 12 days of Christmas you will continue to post some cool step by step projects as I have really enjoyed this.

  23. Angelica says:

    Wow! I am so hooked! A friend sent me a link to your blog and although I’m supposed to be working *snicker*…I keep sneaking peeks at your fabulous projects. I can’t wait to get home so I can check it out at leisure. Happy Holidays!

  24. Debbi G. says:

    Another good one, Tim. Love the color and the reminder of how simpe these really are to do.

  25. Christine Marcoux says:

    Very cool technique. My DH hates (but I love it) when I learn new stuff because it makes me want to shop and my list is growing by the day.

  26. Lynda says:

    Wow…what a tag!!! I love every little detail you put into your work. Just wonderful!

  27. Melissa Hochrine says:

    I think this is my favorite so far. Something else I have been afraid to try. Thanks again for sharing in so much detail.

  28. jeremyk123 says:

    Loooooooove this tag!!! the vintage look is so cool. Love that there is a male scrapbooker out there to look up to they are so few and far between!

  29. Jenny says:

    Thank you so much for the wonderful inspiration! Other than re-inking my ink pads I wondered what else I could use them for & now I know! I will definitely give this technique a go. It looks so difficult but doesn’t seem like it is in practice! Thanks Tim – you truly are an inspiration!
    Jenny x

  30. Marta Putnam says:

    Tim,I just love these tags! I saw this technique on your second video and now I’m more motivated than ever to try it myself…..Marta

  31. Tonya Peters says:

    I just found your blog! Thanks for the great technique, how cool!!! And for the great giveaways. I’ll be watching from now on!
    Happy Tuesday, Tonya

  32. narda says:

    Hi Tim,
    Well I have to say you are teaching me some awesome new techniques! I check out your blog first thing everyday, and each day is like getting a new gift. A new gift of creativity ! This coloring technique is such a time saver. Now I’m beginning to know what all your cool products are for! LOL I love the colorful layers and that stamp is very retro cool.

  33. Bev Barton says:

    Wow!! What a wonderful technique for today’s lesson. It will be fun to try this technique. Your instructions are so understandable and your pictures are perfect to help us see how the technique is done. Thanks ALOT!!!

  34. Sally sTo says:

    Your tutorials are fantastic! Thank you for all your time and energy spent in putting these together with so much attention to all the details. These are such special daily gifts that you have created for all of us, thank you!

  35. April Jaehn says:

    WOW, just WOW. My friend Bridget who just moved from Florida to New Mexico was so sad when I got here. I really couldn’t bear it. I found your site from two peas and told her about it. Look, now she’s happy!!! This makes me smile!!

  36. Norma A. says:

    Hi Tim,
    I just want to tell you this is my first time looking at your blog. I really enjoy it. I new to scrapbooking. And I love your technique. I love distrees items. You have gave me the inspiration to look out side of the box , and try new thing. Thank you

  37. Diana DeWitt says:

    Hi Tim,
    I am so glad that a local stamp/scrapbooking store sent me the link to your blog. I am so enjoying looking at the wonderful tags you are sharing with us.
    As an intensive needs special education teacher at our local high school, I am always looking for craft ideas that I know my kids will enjoy. We are starting to make Christmas cards this week to send to service people, and some of these tags are just what we need for our collection.
    Thanks so much for all the wonderful techniques and ideas.

  38. Lynn D. says:

    Oh, and for the record: everyone needs those scissors. Seriously.
    My sister stole mine, so I went out and bought another pair. LOVE THEM.

  39. Tammy K says:

    This is way cool ~ I am loving the 12 days of tags AND your blog. I posted the link on
    my yahoo group and got all the girs fired up about your blog.

  40. Lynn D. says:

    I took your class in Long Island through Blue Moon. The class in the barn? With no a/c? At the peak of summer? Yeah, we were all a MESS at the end, but it was AWESOME. (I was the one who got you to pose with the “I love Tigger” sign.)
    I saw you do this technique on Carol Duvall, and promptly went out and bought two packs of the cut ‘n dry felt. I STILL haven’t used it (shame, shame!). I am feeling re-inspired, though! Thanks for the kick in the rear! (Now I just need more colors of reinkers to use with the felt!)

  41. Rosemary says:

    What I find interesting about this, is that you could do as little or as much popping of elements as you would like. With less time, popping only one element would still be a great tag.

  42. Debbie P. says:

    Okay, I’m hooked! I had to log on this morning before I headed off to work to see the newest creation and I love it! Tim, this is definitely a timeless tag. You use color combinations that are so unique – colors I wouldn’t think of using. This tag would be perfect when scrapbooking heritage photos of my grandparents. Thanks for another fantastic idea! Now I just need to have Santa help my family pick out some of these great products to put under the tree for me this holiday season! My wish list is growing…
    Debbie P.

  43. Sue says:

    These are amazing. Thank you for sharing and I am definately going to try some of these techniques! Thanks

  44. Vanessa says:

    Thanks for another great tutorial. I love the look of this tag!

  45. Elizabeth says:

    Wow! You are amazing!!! I so want to go to the store and try all these new techniques. I think I’ll be checking this blog everyday now!!!

  46. Andrea says:

    I’ve always loved this technique, from the first time I saw it on your DVD! I think it’s time to try it! Thanks so much for the inspiration!

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