it’s day 5 – give this a try…

Tag5 "believe" – tim holtz 2007
craft sheet (ranger)
adirondack alcohol inks: denim, stream, stonewash (ranger)
pearl metallic mixative (ranger)
blending solution (ranger)
jet black archival ink pad (ranger)
ink applicator tool (ranger)
glossy cardstock (ranger)
stamp set (stampers anonymous)
ghost snowflakes (heidi swapp)
tag and embellishments


step 1: attach a piece of felt (this is regular craft felt) to the ink applicator tool.


step 2: remove caps from alcohol inks and ink up applicator tool by pressing the nib of the bottle into the felt and giving it a squeeze for about 2 seconds (*tip: make sure the nib is into the felt or ink could squirt out everywhere – experience talking here!)


step 3: repeat inking the tool with whatever colors you want to use. (*tip: just be sure to apply the colors next to each other and not directly on top of each other.  it’s also important to remember to not over-ink the tool, we can always add more ink later).


step 4: shake the metallic mixative before opening the bottle and apply ONE DOT of mixative on to the felt. (*tip: metallic mixatives are very concentrated so too much could ruin your background)


step 5: begin stamping tool on to the glossy side of a piece of glossy cardstock – tap, tap, tap!(*tip: glossy cardstock is NOT photo paper and is very different.  it is clay coated instead of emulsion coated so don’t use alcohol inks on photo paper)


step 6: continue stamping ink tool on to glossy cardstock until entire area is covered with ink.  if you need to re-ink the felt, just add more – there is no need to try to match up the colors on the felt it doesn’t matter, honest! (*tip: be sure you are pouncing the tool to get the ink on the paper – you should be making a pounding sounds here!)


step 7: once your paper is inked, apply a 2 second squeeze of blending solution to the felt on the tool – anywhere is fine. (*tip: blending solution will blend, lighten, or remove the alcohol ink so if you happen to get ink where you don’t want it – your hands possibly?, then just apply blending solution directly to it and wipe it off)


step 8: stamp the tool over your background and watch in amazement as the colors and metallics blend and marbleize.  continue stamping until you’re happy with the background (*tip: i never tire of watching this part, but don’t over do it with the blending solution or all of your color will disappear)


step 9: my favorite part, i want to create a snowy effect on my background so GENTLY shake the blending solution over the background – just a little at a time.


step 10: immediately heat the drips with your heat tool to keep them from spreading out and the heat bleaches out the color. (*tip: don’t worry the inks won’t ignite from heat, just open flames)


step 11: continue shaking on blending solution and drying in between each application until your desired look is achieved.


step 12: ink stamp with archival ink pad and stamp images. let dry. (*tip: i prefer using archival ink vs. a solvent ink because archival won’t react with the alcohol inks like the "others" can).


step 13: re-ink the tool (same piece of felt is fine), and let’s ink up our embellishments – that’s right! tap ink tool on to the back of the ghost snowflakes – use whatever colors you would like, i chose to use more pearl mixatives on these.


step 14: tap ink tool on the the beaded trim, ribbon and all, i chose to add more blue to these beads. (*tip: you can also drip the inks directly on to the beads for more color)


step 15: assemble the tag by adhering the glossy cardstock cardstock mat and then on to the tag (*note: i inked the top portion of the tag with the remaining ink on the ink tool – not the best surface for alcohol inks, but it works.), and embellish.

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563 Comments to “it’s day 5 – give this a try…”

  1. Deb says:

    Fabulous as always, Tim! I just can’t get enough of these awesome techniques! Thank you for taking the time to do this!

  2. Karina says:

    Beautiful blue color! Its inspired me……

  3. Elizabeth P says:

    I can’t wait for it to stop snowing so I can get stuff to makes these pretty tags. I wanna play with my stamps.

  4. Jenifer says:

    Thank you so much for doing this. I have never tried any of these inks, they just look like a lot of hard work and are very intimidating. You make them look very very easy. Thank you so much for taking the time to demonstrate these wonderful techniques.

  5. Sabrina says:

    Wow, Tim this one is my favorite so far. I’ve never played with alchohol inks but will hopefully become a player real soon.
    I can’t wait to see what else you have in store for us. Please tell me DIY is giving you your own show. πŸ™‚

  6. cherylp says:

    Wow! I am so glad I found your blog! I have been wanting to learn these techniques for just over a year now, but I am a girl who does sooo much better if I see it done first hand. Your photo tutorials are just what I need to get me started….and just in time for my Santa to do his shopping! πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to try it out myself…and waiting impatiently for the next tag!

  7. Roxann says:

    Just when I think you can’t impress me anymore…you do!!! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS TAG!!! It is just gorgeous!!!
    Thanks for more inspiration!!! YOU DO ROCK!!
    Roxann πŸ™‚

  8. Alison says:

    Another uber-cool tag! Pick me, pick me! I love blue at Christmastime too; my favorite Christmas song is Elvis’ rendition of “Blue Christmas.

  9. Luanne C Iwan-Vogelmeier says:

    Tricia from CS originally introduced me to your alcohol inks, and I’ve been hooked ever since! When I got a splint made for my hand, the stark white would never do, so now it’s shades of blue with “Trust your crazy ideas” emblazened on the side. Thanks for sharing your creativity every day this week. I should be getting ready for christmas, instead I’m locked away in my craft room playing!

  10. Joyce Segur says:

    Good morning Tim,
    Love the blue again. Even tho I have seen this technique a number of times, I don’t remember you or anyone else discussing the use of a heat tool to stop the Blending Solution from spreading. The spreading is the part about adding the Blending Solution that I do not care for as it removes too much of the color for my liking. (If this is in the DVD – well then egg on my face!)
    Thanx for the tip!!!!! Joyce

  11. Candy says:

    Another “WOW” tag!!!!! I have been a little afraid of the alcohol inks up to now (have one set, but have only played once, and was not impressed with my results). But, I am now inspired to get them back out, and try this. Your instructions are so much better than what I was doing before – may just have to invest in your DVD. I was a fan of your work before, but after this series of tags, you can count me firmly in your camp!!!

  12. Misty says:

    Holy Crow! I’m NOT gonna pick favorites, but because I am the proud owner of many of your alcohol inks I have to say WOW, this is really amazing. Thanks for sharing all of you knowledge with us. Hopefully I’ll have time to use my inks today!

  13. Fanja says:

    what a great idea. Just discover the blog and love it. Love the whole idea of step by step techniques. Thanks a lot. That’s already a gift. This tag (and all the others) is awesome.
    I have alcohol inks for some months now but have never used them. May be i’ll give it a try with this idea, even if the colors are not the same.
    When are you coming to Switzerland to give a training? It’s a great place to visit. Just let us know and we’ll bring you a crowd.
    and thanks again.

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