12 tags of 2015 – november…

TAG-MAINthe autumn season always fills my imagination with colorful splendor.  it’s no secret i love any shade of brown, but the rich earthy palette of vibrant reds, warm yellows, and rusty oranges are also a favorite this time of year brings.  i’m excited to share several different techniques on this tag including: dimensional watercolor, paint resist, and distressed foiling.  i hope your mind will be filled with ideas and inspiration to capture the beauty of your own creative imagination…t!m


  • surfaces: #8 manila tag, distress watercolor cardstock, textured surfaces/cork
  • stamps: CMS167, CMS221, grid-blocks
  • embellishments: linen ribbon, adornment/arrow, mini fasteners, foil sheets
  • archival ink: jet black
  • distress markers: carved pumpkin, rusty hinge, wild honey, fossilized amber, crushed olive, peeled paint, forest moss, walnut stain, vintage photo, ground espresso, hickory smoke
  • distress ink: ground espresso, frayed burlap
  • distress spray stain: pumice stone, frayed burlap
  • distress paint: antique linen, flip top caps
  • tools: distress waterbrush/detailer, distress marker spritzer, distress sprayer, mini brayer, mini ink blending tool, craft sheet, remnant rub tool, heat tool, design ruler, scissors
  • adhesives: collage glue stick, black foam tape, multi-medium
  • sizzix: alphanumeric 3/4″, vagabond
  • misc: fun foam, string, removable tape

1step 1: apply a dot of distress paint to craft sheet.

2step 2: roll mini brayer through paint covering the entire roller.

3step 3: apply a light layer of distress paint to background stamp using brayer.

4step 4: stamp image on tag and immediately clean stamp and brayer with water to remove paint. *paint is waterproof once dry.

5step 5: dry stamped image with heat tool.

6step 6: mist tag with water using distress sprayer.

7step 7: spray a couple of colors of distress spray stain on tag.

8step 8: dry inked tag with heat tool.

9step 9: ink edges of tag with distress ink using ink blending tool.

10step 10: slowly squeeze the trigger of the distress sprayer to create water droplets over tag and dry with heat tool.

10a*check out this cool mottled linen effect, the stamped distress paint resists distress ink.

11step 11: ink the outer blueprint lines only with archival ink (not the pumpkin).

12step 12: stamp the image on the tag.

12a*this leaves the area for the pumpkin open so we can reposition the layered image.

13step 13: gather foil sheets and a mini collage glue stick.

14step 14: very lightly drag the collage glue stick along a section of the edge of the tag.

15step 15: immediately press the foil sheet (shiny side up) over the adhesive and rub with your fingers.

16step 16: peel away the sheet to transfer the metallic foil on to the tag – cool.

17step 17: repeat the previous steps all around the tag, then gently rub the foiled edges with your fingers to remove any excess adhesive.

18step 18: stamp the pumpkin blueprint and leaf/stem on to the smooth side of distress watercolor cardstock.

19step 19: gather several colors and tones of distress markers and a detailer waterbrush.

20step 20: start by coloring along the stamped lines with the brush tip of the distress marker.

21step 21: using a waterbrush, pull the color into the open areas.

22step 22: to add layers, scribble additional colors of distress markers on craft sheet and apply them using the waterbrush.

23step 23: color stem and leaf following the previous steps.

24step 24: watercolor the additional stamped stem and leaf and dry all images completely with a heat tool.

25step 25: insert dark color of distress marker into distress marker spritzer to add speckles.

25a*this is the cool effect the distress marker spritzer creates.

26step 26: place watercolor cardstock on a piece of fun foam and outline one section of the pumpkin following the stamped lines using the round tip of the remnant rub tool (or stylus).

27step 27: flip paper over and wet outlined area with water from the waterbrush.

28step 28: using remnant rub tool, deboss the paper into the foam.

29step 29: flip the paper back over onto a hard surface, and outline the same stamped lines as before to define.

30step 30: dry with a heat tool and continue on to the next section following previous steps.

31step 31: once all sections have been completed the back will be debased,and the front image raised/embossed.

32step 32: cut out both colored sections with scissors.

33step 33: ink the cut pieces with distress ink using ink blending tool.

34step 34: cut various pieces of foam tape and insert into debossed areas.

35step 35: adhere layered pumpkin on to tag.

36step 36: select letters from alphanumeric thinlit dies to fit tag and line up along design ruler for spacing.

37step 37: remove ruler and place a piece of repositionable tape or wash tape over letters.

38step 38: place taped letters over cork sheet from textured surfaces and run through die cut machine.

39step 39: carefully remove dies from cork sheet revealing the negative area (you can save the actual cut cork letters for another project).

40step 40: cut cork to size for the tag and ink edges with distress ink using ink tool.

41step 41: remove paper backing from cut cork.

42step 42: adhere cork to the bottom of the tag and secure with mini fasteners.

44step 43: cut a piece of linen ribbon for top of tag.

45step 44: ink the linen ribbon with distress ink using ink blending tool.

45astep 45: tie ribbon through top of tag and pull ribbon edges apart to fray.

43step 46: wrap a piece of string around arrow adornment and adhere to tag with multi-medium.

46detailsthe details: i love the layered, textured, and dimensional look of this tag – the distressed accents of the foil frames the tag perfectly…

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congrats to the winners from the october 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. Creepy Glowbugg
2. Burden Weideveld
3. Sara
4. the crazy chick: No. 31
5. Vampire Diary
6. April
7. Lynn Price
8. Danee
9. Christi C
10. MartyF
11. saracloset
12. Steve\’s Stuff

*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: 10NOVEMBERTH


Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry 101