12 tags of christmas…tag 11


supplies: melting pot, craft sheet, clear utee, kool tools, clear shrink plastic, heat tool, adirondack alcohol inks (lettuce/meadow/ginger/red pepper), ink applicator tool, glossy accents, paint dabber (snow cap), distress inks (winter seasonal/broken china/faded jeans/chipped sapphire/fired brick/walnut stain/peeled paint), ink blending tool, archival ink (jet black), gloss cardstock; scissors; CMS118; die (holly branch/tag & bookplate); foam tape

so this technique takes shrink plastic to a whole new level.  with a few basic supplies and a little practice, you’ll be creating unique, one-of-a-kind, accents.  i thought the best way to explain all you need to know is with an in-depth video.  the many possibilities for this technique are sure to get your creative mind going…


step 1: apply assorted colors of alcohol inks (lettuce/meadow/ginger/red pepper) to the ink applicator tool.

step 2: ink the textured side of the shrink plastic pieces and let dry.

step 3: die cut a #8 tag from gloss cardstock.

step 4: stamp images on a second piece of gloss cardstock with archival ink.

step 5: dry stamped images with heat tool.

step 6: cut around both stamped images with scissors leaving a small border (yes i know this part takes a while but it’s worth it…).

step 7: ink over stamped santa with distress ink (fired brick) using ink blending tool.

step 8: continue with additional colors (walnut stain) making sure to leave the areas you want white un-inked.

step 9: ink over merry christmas with distress ink (peeled paint) using ink blending tool.

step 10: heat both inked images to set distress ink into gloss paper.  *note: i love the look of distress inked gloss paper, since it has both color and gloss (it almost looks like plastic).

step 11: ink the die cut gloss tag with various colors of distress ink (shades of blues) using ink blending tool.

step 12: spritz water in your hands and flick water on to inked tag.

step 13: heat spritzed tag with heat tool – notice the water droplets will create a faux-bleach effect on the gloss paper (way more than using this technique on regular cardstock).

step 14: apply foam tape to the back of the stamped and cut pieces. *note: i used 2 layers on the “merry christmas” text.

step 15: adhere both to the tag.

step 16: since i was layering my shrink pieces on the blue background, i wanted them to “pop” a little more so i lightly painted the backs (inked side) with paint dabber (snow cap).

step 17: adhere the shrink pieces to the tag with glossy accents and let dry…quick tag huh?

the details: i just think these glass-like accents are so cool.  it really catches the light and gives this retro tag a hip look.

the details: even on the simplest tags, it’s all about layering.  by stamping and cutting the images and layering them with foam tape gives this tag such depth.

variations:  if you’re like me, once you have a pot full of melted utee, you’ll simply have to shrink as many things as possible.  here i used my seasonal bigz dies (gingerbread, winter wonder, reindeer, noel, pine tree) to create these mini gift tags using my journaling tickets and the CMS114 mini holidays #3 stamp set.  these are going to make the perfect accents for my gifts or could even be used as ornaments!

well i really hope you try this one out.  it’s such a blast to do and of course the results are stunning!  remember you can also use this technique to layer over stamped images or just create random mosaic shapes of your own.  i’m so happy i finally had the chance to use my favorite christmas stamp set, definitely one of the happiest santa’s i’ve seen.  now its your turn to get melting – have fun…t!m

Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry 101