12 tags of christmas…tag 3


supplies: craft sheet, cut n’ dry felt, distress reinkers (or any waterbased reinkers), distress ink pad/brushed corduroy, archival ink pad/jet black, glossy accents, perfect pearls mist/heirloom gold, ink blending tool, alcohol ink/red pepper, ink applicator tool, #8 kraft tags; kraft core; festive greenery die, christmas background & border texture fades; CMS117 seasonal silhouettes stamp, grid-blocks; sanding grip; paper distresser, scissors; twine, bell, bling-on-a-roll

step 1: select stamp to make custom pad for, and mount on clear block.  gather a sheet of cut n’ dry felt, and archival ink or any permanent ink pad.

step 2: ink stamp and stamp on to fabric side of felt giving firm pressure.  once you lift the stamp you’ll need to clean the ink off of the stamp (or whatever your definition of cleaning a stamp is – we won’t even go there now)  *note: what i love about using grid-blocks to stamp with is not only the ability to see through them, but the etched grid lines allow me to stamp my image straight.  if using a wood mounted stamp for this step, trace around the block with a pen before removing it from the cut n’ dry.

step 3: cut around image with sharp scissors.

step 4: select your assortment of water-based re-inkers and prep them by unscrewing each lid since we have to work rather quickly for this technique.  i love to use distress for this technique not only for the color palette, but also for the eye dropper applicator.  *note: it’s important to use water-based inks for this only (not alcohol inks or pigment inks).

step 5. begin “coloring” the stamped image using the reinkers by gently squeezing out ink over the black stamped area.  it’s not necessary to stay in the lines, but you do not need to “color” in any of the white area.

step 6: once the inks absorb into the felt they begin to spread out.

step 7: continue with the next color of reinker.

step 8: continue until the entire image has been “colored” with re-inker, but remember don’t bother inking the white areas of any image.

step 9: the coolest thing about this cut n’ dry felt material is the fact that as the inks begin to spread out, once 2 colors meet they will not cross-contaminate into each other…amazing!

step 10: with a clean stamp place the stamp over the inked pad.  using a grid-block it’s easy to line up. *if you were using a wood mounted stamp you would simply stack the 2 shapes together since the felt would be cut to the size of the wood block.

step 11:  with firm pressure, begin pressing your stamp into the felt to work the ink into the pad as well as ink up the stamp.

step 12: lift the stamp and check to make sure it’s all inked up (it should be nice and shiny).

step 13: stamp the image on to a piece of white cardstock for your “test” sheet.  now check that out – our image is now custom colored!  you’ve created a custom stamp pad for that stamp.  this pad can be used over and over again (usually 30-50 stampings off 1 inking).  i love creating these pads for those stamps that i like to use, but don’t like coloring over and over each time.

*so before we get into the actual making of the tag i wanted to share a blast from the past with all of you…  in 2004 i made my final appearance on the famed carol duvall show with the iconic carol duvall herself for her holiday live show.  i shared this technique for making custom stamp pads.  this was a big deal because her regular shows were never in front of an audience.  since this was the final show i brought along my mom and mario of course and they are both in the audience (if you look real close as the camera pans across, you’ll see their smiling faces).  i sure miss this show!  i mean you can’t even find re-runs or the shows online, but luckily i saved this one for a very special occasion and 7 years later here it is…i’ve left comments open on the youtube video so please post a special message for carol as i’ll be emailing her to tell her to check them out…thank you, and enjoy!


step 14:  since this technique allows us to make “dozens & dozens”, i have this trick to not only use this big background stamp on a tag, but to stamp 2 tags at once.  i’m stamping on kraft tags (which i LOVE), and i begin by placing one tag on my craft sheet and place a piece of removable tape along the top edge of that tag (i use tissue tape).  next i place my second tag on top of the first one and here’s the trick…place the edge of the top tag against the reinforcer of the bottom tag (it has a little edge that will guide the top tag), and slide the top tag all the way across until it’s reinforcer catches the side of the bottom tag.  place a piece of tape on the bottom edge of that one.

…confused yet?  well they say a picture is worth a thousand words so look at the photo.  it’s basically reinforcer to reinforcer and it’s perfect for this stamp.

step 15: ink stamp on your custom stamp pad and line the word “JOY” along the bottom left corner of the bottom tag and press firmly to stamp both tags at the same time.  *note: this is where the grid-blocks really come in handy since you can use the grid line to line the stamp up horizontally and vertically.

step 16: once you lift the stamp you’ll you image on both tags.

step 17: carefully lift the tags off the craft sheet and switch positions making the top tag the bottom now, etc.  also be sure to move the tape, taping the bottom tag on the top, and top tag on the bottom.

step 18:  now ink up your stamp again and stamp the second time doing the same thing, lining up the word “JOY” along the bottom left corner of the bottom tag.

step 19: lift them both off the craft sheet and zippity-doo you’ve stamped 2 tags at once!  here i show the difference between types of tags to stamp on (left is manila, middle is the kraft, right is the kraft stained with picket fence distress stain).

step 20: continue stamping all of your tags and as you do, you’ll see that the inks will eventually cover the entire pad (filling up the white areas).

step 21: once you’re finished stamping, place your custom stamp pad in a zip-loc bag and adhere the test stamped paper to the bag.  this way you can store your pad for months and months this way to use it again and again.

step 22: next place both tags into the matching embossing folder.

step 23: run the tags through the vagabond or your embossing machine as shown.  we are only embossing the top half of the tag! *note: i also have a video showing this technique for stamping and embossing in more detail in a video.  check it out here

step 24: drag a paper distresser along the edges of the tag.

step 25: ink the tag using distress ink (brushed corduroy) with an ink blending tool.

step 26: shake perfect pearl mists (heirloom gold) and mist inked tag.

step 27: dry the tag using a heat tool.

step 28: check out the vintage pearlized effect this gives the tag.

step 29: die cut festive greenery die using various colors of kraft core paper and sand them (like we did on tag #1).

step 30: for the holly leaves, fold each leaf in half as shown.

step 31: drag a sanding grip along the fold.

step 32: ink the edges of all of the cut pieces using distress ink and an ink blending tool.

step 33: i love the look that fold and sanding gives to the holly leaves.

step 34: separate the cut pieces into 2 piles (since we stamped 2 tags at once, we can embellish 2 at once also…see i told you this technique was efficient).  i snipped the pine, mistletoe, and juniper in half and had a flourish and 2 holly leaves per pile.

step 35: adhere all of the paper pieces to the tag with glossy accents.

step 36: for a little accent to the tag i’m using “bling-on-a-roll” that i find at michaels.  i’ve yet to see it anywhere else and love this stuff.  it comes in so many different styles and colors, but of course i always buy the white since we can ink them ourselves.

step 37:  that’s right, just apply a piece of felt to an ink applicator tool and drip on a few drops of alcohol ink (red pepper) to the felt.

step 38: tap the inked tool over the bling to colorize it.  the ink will dry almost immediately and you can go back over it to build up the color intensity.

step 39: since the inks dry fast and translucent, you can see the shine in the bling and the pearlescent in the pearls.  my favorite part of this stuff is that everything is connected so no fussing with little pieces and tweezers!

step 40: so just snip off how ever much you want to use and trim any excess adhesive off.

step 41: press them on to your tag.  perfecto!

step 42: for the top of the tag, tie a piece of ribbon through the hole, and thread on a bell on to some twine and tie a bow.

step 43: to give the twine some shape, just wrap it around a pencil and heat it for about 10 seconds only.

step 44: slide the pencil off and you have a nice spiral curl in your twine – nice trick huh?  and like that, we’re done…

*of course you can keep going since making 2 at a time builds up your stash of custom tags pretty quick!

the details: as you can see i’m a huge fan of the festive greenery die and my kraft core paper.  i love the way you can create little clusters of greenery in whatever color you want and it keeps it’s shape.  i also love the autumn gatherings die which has leaves and twigs…

the details:  i think embossing the top portion of the tag makes the word pop out and gives this tag a very classic look…

bonus 1: i really wanted to share with you the other cool thing you can do with the scraps of your cut n’ dry felt since after you create more and more custom stamp pads you’ll have little piece of felt that don’t fit any stamp – don’t throw them away, just cut off a little chunk.

bonus 2: using various coordinating tones of reinkers, drip and drop the colors on to the cut n’ dry until you fill of the entire little square – don’t think about this step at all, just drip and drop…

bonus 3: place your stamp on a block and tap the stamp on to the pad.  since the pad is usually much smaller than your stamp just tap your stamp around until it’s all inked up.

bonus 4: stamp the image on to cardstock and since your pad colors were random drips and drops, your image has a very organic coloring to it – not your traditional rainbow pad by any means (i really like using the back part of glossy cardstock for this since it’s matte but smooth unlike bumpy watercolor paper).

bonus 5: mist the stamp generously with water and watch the distress inks react like they should.  
dry the paper with a heat tool and check out that amazing watercolor stamped effect, just beautiful.

bonus 6: of course you can also stamp multiple images on one paper.

bonus 7: then mist all of the images at once since distress will always react with water even when dry.

bonus 8: dry the paper with a heat tool and you have a custom watercolor background.

bonus 9: i love this stamp set of grunge snowflakes, they are the most authentic looking snowflakes i’ve seen, but did you know???

bonus 10: that the strip of small snowflakes in the previous photo were designed to be cut apart?  yep, by leaving them as a strip the stamp set was about $8 cheaper so just cut them yourself…go ahead you know you want to.  (and you can also do that with my grunge leaves set).

bonus 11: stamp these little snowflakes all over a background (see how i just randomly mount the stamps on the block at once).

bonus 12: another cool watercolored background.  i do this technique for all type of stamps like leaves, flowers, etc.

bonus 13: stamp a message in black archival, adhere it to a piece of black cardstock, and we have a couple of backgrounds ready to make into cards.

bonus 14: i used the coordinating “distress coredinations” paper and love how i can match up the ink colors i used perfectly.  i folded, tore, and sanded the edges of the card.

bonus 15: i just added a strip of tulle and a seasonal adornment charm and look at that…a card.

bonus 16: and another card…see you can just keep going and going!

wowza!  today’s technique really inspired me to just keep on creating, but since i have a deadline to meet, i thought i better stop and get this blog post finished.  i hope you try this out for yourself, it really is easier that you might think and you’ll find several uses for this year round.  now get out that stash of re-inkers and put them to good use…t!m

Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry 101