12 tags of christmas…tag 4

supplies: craft sheet, distress stains/weathered wood/tumbled glass/picket fence, distress ink/winter seasonal distress, crackle paint/rock candy, distress stickles/rock candy, ink blending tool, paint dabber/snow cap white, mister bottle, #8 manila tag, heat tool, glossy accents,1/8” wonder tape; grungeboard, holiday muse tokens, jump ring, shabby accoutrements, trimmings; die cut/winter wonder/on the edge snow flurries; CMS052 reindeer flight stamp set; tulle, tinsel, hot glue, spare packaging

step 1: paint a sheet of grungeboard with snow cap paint dabber and let dry.

step 2: die cut winter wonder die from grungeboard.

step 3: once die cut the snowflake is most likely stuck in the die so you need to use a die pick to get it out.  insert die pick into a corner or edge of the die and pierce it into the foam (the foam does not effect the cutting of a die at all, but more for protection from the blades).  note: this die pick is very different than my tonic pick since this sizzix die pick is made from tempered steel and can be used in a “prying” motion without bending the pick.

step 4: once you’ve lifted a few ends you can carefully remove the grunge from the die.

*before we continue, check out this video i did last year explaining the use of the base tray with movers and shapers dies.


step 5: next place the #25 mini mover die on to the base tray and place the die cut snowman face down over the 25 and die cut.

step 6: carefully remove the die from the snowman as shown.

step 7: place the snowman and snowflake on the craft sheet and paint a generous coat of rock candy distress crackle paint over them.  be sure to use a medium to heavy layer since with distress crackle, the thicker the paint – the bigger the cracks. *it’s also cool that rock candy distress crackle is sold in larger 4oz jars (since i’m totally addicted to the stuff).

*before we continue, check out this video i did on using distress stains and explaining it’s many differences from distress inks and reinkers as well as it’s uses.


step 8: this is a close-up to see how heavy i applied the crackle paint.  set pieces aside to dry and crackle.

step 9: for the tag apply a generous amount of picket fence distress stain to the craft sheet.

step 10: apply a couple of other colors of stain around the white on the craft sheet.

step 11: generously mist the tag with water first.

step 12: swipe the wet tag through the distress stains on the craft sheet and lift.

step 13: dry with a heat tool – i love the mottled-effect the combination of picket fence with other colors of distress stain work.  *note: if you didn’t cover the tag enough with the stains in one swipe, simply re-swipe the tag until it’s inked.

step 14: ink the flourish stamp with picket fence distress stain.

step 15: stamp the tag – i love stamping with distress stains, just saying…

step 16: dry with a heat tool.  check out how the image fades into the background when dry giving a ghosting or bleached effect.

step 17: ink the snowflakes stamp with distress stain (weathered wood) and stamp the tag.  dry with a heat tool.

step 18: ink the edges with distress (iced spruce of course) using an ink blending tool.

step 19: spritz water in your hand as shown.

step 20: flick the water on to the tag.

step 21: dry the tag with a heat tool.

step 22: check out the cool water droplets looking like snow flurries.

step 23: take a piece of clear plastic packaging (any scrap will work).

step 24: die cut the piece using the snow flurries on the edge die.

step 25: drag the snow cap dabber along the edges to highlight.

step 26: place a thin strip of 1/8” wonder tape along the right edge of the tag.

step 27: remove the red line backing.

step 28: adhere the snowflake edge to the tag.

step 29: trim the excess from the tag.

step 30: using your fingers, form and shape the plastic snowflakes by bending them.

step 31: once your grunge pieces are all nice and crackled, use your fingers along the edges to remove any excess paint. (you can place them in a warm area to crack, moderately use your heat tool, or place them in front of a fan to speed the crackle process).

step 32: using various colors of distress stain (weathered wood, tumbled glass), stain the crackled snowman.

step 33: repeat with additional layers until desired tone is achieved.

step 34: dry the stain (basically baking it into the crackle).

step 35: check out how it still shows our white background but tinted the cracks – i love rock candy crackle!

step 36: place the snowman on a piece of background paper and trace around the bottom.

step 37: cut out paper shape to fit behind snowman.

step 38: adhere the paper to the back of the snowman using glossy accents.

step 39: fill in the #25 cut out with a generous amount of glossy accents basically filling the space like resin.

step 40: apply some rock candy distress stickles to the top of the hat for an icy effect. set snowman aside to dry completely.

step 41: once snowman is dry it’s time to assemble and embellish so tie a piece of ribbon and tulle around the neck for a scarf.

step 42: to create tulle buttons, bend a thin piece of wire or twist-tie in half, and cut a strip of tulle about 1” wide as shown.

step 43: insert the 2 wire ends through some holes in the end of the tulle strip.

step 44: thread the 2 ends of the wire into one hole on the front of the button.

step 45: pull the tulle through using the wire as a needle – neat trick huh?  i use it for ribbon, fabric strips, etc. since the wire can pierce through any of that.

step 46: thread wire ends back through the second hole in the back of the button.

step 47: pull the tulle through the button.

step 48: tie the ends in a knot and trim with scissors, perfect!

step 49: adhere the snowman to the tag (i use my trusty glue gun).

step 50: adhere the accoutrement buttons to the bottom of the tag (also with a glue gun).

step 51: adhere the grunge snowflake to the top of the tag and thread more tulle and some tinsel through the top of the tag, and add bling to his hat and we’re finished!…

the details: the bling, pearls and small feather (compliments of mario’s bird coco) really give this crackled snowman some elegance.

the details: i love the look of this stained crackle finish on the snowman and the shiny resin effect by filling in the die cut numbers.

the details: the translucent look of this snowflake packaging border really catches the light.

the details: the simplistic elegance of the tulle tied buttons really finishes this tag off i think.

variation: since i had that second reindeer from tag #2 (i told you i would save it for something) i decided to create asecond tag using different color. 

i used green shade of stain on the tag (crushed olive and shabby shutters, inked with evergreen spruce), and used silver paint dabber on the deer instead of white, and staining it with walnut stain instead of blues.  i think it came out looking like mercury glass – i love it…

i stamped the word wish into the ornate plate, inked with festive berries distress ink, and filled it with glossy accents for the resin effect.

i’ll be honest, i use rock candy distress crackle paint on so many projects including home decor like canvas, photo frames, and i have even used it to paint my living room table (you’d be surprised how much that new 4oz. jar has in it).  anyways, i hope this tag inspires you and i look forward to seeing what you come up with.  time to “get cracking” …t!m

Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry 101