Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2012 - My February Tag Tutorial

The hardest part of this tutorial was to take the photos!  One hand on camera (phone) and one crafting!  Trying not to get inky things on my phone and trying not to take blurry photos.  I got there in the end so here goes....

Here is how I made this tag:

My First Blog Tutorial

Step 1:  I started with a cream tag I made myself and stamped it all over with a text stamp using Iced Spruce Distress Ink.  I treated myself to the Tim Holtz Winter seasonal inks yesterday and I think this colour is going to be very useful.  The stamp I used was from Creative Expressions and came with another great background crackle stamp.

Step 2: I did not have Tim's stamp to do the paint resist technique so this was my version of it.  I used a polka dot mask and ran it through my Cuttlebug to emboss my tag.  Then keeping my mask in position over the embossing I stippled cream paint through the dots onto the tag.  Looking at my paint again it says 'white' so I think I have added something to it to make it cream at some point in the past!  I removed the mask and cleaned it off and let my paint dry before repeating the process this time using PVA glue.  I wanted my dots to have a slight sheen.  Again don't forget to wash off your mask and brush while you let the PVA dry.  (I am rubbish at cleaning brushes and things!)

Step 3: I inked my tag all over with Spun Sugar distress ink and then lightly wiped over the tag with a damp piece of kitchen roll to clean the ink off my polka dots as directed by Tim.  I then inked the edges of the tag with the Iced Spruce distress ink.

Step 4: I did not have a Cherub die so I improvised and remembered a cool image transfer technique that I knew would work for the victorian style I was trying to achieve.  I would recommend you try out this technique first as I have found I get better results with some paints than others.  I printed out a cherub picture that I found on the web onto ordinary copy paper using an inkjet printer.  (I will try to add a PDF that I saved of the image and my poem for you to use if you want to.  I think it can be done but I will have to learn how to myself!  I think I need to find a tutorial.)  I ripped the edges of the image until I had the right size to use on my tag.  The torn edges will help blend the image into the tag.  I then placed the image print side down onto my tag and drew a light pencil line around it so I knew where to add the paint.  Working quickly I painted up to my marked area (cover your pencil line and you don't need to erase it later!) with the same cream paint I used earlier.  You need a thickish coating of paint and you need to get your image in place before it dries so work fairly quickly.

Step 5: Place your image print side down into the wet paint and press down firmly using a bone folder.  Put your tag to one side to dry or use a heat gun for speed if you, like me, are impatient!  You need to be sure your tag is completely dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 6: Thoroughly spritz your image with water and allow it to soak for a few seconds.

Step 7: Gently (with the emphasis on gently!) rub away the paper to reveal your image.  This creates a bit of a mess as you can see.  Work slowly as it is easy to remove your image entirely if you get to carried away!  I was a bit heavier handed on the edges so I achieve a look that resembles what a scrap of old wall paper might look like.  You can add more water if you need to.  I found it is best to let your tag dry off a bit before tidying up those final little rubbings of paper you might want to remove.  Then allow the tag to dry completely before attaching your embellishments.   (Plenty of time for this as we need to make the embellishments first!)

Step 8: Next I made my version of Tim's heart embellishment.  I did not have any of that lovely honeycomb paper that Tim was using so this is my version of a three dimensional heart.  I had to cut out my own hearts as I did not have a heart die.  I found a really old Sizzix embossing folder - remember these?  I embossed a heart on card and then cut it out to make a template.  I then cut out two grunge paper hearts.

Step 9: I wanted to open my Tim Holtz Lavish trimmings pack so I decided to use the frill ribbon for my heart instead of the tissue tape Tim used.  Whilst I had the pack open I trimmed of a length to wrap around the bottom of my tags and 3 roses from the rosette ribbon.  The length I cut for my heart I cut in half (very thrifty indeed).  I attached it to the edges of one of my grunge paper hearts with strong double sided tape.

Step 10: Next I needed to print my fabric to make the padded heart.  So using the technique I am sure many of you have used to colour ribbon, I swiped some Worn Lipstick distress ink onto my craft mat and spritzed it with water.  I then took a piece of cotton sheeting and dabbed it gently and randomly into the ink.

Step 11:  I repeated this process with the Spun Sugar distress ink and then where white patches of cotton fabric remained I rubbed in Antique Linen distress ink.

Step 12:  I dried my cotton square with my heat gun.

Step 13:  I finished my fabric by over stamping it with the text stamp, again using the Iced Spruce distress ink.

Step 14:  Using my Grunge Paper heart as a template I cut out a larger heart from my printed cotton square leaving enough fabric to wrap around the wadding.  I used the strong double sided tape to attach the raw edges of the fabric to the back of the heart.  I started at the bottom point of the heart.

Step 15:  I used a cotton ball as stuffing and gradually added stuffing as I secured the excess fabric to the back of the heart.

Step 16:  Next cut into the fabric at the notch of the heart (I didn't know what to call this area of the heart - good job I have a photo!)  and secure this area next.  This leaves two areas open to add any final stuffing.  I used my scissors to push the stuffing into place.  Finish the heart by securing the remaining raw edges to the back of the heart.

Step 17:  This is the finished heart cushion.  Ink the edges of the heart with Iced Spruce distress ink.  I forgot to do this at this stage and had to do it whilst holding the frill out of the way!

Step 18:  I secured the cushion heart to the frilled heart using a combination of strong double sided tape and glossy accents.

Step 19:  The finished heart embellishment - how cute!  Put this to one side for a moment.

Step 20:  Cut the three roses you put to one side earlier, into separate pieces trimming off the excess netting carefully and then colour them by lightly rubbing them into some Spun Sugar distress ink swiped onto your craft mat.

Step 21:  Now you ready to assemble your tag.  Punch out a half inch circle from a scrap of the cherub print paper and secure it to the top of the tag with PVA allow the glue to dry before punching a hole in the top of your tag in the centre of the half inch circle.  Use Strong double sided tape to attach the frilly ribbon around the bottom of the tag.  Use the combination of tape and glossy accents to adhere the heart cushion into position.  (Be careful not to put glue or tape where the heart sticks out from the edge of the tag.  Attach the coloured roses into position with glossy accents.

Step 22:  Next I attached a strip of green velvet ribbon to the bottom of the tag and a small piece of the same ribbon I knotted onto a metal heart lock charm.  My charms were from Making Memories and I have a feeling I have had them for quite some time so I can't help you with what they were called!  I am pretty sure though that you have similar things in your stash that you can use for your tag.  I believe that each improvisation makes a project your own!

Step 23:  I printed out my poem on cream card stock and cut it into thin strips which I attached to my card with tape.  I added a pink epoxy heart that I found in my stash to my metal heart charm at the bottom of my tag and then attached some tiny green jewels to the same heart and to the beginning of my Valentine message strip on the heart cushion..... Almost there!........

Step 23:  The last job was to colour a strip of cream American Seam Binding (I love using this stuff...my classes always groan when they see it on a card because they know they are going to get inky!!)  As before I swiped my craft mat with Worn Lipstick distress ink and spritzed it with water before dabbing my ribbon into it.  I repeated this step using Spun Sugar distress ink.  Dry the strip of ribbon with a heat gun and then over stamp with the text stamp using Iced Spruce distress ink.  Finish your tag by tying this ribbon in a bow through the top of your tag.  Trim the ends of your ribbon to neaten them and help prevent fraying.

Voila:  Your tag is complete and my first Blog tutorial is finished too!  I hope that somebody out there has a go at this.  If you do, let me know what you think of this tutorial.  I would love to get feedback on what works and what doesn't.


  1. Anonymous03:49

    This is beautiful!! Love the transfer image! Great job!!

  2. Gosh this looks amazing Helen. I don't have any inks or stamps but I may have a go at doing a heart :0)

  3. What a pretty tag and also a great tutorial - very clearly explained. Fab! Carolyn x


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a comment. I always love to read them and if you have a question for me I will reply. Thanks again, Helen x
PS have had stop Anonymous comments as I am getting a lot of spam. I am so sorry to any real commenters that this affects. Feel free to email me if you want to and I will get back to you that way instead x

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