A few tag backgrounds

Inspired by Tim Holtz’s 12 tags of Christmas, I have been playing with inkpads and embossing powder to create tag backgrounds, which could, of course, be used on any paper.  I like his first year’s12 tags from 2 years ago, as they seem to be simpler and have less ‘bling’!  More arty and abstract…

It was my birthday last week so I treated myself to a few of his tools, like the ink blending tool and the edge distresser. 

I’m not sure what (or whether) I am going to stamp on top of these or embellish them or whether to leave them as examples…

For this one I used his ink blending tool and rubbed blue ink and burgundy ink on to the tag.  Then I sprinkled water over it, left it for about 10 seconds and then dried it with a heat gun.  The edges are distressed with the edge distresser.  I’ll probably rub some more ink into the edges to make them look more tattered.


I started off by painting over this tag entirely with black acrylic paint.  Then I stamped the tree stamp on to it with embossing ink and embossed them with clear embossing powder.  Then I dabbed a couple of different colours of acrylic paint all over and left it to dry.  Ulp.  What had I done?  But then I rubbed an eraser over it (Tim says a wet paper towel in his blog but he used his special paint dabbers so the paint might be different – I just used some Golden acrylics that I already have and it needed a bit more persuasion to reveal the trees underneath but the eraser did it just fine).    I do like the effect of this, the trees sort of poking out ghostily (is that a word?!!) from the background.


Here is a close up.  Good texture, eh?


For this one I rubbed an orange inkpad over the tag and then sprinkled clear embossing powder all over.   Then I flicked some of it off into the rubbish bin to make the speckled look.  Then I heated up the embossing powder and then rubbed a darker colour ink with the ink blending tool over the top.  Actually, Tim’s looks a lot more speckled than mine.  Obviously I need a bit of practice!


This one was meant to  be the same as the above but I used white embossing powder by mistake so I stamped an image over the top.  Nice texture again, though…


For this one I mixed up some distress reinker ink and some Pearl-ex powder with water in a misting bottle and sprayed it, using some stencils as a mask.  I think the image would be clearer if I’d used freezer paper or something which adheres to the paper but I quite like this effect.  Then I inked over the masked bits and did the trick with the water splotches again.  Then I painted one of the stars with clear crackle paint.  Fun!


For this one I was playing with green crackle paint which I then pounced blueish ink over to get in the cracks.  I had a play with my eyelets here too.


I’m sure some of these effects will find their way into my gocco printed images and the Moleskine journals…  And no doubt on to fabric too….

8 Replies to “A few tag backgrounds”

  1. Hi Liz! Don’t you just LOVE paper art?? These are great! I love to make minature art on tags too. I don’t have any on my newest blog, but I did have some on my halloween blog for a while when I was selling them on etsy. I am a spinner and a weaver also. Fiber arts are so whimsical and fun. Love the blog, keep posting!

  2. Hi Liz, these are wonderful and lovely.
    And just to let you know that I had did the exact same thing on big tree leaves and it worked for me.
    I would use these as my bookmarks from now.

  3. Almost as much as the tags I love your very exact descriptions of what you did. So, do you think the blender was a worthwhile purchase? It’s on my “possibilities” list………. Love your blog! Gina

    1. Thanks, Gina! I think it was, it does seem to pop up in a lot of his descriptions, although probably using some felt or something would work just as well. I bought a pack of the stuff he sells to make your own stamps, partially to see what sort of stuff it was and partly to use as replacement pads for the blender. I decided to treat myself anyway as it was my birthday!! DH isn’t very good at buying me presents so I have to buy my own!

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