This weekend I created a brand new gratitude journal. I wanted to spend the month of November thinking about all of the little things that fill my life that make me happy, that make my life a little more rich, that I am grateful for. If I figured making it an art project would make it more fun. I will be sharing the journal cover next week on Tim Holtz’s blog. Today I want to share a tutorial for how I made the tag for the first page inside the journal.
Begin by sanding the surface of a #8 Ranger Manila Tag using a Tim Holtz Sanding Grip. Sand the tag in straight lines from top to bottom and from side to side. Make 2-3 passes in each direction.
Use an ink blending tool to apply Peeled Paint Distress Ink to the upper, lower, and right sides of the tag.
Use an ink blending tool to apply Rusty Hinge Distress Ink to the center and lower left edge of the tag. The ink settles into the grooves created from the sanding and adds background texture and design to the background of the tag.
Cut a slit in the fold of the Layered Leaf Texture Fade. Place the tag in the folder with the top edge of the tag sticking through the slit in the folder. Place the tag so that the leaf design along the leaf side of the tag. Run the tag through your die cutting machine to emboss the design on a the tag.
Place the tag in the folder again so that the leaf design is on the upper right corner of the tag. For variety, I placed the tag in folder with the printing facing downward so that I could deboss the leaf onto the tag.
Deboss another partial leaf along the lower right corner of the tag.
Lightly sand over the embossed tag to bring out the pattern of the raised edges.
Use an ink blending tool to lightly ink the edges of the tag using Rusty Hinge Distress Ink. Lightly skim over the leaves with ink to accent the design.
Ink an Ornate Frame with Lettuce and Silver Mixative Alcohol Ink. (See my tutorial on the Ranger Ink blog for details.) Cut an insert for the frame from Sticky Back Canvas.
Tip: The inserts in the two bookplates on the Tim Holtz Tag & Bookplate Die fit the insides of the Ornate Frames perfectly! Save the extra pieces for another project.
Use adhesive tape on the back to hold the insert inside the frame. Ink the edges of a Seasonal Chit Chat Sticker. Place the sticker inside the frame.
Tie the frame to the front of the tag using dyed Crinkle Ribbon. (I used a scrap piece I had left over from another project.)
Die cut a label from scrap manila cardstock using one of the dies in the Tim Holtz Labels die set. Use an ink blending tool to ink the edges of the label with Rusty Hinge Distress Ink.
I used a scrap of manila that had over spray on it from misting project. Keep those scraps, they make great dic cut labels and tags!
Handwrite a sentiment on the label. Here is a secret for you… even though I have nice handwriting, I never handwrite on a project. I am always afraid of making a mistake or hating the way it looks. But I think for a project that is very personal, like a gratitude journal, it is important to use your handwriting since is makes the project more personal, it adds a touch of you. My tip is to add the writing on a label or tag. If you hate it, you can cut another and re-do it. If you write directly on your project it will be a one time chance to get it right!
To accent the writing and to bring in a bit of color, scribble a Distress Ink Marker onto your craft sheet. Use a waterbrush to pick up the ink and apply it in a very watercolor manner over the writing.
Attach the label to the upper left edge of the tag. Add machine stitching or Tiny Attacher staples to the edges of the label for added texture and to anchor the label to the tag.
Cut out the IMA from the “imagination” on the Words Remnant Rubs sheet. Cut the three letters apart.
Adhere the letters near the Ornate Frame.
If you would like a bolder edge, brush the edge again with Rusty Hinge Distress Ink.
Tie in the silver on the Ornate Frame by lightly brushing the edges of the tag with Brushed Pewter Distress Stain.
Add additional rub on sentiments if desired along the lower left edge.
I love the mix of using the same embossing folder to both emboss and deboss on a project.
I love how simple it is to add this thin silver edge. It adds so much drama to the edge of the tag!
Even though I was hesitant to add my own handwriting, I am so glad I did because it made this tag and ultimately my whole journal so much more from my heart and hand.
And how stunning is this Ornate Plate with the simple addition of just two colors of alcohol ink. It is dramatic and add real focus to the word “thankful”.
I have already tucked this one into my journal and am hard at work on adding more to it. What a fun little project, I can’t wait to share more of it with you!
PS. If you would like a printable version of this tutorial, you can find it in my Tags of 2014 e-book.