In part three of this ongoing ‘explanation’ of Tag Art, I’m hoping to show you not to be discouraged by some of the fabulous pictures of Tag Art which you’ll find on the internet, particularly on Pinterest. The Tags I showed you last time (in part two) were simple enough to bring together without breaking out in a sweat or giving you the feeling that you could never achieve anything like the little flower tags which I produced last time. This tag, which you’ve had a glimpse of (above) is just as simple as the flower tags! There are just a few extra bits and pieces on it and a couple of ‘techniques’ which are so easy that I know a child could cope with them. Aw, enough talk, let’s get going shall we? ….
If you decide to create along with these photo’s then remember that the theme of your tag doesn’t have to be ‘Alice in Wonderland’, it could be any thing you want. Rabbits … Cats… Dogs… Travel … Balloons … even colours! But to start with you might find it easier to get the results you’re after if you start off with an idea or subject in mind where you can find up to roughly five or six different things about it which will pull the whole thing together and make the tag have some sort of ‘dialogue’. A kind of ‘story’. Things which relate to each other in some way.
I’d had these little cards for a while, given to me by another crafter, but I’d never had a chance to use them. The Tag itself was from a pack of cheap tags which I’d bought on impulse for about 60p from The Works (UK cheapy book & stationery store). The tags were a little too thin individually, so in order to ensure that they would take the weight of some embellishments I glued three tags together with Collall glue – which I love for crafting as it dries quickly.
Three tags glued and ready … time to dress this tag up!
Because I knew I wanted to have a gentle Steampunk look to the tag I ‘distressed’ the edges of the tag with some die from my quick drying ink pads. I started off with a warm, rich brown (which you can see in the photo above), and using a make up sponge (yes – just cheap make up sponges that you can buy in the £ shops – I just use them and throw them away), I fold over the sponge and dabbing it onto the ink pad to pick up some ink, then gently blend it around the edges of the Tag. At this point I should advise that the best place to do this blending is either on a blending mat (see mine in the photograph above) OR on a glass mat.
I know you can buy expensive glass mats for crafting (I even have one) but you don’t need to pay the prices that they charge for those. One of those glass kitchen chopping boards that they sell for just a few pounds work in exactly the same way.
After blending the brown, I then changed to a black ink pad and very lightly blended a narrow pale smudge of the black ink around the edges. It just gives it a depth.
I’ve got an assortment of different stamps and chose one which said ‘Believe’, mounted it onto a rocker block (but a mount of your choice is fine) and using a cheap ‘Ink it Up’ embossing pad, I stamped the word out onto the Tag – but because I wanted a distressed look to the stamping I didn’t press too hard, so that the eventually embossed image would be a little bit patchy. I then chose a teal/navy type colour to emboss the word with, went to work with the heat gun!
… and this was the result. Because the word was a tiny bit patchy, I made sure that you could read what the word was by inking around the word using a very fine tipped Staedtler pen.
A close up so that you can see the pen lines.
Now at this point I’ll just interrupt proceedings to say … you should ‘tag’ your Tag Art just as a fine painter would sign his signature on an oil painting. You don’t want someone else telling folks that they’ve made that incredible tag when it was really your sweat and tears which made it, do you!
Here’s what I use to ‘tag’ my Tag Art:
I bought this as an unmounted rubber stamp about six years ago – I think through Ebay. But you really don’t need a specialised stamp. You could either just sign your name on the reverse of your tag – or if you want a stamped image, there’s a plethora of general stamps which have a variety of different tag shapes – and you could choose one of those, which would give you the opportunity of naming your tag and signing it inside the frame of the stamped image, which would give it the importance it deserves!
Right, we’ve glued, blended and generally got the tag all ready for some decorations. Let’s get going on those shall we?
My ‘theme’ for this tag was to be decided by those little playing cards.
I could have done a tag about magic tricks … perhaps some white gloves to go with the cards? … or hmm.. what ‘thing’ has playing cards featured in it? I wondered…. ahh… Alice in Wonderland! Ok.. I found my theme. What did Alice in W. have in the film? A mirror (both in AiW and in Alice through the Looking Glass) … Roses! – the song: “we’re painting the roses red …” … A bottle with a tag saying ‘Drink Me’! Ohhh… now we’re getting somewhere!
The Mad Hatter! The White Rabbit!
The ideas came thick and fast… I had to write them down because my memory is shot to pieces!
Ok … got the ideas.. now I had to come up with the goods from the stock I had in my craft room:
Initially I thought I would use a little glass bottle on the tag, to represent the bottle Alice drinks from, but I didn’t have a bottle small enough .. (well no, actually that’s not true. I do have some, I just couldn’t find the darn things!). I got out my
cauldron melt-pot and some supplies:- Silicon moulds – one in the shape of a little bottle, and the other in the shape of a mirror. Pearl Ex Powders to give some gentle, shimmering colour to the mirror and bottle, (you can use general Mica powders if that’s what you personally use). Cosmic Shimmers Clear Ultra Thick embossing powder. Cosmic Shimmer Melt Pot Ink in red. And some Pearl Ultra Thick embossing powder. I set to work:
“Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble. Fillet of a Fenny snake, In the caldron boil and bake; Eye of newt, and toe of frog . . . . “ etc etc etc (words courtesy of Shakespeare)
You know what the best thing is about the Melt Pot? If you ever don’t like what you’ve made you simply throw it back into the pot, melt it and start again!
See that little pink blob in the well at the wide end of the melt pot? It was a bottle which over-flowed the mould, so when it had cooled – just a minute or two – I put it back and did it again!
The little rose that you see in the photograph above was one which I made when I last had my melt pot out. I’d got some extra cream/white coloured liquid left so I used it up making a few flowers. Originally the Rose was actually this creamy white colour:
I should have taken a photograph of the rose(s) before I coloured them but got craft happy and totally forgot! tsk tsk! I used some Creative Expressions gilding wax on the roses and then brushed some lovely rose-red and warm rose-pink mica powders onto them to change them from their original creamy colour to the red. (sings:) “Painting the roses red, yes painting the roses red. Not pink Not green. Not aquamarine . . . ” etc etc etc
Next was the Mad Hatters hat. Quite a distinctive hat. Now I’ve recently been bought a gift of a Tonic Die which cuts a Top Hat … so I was lucky with this. BUT … you don’t need to have a die which will cut a hat. The hat is a simple enough shape but if you’re not confident with drawing one then just find an image on the internet and print it out onto cheap printer paper and you can then just draw around it onto your black card stock and cut it out. Simples. I cut the matte black part of the hat above on my die cutting machine, and then I drew around the actual hat die itself onto some dark mirror board, (which I then cut out with scissors) so that I could sit (glue) the matte black top hat on top of it and give the top hat a bit of ‘life’, where the light caught on the edges of the mirror card.
I added a little dark ruby-red rayon seam binding (regular ribbon would work just as well), made the 10/6 price tag & added it to the hat band with a dab of glue.
The hat pin is made from the cut off end of a cocktail stick, which I coloured in silver paint, added a black round bead to the end and then tucked it behind the ribbon with a little glue to keep it in place. For a bit of twinkly sparkle, I added the ultra twinkling flat backed embellishment. But … although the hat looked the part, I felt it looked too ‘new’. It needed to look dusty or a bit old and shambles sort of thing … so in order to get a look of ‘dusty’ – I dribbled a very light line of white pva glue and sprinkled a little Flower Soft onto the glue and left it to dry. It was the nearest thing to dust that I could manage in a crafty way.
So .. We’ve now got the Mad Hatters Hat … but where should we put this? It’s big, so I want it to go in the right place – but I don’t want it to shout louder than the other things on the tag … so where shall I put it? How about here? … or Here? …
… or should I put it here? …
Yes … right there. That’s exactly where it should be!
SO: –– We’ve got the mini playing cards …. for the Queen of Hearts playing card soldiers …
The Red Roses from the song: Painting the Roses Red …
… The little bottle with the tag on it saying: Drink Me! Which I made in the Melting Pot …
And … hmm… well I made a little hand mirror but somehow it doesn’t look right. It’s too showy. Too (almost) bossy. It’s trying to be the star of the show and that just isn’t right. No. I decided that the mirror just wasn’t right … so I had a bit of a search round the craft room and came up with the very thing which was missing ….
Aw, of course! It was the White Rabbits fob watch which was missing!
I played around with things until I felt they were in their rightful places and then one at a time I fixed them into place. Some with good old PVA glue, others with foam pads, and the rest with my faithful friend: hot glue from my trusty glue gun.
I added a aubergine coloured ribbon and VOILA! One almost Steampunk (but not quite), Alice in Wonderland Tag.
The Tag could now be used as a fancy gift tag on a gift to someone special. It could be framed in one of those box frames. Mounted to the front of a card and given for someone’s birthday. Put into a box just for you to look at. Put into an album or folder which you keep all your tags in. Or anything that your imagination can come up with. You could even sell it on Etsy; Ebay; Facebook; Craft Fair… or any other place which you might sell your art work.
Or you could do what I do … I have a huge clothes peg (the type you use to pin your clothes to the washing line, but huge) – which is meant as a memo holder or photograph holder. I use two of them in my craft room and pin bits of artwork to them. I use one of them to pin the latest bit of something which I’ve just made, and that way I get a moving bit of artwork which never stands still!
This is it, pinched in the pincers of the peg … on my craft desk. (yes that’s all my
junk specialist, important equipment behind it which I’ve blurred out so that you can see the tag rather than the junk gorgeous, crafting stash stuff .)
And .. shall I tell you a secret? … This tag was made totally from stash in my craft room that I already had. Most of it I’d had for ages. The newest thing (apart from the Tonic Die I used – which was a gift) has to be that little fob watch. I’ve had that about nine months (roughly). It was a cheap and cheerful pack of four different watches for 99p. See … you really don’t have to go to any big expense to make Tag Art. They pretty much make themselves!
Well, there endeth Part 3 of ‘Tag Art – right from the beginning’. I hope you’re not asleep across your keyboard! But if you are ….
WAKE UP AND GO AND CRAFT SOMETHING!
Tsk tsk … can’t have you sleeping when you could be crafting, now, can we?
Thanks for taking the time to come, visit and have a read. Have a really great rest of your day. ~
P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment. Let me know if you have a go at making a tag, or, if you have any questions at all, please ask away! I’m not one of those crafters who won’t share information. I’m more than happy to help other folks with their craft projects.