I'm hosting a tag swap over at Paper Traders this month and the theme is to use an inspirational quote for the new year. After reading my latest issue of Somerset Studio, I loved the technique used by Cat Kerr on her mini canvas necklace (page 52) so I decided to try applying this method to my paper tags.
I started with a plain manila tag to which I added a light coat of gesso. Then I used gel medium to adhere different textured items to my tags - some tulle, a piece of woven straw ribbon, some extra chunky mulberry paper, and a few paper flower cutouts. I covered everything with a layer of green acrylic paint and let it dry. At this point I was thinking the green was way too ugly and I didn't know if the textures were pronounced enough, but I added a coat of Mod Podge and braved on with the next step...
I adhered my chipboard quotes and then, following Cat's instructions in the magazine, I watered down some dark acrylic paint (I used navy blue) and spread it over the top of everything. I crossed my fingers, waited a few minutes, and started wiping the dark paint off again. Cat recommended using a baby wipe but I found this took too much of the paint off (probably because I was working on paper with very thin textures) so I just rubbed with my fingers, cleaning them often so I could pick up more paint as I went.
Once everything was dry again, I used some colored buffing wax to highlight the textured areas. Cat recommends Rub 'n Buff but I used my Metallic Rub-Ons by Craf-T in brass. I added some random bright blue accents using my oil pastels and then spattered everything with some off-white acrylic paint. Lastly, I added white accents with my Sharpie paint pen.
As a final touch, I added the brass butterflies and some glitter accents on my drawn flowers. Finally, I used a little extra colored buffing wax (in golden white) to lighten the edges of my tags for more dimension. I sprayed everything with a coat of fixative when I was done. I also mounted printed cardstock to the back of my tags to reinforce them.
About half-way through this project, I thought I was going to have to scrap the whole thing because it looked u-g-l-y ("you ain't got no alibi!")... but I am so grateful I followed all the steps all the way through because I think the end results are phenomenal - there's so much color and texture and I really learned a lot about how to combine different mediums for a beautiful finale.