Sunday, July 5, 2009

anatomy of my red, white, and blue 4th of july tags

During this round of making tags, I decided I would photograph the process. Here is an altered art (or collage) tag tutorial of sorts. I feel kind of odd calling it a tutorial as it is more of a process; after all, there is no real directions for creating/altering a tag.

1) I like to start with distressed manila tags. Plain ole manila tags will work just fine, too, but distressed tags already add so much texture. I like to buy mine already distressed from my friend Blanca at Magic Moonlight Studio. You could make your own using coffee, spices, and other delights from your kitchen (mine don't come out nearly as splendid as Blanca's though):
2) After removing the strings, I covered up the tags using some vintage ledger paper.
3) Next, I lightly distressed the edges of the tags using ink. I used Close to My Heart Exclusive Inks, but Tim Holtz distressing inks work well, too.
4) Next, using some stamps in my collection,
I stamped on the ledger paper. I wanted the paper to have a vintage letter feel.
5) Because I made these tags for the Red, White, and Blue Tag Swap, which I hosted, I added a flag image. After printing and cutting the image to size, I lightly inked the edges and adhered them to the tags.
6) Next, I embellished my tags a bit using a penny (to go along with the patriotic theme), a paper clip, a silk flower, button, and vintage lace.
7) Then, using strips of vintage sheet music, which I scalloped, I adhered them to the bottom of each tag, pleating them slightly upon gluing them down.
8) Next, I punched out a few hearts from some text paper. Using the hearts and buttons,
I made flowers to go on the side of the tags.
9) Next, using some red, white, and blue beads,
I took a hammer, and smashed them up in a baggie to make glitter.
Then, I glued the "glitter" to the bottom edge of the tag using glitter glue as an adhesive. It worked very well!
I made 17 tags like this for the swap.

On the back of the tags, I usually add my personal information with very few embellishments:

... and that's it!

See more of my tags or tag books here.
See more of my tutorials here.