Category: Tutorials

Christmas Wreath Tag Tutorial – Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2015, December

This entry is part 5 of an on-going series of 12 Tags of 2015

TTLongXmasTagGosh, this year has gone by so fast.  Already it is time to make the final tag for 2015. I have been creating tags most months for the 12 Tags of 2015 game that Tim Holtz runs on his great blog.  As with previous tags, here is a little tutorial of how I made my version of the December tag.

As with my previous tags, I started by diecutting a tag shape from mount board using the Tim Holtz Tag & Bookplates Die by Sizzix.  I took an old tumble dryer sheet and glued it to the tag using Ranger Multi Matt Medium glue.  Then I used the Holiday Knit stencil, also by Tim Holtz, and laid it over the tag.  I pounced Fired Brick Distress Ink through the stencil.  I loved this effect.  It is not too easy to see in the pictures, but in real life it looks like a snuggly fleece Christmas sweater.

Background (more…)

Simple Stamped Reindeer Christmas Card Tutorial

I used a 6″ x 4″ white side-folding card blank from my stash.  I used the stacking rectangles die set by Presscut and chose the die that most closely fit the front of my card, and the one smaller than that.

I cut out a panel of patterned paper with the larger die, and applied Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink around the edges.  This paper is from the “12 Days of Christmas” 6″ stack by Dovecraft.

I then used the smaller of the two dies to cut out a panel of white 300 gsm Sheena Douglass Stamping Card.  I ran this piece of card back through the die cutting machine with the Lattice Flourish Edge’ables die from DieSire (Crafter’s Companion) on the bottom edge.


I stamped the “nosey reindeer” stamp from the “Christmas Creations” stamp set by Spellbinders.  I stamped him in  Azure Seas permanent dye ink, from Whispers.  I then went around the edge with some Salty Ocean Distress Ink.


I stamped a sentiment onto some white card.  The “Holiday hugs” stamp is from Crafter’s Companion and was one of the included stamps in the 2014 Christmas issue of their Inspirations magazine.  I stamped it with black Memento Tuxedo Black ink.   Then I cut it out using one of the smaller dies from my stacking rectangles, as before.DieCutSentiment

I then applied Brushed Corduroy distress ink all around the edges to give it a nice vintage feel.

I coloured in the reindeer with a Light Ultramarine Faber Castell Polychromos pencil.  I used a Pthalo Blue pencil to add a bit more emphasis to the deer’s flank markings and nose.  The pencil colouring has not shown up very well in my photos, it looks better in real life (honest!).


I glued the two panels together, then added them to the card blank.  I fixed the sentiment on with some foam tape to give it a bit of dimension.  Then I finished it with two sticky faux pearls from Sticker Mania.


If you want some hints and tips to help with last minute Christmas Card making, check out my blog post from earlier this week.

Ten Great Christmas Card Tutorials on YouTube

Ten Great Christmas Card Tutorials on YouTube

Looking for some inspiration for your Christmas card making this year?

Check out these ten great Christmas card tutorials from my favourite crafters on YouTube.  Different styles, different techniques but all fun to watch and very inspirational.

Cute Penguin Christmas Card from Vicky Papaioannou

Vicky demonstrates some great techniques to get more from your stamps in this video.  And the result is such a sweet card.

Stamp your Own “Family Photo” Card from Sandy Allnock

These cards are so original and fun.. plus great for adapting to use whatever stamps you have in your stash.  Check out Sandy’s other videos for many more Christmas projects too.

Simon Says Stamp From All of Us from Nicol Spohr Magouirk

Sadly Simon Says Stamp products are really hard to get hold of here, in the UK.  But I love this video as Nichol uses a great technique for the background, and the finished card is so cheerful and inspiring.  Plus Nichol’s videos are always fun to watch.

Brayered Christmas Eve from ileana29

I love the gorgeous 3d effect on the trees.  This card looks so unusual and impressive.  Very inspiring indeed.

Colored Die Cut Inlay Card by Jennifer McGuire

A simple but really great technique in this video from Jennifer McGuire.  All Jennifer’s videos are very professional and full of great hint and tips for card makers.

How to Draw a Snowman for a Christmas Card from Shoo Rayner

I very much enjoyed watching Shoo draw and paint a cheerful snowman. He makes it look so easy!

Clean and Simple Christmas Card by Little Crafty Pill

Some rather good ideas in the tutorial for this very attractive card.  I love that edging technique and must try it with my own edge dies.

A Very Trendy Christmas Card – Two Ways! with Catherine Pooler

Two for the price of one here.  Some simple but very effective techniques are used to make these very elegant cards.

Winter Card from Vicky Papaioannou

Another one from Vicky, this time a shaker card.  This card could be easily adapted to use whatever lovely Christmas stamps you have.  I love the little cluster at the top of the card and the use of faux snow in the shaker.

Shape Stamping Christmas Card by Jennifer McGuire

Another great video by Jennifer McGuire.  Here she demonstrates how to create a unique designs using little stamps.  I found this idea very inspiring indeed.


If you are getting stressed and running out of time to make your handmade cards, check out my blog post – Hints and Tips for Last Minute Christmas Card Making

Vintage Style Shaker Christmas Tags Tutorial

I wanted to make 6 Christmas gift tags for some special presents this year and decided to do some little shaker tags with a vintage feel.

First I used my Tim Holtz Tiny Tabs and Tags die by Sizzix to cut out the tag bases.  I cut out three each of a green and a red tartan, and 6 of a plain white high density 150 gsm card.  The tartan is from the Twelve Days of Christmas 6″ stack by Dovecraft and is also 150 gsm.


Next I took the smallest sized die from the Sizzix 8 piece Scalloped Circles die set and cut a hole in each of the tartan tags.  I then used the two smallest sized dies to cut out 6 scalloped frames – three each from red and green 135gsm cardstock.  I used scraps of washi tape to hold the dies in position whilst cutting them out with my Big Shot and cut them three at a time.


Then I used finger daubers and Ranger Distress Ink to gently ink around the tartan tags.  I used Barn Door on the green tags and Mowed Lawn on the red tags.


I used the same Distress Ink to ink up the middle third of each of the white tags.  It wasn’t important to get a nice blended effect here, as I was going for an overall shabby style, plus very little of it will be seen in the finished tag.

Then I chose 6 images from the Tin Teddy Vintage Christmas 1″ Circles collage sheet.  I ran the edge of a black Sharpie pen around the edges to remove any white and give a neater edge.  I temporarily laid the tartan tags on top of the white ones (not glued down!) then fixed the circles to the inked white tags with Anita’s Tacky Glue.


I then used the second smallest of the Scalloped Circle dies to cut out 6 pieces of clear acetate.  I used Heat Resistant Acetate from Crafter’s Companion.  Cutting acetate can be a bit tricky as it is rather stretchy so can end up embossed instead of cut through.  I added a couple of pieces of scrap cardboard to my diecutting “sandwich” to help increase the pressure and get a clean cut.

Then I glued the card frames to the acetate.  I used tacky glue and wiped the acetate with a baby wipe immediately after gluing to remove any that had strayed onto the clear surface.


When the frames were dry I added them to the tag fronts, again using tacky glue.


I used Fun Foam to give the tags enough depth to be shaker tags.  Because I suspected it would be very hard indeed to perfectly line up the holes in the foam with the holes in the fronts.. I cheated!

I cut out 6 tags from black fun foam with the Tiny Tags die. I then cut the top and bottom parts of the fun foam tags off, and glued them onto to the back of the tartan tags.  Then I cut two thin strips from the remaining fun foam and glued them either side of the scalloped hole.  The end result is a little “well” where the shaker stuff will sit.  This worked out just fine, and didn’t take long – and was easier than trying to line up perfectly matching holes!


Now the fun part!  First I rubbed the back of the acetate widows with a dryer sheet to remove any static. Then  I sprinkled some white Darice Glitter Beads into each of the fun foam “wells”.  I then added just a few gold Glitter Beads too.  Glitter beads are teeny .5mm hole-less beads.

I carefully glued the white card tags onto the back of the fun foam using tacky glue.  I made sure that the glue went right up to the edge of the “well” area to stop any of the tiny beads escaping.  I left the tags to glue, still face down, on my glass crafting mat and with a book on top to ensure a good bond.


Next I threaded 6 “antique silver” coloured star buttons on to baker’s twine – 3 on red, 3 on green twine.  I tied a knot in the loop then threaded it through the holes on each of the tags.  I popped a blob of tacky glue under the star then pressed them into place on the front of the tags.


Finally I added five small gold faux pearls with Bright Gold 3d Pearl Effects by Dovecraft, to the bottom of each tag, because I like a lot of bling on my Christmas projects!


If you are getting stressed and running out of time to make your handmade cards and tags, check out my blog post – Hints and Tips for Last Minute Christmas Card Making


Mixed Media Poppy Tag Tutorial

This is my entry for the November tag in the Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2015 blog series.

I chose to do a poppy themed tag in remembrance of relatives who died in the wars.

For this project I will be using the Poppy stamps and dies by Sheena Douglass, Distress Ink by Ranger, Derwent Inktense pencils and rubber stamps.

Poppy Tag Background

As with the previous tags in the series, I first cut out a large tag from mountboard using the Tim Holtz Tag & Bookplates die by Sizzix.


I used a round ink applicator and sponged Tea Dye Distress Ink all over the mountboard.  It was quite uneven, which is exactly what I wanted in this case.PoppyTagBackground

Next I used Peeled Paint Distress Ink and the Large Dotty Closed stamp by The Artistic Stamper to cover the tag with big green dots.  PoppyTagSpots

Then I used Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink and the little leaves from the Giving Thanks stamp set by Simon Says Stamp all over the background.PoppyTagSmall

I put a blob of white acrylic paint onto my craft mat and added a little water to make it runny.  Then I used a small paint brush and flicked the paint onto the tag to create fun splatters.  I left this to dry.SplatterI took a piece of self adhesive paper lace from Innovations by Salco and inked all over it with Barn Door Distress Ink.  I stuck this to the tag, near the bottom.  I then added the “Lest we forget..” words with a black Sharpie pen.


Poppy Tag Embellishments

I die cut 4 poppy petals and 2 poppy centres using the Victorian Floral – Poppy dies by Sheen Douglass.  I do not have the full set of these dies as the version I have came free with a issue of Crafter’s Companion’s Inspirations magazine, and it included these two dies and the matching stamps.  The full commercial set includes matching dies for the other stamps too.

I used 300 gsm Bockingford Watercolour Paper.


I used the matching Sheena Douglass poppy stamps to stamp the petals, leaves, stems and other poppy components on to the watercolour paper.  I used Jet Back StazOn ink for this as I wanted it to be waterproof.


To colour the leaves I used Derwent Inktense pencils and a water brush.  I applied Apple Green pencil around the edge on the leaf, and a stripe of Field Green up the middle (leaf on right of picture).

Then I used the water brush to first push the lighter green gently towards the centre, then to pull the darker green out to meet it.  This gives a nice shaded effect over the leaf.


I used the same technique to colour the petals.  For these I used Tangerine Inktense pencil around the edges of the petals then Poppy Red (how suitable!) in the middle area.  Again I pulled the ink into the middle with the water brush, blending it gently where it meets.  I coloured the other stamped components the same way.


I glued pairs of petals together to make a flower, then added the two central components.  I added a little black Wink of Stella brush pen to the middle of the poppy.

I stuck the stems and leaves in place then added some tiny pearls as accents.

The tag has green garden twine instead of a ribbon.


Finally I tied some more of the green garden twine over the lace to balance out the tag a bit more.


And here is the finished tag.




Dog Portrait Artist Trading Cards Mini Tutorial

Cut four pieces of card to 3 1/2″ by 2 1/2″, the standard size for an ATC.

I glued an old dictionary page to the cards with Ranger multi medium matte.

I painted the cards with American multi-surface Satin acrylic pain.  I did two in Flamingo and two in Turquoise Waters.  I added a little water to the paint first to water it down, I wanted to be sure that the text would show through.

Then I used a round blending tool to apply Ranger Distress Ink around the edges of the cards.  I used Worn Lipstick on the pink cards and Peacock Feathers on the blue ones.  I used a finger dauber to add some Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink around the very edges for a nice aged look.

I gave them a quick spray with Pearl Diamond Spray & Sparkle from Crafter’s Companion to add a bit of glitz.

I die cut four oval frames using the tag die from the Creative Expressions Austrian Collection Corner Border and Tag Die set by Sue Wilson.  I cut these from some bronze metallic paper.

I cut the centre piece of the tag die from very lightly embossed pearl shimmer card.  I coloured two with the Worn Lipstick Distress Ink and two with the Peacock Feathers.

I chose four dogs from the Tin Teddy Dog Portraits Ovals sheet, cut them out and ran a black Sharpie marker around the edges to give them a crisp, tidy look.

I cut some pieces of wax cotton and threaded them through the die cuts.  Then I glued the die cuts to the cards with more of the Multi Medium.  I fixed the ends of the threads to the back of the card with sticky tape.  I will fix my customized ATC back to the cards before trading them, so it doesn’t matter if the reverse looks messy for now.

I added the centre of the tag, using the opposite colour to the background, as with the threads.

Finally I added the dog portrait using a sticky foam pad and two shiny gems to each card using Anita’s Tacky Glue.


Tin Teddy Dog Portraits

Halloween Artist Trading Cards – ATCs Tutorial – Shriek Week

If you follow the Tin Teddy Blog, Tin Teddy at Tumblr or Instagram then you will know that I really enjoy making ATCs (Artist trading cards).  For today, the last day of Shriek Week, I am going to make some cheerful ATCs using the Tin Teddy Halloween Slides digital collage sheet and a simple, fun background technique.

If you don’t know what ATCs are, or would like to know more about them, check out my article – Introduction to ATCs – What are Artist Trading Cards?

First I cut out some rectangles of 300gsm Kraft card.  They are 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches which is the standard size for ATCs.

I painted one side with some metallic purple acrylic paint. This was cheap craft paint from Wilkos but looks sparkly and nice.  Don’t worry if you can see any brushstrokes.  I left these to dry overnight.


Next I stamped some random dots around the card using Seedless Preserves Distress Ink.  This gives a nice “tone on tone” effect.  The dot stamps is from the “Maggies Daisy” set by Stampendous.

TTHalloweenATC2Then I took some thin washi tape in bright orange and lime green colours.  I laid a strip of each colour vertically along the card, and another horizontally.  I wove the horizontal strips under and over the vertical ones to add a bit of interest.  I really adore the Halloween colour combo of purple, orange and green. TTHalloweenATC7Next I put a blob of black poster paint onto my glass cutting mat and added some water until it was very runny.  I loaded a small brush then held it over each card.  I tapped the brush handle to make lots of tiny splats on the cards.  This bit is messy, but a lot of fun.


Next I took some cheap plasterboard (drywall) mesh tape.  This is available from DIY stores or Amazon (link below) and comes on a roll.  It is sticky on one side.  I cut some pieces then painted them with the black poster paint and when they were dry I stuck each one to the bottom of one of my ATCs.  I wrapped the surplus around the back and added some sticky tape to ensure it stayed put. TTHalloweenATC6

Finally I cut out some of the images from the Tin Teddy Halloween Slides digital collage sheet – I choose ones with pumpkins on.  I added sticky foam pads to the reverse and then stuck them on the right side of the card.   On the other side I glued some black and purple sequins (from Docrafts) using Ranger Multi Medium Matte.  And finally a paper bat cut with my old Cuttlebug Halloween die.    TTHalloweenATCS


Ten Great Halloween Crafty Video Tutorials – Shriek Week 2015

Today I am going to share some of the best Halloween crafty video tutorials I have found on YouTube.

Enjoy 🙂

Trippy Double Vision Makeup Look by dope 2111

Halloween Shaker Card by Serena Bee

Halloween Series #8 2014 by Prairie Paper & Ink (Amy R)

Quick Halloween Stamping Gear Card by Lindsay Weirich, the Frugal Crafter

Halloween Craft – Easy Fake Blood Drip Jewlery  by giddyupworkshop

Halloween DIY: How to make a jar of eyeballs necklace by CutieCraftsChannel

30 Last Minute DIY Halloween Costume Ideas by Cloe Couture

Halloween Chalkboard Card by Lindsay Weirich, the Frugal Crafter

Rainbow Loom – Design your own Halloween Charms with loom bands by DIY Mommy

Bird Crazy | Happy Halloween Card by Nicola Magouirk


Two Quick and Easy Halloween Craft Projects Using Lawn Fawn’s “Monster Mash” stamps – Shriek Week

Today I am going to show you two quick and easy Halloween projects using the adorable Monster Mash stamps from Lawn Fawn.  First I will show you how to make a great last-minute card that uses a very simple, but elegant looking inking technique for the background.  And then a super fast and easy item to decorate your craft room – or anywhere else that needs a few monsters to perk it up.

Please note that I am not affiliated with Lawn Fawn in any way, I just adore their products.


I stamped a bunch of the cute little monsters and a couple of the party hats using Memento Tuxedo Black ink on Neenah “Crystal Crest” white card.  This is my go-to combination for any thing I will colour with alcohol markers.  The coloured marks you can see here are where I began testing colour blends, I often do this on the tiny spaces between pictures.


I had fun colouring the little monsters with Copic, Spectrum Noir and Promarker alcohol markers.  I mix and match my pens depending on what colours I want, they all seem to blend with each other just fine.  The “purple bat” monster and the “pink eyeball” monster both have a mottled skin.  I made this by dotting a blender pen on after the ink had dried.  I rather like this effect.TTColouredMonsters

The first project is a Halloween card, though it would work just as well as a birthday card, or even for a party invite.

I used a standard A6 side folding card made from 300gsm Sheena Stamping Card.  I laid it on my craft mat and stuck masking tape around all four sides.  Because this is cheap masking tape, not proper papercrafting removable tape, I stuck it on my trouser leg a few times before using it, to remove some of the stickyness.  Otherwise it might rip the surface of the card when I remove it. I added a second strip of tape to the bottom of the card (on the right of the picture here).


I cut a wavy line down a scrap piece of packaging card and laid one half on my masked card front, over the bottom. I used an Ink Duster from Inkylickious and brushed Salty Ocean Distress Ink on to the card front.  I load the brush with some ink, then place the bristles on to the scrap card, then flick it off on to the card front.  It takes a little while to build up some colour, but I always work from bottom to top.  This way the colour is lighter at the top, and I wanted this gradient effect.


Here is what it looks like when I have finished and removed the scrap card.


Now I took the other half of my scrap card and linked it up over the top of the inked area so only the uninked end is exposed.  I brushed Peeled Paint Distress Ink on this side, using the same technique as before.  I used the same end of my inkduster as the previous blue paint was just mixed in with the green.


And here is how it looks when I remove the scrap card.  Not really very exciting yet, but…


When I carefully peel away the masking tape it leaves a rather neat rectangle of colour.  I just stamped the “Eye think you’re neat” sentiment underneath using Tuxedo Black ink.  Now you see why I wanted more of the bottom masked than the top.


Finally I added two of the “eye monsters” using sticky foam pads.  Then I glued on their party hats with tacky glue.  Just as soon as I find my Glossy Accents, I will add some to the eyeballs to make them shiny!


Now to use the rest of my little monsters.  I wanted to make something to decorate my (very tiny) craft studio.

First I cut out 4 orange and 4 purple triangular banners from lightweight cardboard using the Sizzix “Banners, Oval and Triangular Scallop” Sizzlits die no 657402.  I paired up the orange middles with the purple outside bits, and vice versa.  Then I stuck the edges to the inner bits, on the back, using tiny bits of sticky tape.


And then I stuck my remaining monsters on the top with sticky foam pads.  The other two “eye monsters” get to share a pennant.


Finally I stuck some green and white baker’s twine to the reverse and hung up my monster banner in my craft studio.  Happy little monsters to inspire me whilst I work.




Doll Sized Trick or Treat Bags Tutorial – Shriek Week

Today I released a new set of digital papers in my Etsy shop.  A pack of 24 Halloween themed digital papers.  They will be reduced in price for the duration of Shriek Week (until 18th October 2015).

I am going to use some of the papers to make cute little Trick or Treat bags for my 12″ dolls.

First I drew up a template of a trick or treat bag laid out flat.  I worked out the sizes by measuring against my doll.  This template will fit a 12″ doll such as a Barbie, Monster High, Blythe, Pullip and so on.  You could resize it to fit other dolls of course.

Here is a link to the Tin Teddy Trick or Treat Template.  There are two versions.

You could print onto card to make a sturdy template for creating multiple bags from your printed scrapbook papers.

But because I am going to use the digital papers, I will add the patterns in my graphics program before I print it out, this will save ink.

You can follow along to see how to do this.  You will need a graphics program that can use layers.  I am using Adobe Photoshop, but you could also use Adobe Photoshop Elements, Gimp (free), CorelDraw, Serif PhotoPlus (free version available), Adobe Illustrator etc.

Open the .PNG version of the template in your graphics program.  This is the version with transparency and is called TTTrickorTreatTrans.




Choose the digital paper you want to use on your bag and drag it into your document.

Then drag its layer below the template one, so you can see the template with the design inside it.  You will probably need to resize the digital paper as the pattern will be too big.  I resized mine t0 60%.

Move the digital paper layer around so the images are nicely arranged on the front and back of the bag.

The result is below.





Now open a new document the  size of the paper you are going to print onto. I am going to print onto thin white card.

Flatten the layers of the bag design you have made and drag it over into the new document.  You can then duplicate it as many times as you want on the page before printing it out.

If you want a variety of bags, just go back to your design and undo the flattening.  Now you can drag a new paper under the template.

I rotated some of mine so I could fit 6 bags onto one page.  If you set the layers to “Multiply” you can move the bags close to each other without any white overlapping.


Once you have as many versions of the bag on your page as you require you can print them out.  I recommend saving the file first, just in case!

If you want to make more complex designs on your bags, here is a guide to which part of the template is which.  You can use this to plan what you are going to put on your bag, and to help you fold it up.


Assembling the bag is very easy.  Score and fold along all the lines.  I used a bone folder to make sure the creases were very crisp.  If you don’t have a bone folder then you can rub the crease with the back of a spoon instead.  On small projects this can make a big difference to the final look.



Apply double-sided tape or tacky glue to the side flap then fold your bag and tuck it under the Back of the bag.  You could pop a paper clip on the top to hold it firmly whilst it glues.

Then apply glue to the bottom flap and tuck it up under the Back of the bag.

If your flaps don’t seem to fit very neatly, try cut a thin diagonal slither of the sides of them.

Finally, stick some baker’s twine, paper ribbon, twine, ribbon or thin strips of paper inside the front and back to make straps.


And your doll is all set to go get some candy!


You can of course decorate your trick or treat bags further.

This size of bag perfectly fits 12″ dolls but looks fine on a variety of other sizes too, such as the larger Tonner fashion dolls.  After all, trick or treat bags come in many sizes in real life!

Here are Robecca Steam and Clawdeen Wolf (Monster High dolls) setting off to go trick or treating – they didn’t even have to dress up!