I have been sharing ideas for gifts lately, now I want to give you an idea for making gift tags. These tags will be unique to you and easy to personalize for any type of gift all year long. They are a lot of fun to make too.
I started by carving some stamps with a winter theme. I have been wanting more stamps that have my own designs anyway. I drew these on Adobe Illustrator, printed them out and then transferred the images to the speedy cut block. I traced over the lines with a pencil and then put that side onto the block and rub the image until it is all transferred. You can also draw directly onto the block. I chose to carve three different snowflakes, a snowman, and a holly sprig. Then I carefully carved the images. For all but one of the stamps I left a positive image. The other stamp had smaller lines, so I choose to carve out the lines instead of the background. I like the grungy imperfect look that you get when you make your own stamps.
I got out my gelatin plate and and used the stamps, some stencils, and found objects to make mono-prints on the tags. I am using three different sizes of tags. I usually choose between two to four colors that coordinate, and spread them on my plate with a brayer. For this project I am using craft paints.
I like to lay down stencils in the paint and then pick them up and add other designs around and over them. This doesn’t give a really clear impression, but adds background texture to the tags. I also press my hand carved stamps into the paint to leave the impression of the stamp behind. Make sure that you wash your stamps thoroughly after using them with paint or the paint will dry in the grooves and ruin your stamps. I use all kinds of objects like bubble wrap, punchinella, empty thread spools, string, and anything else that you can think of to make an interesting print. I used the Celestial stencil and some of the words fromTam’s inspiration series too.
On some of the tags I made one print and then went over that with another print after the first layer was dry. I had a darker blue background and I used silver paint and laid thecelestial stencil onto the plate and then the tags, so that the stencil image was left behind on the tags. I pulled up all the extra paint using copy paper and deli paper in between colors. When I have gotten as much of the paint pulled up as I can, I used a baby wipe to completely clean my plate.
After I had all my tags printed and they were dry, I used my hand carved stamps to stamp images onto the tags. I used a StazOn ink pad in jet black and a VersaMagic ink pad in cloud white. I added coordinating yarn to each tag.
These tags are quick and fun to make once you have your stamps carved. I hope that you go and make some mono-printed tags to add to your gifts this holiday season. You could add punched images, doodles, stick on jewels, or anything else you can think of to dress these up even more.
I'll see you next week with another project.