Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dirty Tag Tutorial

Thanks, again, for stopping back by to see the tutorial! I apologize for taking so long to get this up, but better late than never, right?

Okay...this first picture is bits and pieces from my dirty tag ring. I keep it very close at hand ( a very convenient place...any Girl Scouts out there? lol) hanging above my workbench. Whenever I use dye inks, sprays, mists, even paint on a project and there's overspray or mess (and we know there's always mess!) I use a tag or two to wipe it up!

The essentials to have on hand:
> craft mat/sheet (anything nonporous)
> water bottle/mister
> wet mess (dye inks, sprays, paint, etc.)
> cardstock/manilla tags ready to go (I prefer manilla or watercolor paper. Some card stocks will pill or the fibers will raise up when wet. Experiment - sometimes those results are desirable!)
> heat gun

Step 1: Mist the mess with water. (When I'm working I wait until I'm finished to clean up, so sometimes the 'mess' is dried.)

Step 2: Place a tag directly onto the wet area. Lift it off.

Step 3: Decide if you like what you see...*if the answer is 'yes' go to Step 4.

...if the answer is not yet (sometimes I want more color on my first layer) you can lay the tag onto the wet area again, then go to Step 4.

Step 4: Dry tag with a heat gun and repeat, repeat, repeat until you feel it's done! (If you don't use a heat gun between layers, the colors may get muddy and look like one color.)

The key to these backgrounds is LAYERS. Very rarely do I dip a tag once and decide it's finished. Most of the time I use a tag to clean up, hang it on my ring and the next time I need to clean up I grab a 'used' tag off the ring instead of a new one.

*If after one dip into the mess I like what I see, but there's more mess...I dip another tag!

Experiment...instead of laying the tag down and lifting it up, give it a whirl on the craft sheet before picking it up...use less/more water...I even use Perfect Pearls Mist in Pearl instead of plain water so my tag will have lots of shimmer in addition to color...try it!

Warning: You may find yourself making more messes, just so you can clean them up! 
Free Smiley Courtesy of

If you want to see how I use a tag with a 'dirty' background, check out This Great Impressions Stamps  Post, this post, and this post.

Inky hugs,

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