Thursday, October 17, 2013

Witches Stitches - Primitive Paper Tags

When I do altered books, bottles or cans I love to add a few different size tags to them. I even add them to dolls and just about any item that may need just a little something more.
You can make your own tags fast and easy. I make a bunch at a time then I add embellishments as I need them.  The tags I use are called shipping tags and you can get a whole pack of them at Staples or Office Depot for just a few dollars. Make sure you ask for shipping tags and not just large tags. If you ask for just tags, they will show you price tags. You know how I know…yes, I did it and after 10 min and frustration on both our sides the gentleman showed me where the shipping labels were. They come in different sizes, jut choose what fits your needs. I like my tags grungy looking and here is how I do it.

Step 1 – You will need an old cookie sheet.  Place some parchment paper on the cookie sheet. Cut or fold the paper so it fits the sheet. Set aside.  Turn your oven on and set it at 200 degrees.  When you are cooking your tags DO NOT LEAVE THE KITCHEN. REMEMBER THIS IS PAPER IN YOUR OVEN. It is safe at 200 degrees for 10 min, but I would hate for you to walk away from them and leave them in for too long.
Step 2 – To get an old paper look you need to darken your tag. I use Walnut Ink Crystals. You can buy this online, etsy or ebay. A little of this goes a long way. Put a cup of hot water into a paper cup. Now add a few sprinkles of Walnut Ink Crystals. Mix it up so all the crystals are dissolved. Now take a paint brush and brush the solution on the tag covering both sides. Place the tag on the cookie sheet and place in the oven for 10 min turning the tag over half way through.  It will curl up a bit don’t worry you can flatten it back out. When you take it out it should be dry. If you like the way it looks and how dark it is do an entire sheet full. If you want them darker add some more crystals to your water, if you want them lighter add more water to the mixture you already have and do another test tag. Once you have it just the way you want do an entire sheet of them at one time.  The picture below is a before and after shot.

Step 3 – After you are done with step 2 you are ready to embellish your tags any way you want. For me it all depends what I want to use them for. Some I will put some dried sweet annie on and a bit of fabric. Others I will just stamp with a date. Others I will add a printed picture, the list goes on and on.
Step 4 – Some tips – For your gluing needs use Tacky Glue in the gold bottle. It dries clear and holds well. If you are gluing fabric to the tag make sure you use just a touch of glue if the fabric has an open weave, or the glue will ooze through the fabric.  
You can age your tags even more by running the sides along an ink pad, the kind you use for stamping. Do this on all 4 sides and then over the edge just a touch. You can also put a bit of ink on the tag by touching it to the pad very lightly. If you are stamping your tag do it before you add the extra ageing.
If you are adding a printed picture you may want to tear around the edges and then run a little walnut ink over it. The torn edges will be darker than the rest and look aged.
These are just a few suggestions, let you creative mind run wild. These tags also make great book marks with some pretty robin tied onto them. You can make them as a gift with a personal message on them for the avid reader in your life.  They also look great tucked in the bottom corner of a favorite picture or painting or on a prim magnet board. Make some or the holidays and tuck them into a bowl of greenery or tie one on the stem of an autumn pumpkin. They make great place cards that people can take home with them. Take a ribbon and attach them to make a message or picture garland. The more I type the more I can think of things to use them for.  
Here are 3 tags I made in just a few minutes and where I used one of them.
Thanks for reading and as always if you have any questions please give me a shout. Enjoy, Faith.