Thursday, November 14, 2013

Blissful Crafting Journey ~ Crafty Tags Using Distress Stains

I was telling OPAL about the Tags I was making over the last few weeks using Distress Stains.  I promised her I would post some of them.  Once I got going I found that I already took a LOT of photos of my very first ones so I will be posting them in clumps, I guess.  Here are the first batch with many more to come! 

These are just standard tags I bought in a bulk bin a while back and thought they would be perfect for learning different techniques with various mediums.  For the most part - the colors and mediums you will see in this post are ones I buy from Ranger Ink's Tim Holtz Distress Stain Line.  Right now I'm only working with 3 colors but I hope to get more - especially now that I am hooked on using them!

In the first photo you will see a more light blue based tag I did.  I used mostly the blue I had as well as a bit of the brown...I will post the exact color names in a near future post...I don't have them on me at the moment.  To get the texture in the first tag I used a smooshing technique against another piece of paper while half dry and moved the tag around in the liquid until I got the desired color and look.  I air dry most of my crafts - unless noted otherwise.  For this 2nd tag I used mostly green with a spec of blue.  The clouded or gray areas I went over with powdered chalk at the end. 

What makes these Distress Stains different from the other mediums?  Well, this is what they say on the website...

Distress Stains are fluid water-based dyes for papers and other porous surfaces. Use for quick and easy ink coverage for backgrounds and larger areas. Mist with water to lighten color and create mottled effects. Apply layers of stain to achieve more saturated color. Available in the entire Distress color palette, including Metallic shades.

The brushed nylon dabber top has a built-in spring valve. This allows for controlling the release of Distress Stains from the bottle. By pressing the dabber top down onto surface, the valve opens and fluid releases. Lift dabber away from surface to stop fluid flow. Spread Distress Stains by swiping the dabber top lightly as a brush across the surface.

As for this next tag - I used the technique mentioned about but covered it more and pressed harder on the distress stain padding and bottle and layered it more while half dry.  After it completely dried I used a small clear acrylic stamp with white ink and stamped it several times in various directions and let dry again.

I will sometimes use water or hairspray to move the stain around or give it a different look or to help layer.  I'm finding more and more ways to layer and make the stains move and am constantly coming up with new textures!  It's quite FUN!

As for this tag with the Bees on it...I first laid down the stains and then used a distressing tool of a pad with a similar  touch/feel/surface of a "Magic Eraser" to it.  I then rubbed in the liquid very well.  For a 2nd layer I went around the outside of the tag again with the brown but as you can see I mainly used the brown and blue stains for this one.  When it was all dry I used Clear Acrylic Stamps with Blank Ink.  I'm actually using 2 different stamps here - again in different positions, etc.  With the swirls I purposely stamped off the tag, as well.  I was thinking of Opal while making this one because of the BEES!!!!

With this tag laying on top of the red background you will see I only used the brown but went really dark and heavy with it.  I squeezed the liquid out on on hard plastic surface and then directly pressed the outside of the tag around the liquid to 'sop it up' so to speak.  On the surface there was still a little color from a previous project on there but I like the way it looked and decided to keep it that way.  For the shiny finish I used Modge Podge and let it dry.   The cream color in the center of this one is the natural color of the tags I was using.

This last one is one of my favorites so far!  I used a heavy and dark blue directly on the tag for this one.  Then I Modge Podged the 2 corners with a sponge stick and used Alcohol Inks just barely touching the side of each corner where I applied the Modge Podge.  It reacted really NEAT as you can see.  I let dry.  I also added a bit of Powdered Chalk to the center part in some spots.  I did add a little heat to the sides that were Modge Podged, too, but not much.  I will be blogging in the near future more about Mixed Media using Distress Stains, Powdered Chalk, Alcohol Inks, Stamping, Modge Podge, Gesso, and Embossing. 

I have been mixing the Distress Stains and Alcohol Inks in various projects and they look pretty cool together, too!  This is just the first batch of tags!  I have LOTS more to share in the very near future!  What do you think so far!?


  1. These are beautiful and yes I do like the honeybee inspired tags.

    My honeybees are safely tucked into their hive for the winter. I checked on them earlier this week. :)

    1. Thanks! I'm curious to see how they do during the winter months! Good Luck!

  2. Lovely! Great idea for my girl to get the pupils in her classes to make - will keep them occupied...and quiet, I guess. These out-of-town kids in the jungle - studying is the last thing on their minds and my girl gets so upset and depressed by it, poor thing.

    1. I do enjoy them because every single one of them are different! And it's neat to see what shades of different colors you can come up with!

  3. Wow - these are gorgeous Jennifer. The last one is my favourite =) I love seeing your cool art projects =)

    1. Thanks so much! Means a lot! I do like that last one, too! I have many more to post...just not enough time! LOL

  4. Replies
    1. They ARE fun! I'm finding they are nice for stress relief :)