“Surprise loved ones with little unexpected gifts.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr. Life’s Little Instruction Book
The holidays are upon us and despite the Covid 19 virus I am still planning to exchange gifts with family and friends. In my previous posting, I introduced a project I was beginning to make gift tags. You can view that posting in the archive postings. I have to apologize as there was some delay because I veered from that project to make a couple jewelry gifts. This took a couple weeks. So, now that I am back on track I wanted to share a sampling of the tags I have designed.
Last time I shared the preliminary drawing of the tag entitled “Gifts of Celebration”. I drew the design and used colored pencil outlining using colors that matched the painted subject. I scanned it and reduced the size to fit on the tag. Each tag is about 2″ x 3″. Next, I painted the areas of the design with acrylic paint.
I printed several copies of tag at this point. I wanted each tag to have the texture of the original so I decided to paint each tag. If these were going to be sold in volume, I would have painted one and printed several copies. Another enhancement I made was to emboss the doll’s hat and coat, the bear’s hat, and a ribbon around the bear’s neck. Since this was the first time I used embossing powder, it was a challenge. The work was tedious because the areas I was embossing were tiny. At first I had the embossing powders speckled all over the design. I devised a method where I took one of the tags to use as a pattern and cut out the areas that were going to be embossed. I placed the remaining tag over the one I was decorating. Other areas I taped with removable tape to keep off the speckles. After about a half dozen tries I learned how to heat the embossing powder without it blowing all over everything. Another alternative is to use a blocking fluid around the edges of the embossed areas to protect the areas not to be embossed. This worked great for small areas and bordered edges. This can be rubbed off later. For the bells and the gold on the soldier, I used an acrylic gold ink that has a shine to it. I added text with acrylic ink. Here is the final product.
The photograph does not reveal the shine of the red hat nor the sparkles on the blue hat and coat of the doll. The green bow also has a shiny three dimensional look. Some red speckles from the embossing powder did get on the background so I added a few more speckles to make it look like I’d planned it that way. As always, an artisan needs to use adaptation to make slight faux pas a part of the design. Here are the materials I used for this design.
- Arteza™ acrylic paint in forest green, espresso brown
- Liquitex™ soft body acrylic transparent raw sienna
- Colored Pencil The Fine Touch™ red
- Prismacolor™ colored pencil peacock blue
- Speedball™ acrylic ink red, gold
- Embossing powder Ranger™ Tinsel Blue, Nuvo™ pearled pistachio, Nuvo™ sport car red.
The next tag, “Peace on Earth”, I used colored pencil to outline the design, scanned it into my computer and used Lightroom to print multiple copies on cardstock. I used the following items to decorate each tag: Prismacolor Verithin™ colored pencils in peacock green, true green, grass green, peacock blue, process red; The Fine Touch™ red colored pencil. Nuvo™ embossing powder – snow crystal.
Again, the sparkles of the snow crystal embossing doesn’t show on the photographic image. You can see the slight bluish color of it. It looks like glitter.
The final tag ” Joy to the World” was an embellished drawing of a ballerina photograph I found on the internet. I added the wings and halo and changed the colors. Again, I used colored pencil to outline the design to correspond with the final colors. I scanned and printed several copies on cardstock. I decorated each one with Prismacolor Verithin™ colored pencil in True Blue, Light Peach, Goldenrod. I used Speedball™ Gold ink for the halo and wings and black ink for the words. For the starry sky I used the sparkly Nuvo™ Snow Crystal embossing powder.
Here is a close up of the embossing and shiny gold ink.
I added texture to the skirt so it looks like netting fabric. The tag edge was painted black with a black felt pen.
Here is the final end product.
This was a fun learning experience making the gift tags. I also learned about embossing techniques. If I keep practicing this year, perhaps I’ll have some for sale next season. This year I will share them with my friends and family to add to their gift wrapping. Though the designs are mine, feel free to use the techniques in making your own gift tags.
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