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Steampunk Tag Tutorial

Hi everybody. Let's have some fun making this tag. :) 

Let's begin!

 I die cut a #8 tag out of chipboard using the Tag and Bookplate die from the Tim Holtz Alterations line from Sizzix. Chipboard is durable, but also has a nice neutral surface to work from. No intimidating white here! :)

I then used Tim's Timeworks Mask and sprayed the tag with Black Magic Glimmer Mist. When the glimmer soaks into the chipboard, it has a somewhat metallic effect.

Now, most black dyes are bluish in nature, so on top of the warm brown of the tag, this is already creating a warm/cool push-pull. More on that in a bit.

I used Walnut Stain Distress Ink to darken the sides.

 I then sprayed some diluted Brushed Corduroy in a mister to make the gears "sit back" a little.

once dry, I start stamping over the image with Sepia archival ink. It's not necessary in this project to use archival as we're not spraying anything over this. If you prefer Distress Ink, I would substitute Vintage Photo for this step. 

Using these 3 stamps, I create a design. One technique used here is only using part of a stamp, like using the individual numbers. Part of the fun is creating new images out of parts of others. Also, notice how when layering, that using a warm background (the tag), a cool middle ground (blue/black gears) and then a warm color on top (sepia) creates almost a dimensional or 3D effect like the gears are floating behind the stamps.  

I'm now starting on the drawing. Taking a smaller tag die, I cut out a piece on watercolor paper. I use Col-Erase colored pencils to sketch out the character. These come in 24 colors and are great because they're erasable! I usually use the color I will later paint with, in this case, a brown. 

I then take a waterbrush and some Frayed Burlap Distress Stain and paint the image as a value study. Frayed Burlap is a light, very neutral brown.

  After that's dry, I paint the dark areas in with a warm brown...Vintage Photo Distress Stain. I also cut off the bottom of the tag so there's just a square. I fray the edge of the paper, and use Walnut Stain Distress Ink to darken the edges.

 Also with the Walnut Stain, I create stamp texture. I also use a Walnut Stain Distress Marker to hint at a few details.

 I lay down a piece of tissue tape. Add some gears.

 And finished. Hoped you enjoyed this. :)

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Reader Comments (9)

Fabulous tag, great steampunk background and wonderful sketch. Love the shadows on his face, fantastic. Tracy x

January 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTracy Evans

Great tag! Thanks for the step by step. Found you through Tim Holtz-love the rubber you designed.

January 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharon Young

Very cool tag! Always enjoy your tuts on youtube! Congrats on the new stamp designs with Tim!

January 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterfaith

Love the tags you make. Big fan of steampunk and love the darker side of tag making.
Thanks for the step by step.


January 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMonique

Fantastic Brett. What a great talent you have, and to combine it with inks and papercraft techniques is just fabulous. Great tutorial too

January 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui Blondel

Great Job... Love your Work...

January 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkent Mullens

holy heck...LOVE LOVE LOVE the details...thank you for sharing and inspiring!!!

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChelle

Don't stop, love your tutorial , learning all the time........... Great Artist!!!

July 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda

Thank you so much for a fantastic tips, now i don't have to avoid using my letter stamp set.
self ink stamp,

February 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterreynaldo

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