Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tutorials: Fish Gift Tags

I have to admit that while I don't consider myself to be a "fish person" (not super keen on eating it, smelling it or killing it), I do adore this Life-Size Bluegill stamp from 100 Proof Press.  Its hefty size (4" x 6 1/4") makes it full of potential!  I decided to make two dandy gift tags with it:

While I kept the color palette and basic structure the same for both tags, the stamping inside the fish is different.  As you can see in the picture below, the first fish is made strictly with the fish stamp as it comes (very life-like and detailed with gills and fins).

For the second tag, I got a little crazy and only inked the edges of the fish stamp then filled it in with other 100 Proof Press images (Profit and Loss Sheet and Screen Texture).

Whichever you prefer, the process for making the collaged patterned paper background is the same for each fish.  In this tutorial, it shows my process for the second fish.  The patterned paper I'm using is from The Paper Studio (available at Hobby Lobby), My Mind's Eye and Prima.

Stamp the image onto a background piece of patterned paper (I used Ranger Jet Black Archival ink).  It doesn't have to be perfect everywhere because the majority of it will be covered with the patterned paper collage.

Stamp the image a second time on a piece of scratch paper (I used a piece of typing paper).  Again, we're not going for perfection here.  We just need a basic outline so we'll know where to cover it with paper scraps.

Now start building up your collage by gluing scraps of patterned paper onto your white paper.  You don't have to cover it totally because you can later cut off the white parts and that will be where your background patterned paper will show through.

When your collage is done, stamp on top of the collage.  It doesn't have to line up perfectly with the fish that was stamped on the white paper because we're cutting off the white part anyway.  You just have to stamp the fish in roughly the right place on top of your patterned paper.

Cut around the fish image and discard the portions where it's just stamped on white.  Now you have your patterned background and the collaged part you just cut out. 

Here's where the magic happens!  Put adhesive on the back of the collaged portion, line up the stamped lines, then glue it on on top of your patterned background.  Wah-la!


Now that your collaged fish is made, all that's left is to add ink around the edges (Black Soot Distress Ink) and to add more stamping to the fish's body if you left it open.  I always dab on more Distress Ink with a sponge, too, to help everything look blended.  On these fish, I used Peacock Feathers, Picked Raspberry, Spiced Marmalade, Squeezed Lemonade and a set of green inks from Colorbox called Rainforest.  I drew a hat and a crown and added them on, along with sentiments made with alphabet stamps from Recollections (available at Michael's).  It took me a while to dig out my old eyelets, but I finally found them and attached them to my fish using a Crop-A-Dile.  I finished them off with a Christmas ornament hook.  Initially, I was going to put the hook in their mouth and hang them vertically, but they turned out so cute that I didn't want them to look dead!

Kudos again to these great stamps from 100 Proof Press that made my fish tags possible!