technique :: textured tags

Happy Friday, folks!  Are you ready for the weekend?  We've got a couple of sick kids and must find some way to beat the 90+ degree heat we'll see...but I'm not complaining--I've got some good things lined up on the blog for the weekend, too, so that should be really fun!

Today I'm talking texture.  I love layering with different textures and it's a rare piece I make that doesn't include at least one surface that isn't flat patterned paper.  I'll show you my typical process for making a tag and offer some insight into the way I go about choosing different pieces (it's seriously mind-blowing).  This post is an extended version of my recent Tip/Technique post that was on the Crate Paper blog earlier this week.

If you take a look at the recent Crate collections, you will find them laden with different textures...burlap, foil, vellum, glitter, wood, canvas, fabric.  I get so excited when the new lines come out to see what new textures they've added.  Craft Market, for example, is loaded up with all kinds of good things!  And there's been a recent trend in flat paper of taking textured materials (like wood, glitter, and brick) and using them as designs.  The bottom piece of paper in this photo, 'Picket Fence', is from Maggie Holmes' Styleboard line, and is my go-to background for photographing my small works. A dear friend recently inquired about this very backdrop, a little envious, I think, because she thought it was a beautifully weathered table.  She was shocked when I told her it was just a piece of paper!  (My goodness, I WISH it was a table, or even just a piece of real aged wood!) 

Aside from the scrapbook manufacturer's products, you can find texture elsewhere--or even make it yourself.  For my tag today, I added lace, a paper doily, and thread, and also used my edge distressing tool by Tim Holtz.

Alternating textures is my most favorite way to 'dress' up a project; I find that the more layers and finishes I include, the deeper and more interesting my piece of work becomes.  Textures add dimension, taking away the dullness of simply stacking flat patterned paper or stickers, but not necessarily adding bulk.  To demonstrate, I piled on 9 different textures to this tag, including glitter paper, thread, foil, and the distressed paper edges.

Confession:  I'm kind of a lazy crafter!  I tend to pick and pull from the scraps and bits that are within arm's reach when I'm sitting at my desk.  This is mostly because my paper cutter is often covered with products and it takes too much time to move everything off of it to trim new papers!  When I'm working on a big project, I'll cut things down (that's where the scraps come from, after all), but to make some quick tags or cards, bits it is!  (Hence the reason I'm using this already trimmed down 'my heart is full' piece.  I could have cut the same piece of plain peach floral 12x12 paper but that would have meant several extra steps when this was readily available.)

I usually try to alternate the different surfaces, as well, by layering flat-texture-flat-texture.  Not always, though, but when there's paper on top of paper, that's when the distressing really helps to add definition between the layers.

For an airier feeling, I didn't entirely adhere each piece; putting adhesive only in the middle and leaving the borders to curl up or hang freely.  The eye moves around the work, taking in the quick glimpses of each surface, from the bold glitter backdrop to the dainty doily rim, to the soft lace, before coming to rest on the pop of the "Happy Day" embossed stickers.

And there you have it--the finished piece, and how it came about.  Well?  Is your mind blown?  I really just like what looks good together and will spend a fair amount of time rearranging and holding things out in front of me to see what looks the best before putting surface to glue and making that permanent commitment.

On a side note, I've been knee-deep in this peach/navy/gold color scheme for a few weeks after working on a custom embellishment kit for a favorite customer.  I'm officially loving it, how about you?  I'll be back with you soon!