By Judi Kauffman
My favorite recipes have very few ingredients; for example, graham cracker brownies (crushed grahams, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips). The same is true for craft projects, so when I decided to write a recipe for 2-sided mixed media tags I kept it simple: Two dies (952 Tags & More 2 – Deco, 711 Ladybugs), two surfaces (cardstock and Shimmer Sheetz), plus assorted leftovers, or what I like to call “table scraps” (the bits and pieces that accumulate at the side of my work table).
As you can see from the photos above and the ones that follow, both sides of my tag are symmetrical with something large, centered to anchor the composition. There are also small elements to move the eye and relieve the formality. (Symmetry can be quite stiff unless diagonals are introduced.)
All of the Tags & More die sets in the series have a mix of decorator pieces as well as a basic shape, so you can choose a different one if Deco is not your style.
- For a 2-sided tag, start with two pieces of cardstock (or one each of scrapbook paper and solid color cardstock). Sandwich with Clear Double Sided Adhesive Sheet in between and die cut the basic tag in whatever length you want. As shown, the tag is 3.25” x 6”. Then die cut the decorative overlay at the top of the tag.
- Back the Shimmer Sheetz or patterned paper you’ve selected for corners and reinforcements with Clear Double Sided Adhesive Sheet prior to cutting. Die cut 2 matching reinforcements for the top of the tag (front and back), and two pairs of decorative corners (a pair for each side). Reminder: The Metal Adaptor Plate is required for die cutting Shimmer Sheetz. Review Els van de Burgt’s YouTube video if you have not tried this technique. Tip: Choose lightly sanded or alcohol ink-altered Shimmer Sheetz for the reinforcements and corners. It adds extra sparkle and durability.
- Die cut a ladybug from metallic red and standard black cardstock. Alternatively, die cut a butterfly, dragonfly, flower, or whatever suits your tag.
- Add the reinforcements and decorative corners to both sides of the tag. Optional: Distress the cardstock corners and solid color side of the tag with black ink before adding corners and reinforcements.
- Arrange and adhere the collage elements on one side of the tag. Combine the ladybug with a mix of torn stamped or pre-printed paper, a canceled postage stamp, purchased stickers, Shimmer Sheetz scraps. Use the Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher to “frame” the collage with small silver staples, used as linear elements.
- Arrange and adhere the collage elements on the other side of the tag.
- Optional: Display the tag on a Card Stand/Easel so it can be turned over to show both sides. (Optional easel made with 1071 Card Stand/Easel die from Els van de Burgt Studio.)
Design Detour: Things to Notice
*Per Step 5, there are two staples set vertically at each side; there are two staples set horizontally as well, one just below the ladybug and one about an inch above the postage stamp. It is this orientation of the staples that turns them into a frame instead of turning up as randomly-added embellishments.
*Save a lot of canceled postage stamps. They are wonderful little works of art. This one, from Norway, echoed both the colors (red and black) and the shapes (circles) in the ladybug. This repetition of color and shapes is intentional, not accidental, and why it is so much fun to find bits and pieces to combine in a collage!
*I arranged the diagonal elements so that your eye will move around instead of getting stuck in the middle of the collage. There is a diagonal pull between the bright red ladybug and the purchased Happy Birthday sticker on the front side of the tag, and how your attention is pulled from the white on the birds in the drawing to the white dimensional embellishments (butterfly and bird) on the back side.
Elizabeth Craft Designs –
952 Tags & More 2 – Deco or other Tags & More set
1071 Card Stand/Easel (optional)
Shimmer Sheetz in color(s) of choice
Other – Collage elements including canceled stamp, stamped paper, pre-printed sticker, scrapbook paper, small drawing, dimensional flat-backed butterfly and bird; Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher (idea-ology); 3/8” grosgrain ribbon (Really Reasonable Ribbon); Black dye ink pad; Sanding block (Optional: To sand the hole reinforcements); Alcohol inks (Optional: To alter Shimmer Sheetz for reinforcements and decorative corners)