Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Tim Holtz, Grunge Labels, and a Lot of Inky Fun

Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous Grunge Distress Ink Oxide

I've been creating my own ephemera, and other grungy items, for use at a later date. In this post I'm showing how I made sticker labels. This is a great way to use your stamp stash. I even pulled out a few holiday sets with stamps that could be used generically. Most of the stamps I used are still available, but a few are long out of print, including ones where I no longer have the original packaging (this was before I had a blog!). I have two butterfly/moth stamps, one from an old Sizzix set with four figures vertically on it, but the other, with three figures horizontally, was a single in my collection. It looks like Stampers Anonymous but I have no idea where I got it, or if it was part of a set or not. However I have seen similar butterfly/moths in other current Stampers Anonymous sets.

To isolate the single figures (butterfly or moth), I masked parts of the stamp using Post-it Notes or just inked carefully (using a stamp shammy if I got some where I didn't want it). For the small labels (photo further below), I used a stamp platform and home-made positioner from clear recycled plastic packaging.

Check out the glorious mess I made while creating these labels.

Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous Distress Ink Oxide

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Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous Grunge Labels Distress Oxide Ink

Making the Labels

1. Start with a large sticker sheet (I'll discuss the small labels further below). Use an ink blending brush or blending tool (preferably with a domed applicator) to cover the page with Old Paper Distress Ink or other light ink that will give the paper an aged look. I used a blending brush first then dabbed and blended heavier areas using a blending tool and domed foam.

2. On a craft mat or plastic packaging, spray Distress Stain one color at a time, mixing with some water if desired (I wanted the colors to be lighter so I did add water). I used Speckled Egg, Antique Linen, and Vintage Photo. Break up ink by running your fingers or other tool through it. I used the end of a paint brush. Dab stickers into the droplets, creating splatters over the labels - quickly dry with heat tool. If you do not dry between dabs, the stains may interact with each other and/or bleed; this happened to me with Speckled Egg, creating undesirable color rings and bleeds.

3. Stamp! Note: more specific supplies are listed at the bottom of the post. Use butterflies, moths, other bugs, mushrooms, numbers, signatures, labels, seals, text for background, etc. I mostly used Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous stamps but also used a variety of my other stamps. It was fun digging through my stash for little treasures! On some labels, I first stamped background text using Distress Oxide Vintage Photo, on others I didn't. I wanted a variety of looks. Sometimes I stamped words or numbers up the sides of labels. When using my larger stamps, I often masked off the label edges using Post-it Notes, although you can allow stamps to go over two labels if you like that look (I only did this with a label stamp; I then stamped numbers inside each half). I also used Post-it Notes to mask parts of a stamp I didn't want inked or I used a corner of the ink pad to selectively ink the stamp, removing any excess with a stamp shammy. For most of the stamping I used either VersaFine or VersaFine Clair ink to get the cleanest images but when I wanted the stamp to fade more into the background, I used Distress Oxide Vintage Photo. Note: VersaFine ink is being replaced by VersaFine Clair ink. I still have some of the older VersaFine ink pads - I will replace them as they wear out.

Tim Holtz Distress Ink Stampers Anonymous Labels

To create the smaller labels (above), I used similar techniques. I didn't add the splats though; I may go back and add them later but for now I've left them off. I used a stamp platform (e.g. Tim HoltzMisti) with a positioner I made using recycled plastic packaging. I cut the packaging to fit the platform. I put the top of a label sheet near the bottom of the stamp platform, up against the side, then lined up the stamps on a row of labels and picked them up with the door of the stamp platform. I did 4 at a time since there are 4 labels in each row, changing them out once in a while.

I put the plastic packaging in the top corner of the positioner, inked up the stamps and stamped on the packaging, being careful not to touch the images once stamped. I aligned the labels underneath to make sure the images were centered; if not, I repositioned the stamp, wiped off the ink from the positioner, and tried again. Once aligned, remove the positioner (careful not to touch the inked images), re-inked the stamps, then stamped.

To do the next row, replace the positioner and move up the labels so they align. You can change colors of ink as desired. When replacing a stamp, you will have to clean its image from the positioner and re-stamp it. Use masking and other techniques as mentioned above as desired.

Here's a look at the finished large sheet of labels. There's another close up at the bottom of this post.

Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous Grunge Labels VersaFine Clair


Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous Grunge Labels Distress Ink Oxide

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