Tag Swap: Autumn and Halloween

It’s Halloween season! As everyone knows, I mark my calendar as such: Aug. 31 — last day of summer; Sept. 1 — first day of Halloween. It is my very favorite holiday, and as Oct. 31 draws closer, you can almost feel the magic in the air.

So of course when the Halloween swaps started popping up on my various forums, I signed up! I had a lot of fun making the four sets of Halloween ATCs, so I jumped at the chance to make a Halloween tag when the swap opened.

But sometimes, things don’t always go quite as expected. The swap was for either a Halloween or Fall tag, for those who weren’t into Halloween. When the swap opened, the group was short one partner, so the Swap Boss asked for a volunteer to make a second tag. I am a masochist at heart, apparently, so I volunteered to make a fall tag as well as a Halloween one. I figured it wouldn’t be too much of a problem, as I had just finished my autumn-inspired pocket letter and had some autumn themed papers and embellies left over. I was still letting my idea for the Halloween tag stew in my head, so I started work on the fall tag first.

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Amber Moon

I started by taking a chipboard tag base by Prima and adhering a piece of paper from the Amber Moon collection to both the front and back, as I try to make the backs of my pieces look nice. I cut another piece of paper from the collection slightly smaller and distressed the edges before adhering it to the front of the tag using foam tape. To add a little interest, I spritzed the layered piece with Lindy’s Stamp Gang sprays Autumn Leaf Crimson and Milk Chocolate Brown and let them run down the paper.

Next I die cut some autumn leaves using the Tim Holtz Fall Foliage die set. I used Fired Brick, Spiced Marmalade, Fossilized Amber and Peeled Paint Distress inks to color them. I smooshed the colors onto my craft mat, spritzed with water, then dragged the leaves through the colors. I dried them just a little with my heat tool, then used the Milk Chocolate Brown spray to sprinkle little dots of brown over the leaves. Where the leaves were still a bit damp, the brown spread out, giving the leaves a mottled look. Where it was dry, the Lindy’s spray left little brown sparkly drops. Finally, I inked all the edges with Vintage Photo ink.

While letting the leaves dry completely, I cut some thin strips of the Amber Moon paper and layered them on the right side of the tag, bending the top ends just a bit for some dimension. I also cut one of the little cards out of the paper and a background for it to act as my main focal point. I distressed the edges of the background paper and added a Tim Holtz sticker from the Small Talk Occasions pad to the card. Before adhering them in the center of the tag, I wrapped some ecru colored string around the tag for a bit more interest.

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When the die cut leaves were completely dry, I shaped them a bit with my fingers, making them look a bit more natural. I adhered a few in the top left corner, along with some small flowers and picks, also from the Amber Moon collection.

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I did the same in the bottom right corner and added a small pine cone as well. I also added a chipboard sticker that said, “Gather” to the bottom for balance. I then tucked some of the smaller leaves around the center focal point. For my final touches, I added a bit of metallic gold paint to the rose at the top and to the edges of the pine cone and added three copper sequins to the tag.

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I still felt it needed a little something, so I added a beautiful butterfly from Reneabouquet to the top left. Finally, I tied on a bit of orange gingham ribbon and my fall tag was done!

As for my Halloween tag…

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Witches’ Brew

Ugh. I had such problems with this one! I think my biggest problem was too many ideas in my head. I’d wanted to do a spooky outdoors scene with a castle and some tombstones, but I couldn’t get it to lie the way I wanted to on the Prima tag base. In the end I ended up flipping through my dies to get ideas, when I came across the Poppystamps Grand Madison Fireplace die… and immediately thought of a bubbling cauldron being stirred by witches. And so my idea was born.

To give the fireplace some dimension, I die cut it 6 times and layered them together. I inked the top-most layer with Pumice Stone, Hickory Smoke and Tea Dye Distress Inks. It didn’t give me quite the dimension I was looking for so I added a bit of foam tape to the back as well.

For the back of the fireplace, I inked a panel of white cardstock with Pumice Stone, then ran it through my Big Shot inside the Tim Holtz Bricked embossing folder that had been inked with Hickory Smoke before adhering it to the back of the fireplace.

For my tag, I first glued down a piece of Halloween paper I had in my stash that has long since been discontinued on both the front and back of the tag. I inked the edges with Black Soot Distress Ink, then stamped all over with the Witch’s Chant stamp from Stampendous for texture. (It’s a lovely text stamp that uses the witches’ scene from Shakespeare’s Macbeth… great for Halloween projects!)

After gluing down the fireplace, I die cut the Memory Box Pot of Gold to use as my cauldron. I turned the “gold” die cut into a green witch’s brew with Twisted Citron ink and a bit of white gel pen before gluing it into the fireplace. I also added a Trick or Treat chipboard sticker from the Pink Paislee Spellcast collection and a die-cut hanging bat from the Cheery Lynn Twisted Tree die set.

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For my mantle, I fussy cut some bottles from a piece of Rare Oddities paper from Graphic 45 and hot glue a Tim Holtz skull on top for some spooky decorations. The witches are from the Tim Holtz Ancestor paper dolls ephemera collection and just worked perfectly with this tag! I also added the chipboard cat from the Spellcast collection, because every witch needs a familiar!

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For the top part of the tag, I used the Tim Holtz Cobweb die for a bit of creepy background for my window. The window frame was cut using the Poppystamps Small Gothic Window die. I also die cut the Cheery Lynn Twisted Tree and used the moon and a couple of bats from the Tim Holtz Haunted House die to use in the window. The back side of the paper I used on my tag base was a lovely shade of blue, which I thought would work well as the night sky. I glued down the moon, tree and bats before gluing the window frame on top, then trimmed off any excess. I added the window to the tag with foam tape.

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To finish off the tag, I took a quote sticker from the Tim Holtz Small Talk Occasions pad and cut it into 4 little pieces to glue onto the window frame. I also added a pretty spider charm and a piece of orange ribbon to tie the whole thing together.

I was super happy with the way it turned out, so I hope my swap partner likes it!

Onto the next Halloween project!

3 thoughts on “Tag Swap: Autumn and Halloween

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