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A question that often comes up to artists/creative types is where do we get our inspiration from, how do projects come together. Today I will give you insight into the working of the creative mind and show you how these tags came together. I hope this little journey will help inspire you to see your outings in a new way.

These tags started with a trip to visit my folks for the weekend. My mom and I always like to go out shopping, and I am always looking for inexpensive craft supplies. On this outing, I went to Tuesday Morning and the Hobby Lobby near her. Recently in one of my ATC (Artist Trading Card) groups, a napkin swap was done. I had not thought to collect napkins before. While in Tuesday morning I found these great black and white napkins that were 2.99 and 20% off. I snagged them, as they reminded me of the Tim Holtz Ideaology collage paper, and I thought what a great background they would make. While in Tuesday morning I also picked up some sale Graphics 45 washi tape, because you can never have enough washi tape.
So, after Tuesday Morning we wandered to Hobby Lobby where they had quite a bit of clearance. Here I picked up some tags on clearance, a few stamps that were about 70% off and some clearance archival ink. Now all these components didn’t’ come together for me just yet, I was just adding to my stash. Below is a shot of the haul I got all for under $25.00.

Now I just got a sewing machine for Christmas so I took my mom to look at the fabric and there were some great patterns that caught my eye. Black and white with bits of color. I took photos of them to use in my color collage book for inspiration. They would later inspire me for the tags. Here are some photos below:

Once home from my trip I dumped all my wares on the table and decided to combine the tags with one of the napkins to see how it would work out. Then I colored them, inspired by the fabric I saw.

Step 1 & 2: was to cover the tags in a mat gel medium. I peeled the napkin apart using just the colored layer. I carefully placed it on the tag and then CAREFULLY smoothed it. The napkin when wet is like tissue paper so handle with very gentle hands. I then just tore the edges and wrapped them.
I then carefully added a layer of matte medium to the top and dried with my heat gun.

Step 3. I wanted to add some color. So for one tag I used just my basic watercolors and colored in the flowers. For the other tag I wanted the flowers black and white, so instead, I used my new archival inks with a new stamp to add background colors.

 

Step 4. When all was dry, I took my black archival ink and with a dabber went around the edges of the tag.
Voila! In less than 10 minutes I have two (2) ready to use tag backgrounds. I have enough of the napkin left to probably get three more tags out of it too!

I hope this quick little tutorial gave you some inspiration and will help you see the materials you have around you in a new light. Happy craft hunting.

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