I love doing project swaps! It is fun to get little pieces of inspiration from friends. Once you find out how many people you are swapping with, you get to work deciding what you are going to share, and making sure you have enough materials to create the given number of items. Somehow, I have a habit of coming up with grand ideas that are much easier in my brain than they are when I get started! Yet, I carry on!

I recently created 25 tags for a swap with my ScrapHappy friends. We were challenged to create our tag front to somehow be representative of ourselves. Hmmm….. what would I do? What would I do?

manila and kraft tagsI finally came up with a plan and got busy! The tags were to be no larger than 4×6, and didn’t necessarily have to be a traditional “tag” shape. However, I had the remainder of two packages of tags which were just a bit longer than 6 inches, and guess how many I had. 25! I cut about a 1/4 inch off each one to make it 6 inches long and was ready to go.

Paint and Gelli plate printing seemed like a great idea to get color on the backgrounds. Some of the tags were kraft, and were much more flimsy than the manila tags. However, after the first paint layers dried, they were much the same.

gelli plate and paint supplies

I used my basic stamping tool, small bubble wrap, to add some white highlights and brighten the backgrounds.

I had planned to just hand write “Create” but the texture was so rough, and my white paint pens were not being cooperative.

Create-Tag-diecutInstead, I used my electronic die cut machine to cut out the word “Create” in a size suitable for the tag. They were perfect! Oh, wait — how was I going to get some of their dainty little parts removed from the sticky backing of the mat? I decided to take some Press N Seal food wrap and see if I could press it over them and lift them off. NO! Rubbing on the wrap, just stuck the words on the mat even more firmly! Eventually I realized I was going to have to painstakingly remove the words. So I did. Ever so carefully!

After seeing how difficult it would be to get the words off, I knew that gluing them onto the tags was going to be a little difficult. In hind sight, I should have put a layer of Glue N’ Seal on the tag and just stuck the words down. However, I didn’t think of that. All I could think of was the fact that I’d never be able to get glue on their tiny parts. I had thought about running them through my Xyron, but I thought I’d just have the same problem lifting them off, that I had already had getting them off the cutting mat! After a trip to go buy some spray adhesive, I was back in business! I had them upside down on the food wrap and sprayed them. The food wrap proved to come in handy after all! It was tacky enough to hold them in place, so I could spray the back sides. I used tweezers to help lift them off and get them into place on the tags. They were now a breeze to adhere! Whew, a major hurdle behind me.

paint palette die cutI cut little paint palettes with my electronic die cut machine, and compared to “Create,” they were a breeze! I then placed little dots of the paint I had used on the tag backgrounds to create the little pools of color. Using heavy body acrylic paint allowed the paint to retain it’s shape and give great coverage on the black card stock palettes! When dry, I glued them to the tags.

I wanted to add something for a little paint brush and thought about just cutting out a little shape by hand and using markers to add color. Then I decided I would make little brushes from clay and paint them when finished. No, that wasn’t going to take long, I told myself! It would be worth it in the end! After the first set was ready after baking, I broke one handle, and was afraid they would be too fragile to make the trip to my event, and may not successfully make further trips with my friends on the way back to their homes.

Create-Tag-paint-paletteWhat was I going to do? I had gone much too far to turn back! I started looking online for ideas on making teeny tiny paintbrushes, and came across a couple of ideas from young girls sharing ideas on making paint brushes for their American Girl dolls! I LOVE miniature items of almost anything. It was so funny to think I was finding my idea from little girls online! It is a new generation!

mini paintbrush suppliesFinally, I was finishing my paintbrushes by snipping off toothpicks, and taking tiny snips of a silver washi tape and wrapping around near one end to make the ferrule of the brush (the metal part that holds in the bristles). As luck would have it, (or not have it) the washi tape was the non-sticky variety! Don’t you hate it when you get that kind? I had to take the tiniest bit of glue to get it to stick! I could see the end in sight! I used black permanent marker to create “bristles” and dipped the very end in one of the paints I had used on the tag. When they were dry, I used glue dots to stick one on each palette.

By this time, I was getting rather tired of this project! I wanted to add a bit of ribbon or fiber on the end, but didn’t see anything that really struck my fancy. I had some ribbon that would coordinate and decided it was good enough! So I cut small lengths and just folded each one in half and used my tiny stapler to attach them.


DONE! I was FINALLY done!

I’m starting to think I have a real problem with the reality of time. As in I don’t have realistic ideas as to how much time it will take me to complete the things I dream up! However, that’s part of what I enjoy. When I come up with my ideas, I truly enjoy watching them come together. I guess you could say I am somewhat of a problem solver when it comes to completing my ideas. I don’t like to give up if something is not working out as planned. I just move on to plan B, C, or D, E, F….. or W, X, Y, whatever it takes!

Don’t let little setbacks keep you from finishing crafty projects you may want to do! Just go for it! Like my tags said, CREATE! Enjoy the process. There are many of us out here to cheer you on, or give you ideas when you are stuck. If you’d like to join us on the Artful Adventures Facebook Group, we are a friendly and supportive group! Come on over!

Cheers to YOUR creativity,


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