Mixed Media Tags Featuring Red Castle Stamps

I’m back today with a project that is a first for me – mixed media tags! My project features stamps from Red Castle (available exclusively at The Queen’s Ink) and Penny Black as well as inks and stencils from Tim Holtz and Ranger.

Rowhouse Greetings | Red Castle Stamps

As you know, my primary medium is Copic markers and the end result is usually a handmade card, but I’ve been experimenting with other media, including watercolors, colored pencils, and Distress Inks. These simple tags provided the perfect opportunity to explore color and texture with supplies that I already had at hand.


I work in a relatively small space and knew that things could get messy quickly. I covered my work surface with an Easy Clean Mat from Tonic to protect it and speed clean up when I was finished.

  1. Using a blending tool, apply Distress Ink to one side of a #8 manila craft tag.
    In the case of the first tag, I started in the middle with Mustard Seed, blending each side with Spiced Marmalade followed by Picked Raspberry. For the second tag, I started at the bottom with Chipped Sapphire, working upward from dark to light with Peacock Feathers and Broken China, ending with Cracked Pistachio. I followed with a second coat to make sure that the inks were well blended and coverage was even.
  2. Lightly spritz the tag using a mini mister filled with plain water.
    The water will activate the ink and create a pattern as it dries. Use as much or as little as you want to get to desired effect.
  3. Once the ink has dried, stamp the images to be embossed with Versamark Ink. 
    I used Leaves Set 3 by Red Castle Stamps. The images are deeply etched and leave a clear impression. I particularly liked the botanical images and chose those for my tags.
  4. Cover with embossing powder and heat set the images.
    Be sure that your heat gun has had a chance to warm up first to reduce warping of your tag.
  5. Decide the placement of your stencils and apply Texture Paste with a palette knife. Wash your palette knife and stencil immediate with water. Allow Texture Paste to dry completely.
    Do not use a heat gun to dry the texture paste as it may cause bubbling (unless that’s the effect you want!).
  6. Once texture paste is dry, lightly dab and blend Distress Ink in the color of your choice over the raised stenciled areas. 
    You can either select a contrasting color to make the stenciled image stand out or match the ink to the background to create texture without additional contrast.
  7. Stamp any additional sentiments using a stamping platform.
    I selected sentiments and a butterfly image from the Spiritual Snippets Stamp Set and the Snippets Stamp set, both by Penny Black. I used a Tim Holtz Stamping Platform so that I could stamp multiple sentiments at the same time using Versafine Ink in Onyx Black.
  8. Apply Distress Micro Glaze to seal inks.
    A little goes a long way! Buff with a soft towel (I actually used a paper towel) to remove excess.
  9. Add a ribbon or other embellishments as desired.
    Don’t forget to sit back and admire your work!


Below are the supplies I’ve used for today’s project. Items marked with an asterisk (*) were provided by a store or the manufacturer for free or at a discount. All other items were personally purchased. Read more.

  • Tonic Essentials Easy Clean Mat (*)
  • #8 manila craft tags
  • Distress Inks: Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade, Picked Raspberry, Cracked Pistachio, Broken China, Peacock Feathers and Chipped Sapphire
  • Ranger Mini Round Ink Blending Tool and Foam Applicators (one for each ink color)
  • Ranger Inkssentials Mini Mister filled with plain water
  • Stamps: Leaves Set 3 (*) by Red Castle Stamps; Spiritual Snippets by Penny Black; Snippets by Penny Black
  • Tsukineko Versamark Embossing Ink
  • Stampendous Detail White Fine Opaque Embossing Powder
  • Heat gun
  • Palette knife
  • Ranger Texture Paste (opaque matte finish)
  • Various stencils (I used the custom stencil included in the Tim Holtz Distress Mixed Media Spray Stain Kit)
  • Tim Holtz Stamping Platform (*)
  • Tsukineko Versafine Ink in Onyx Black
  • Tim Holtz Distress Micro Glaze

Hope my project inspires you to try something new!

It’s a Beautiful Life

At the beginning of the month, I retired from my job of 37 years. These past weeks have been full of transition, from being on a structured schedule day in and day out to one so unstructured that I have to really think to remember what day of the week it is.

The first week felt like I had just taken a few days off and would be returning shortly to work. The second week was full of emotion as my former job transitioned away from me as well. Last week, I felt like a kid on the first day of summer vacation looking forward to long, lazy months ahead.

This week – I’ve gotten used to not going to work. I’m finding a new rhythm to the days and a new structure to the week. I’m finding ways to keep busy and engaged in new and different things that I didn’t have time to do when I was working.

It’s a beautiful life. And I’m off on my next adventure.


Stamp: Tree of Life by Power Poppy

Luminous Bouquet

I’m still playing catch up with all the new digital releases from Power Poppy this week. This is the last one that I needed to color (yes – needed!). Just look at all those beautiful flowers and leaves! To be honest, this image was a little overwhelming when I looked at it the first time because, well — LOOK AT ALL THOSE FLOWERS AND LEAVES! But I just took it one flower at a time, making one color decision at a time. I matched the colored image with a rainbow plaid from Lawn Fawn and a scalloped die from Tonic and by the end it all came together.


Paper: Neenah Solar White 80#; Bazzill Basic Cardstock in Quicksand; Rainbow Plaid (*) from the Perfectly Plaid Collection by Lawn Fawn.
Stamps: Luminous Bouquet (*) by Power Poppy; Cuppa Buttercups (*) by Power Poppy (sentiment)
Copics: V01, V04, V06, FV2 (Hydrangeas); G21, G24, YG21 (leaves); G40, G43, G46, RV32, RV95, RV99 (Oxalis leaves); B60, B63, B66, Y02, Y17, YR16 (Clematis); Y02, Y17, YR16 (Peony center); BG0000, BG10, B0000, B000, V01, BV000 (Peony petals)

Items marked with an asterisk (*) were provided by a store or the manufacturer. All other items were personally purchased.