Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Chanukah Gift-Pocket Tag Book

Now that I've shown you how to change SCACD's Kathi's Menorah, Unlit for each night of Chanukah, I'm going to share my latest project that I created with this fun digital stamp!

I created a gift pocket-tag style gift book that is perfect for those who have teenagers who just want gift cards, for spouses that would like a coupon book, and for those distant friends or family who get a gift each and every night of Chanukah! The pocket size is perfect to fit a gift card, tickets, cash, coupons, or a check!

Here are three views of it!

The Cover

The gift-pocket tags for the first four nights

The gift-pocket tags for the last four nights

As in the tutorial below, I created nine different versions of SCACD's Kathi's Menorah, Unlit using PhotoElements. I reduced each of them, then ganged 'em onto a standard letter size, which was then printed out with my laser printer onto Neenah cardstock.

The menorah was relatively small, so I was worried about staying within the lines using my Copic markers and I'm to Virgo to deal with going out of 'em. I wasn't feeling like using colored pencils either, so I was elated to discover that Copic At You Spica glitter pens (also available individually), Wink of Stella glitter markers, Sakura Stardust Pure Glitter pens, and Gelly Roll Glaze pens worked wonderfully. So, I used various combinations of these pens to color all the images. Sadly, you probably can't see the glitter on the Menorahs or the glossy texture of the candles on these photos. You'll have to take my word for it!

The tags were die-cut from black cardstock using the Tag and Bookplates Alterations die. I was able to cut several at a time, which was great.  Each tag was scored at 2 3/8" (big enough for a gift card). 1/8" red-liner tape was used to adhere the bottom and left side of each tag. These were set aside, while I created a background paper for them. Yes. I know I could have used some of my sizeable huge stash of patterned paper, but I felt like making a mess wanted to try something new!

I had recently seen Andy Skinner's brilliant video, Mixed Media Backgrounds, that shows how he creates fabulous backgrounds using Media Fluid Acrylic (MFA) paints by DecoArt and isopropyl alcohol. I wanted to give this technique a try, but guess what? My results are almost completely different than his! However, I was still stoked by the result.

Since I'm a verbose kind of person, I'll explain what I did and where I think I went awry. 

140 lb. Mixed Media cardstock was coated with DecoArt's Media Gesso, which dries quickly. I brushed a wash of Cobalt Blue Hue MFA over it, then dripped and spritzed isopropyl alcohol over the paint and left it to dry. A wash of Primary Magenta MFA was brushed over the previous layer and alcohol was dripped/spritzed over it. The same process was repeated with Dioxazine Purple, then Diarylide Yellow MFAs. I toyed with adding a wash of Titanium White MFA, but my bottle is emptying rapidly, so I opted against it. I also toyed with the idea of stenciling and adding various textural elements, but since so much of the background was going to be covered, I decided against it. Next time.

I must say that I was relatively happy with my background though it bears very little resemblance to the gorgeousness created in Mr. Skinner's video. 

I *think* that I didn't let each layer of paint and alcohol dry thoroughly, which might be why I didn't get the mottled look he achieved. I also used a spritzer in addition to just dripping and maybe there was just too much alcohol involved (isopropyl – as I don't drink and craft), but I'm not at all sure.

Back to the project! The next step was to cut up the painted background to be placed behind each Menorah. I was able to get all nine panels from the 9" x 12" sheet of cardstock with enough left over so that I could die-cut the ring/hole reinforcements.

The edges of the reinforcement, background panels, and image panels were sponged with either Archival ink by Ranger or Memento ink by Tsukineko.

The title page tag was trimmed to be a bit larger than the pocket pages. The image panel was edged with Black Soot Distress ink, then matted on shimmery black vellum. This vellum was also die-cut with dies from the Handwritten set of dies by Little B.

The booklet was bound with a binding ring and a Hamsa charm was added using ribbon and jump rings.

Thanks for visiting today!

I shall enter this booklet into the following challenges:
The Crafter's Cafe Challenges: Christmas/ Holiday Season
Altered Eclectics: Anything Goes
Party Time Tuesdays: Anything Goes
Scrapy Land Challenge #7: Anything Goes


  1. What a great pocket-tag book Kath... I remember this video from Andy Skinner!!! I didn't try it yet (I have no isopropyl alcool), but tried another one to create another fantastic layered background... Put a Bunny designed by Roc onto it, and send the board to... Andy himself! (to thank him for his fabulous frame received as a giveaway organized by Decoart, knowing you I'm sure you remember that). So thnak you Kathi for reminding me to watch these videos again and retry!!! :) Hugs Coco Xx

  2. I love the gift pocket tags!! Such a great idea! Thanks for playing along with us at Scrapy Land Challenge #7!

  3. Such a cool idea, Kathi! Love the beautiful backgrounds you created for each one! Love the coloring, too! What a lot of work, huh? ;^)
    Hugs, Penny

  4. This is a wonderful idea! Very pretty as well! Thanks for joining us at Scrapy Land!

  5. Brilliant design so cleverly created

    Thanks for joining Altered Eclectics

  6. Beautiful tag book. Thank you for sharing with us at Altered Eclectics Challenge

  7. Lovely idea. Beautiful.

    Thanks for sharing at Altered Eclectics.
    Lisa - Altered Eclectics DT.

  8. Great pocket tag book, and a wonderful idea - we all know those teenagers who no longer want proper presents! Thanks for sharing with us at Altered Eclectics ~ Steffi :o) xx

  9. Thank you for sharing your beautiful tag with us at Altered Eclectics.
    xxx Hazel.

  10. What a clever idea! Those teenagers can be difficult to shop for, can't they! I lurve Andy Skinner too. Thanks for joining us over at Altered Eclectics. Hugs, Erin xx