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Tag Techniques for Cards!

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Card Projects by Sharon M. Reinhart

Tags are one of the most versatile resources around! They are a great stand-alone item for use as gift tags, but they are equally as great when combined with elements to create cards. Their versatility exists with the variety of tags that can be used. There is an abundance of premade tags in a range of sizes, shapes and styles, such as tiny jewelry tags, price tags, shipping tags and even metal-edged tags that can usually be found at office-supply stores. Shipping tags are sometimes used as accents and to create mini books in scrapbooking and paper-crafting circles, so don't forget to check out your local craft stores. You may even be lucky enough to come across some vintage printed tags!

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Tags may also be created with the use of punches or die templates. Again, the variety of sizes, shapes and styles of tools to create tags is also vast. There are thin metal die templates and steel-rule die templates, the latter allowing for thicker materials such as chipboard, felt, canvas and fabric to be cut. Depending on the template being used, it is often necessary to stabilize fabric with an iron-on backing or to attach the fabric to a label sheet before die-cutting. Some thin metal die templates and punches may also have coordinating rubber-stamp images, which add another great element to a card.

Another option that exists is to recycle price tags and garment tags. They can be used as is for an altered-art card or use them as a base for other papers and elements.

Project 1 makes use of a simple kraft shipping tag. Adding distress ink to the edges of a tag and the companion elements provides another dimension to the card. To dress up the reinforced hole of a shipping tag, simply punch a cardstock circle, fold it in half, and then adhere it over the edge of the tag. This will take the tag from everyday to dressy. It's kind of like taking a business outfit from day to evening!

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Project 1

Another type of tag used on Project 1 is the tiny jewelry tag. This little gem provides further interest with its decorative shape. It can be stamped with a background image, but it also makes the perfect surface for tiny word stamps. If your stamps are not tiny enough, simply cut words from book print, scrapbooking paper or computer-generate the desired words. Continue to layer elements onto the card and tag until the desired effect is achieved.

In Project 2, a steel-rule die has been used to create the tag portion. As mentioned previously, steel-rule die templates are capable of cutting a variety of materials of varying thickness. This particular tag is cut from a shimmer cardstock. Further dimension has been added to this tag with the use of an embossing folder. Using embossing folders on tags is another way to add texture and interest to the design. Try embossing the entire tag or possibly just a portion of it. To further accent the embossed design, lightly apply ink to just the raised portion. Or try lightly sanding the raised portion for a slightly distressed effect.

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Project 2

Another fun thing to do with tags is to make them somewhat interactive by making a pocket or area for the tag to slide into. There are many products that work very well as pockets, or it is simple to create your own. To create a pocket, layer a smaller piece of cardstock onto the bottom of another with the print side facing up. An optional touch (which should be completed prior to attaching the cardstock together) is to punch a partial circle on the top edge. Be sure to apply narrow double-sided adhesive to only three sides, leaving an opening for the tag to be slipped into. Pockets may also be created with the use of some readily available items such as coin or RSVP envelopes, library pockets and mini paper sacks. A large tag itself can become a pocket as well by simply folding the lower portion up and securing with tape at each side. Clear name-badge holders work beautifully to hold a decorated tag or a tag with a message that just needs to be seen!

The tag shown in Project 3 has also been created with a steel-rule die template. This particular one is from Stampin' Up. Along with cutting the tag shape, it also generates a scored line in order to fold the tag in half and cuts a tab at the top for the bottom of the tag to be slipped under. This tag may be used as shown with the folded edge along the bottom or with the folded edge at the left side, to imitate a little booklet. The folded tag, shown here, serves as a base to showcase part of the sentiment on the front and the rest of the sentiment on the inside. A small white price tag is used to accent the top of the folded tag and has been embellished with washi tape and a die-cut layered cardstock flower.

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Project 3

Another great use for tags is to use them to create accordion cards. The tags can be joined using labels, paper hinges or strips of paper. For a couple of additional ideas on using tags please check the Accordion Cards article in our newsletter archives.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to working with tags on cards. There are more variations and techniques in which tags can be used than what we are able to share in this one newsletter issue. The thing to keep in mind is that tags create wonderful surfaces suitable for many techniques. Don't be afraid to manipulate the tag by folding, punching, layering, scrunching, spraying, stamping, embossing, die-cutting, stitching whew! -- and the list goes on and on! Tag -- you're it; it's your turn to give tags a try!