Friday, August 16, 2019


Hello friends!
There have been a lot of questions lately from the Tim Holtz Addicts Facebook group about using Distress Crayons with ephemera.  To be honest, all one needs to do is Google Distress Crayons or search Pinterest to find the information but since you're here anyway....this simple Vignette Tray Project has step-outs using Distress Crayons over ephemera so it might be a good visual.  Remember, as long as you start with a SLICK SURFACE it works perfectly every single time.  If you don't have a slick surface...then just add a coat of Collage Medium to create one.

Paint the outside of the small Vignette Tray with black paint.
Line the tray with paper.  I used paper from the Memoranda Paper Stash.
I also added Design Tape around the lip edge of the tray.
You might need to add a touch of Collage Medium on the corners where the Design Tape criss-crosses (it likes to stick to things, not itself).
Once adhered, I sanded it lightly and inked the edge.

I wanted to create a collage background so I cut a piece of chipboard as a foundation.  I also sanded a few pieces of Ephemera to use in the collage.
Lay them out in a pleasing pattern and adhere with Collage Medium.  Add a layer of CM over the top and let dry.
Once dry, scribble Walnut Stain Distress Crayon (my favorite brown) over the surface.
Rub with a damp fingertip.

Use a wet wipe to pounce lightly over the surface to mottle the rubbed surface.  If you wipe too much off you can easily add more.  The pouncing should make the surface more realistic looking (compare with the picture above).
NOTE: Remember, that wet wipes come in a variety of "wetness" (is that a real word?).  If you pull a wet wipe from the package and water drips off the's too darn wet.  Of course wet wipes should be wet, but you shouldn't be able to ring water from them.  Once a year I buy the giant box of individual packs from Costco (Kirkland brand).  They are the perfect "wetness" (there's that word again) and I never run out.  Just saying.
I love where the crayon has built up around the edge of the red piece of ephemera.
This is the finished result of the pouncing.  Very different looking than when the crayon was just rubbed on.
Adhere ephemera piece to a Vinette Panel for stability.  Set aside.
I colored the boys from the current Paper Doll pack using Distress Crayon and a Waterbrush (perfect for getting in the small detail areas).  I cut masks for the boys using the new Masquerade die.
One thing that is a must do is to add a Sizzix Adhesive Sheet to the cardstock BEFORE cutting.  That means you only have to peel off the protective sheet on the back and stick it on any Paper Doll. The  Adhesive Sheets come in 6 x 6" sheets or 2 1/2 x 4 1/4" (sized for the Sidekick).  I like to use the whole sheet on a piece of cardstock, so when I need to cut something small (like a couple masks) I just grab a piece that is already prepped and cut away.

The Masquerade mini masks fit all the sizes of Paper Dolls...even dogs!
To create the base, I used three 4" pieces of Etcetera Trim (pinked).  I glued them together and painted them with Gesso.
Once the Gesso was dry I added Opaque Crackle Texture Paste and let that dry.
Scribble with a Distress Crayon.
I used a damp paintbrush to move the crayon around and get it into the cracks.
Hardware Heads were added to each end (love these things).
Then I glued the ephemera portion into the small Vignette Tray.
I added foam square to the back of the trim to raise it up from the tray.
Just like that it's in!
I had an old paintbrush I picked up at some flea market and decided to wrap heavy wire around the neck.  I left the raw ends of the wire facing down so that when I placed the brush over the ephemera it would look like the wire went right through the surface.
To create the illusion, I placed the paintbrush over the background.  I used a pen to mark the spot where the wire will appear to go into the board.  Then used an awl and hammer to make the holes (remember there is a wood Vignette Panel under the ephemera).
I added Foam Squares to the back of the paint brush to secure to the ephemera and raise it up (the heavy wire made too much of a bump on the back to use Collage Medium as an adhesive).
You can also see where I added a very small amount of Collage Medium where the wire is stuck into the hole I made with the awl (it will dry clear). 

You can see that the elbow of the boy sits up again the paintbrush to appear as if he is leaning on it. 
 I did add Foam Squares to the back of the boys so they are raised up off the surface.
And one last thing...a Clippings Sticker...probably my most used product of the entire line.  Seems like these little word stickers fit with every project I make.

Well I hope you like some of the ideas in todays post from using Distress Crayons to color to Adhesive Sheets for small die cuts to creating illusions in art!  All good things!
Now carry on,


  1. Fabulous tips Paula! Thanks for sharing them!

  2. Always an honor to be taught by the master. Thank you so much Paula for sharing your brilliance!

  3. Such a fun project for any vintage lover!!! FANTASTIC!!!! Awesome tips for the Distress crayons too, Paula! Thanks so much!

  4. I can never get enough of your makes! Always fresh and new ideas. (At least to me!)

  5. It's always such a treat to watch your art unfold, Paula! Thanks for sharing! xxx