Tuesday, March 1, 2022

"Just Hold On" with Saltwater Taffy

Hello Friends,

Happy to be here today to begin sharing the first of three projects I created for the new Distress Color.  This is a color I have been waiting for all year!  I knew this color was missing from the palette of Distress and I am so happy it is here to fill the void!  If you missed Tim's reveal of the new color, you can watch it HERE (swatches, samples and all).

Saltwater Taffy

Lets get started with the project for today!
Start by coloring at least five #8 tags.  I always like to color a few extra so I have a choice when putting the tags together.  The extra can always be stashed away for later. 
I use the Ranger Distress Heavystock tags that hold up to most wet mediums like ink and glue.  My colors of choice today are Salvaged Patina, Saltwater Taffy and Fossilized Amber but many combinations will work for the tags.  I have to say, this combination is one of my absolute favorites.
Once you have your tags colored and they are dry to the touch, put them in order as they will appear in the book. Then one by one, stamp and emboss the tags using the Floral Outline Stamp.  You only need small portions of the stamp (any of the three in the set will work).  The Saltwater Taffy Embossing Glaze looks mighty orange in the jar but as you can see, it's perfect once melted on the tags.
Once you have the embossing done it's time to sew the tags together.  I added a 1" strip of paper on the backside to keep the tags together before sewing (make sure you leave a bit of room so the tags can fold up).  Once tags are secure, sew down both sides.  Repeat, combining all five tags in one long strip.
NOTE: My sewing machine sews great on the top, but the back always looks terrible (need to have my machine serviced) so I know full well that I will be covering the sewing on the back with linen tape.  I'll show that part a little bit later.
Next, I cut and scored two pieces of Mixed Media Heavystock - you can make these any size you wish and they do not have to be even (meaning the fold does not have to be in the center).  Once cut, I stamped the Ornate background stamp using Saltwater Taffy Oxide Ink and let it dry completely.  
I stitched the edges of the insert, then stitched the insert directly into the seam (if you are a sewer, "stitch in the ditch" is the correct term).  I made two inserts, stitching them between tags 2-3 and tags 4-5.  If you are confused where to stitch the inserts in, fold your book up and the book will let you know, since they have to be sewn in the "valley" not the "mountain".
So here you go.  There is the paper strip (on the left) I used to connect the tags - bad stitching and all.  The Linen Tape on the right, wide enough to cover the paper and the stitching, giving me a cleaned up back as well as supporting the fold.
Once you have all your tags together, you can add any embellishments or words you wish.  You can use family photos or Paper Dolls like I did.  Ephemera, letters, numbers, Remnant Rubs, stickers, really anything!  
To keep the tag book closed, I wrapped rust colored idea-ology Velvet Ribbon around the book.  Here is the trick to making the knot smaller when using thick ribbon:
  1. Wrap ribbon around book so that it overlaps about 1".  Cut ribbon.
  2. Use a small amount of hot glue to connect the overlapped ribbon.  You should have created a "band" that slips off and on the book with ease.
  3. Cut another piece of ribbon about 3" long.
  4. Slip the 3" piece under the band and tie a knot.  Trim ends.
And there you have it.  You get a smaller knot that is easy to control.
I sewed the outside edge of the front and back tags so it matched the rest in the series.  
Create small collages with Worn Wallpaper cut out flowers (they come pre-cut in the package), ephemera and a photobooth photo.  I used a POSCA paint pent to add details to all the people.  Here, I added a pearl necklace.
Worn Wallpaper was added to the insert.  A piece of ephemera was folded over a stapled on).
Inside the insert I started a phrase that will continue onto other pages.  
I used 1/4" Scor-tape to keep the letters in place, then pressed them onto the insert.  You can sew across the top like I did or leave them as is.
Back of the insert.
Ephemera + Worn Wallpaper floral
Notice the pen work on her dress?  I love adding details like this.  A pink Classic Label makes a great halo.
I wasn't sure how to connect the ampersand and the word Grace, so I hand-cut a large flower from Worn Wallpaper and added it under the ampersand and over the word Grace. That gave the two things connectivity, so the ampersand didn't look as if it was just floating around on the tag.

For the second insert, I added more Worn Wallpaper (greens and blues) and another photobooth photo. BTW: all the seam binding/rayon ribbon was white and I have sprayed it with Saltwater Taffy!
I found this saying in the Clippings Sticker book so I felt she needed a crown on her head.  I cut this one using the Metallic Kraft-Stock from idea-ology.
This is something that I did BEFORE I ever sewed the insert into the book.  I used the new Bold Text 1 Thinlit die to cut a sentiment into the page.  I did add a piece of vellum over the back to obscure the view of the final tag.  Worn Wallpaper was added to the top of the page, combining the wallpaper sheets with a cut piece.
Here is a view of the back of the book once I finished adding all the Linen Tape strips.  You can see where I stitched the Mini Marque words to the pages and I'm fine with that!
I have made MANY tags books over the years and I will continue to make more because I just love them.  They are easy, forgiving, and can become almost anything you want them to be.  I think it was the perfect way to show off the new Distress color, Saltwater Taffy!  Don't you?

now carry on,


  1. Ooooh! Ahhhh! Beautiful! This is another that I will be saving for ideas for future projects. I love that I can customize andy of your makes to suit the person I will be giving it to!

  2. I absolutely love this! It's gorgeous. Thanks for going to the trouble of taking photos and documenting how you made it. I love the colour combination and it is so intricate!

  3. Stitching the the tags onto the linen is brilliant. I too have a machine that leaves the back a little wonky...lol. We should service them together. LOL! So gorgeous Paula, and the colors perfection!