The challenge was to create a tag that Claire Brennan (owner of Waltzingmouse stamps) would like herself. There were so many lovely Waltzingmouse stamps to chose from, many of which have fun and quirky sentiments, but in the end I decided to use mostly stamps from the "secret set" - Santa Was Here. I wanted my tags to be from Santa himself - and after all, Claire had designed all the stamps herself, so she ought to like them!
I started by cutting three large tags from cream, mottled beige and red card stock using the Tim Holtz Tags and Bookplates Alterations die by Sizzix. Then I used the smallest die from the Waltzingmouse Opera Tags die set to cut two tiny tag toppers from each colour card and stamp them with the corresponding stamp from the Opera Tags stamp set. For this project I used just two inkpads throughout - Memento Tuxedo Black and PTI Pure Poppy. I used strong double sided tape to stick the tag toppers in pairs to the tags, punched a hole through each with my Crop-A-Dile and added a pair of red card washers to the cream one, before trimming the tops level with the top of each tag.
On the top right of each tag I stamped "Ho! Ho! Ho!" from the Nutcracker Sweet stamp set. The stamp is actually set out horizontally, but I wanted to stamp the sentiment vertically to save space, so I just inked up the first "Ho!" and stamped it carefully three times beneath each other. I did the same thing with the "You're on my "Nice" list" sentiment (From Santa Was Here) to fit it onto the bottom left of each tag.
A lot of the Waltzingmouse stamps have been designed to fit with existing Spellbinders dies. This is such a good idea and makes it so easy to get a professional looking finish! I used a Spellbinders label die to cut three labels from cream card and then stamped them with the Santa's Workshop stamp from the "Santa Was Here" set using Pure Poppy red ink. I also stamped a further three images in black ink on cream card, fussy cut the central shaped area and layered them on top of the full labels using foam pads. I also stamped the smaller label a few more times in red and black on the cream and the mottled beige card stock and cut the different layers out - again stacking them up with foam pads. The red and beige tags actually have five layers to each of the labels (and there are four layers on the cream tag).
I have quite a few Spellbinders dies, so I had a look through them all to find a pretty circular shaped one that would fit the Chief Elf badge stamp (from Santa Was Here), together with a small plain circle die for the centre sentiment part of the badge. I cut four of the pretty circles from the red card, one from cream card and one from the beige card. Then I cut two small circles from cream card, one from beige card and three larger circles from the cream card. The three large cream circles were stuck to three of the pretty circles and the remaining die cuts were all stamped with the Chief Elf badge stamp and layered up using foam pads. I wanted to create a "dial" effect to show "Naughty" and "Nice" so I used a fine liner pen to write on the cream circles and made an arrow shaped pointer using one of the elf footprint stamps from the "Santa Was Here" set and the narrow chain effect stamp from the "2011 Holiday Ornaments" stamp set. I trimmed away the lower part of the dial to avoid too much bulk then stuck everything down to the tags using double sided tape. Finally, I added ribbon to the tops of the tags - printed cream twill ribbon stapled to the red tag and red seam binding tied to the other two tags.
Although these tags were very time consuming to make they were so much fun to do! They are also just that little bit different from anything else I've seen so I can't wait to use them on my Christmas gifts this year!