Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Alison Manning: Found Papers Tag Book

I made this tag book a while ago and I figured this would be the perfect time to share it with you because we're concentrating on collage resources this month. Sharon shared some great collage resources a few weeks ago and if you're a member of the Gingersnaps Yahoo Group (all are welcome!) there's an extensive database of not only collage and altered art items, but rubber stamps and patterned paper available to you.

These ladies are from an ARTchix Studio collage sheet called Loveliness and I adore buying collage sheets, but I want you to remember that you can find things to collage with everywhere you go. You'll find a few ideas as you make your way through this (long) post!

I wasn't thinking about a tutorial when I made the book, it just took shape as I added layer after layer. But I have recreated one tag to show you how I made the background. It started out as a Tazo tea advertisement (source: Starbucks).

I applied a layer of gesso on the front and back of the tag. You might wonder why I did this when I collage over the whole thing. The reason is that it strengthens the pages, especially applying it on both sides, so I can add as many layers of paint, paper and ink as I like. And it gives some tooth to the surface, making it easier to adhere things to it.

Next come the collage papers, which I attached with Golden's soft gel medium (I swear by Golden products). The papers are an old letter (source: a flea market), a Swedish map (source: tourism office while traveling) and a piece of printed tissue paper (source: packing from some lotion purchased at the mall).

I trimmed the edges with a sharp craft knife and sanded them.

I made a small amount of Burnt Umber glaze by combining a teaspoon of gel medium and a very small amount of paint about the size of my pinkie finger nail (very technial!). I applied two layers of the glaze, wiping it off and allowing to dry between each layer.

Next comes some stamping, more sanding and inking around edges.

Once I was happy with the background, I mounted my lovely lady onto a piece of a page from an old book (source: library book sale) and adhered her to the tag. The finishing touches are a copper eyelet, fibers (source: local knitting store) plus a stamped word and some trim (source: scrapbooking store).

Next time you're out and about, keep your eyes open for items for your collage stash - you will find them in unexpected places. And I'm always looking for new ideas, so please leave a comment if you have an interesting or unusual source that you'd like to share.


  1. WOW!! This is so gorgeous!! I love the beautiful details on this!! Thanks so much for sharing it!

  2. FAB GF, thanks for all the knowledge! hugz...

  3. Awesome work Ali!! I swear by Goldens too. I never thought to add the glaze to the gel medium, great tip!

  4. Ali, this project is soooo gorgeous!!! Thanks for showing all the steps involved in the backgrounds... I envy those of you who can do these so well, and it's so very nice of you to share your process! Now I feel as though I can try it myself (time to start doing, instead of just looking and wishing I could do it!) Wonderful, beautiful work!

  5. This is very, very cool!! Great idea.

  6. Where have I been? I love, love your tag, beautiful ladies book. I have collected anqique paper and "stuff" for years. This is another great idea to use some of the treasure!! This is a great site and I will return often.

  7. Great tutorial. Thankyou for sharing. Maybe I will try this for the tutorial challenge....


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