Category Archives for Mixed Media

Mixed Media Projects – Beginner Mixed Media Tag Bird & Flowers by Heidi Berthiaume

Mixed media is a way of making art that incorporates pretty much anything you want it to – paper, fabric, photographs, stamps, stencils, ink pads, colored pencils, markers, gelatos, watercolor, sentiments, 3D accents, jewelry bits, etc.  

Which is why I found mixed media really overwhelming when I started out.

For this blog post, I’d like to show you a simple way to create a mixed media tag you can keep or give as a gift.

You’ll need minimal supplies, including the Tim Holtz Distress Ink Kit. This can be bought online, or at a local craft store (and usually works with coupons!).

And this printable. Click on the image to download the hi-res version. This is from a magazine published in 1901, so it goes great with the aged/shabby chic look we’ll create.

Here’s a photo of how my tag turned out so you can see what we’re heading towards:

Step 1

Print the downloaded .jpg – you can use regular copy paper as this is just a template we’ll use to get the image onto our tag.  

Make sure the image prints at 100% scale. On my Mac, I have to change the Preview settings, as my default, it wants to squeeze that image smaller.

Step 2

Tape one of the #8 tags from the kit onto the page you just printed within the light gray lines – this means you are covering up the bird banner with the tag.

I used blue painter’s tape so it peels off again easily. You can use whatever tape you have, as we’re going to cover the edges with ink, so if a bit of paper rips up, it won’t show.

Step 3

Print the downloaded .jpg again, this time on the tag-taped-to-paper that we just created. This gets the bird banner on our tag. If there are some imperfections, don’t worry – it works well with the vintage look we’re working on.

Step 4

Remove the tag from the paper and color the tag. I used Copic markers and only colored the bird and flowers. You can color as much or as little as you wish.

Step 5

Now we’re going to use each of the Distress Ink pads that came in the Tim Holtz kit to build up layers of antiquing on the tag. I start with the lightest color, Antique Linen, and use the foam pad with the stamper to add ink at the edges and in random places in the middle of the tag. You can use your finger, a Q-tip – whatever you want to get the ink on the tag.

Step 6

Next, add some of the middle color, Vintage Photo.


Step 7

I like a really grungy, dark look, so I added the darkest color, Walnut Stain.  If you want to leave your tag less dirty, skip this step.


Step 8

Also optional, add a ribbon. This was a scrap I found that matched my bird and flower colors.

Step 9

You may, or may not, want to work on the back of your tag. Since I used Copic markers, there was a bit of bleed through to the back, so I’m going to cover that up using layers of the three inks. This time I did apply the ink pad directly to the tag as I didn’t care about leaving hard lines or keeping clear of a design.

Congratulations – you’ve created a mixed media tag!!!

– – – – – – – –

Now …  If you want add more layers to your tag, go for it!  Each person “finishes” a mixed media piece in their own way based on what supplies they have and what looks good to them.

Here’s a few more steps of how I added more layers using art supplies I had in my stash.

Step 10

Tree stencil and Tim Holtz Distress Ink Peeled Paint, which is a dull, dark green.

Step 11

Not fond of the position of the tree (want more of it on the tag).

So I tried again. The more you mess around with mixed media, the more you will “try again” – there are no mistakes, just the evolution of the design.

Step 12

And now there’s a hard green line on the right side of the tree where I got ink off the edge of the stencil. No problem (we’re evolving, remember?) – I’ll just add additional hard lines of green at an angle and then horizontally above the top of the tree.

HINT: if you do something you’re not happy about, do it again in at least one other place, maybe two places. That way it looks intentional, instead of like a mistake.

Step 13

Added some vines on the top, right corner to balance out the tree in the bottom left corner.

Tag still doesn’t feel finished. Mixed media is all about the layers, so going to add another layer, this time as a pattern over the entire tag using a stencil and Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pumice Stone, a soft gray.

Step 14

While the bird could be the focal point, I decided I wanted a quote on there. Found a lovely little sticker bought who-knows-when. It’s a very clean little sticker though, so rubbed some Antique Linen and Vintage Photo on it.

Step 15

Added the sticker to the tag … and felt it didn’t quite stand out enough. So I drew a line around the edges of the sticker with a Fine Tip Sharpie marker.

Step 16

On the back, I added the same overall stencil pattern with Pumice Stone.

Step 17

And then used Peeled Paint again to add a full tree in the middle, slightly below center.

Step 18

Flipped the tag back over to the front … and the top left and bottom right edges felt empty, so added vines with Peeled Paint. Tied on the ribbon and there we go – my version of a mixed media tag, complete with artist mark and year on the back.  

I really had no idea how this tag was going to turn out when I started it, which is one of the aspects I find most fun about doing mixed media art. I hope you enjoyed this project and would love to see what you created.


How to Create Watercolor Backgrounds for Your Zentangle

Life is a long journey. You can make the most of it only when you can control the everyday pressure and stress of your life.

Let me ask you a few questions:

> Do you feel stressed after a day’s work?
> Do you not feel confident enough?
> Do you go to sleep with lots of worries in your mind?
> Do you struggle to maintain your focus?
> Have you lost the feeling of pride in yourself?

If your answer to all these questions is YES, you really need help. But you don’t need to go to a therapist when the solution is right at your table. Have you ever heard of the art of Zentangle?

What is Zentangle?

Zentangling is a new drawing concept, which is gaining immense popularity all across the globe. Developed by Rick and Maria from Massachusetts, Zentangle is a therapeutic art form. If you draw Zentangle patterns on a daily basis, you’ll notice a huge, positive change in your everyday life.

Zentangle is the art of drawing beautiful, repetitive patterns that will relax your mind and help you be at peace with the world.

Different Zentangle Patterns

There is no limit to how many amazing patterns can be created the Zentangle way. First of all, you create a square shape, a rectangular shape or a circular shape on a white sheet of paper. Second, you divide the shape into multiple smaller sections. Finally, you start filling each section with repetitive lines.

So, every Zentangle pattern is created one line at a time.

There are some official Zentangle patterns that you can easily check out on the web by watching video tutorials. Popular official patterns include Crease, Narwal, Arukas, Munchin etc.

Once you are aware of the basics of Zentangle, you can create your own unique patterns and treasure them in the form of beautiful memories. Or, you can also gift these designs to your near and dear ones.

Creating Backgrounds for Zentangle

Zentangle boosts your creativity manifolds. Just like you draw Zentangle doodles on a white sheet of paper, you can also create them on eye-catching backgrounds of different colors and designs. Drawing Zentangle patterns on a background leads to the creation of something of incredible beauty.

To start with, you can create a wide range of engaging watercolor backgrounds for your Zentangle designs. There are many artists who have already done it for you. You can watch and learn from them.

Here’s a quick video that shows you how to create wonderful watercolor backgrounds for your Zentangle doodles.

  • Pocket-sized lightweight box is ideal for the outdoor artist
  • The set offers a number of mixing surfaces with a slide out palette and a mediums dish
  • It contains 14 half pans of Cotman Water Colour and one Cotman Series 111 Water Colour brush

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