Tag with Napkin Collage & Embellishments

Tag with Napkin Collage & Embellishments2017-12-27T11:25:34-05:00

Project Description

In early August 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio, I’ll be teaching four classes at Stampaway –  one of the best stamp shows in the country. One class, Retro Deco Revival Art Tags, features five tags with five techniques using a variety of materials. This Mermaid Tag is the basis for one of the tags in that class.

Mermaid Stamp from JudiKinsFrom the minute I saw Judikins Mermaid stamp (2814 I, catalog page 130) I fell in love with it. Her long curvy body and wispy hair is gorgeous. I knew her hair and tail would look amazing painted with USArtQuest MicaColors watercolors. They would give her just the right amount of shimmer.

To begin this project, stamp the mermaid on watercolor paper with embossing ink and heat emboss with fine black embossing powder. Carefully color her skin and bathing suit top with Copic markers (Skin E00 & Chinese Orange YR09). Mermaid Stamp with Mica WatercolorsThen paint her hair and tail with MicaColor watercolors (Metallic Misty Lavender and Brilliant Gold). Fussy cut out the mermaid. I used a Zing electronic cutting machine which cuts so fine it was able to cut out the spaces between the strands of her hair!

Mermaid Tag Preparing to CollageCut out a tag shape from heavy white cardstock or illustration board. Using Perfect Paper Adhesive (PPA), collage napkins on to the tag to create an underwater scene. You can use glossy or matte. Unlike other adhesives, PPA isn’t sticky, so it’s easy to work with delicate papers, like a single ply of napkin. When you’re finished collaging, cover the entire tag with PPA and then lightly sprinkle some Mermaid Tag - CollagedCrystal Effectz over it, to give the scene extra sparkle. Use the PPA to adhere fibers to the tag to create seaweed.

Once the collage is dry, you’re ready to create a sandy ocean floor. Take a small amount of Artist’s Cement 101 Heavy and mix it with some Perfect Pigment Pure Liquid Acrylic (Burnt Umber). By doing this, any cement that isn’t covered by sand will be the color of the acrylic rather than white.

Mermaid Tag with Artist's CementThere are two types of Artist’s Cement; Light and Heavy. Both dry to an opaque matte finish. 101 Heavy dries to a very hard finish, while 101 Light is more flexible when dry.  I think it’s probably called cement because of how well it bonds things together, rather than it’s texture when wet. When I first opened the jar, it immediately reminded me of Pond’s Cold Creme my mother used 40 years ago. It’s silky smooth, creamy and very soft. You can form soft peaks with it and create great textures that can later be painted, sanded, carved, etc.

Use a small palette knife, popsicle stick or coffee stir stick to mix the Cement with the acrylic paint and apply it to the bottom of the tag, creating a textured ocean floor, just a bit thinner than 1/4″.  Mermaid Tag with Artist's Cement - sand and shellsPour some sand over the Cement , shaking off the excess. Press some small shells in to the Cement and let it dry overnight.

Mermaid Tag piecesTo assemble the tag, punch a hole at the tap, add an eyelet and thread some ribbon through it. Use pop-dots to attach the mermaid to the tag.

USArtQuestTo see more USArtQuest projects, visit the USArtQuest blog.

Happy Crafting!     Joe





  1. Micki Switzer May 24, 2012 at 9:55 am - Reply

    Did you scan in a copy of the mermaid already stamped so that you could create an SVG file to cut on your Zing? Thanks for your time. This is a great tag.

    • Joe Rotella May 24, 2012 at 6:32 pm - Reply

      There are a couple of different ways to print and cut a stamped image, but in this case, I stamped the image, scanned it, and then loaded in to Make The Cut. When you print the image in Make The Cut, it adds registration marks in the four corners. The Zing supports a laser alignment which aligns to the registration marks and then fussy cuts out the image.

  2. Martha Richardson May 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    Love the mermaid…love the tag!

  3. Sharon Gullikson May 25, 2012 at 8:18 am - Reply

    LOVE it, and love that a man made it!

  4. Tammy May 25, 2012 at 9:15 am - Reply

    Joe!! I am so thankful to have been introduced to you via Want S Scrap and Glue Arts giveaway:) I am just about to purchase a zing and to see how beautifully it cut out your mermaid—is the cherry on top for me!!! You are definitely gifted!! thank you for sharing!!! be blessed

    ~Beyond Measure


    • Joe Rotella May 26, 2012 at 4:07 am - Reply

      Hi Tammy! Thanks for your note!! If you haven't decided where to purchase yet, I am a Zing dealer and I offer free unlimited support with purchase!! It is an amazing machine and I just LOVE what I can do with it! I would be happy to answer any questions you have or chat about it. You're always welcome to try my cell at 614.537.7077. Thanks! Joe

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