Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Crackled, Resisted, Oxidized Graduation Plaques Inspired by InStyle!

That title was a mouthful, but I don't know how else to describe these Graduation presents, that were inspired by InStyle Magazine's April 2018 issue, in the article Instant Style Color. You just never know how and where inspiration will strike, but I almost always find Art inspiration in each issue...go figure!!! With my daughter's graduation looming this month, I needed presents for her very close friends, and the minute I saw the article with five color palettes, I knew just what to make. Grab some sustenance, as it's a long post.
It took me a few days to complete all five, but after you make the first, the rest are all assembly line type work. They are going from girls to women, out in the crazy world by themselves, and the quotes from Tim's Pennant Stamp Set from Stamper's Anonymous were perfect for just that!
I gathered up Tim Holtz's Distress Oxides from Ranger, matching the colors from the five color combo inspirations (Tropical Swirl, Berry Crush, Fire and Ice, Lush Lagoon, and Orchid Bouquet...don't you just love the names?!!), and the rest just came together.
Using the Small Thickboard Etcetera Tags as bases, I used Collage Medium in Matte to adhere Worn Wallpaper pieces that I thought worked well with each color scheme. I applied Crackle Paste around the edges of the Wallpaper, and let this dry.
I hadn't tried the new Distress Resist Spray yet, and what a treat it was!!! I laid the Trellis Layering Stencil over the boards, and then misted the Resist Spray in. It dried very quickly, which I loved. FYI...wash stencils quickly or let them soak in water after using them with Distress Resist Spray.
I added all three colors of Oxides to each board, straight from the pad, to the crackled areas, and then misted the boards liberally with Antique Linen Distress Spray Stain, and let the ink go where it wanted to, while the stain outlined the resist image. I let it soak it real well, and then used a rag to remove any left over spray from the Wallpaper area. The trellis design was of course resisted because of the Resist that.
To bring out the trellis design more, I inked over each board with regular ol' Antique Linen Distress Ink, and then cleaned up areas of the Wallpaper with a rag and water. LOVE LOVE LOVE! Now you can see the trellis design well. I also added more Oxides to the areas in the crackle that I thought needed darkening using a Mini Ink Tool.
I applied all three colors of Oxides to the craft sheet, misted with water, and then dredged a #8 Mixed Media Heavystock Tag through, along with a #5 Kraft tag, drying in between layers, and dredging again and again until I liked the look. The Oxides layer so well without muddying up between dried layers. When I liked the results, I gave each tag a light misting of water to further oxidize the colors. SWOON! I could have done this all much fun. I of course, repeated this for all the color combinations.
Loved the resist so much, I had to do more. I used the same stencil and misted the Resist Spray over each tag, this time going heavier with the spray. It actually makes the colors brighter and the layers more that. Tired of me saying LOVE yet?!!
Once the Resist Spray was dry, I applied Antique Linen Distress Paint over the tags, and wiped off the paint from the resisted stencil areas, so the paint lightly outlined the design.  I love how each one came out, very soft and shabby chic. A few of the tags were so light that the paint was not showing as much, so I added more paint and wiped off until it was more noticeable. I also applied the paint to the edges of the tags and the edge of the boards (applying two coats) for a framed look. I placed the smaller kraft tag inside a small Cabinet Card, hole side down, and then tied a cheaters bow to the tag using ribbon from torn up wedding dresses that I bought who knows where, but I need some more. I affixed a Jeweled Charm to each bow.
I adhered the tags onto the boards with Adhesive Strips, painted the holes for the boards with more Antique Linen and adhered them on with Multi Matte Medium. I inked over the edged of the girl and women Paperdolls with Antique Linen Distress Ink (First time for that as I always use a darker brown.), and colored in a few places on them with Distress Markers. I did the same with the Botanical flower pieces and the Quote Chip, and then adhered all of them on. I stamped the Pennant sentiments with Jet Black Archival onto more Heavystock, cut them out, inked them, and added those on. Then, I added the metal pieces using Multi Matte, and since the Jeweled Charm had rhinestones on it, I added more rhinestones to the butterfly and bow centers for a cohesive look. I inked over a cluster of Bouquet Flowers with one of the Oxide Ink colors for each board, and adhered them onto the Botanical flowers. Last, I tied on more wedding dress ribbon to the hole for hanging.
    Tropical Swirl

Berry Crush
This one was my favorite...I just love Aged Mahogany! My daughter ended up picking this one too!

Fire and Ice

Lush Lagoon

Orchid Bouquet
Each girl got to select their color combo choice first, and then they got to see and take their plaque...more fun that way. Needless to say, all were happy, and that of course, that made me happy. 
Until next time, 'see possibility everywhere'!!! 


I hope your hands get creatively dirty soon!


  1. So pretty! I'm sure the girls were thrilled and will treasure them.

  2. These are fabulous, Anita! (Talk about great minds though... I've just been making something very similar (though not nearly as vividly colourful, of course, and only one of them!) though it's not due for posting for another ten days or so... you'll laugh when you see it. Brilliant to see the inspiration which kicked you off on this creative spurt - I like seeing the process right from the start!
    Alison x

  3. Oh my goodness Anita, I can’t get enough of the wonderful color schemes! I think I should scope out some magazines soon! These tags are gorgeous and what a special gift for the girls, a treasure to remind them that the future is theirs for the taking! So many awesome techniques, in LOVE!!! Thank you for sharing.

  4. These are fabulous, Anita. Your source of inspiration for these was in itself inspired! Love all 5 variations . Graduation gifts to treasure . x

  5. As always Anita, you inspire me! I love seeing how you build up your layers, add your embellies and beautiful jewel colours. There are five lucky young ladies who will adore these beauties! I just LOVE the way your mind works! Hugs, Anne xx

  6. Wow, that is about the only word I can use to describe! The colours, the resist spray (which I have just purchased). Glad to see how much fun you have had with it. Did you just use water to clean the resist off the stencil?? I think that is what Tim said to do. I can't stop looking at the tags, they really are great!

    1. Hi...yes, water, and do it right after you use the stencil if you don't want bumps from the resist on it, but it does toughen up the! Thanks for commenting!

  7. Oh my word, Anita! This is such a detailed tutorial! Thank you! The tags are amazing graduation messages. I just know your daughter and her friends will treasure them.

  8. oh my friend!!! absolutely love how you created these and the tutorial is awesome!! loving the colour palette choices and how you executive each and every one of them!


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