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Friday 17 January 2020

We're All Getting Older! Tutorial

Hello all, it's Alison here with some details of how I created my aged parchment for this month's We're All Getting Older! challenge theme.  There have already been some lovely entries showcasing ways to make something new look old with mixed media supplies - weathering, distressing and antiquing.  There's still plenty of time to play along, and hopefully these simple techniques I'm sharing today will give you another nudge to join us on A Vintage Journey this month.

There are plenty of close-ups of the finished tags to be seen over at Words and Pictures, so here I'll focus on the how-to steps I took to create my torn and weathered parchment papers, as well as a few notes on my "pressed" flowers accompanying the love letters.

I had planned to do my ageing with the help of tea and coffee.  I knew I had a whole heap of already tea-stained tags somewhere, but could I find them?  Could I heck!  So, in a bit of a huff, I decided I would go for a Distress Ink version instead.  I used plain size #8 manila tags, and started with a smooshing of Antique Linen Distress Ink.  I spritzed quite a lot of water on the inky craft mat before pressing my tags down multiple times, drying in between.

Next step was to add some Old Paper drips and smooshes to the mix.  (Of course - Old Paper has to be the perfect Distress Ink colour for old paper!)  I also folded some creases coming in from the edges of the tags and blended on Vintage Photo and Walnut Ink Distress Inks to make them look like the creases have been weathering and cracking over the years.  (Apologies - my camera is playing up at the moment, randomly ignoring various pictures I've taken, so I don't have photos of each of these stages separately.)

I'd also done some inking around the edges of the tags by this point, and now it was time to add some vintage script.  This is a lovely PaperArtsy stamp I got as a little freebie, so I'm afraid I can't tell you what set it comes from.  Maybe some PaperArtsy fan out there knows!  I added random bits of script in Potting Soil Archival, just rolling the unmounted stamp onto the tags in partial stampings.

For extra wear and tear, I did a bit of careful ripping right at the edges of some of the creases.

The "parchment" was looking pretty old and worn by now - though there are some more stages of mouldering and mottling to come in a bit - so I decided to move on to the pressed flowers.  Again, I started with some simple wrinkle-free distressing, smooshing Old Paper, Antique Linen and Bundled Sage Distress Inks onto a large piece of off-white card.

From that I cut some of the gorgeous Wildflower Thinlits stems to go on each tag.

I used Distress Oxides in the same ink colours and a water brush to add extra tinting to each of the flower stems - adding a touch of Stormy Sky now, in both Oxide and Ink form.

Once I had those blues in the flower stems, I decided I'd like the same tones to echo onto the parchment.  I used the Stormy Sky Distress Oxide, spritzed with water on the craft mat, and then flicked onto the tags with a paintbrush to create areas where the paper has been damaged by moisture over the years (the bluish tint has a feeling of wateriness about it).

Mostly I dabbed the Oxide colour up with paper towel before it dried too strongly blue... leaving just a greyish blue hint of tears shed over these long lost "love letters".  And yes, maybe it has gone just a little bit mouldy or mildewy too.

The sharper-eyed amongst you will have noticed I'd added some extra stamping by this point too... the lovely rambling tendrils from the Rubber Dance Weed Love set, stamped in Potting Soil.  This pictures also shows those mildewy splotches in contrast to the warmer background really well.

There are some real vintage pen nibs, altered with Picket Fence Distress Crayon to highlight the lettering.

The final step was to add some still legible words of love to the fading letters, courtesy of my Love Edition quote stamps from PaperArtsy.  They're stamped in Stormy Sky Distress Oxide - a lovely delicate blue.  I just had to work out the exact placement for the panels in relation to the stems and to each other across the triptych of tags.

Believe it or not, those driftwood planks the quotes are mounted on (cut from woodgrain paper using Tim's Planks die, and tinted with DecoArt's Vintage Effect Wash) have been sitting around on my craft desk since summer 2018.  I'd planned some sort of beachy, summery creation, but it didn't work out, and they've been looking for a home ever since.  See... you can just never throw anything away!

I'm happy with my aged parchment, and those weathered driftwood planks add another new-to-old element to the whole project.  I like the contrast of the warm sepia and the cooler blues of the flower stems, especially with the mildewy echoes in the background to balance the overall look. 

I hope you've been enjoyed seeing the steps along the way to this aged and weathered trio of tags, and I hope it will inspire you to turn something new into something old, or create some vintage antiquing effects, and share your project with us this month at A Vintage Journey.  After all, We're All Getting Older! ... so we might as well travel that path together!

And just a little cheeky heads-up that I've got another project full of ageing, weathering and distressing coming up at Words and Pictures.  So if you're still in need of inspiration for the challenge, there'll be some more for you there tomorrow!  Thanks so much for stopping by today, and happy crafting all.
Alison xx


  1. always great to see the "how to" steps.. gorgeous tags.

  2. Your tags are a visual delight Alison and seeing the 'how to' steps simply adds to the enjoyment. I adore the colours and your 'aging' techniques worked perfectly. Thank you for sharing the processes. x

  3. A wonderful post Alison ! full of great tips on how to get that aged look, that you are such a master of. xx

  4. Fabulous tutorial Alison, adore how you have layered and layered the lovely parchment backgrounds and the addition of the DOX drips was the perfect finishing touch. I laughed out loud when you said you'd used the planks that had been created 2 years ago, glad to hear I'm not the only one who keeps those random bits and bobs for years on end, you never know when you might need them!! Gorgeous tags aged to perfection, thanks so much for sharing your techniques, Deb xo

  5. Wonderful inspiration and creations Alison. Thank you for the step by steps and so glad the planks got an outing x. Absolutely fabulous tags and thank you x.

  6. Beautiful work, as always Alison, your tags are wonderful in those great colour tones. I love that you are so generous with your hints and tips too, I always learn something new - thank you! Anne xx

  7. Thanks soooooooooo much for the great tutorial on how you made these amazing 'aged' tags Alison. They are fabulous.

  8. Gorgeous tags! I love the driftwood pieces that finally found a home!

  9. Great tutorial Alison! I never throw any crafty thing either...

  10. Genius at work - always a pleasure to read your posts and how you create!

  11. wonderful tutorial, thanks! :)
    Hi, would you like to follow each other?

  12. Its lovely to view your creative process Alison x I love the aged backgrounds, especially the distressed and mottled areas, also the torn edges. The stamping and wildflowers add a feminine feel x Your wonderful words are the perfect addition.

    TFS and huge hugs
    Annie xx

  13. You make it look so easy Alison! Wonderful techniques and colors used for your various aging techniques and a great mix of stampings! Xx

  14. This was magic and the overall feel that you have created with the choice of colors is simply 'WOW!'.

  15. Love reading how you did these things Alison and this one had me gripped from start to finish. I had to smile at the "huff" about the teabags but the DI's certainly took over and proved you did not need them. Great background, the creases are so realistically old and really give the tags the POP.
    Love the way you did the flowers, just the right delicate shade to work on here.
    Must say the driftwood really got to me, it is so darned good!
    Wonderful as always Alison
    Hugs, Neet xx

  16. These are stunning! I so loved seeing the close up shots and all the amazing detail that you created 😀. Those tears and delicate stamping on the backgrounds look so beautiful - I love them! Such wonderful inspiration! Happy and creative wishes! Hugs, Jo x

  17. What a great tutorial. Love it. Love what the Distress Oxide splatters added to the aged parchment treatment. It does look really watery. Those inks have some really great unexpected uses. And aren't we glad you never throw anything away! The interplay between the three tags make it feel complete. Thanks so much for the inspiration! -- Mary Elizabeth

  18. Great tutorial filled with so many tips for aging our papers! Your play provides us with lots of believable weathering techniques and your finished tags are stunning! I wholeheartedly agree we should never throw anything out; some of my best projects come from stuff I've saved for a brighter day. Thank you for all your hard work in putting this together!