Using Gel Medium on Tags

Like most stampers I know, I love all things Tim Holtz. I love his products, his ideas, his techniques, everything. (Plus he is a really nice guy!!) He also thinks a lot like me, or I think a lot like him- either way I tend to do things pretty much the same ways he does, from the modifications to products (marking up dies, cutting embossing folders, cutting stamps) to the love of all things grunge, but with some glitz added in for good measure. I have been using Distress inks since they first came out, but one thing that used to annoy me is the way that they never splotched for me the way they did for Tim when he spritzes with water. It occurred to me when his annual 12 tags of Christmas came out this year, that maybe the reason his inks “splotch” better is because of the material he uses- those cool tags themselves :idea:

I decided to put it to the test, and sure enough, there was a difference between the Ranger tags and just plain card stock. The inks, when spritzed with water on the Ranger tags, had much more defined spots where the water droplets hit. So I decided to try to make my regular card stock do the same thing. The answer was pretty simple- adding a thin layer of gel medium to the card stock. I just swiped the card stock with a very thin layer of gel medium- I tried Claudine Helmuth’s matte medium and Golden’s Soft Gel medium and both worked equally well. You can use a paint brush, foam brush, or as in my case I just used my fingers. Because the layer was extremely thin, it dried in no time, and I was able to try my experiment. I used the Distress ink pad and swiped it on my gel’d paper and then spritzed with water. And voila! The inks showed the water spots much better on the gel’d tags than on the plain card stock ones.

See the picture comparisons below. The first picture shows a tag made with plain card stock. The second shows the results when gel medium was applied first.
Inked tag spritzed with water on regular card stock

Inked tag spritzed with water on gel’d card stock

I also think that using poster board instead of card stock might work a bit better as well. I will post a comment when I determine the answer to that experiment.

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