Tuesday 1 March 2011

Top Tip Tuesday - Tim Holtz FolioTutorial

It's my third month on the DT at Top Tip Tuesday and I'm really enjoying it!  

I wasn't happy yesterday. For the last week, my mojo went walkabout and I just couldn't get a handle on what to do, although I prepared about four different things but none of them seemed right, or I forgot to photograph a vital stage.

I'm very happy to report that I finally got my act together and I'm quietly chuffed about it; partly because it was so hard won, but seems to have come together finally and partly because it's actually going to be a useful bit of kit for me to use!

  It's always a bit of a bugbear with me on the DT's that I make all this stuff which no-one in my family or friends will give house-room to, so I have boxes filled with creations I like too much to chuck away/give to peeps who don't really appreciate it, but storage space is becoming a bit of a problem!

So, it's fab when I can create something that someone (...me in this instance...!) can use!

My Tim Holtz Techniques Folio

Materials needed.

4 x A5 Tim Holtz Grungeboard or plain grey cardboard (...I used the back board from an old cheap sketchpad) 
Tim Holtz 'Gears and Cogs' die cuts in same material
Tim Holtz 'Bookplate' die-cut in gold pearl card
Tim Holtz (or other distress inkpads) Ink/inkpads in various colours to suit including Peeled Paint, Mahogany,  Vintage Photo and/or Walnut Stain.
Tim Holtz Distress clear embossing inkpad.
'Swirl' rubber stamp.
Inkpad Staz-On Black
Clear embossing powder.
Spritz spray
Distress Embossing Powder in Tea-Dye and/or Vintage Photo.
Ranger Metallic inks.( Adirondak Metallic Mixture or Posh Rainbow Metallics)
Heatproof workmat.
Preferred hardware findings, Tim Holtz or otherwise.


Taking one of the A5 cards, spritz generously with water then  ink up with various inks and inkpads until you're happy with it.  Don't heat-set it.

Ink up with clear embossing inkpad and layer of clear embossing powder, leaving some sparsely covered areas, and heat with heat-gun..
The water vapour from the card will cause bubbles and irregularities in the glaze. Heat until there's an uneven pitted grainy finish. You don't want it too perfect.

When cool, you can distress this further with nail-file , pokey-tool etc if you want.

By this stage, your card should feel like leather, pliable and bendy. Now ink over the whole surface with Walnut Stain or Vintage Photo (...or indeed, anything you like..!) , rubbing it well into crevices and wipe off. The ink will sink into the bare areas and wipe off the glazed areas.  Cut the perimeter with deckle-edge scissors (..or tear to make an uneven edge...). I cut the perimeter then tore a corner off.

Ink up the edges if liked.

Ink up your swirl stamp with the Staz-On and stamp to suit.

Take the gears & cogs and ink them up with the metallic inks, applying generously.  

When dry, distress with pokey-tool, wire brush etc. taking care to distress the edges well,  then ink up over with a dark colour so the ink sinks into the scores.

If liked, apply brass collars or rivets with 'Cropadile' or similar to holes in centre.

Distress book-plate in same way.

Apply cogs & gears and bookplate in pleasing positions with silicone glue and finish off as desired.

This is your front cover plate for your technique book (...or greeting card if preferred!).

Now you could stop here and just add this to your folded card or made up book or you can continue to develop this as there are still plenty of things you can do to it!

To continue, take another piece of the grey-board and cover it with tinted newsprint.

You can use pages out of an old book from a thrift shop for this and you can either use one large page or you can use smaller pages and patchwork them.

Whichever you decide to do, you start the same by inking up your workmat with either your inkpads or drops of re-inker and then spritz. The lay your newsprint face down and 'zhuz' it round the workmat (...if it will go - be careful not to tear it if it sticks a bit...!) until you've sopped up all the ink.

You can speed up the drying with your heat gun, if you want but leave it a bit damp so it 'shrinks'  to fit the board.

Clean up your workmat, then lay your newsprint face down and use pva glue all over the back, starting in the centre and brushing it outwards. Foam brushes are good for this. Make sure the application is even or bubbles will occur.  

Lay your grayboard onto the glued side and fold the edges and ends over, removing any excess bulky paper. It'll tear really easily if it's old newsprint and if you get inconvenient tears, just stick another bit over the tear.

Turn the work over again and I used a brayer on this side to make sure there were no bubbles.

Turn it back and stick another piece of tinted print over the exposed greyboard.

At this point you'll need to decide where and how to attach your bindings/hinges.  I just punched holes and stuck eyelets in for the Tim Holtz 'D' rings to go through.  If you haven't got the right colour eyelets, use your Copics!

You then need to cover another greyboard, this time for your finished plate to be mounted on. You only need to do one side, if your paper is big enough to be folded back on the reverse side as your plate will cover the exposed bit of greyboard this time.  I added some Tim Holtz metal corners too.

The last thing is your fastener. I've used a bit of leather I've had for years and the hinge from Tim's 'Hardware Findings' die, by Sizzix.

The leather was the wrong colour being a rather garish shade of green, so I distressed it with my pokey tool and coloured it with Staz-On and my Copics. Still green but of a shade that is more acceptable! LOL!  You could probably use your greyboard again or some of Tim's Grungeboard if you can't steal your Dad's old leather belt....!

The light indoors is abysmal for photos so I'll try, before TTT goes live, to take a daylight photo of the finished binder.

I hope you all like this and I look forward to making sample 'pages of Tim's techniques to put into it, with their descriptions on the back, of course!



  1. Eileen this is a completely and utterly amazing, blow-you-away project and great tutorial too

  2. This is a great tutorial, I never knew where to start with this type of project. Elaine

  3. What a brilliant book and project/ tutorial!! Love distress and Tim so this is just my cup of tea! Great job xx hugs Samantha

  4. Wow love this fab tutorial,
    Hugs Rachael :) x

    1. Hi Angel!
      Glad you liked it Hunni - very kind of you to leave such a lovely comment.
      Hope you have a go!
      Hugs Ei x


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