Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Graphic 45 Altered Birdsong Tags for Manly Men

Again with the masked bandits? Yep. But hear me out on this one...
I created this altered art tag for my husband as a card alternative. He’s not really a ‘card’ person (many men aren't) but he just might keep this hanging around. 

As an added bonus the back has a pocket filled with treats just for him: homemade pie of his choice, total control over the television remote for the day, some art from the kiddo, and maybe I’ll sneak a gift certificate in there too.

And because I know you have a manly man of your own who might not appreciate those pretty cards you make, here's a step-by-step to knock his too 'cool-for-school' socks off...


Graphic 45 Papers:

Bird Song Jasmine Dream
Bird Song Bird Song

Stamped Metal Tags


May Arts Ribbon

Jute Twine


Gold Dresden Trim
Rubber cement

White Glue

E6000 adhesive

Tacky Glue

And because I love you... Download the COLLAGE SHEET

Here we go...

Using a tag from the Graphic 45 Staples Large Tag album as a template I cut out two paper tags from complimentary papers Bird Song Jasmine Dream and Bird Song Bird Song. From the paper which will embellish the back of the tag, I removed 2.5” from the bottom.

I used rubber cement to adhere the papers to the tag. To use rubber cement apply a thin coat to both sides, align and press.

On the back of the tag, avoid applying rubber cement to the lower 2.5”

 When both the back and front of the tag have been covered I sand all of the edges to ensure there is a smooth, clean edge.

Next I darken and grunge the edges using thin layers of acrylic paint. I use multiple layers and apply this to both sides of the tag until the desired effect is achieved.

Now I apply some white school glue and brush it to an even layer. 

I sparingly sprinkle some fine glitter powder which coordinates with the background paper. Wipe any glue or excess glitter from the metal ring and set the tag aside to dry.

While the tag is drying I cut out the vintage gentleman, his mask, and a crown shape. I darken all of the cut edges using an old stamp pad. Download the COLLAGE SHEET HERE.

I assemble them, using Scortape to adhere the ribbon. (Scortape is AWESOME for applying ribbon - highly recommend).

I gather all of the materials needed to create the top name-plate on the tag including an Ornate Metal Label Holder and Stamped Metal Brads

I edge the cut title with a stamp pad, remove the brad heads from their backings and bond them to the label holder using E6000 adhesive. The pieces look like this when assembled.

When the tag is dry, I score a line 2.25” from the bottom and apply score tape to the side edges. This will be folded and form the back pocket for the tag.

I adhere the vintage gentleman to the front of the tag and ink the edges once more.

Final embellishments are added to the back of the tag. Here I’ve layered a tag from the Bird Song Chipboard Die-cuts 1, a metal tag and an ornate key, adding metal brad heads to finish off the back of the piece.

The label plate is applied to the front of the piece and a coordinating May Arts Ribbon added.

 Finally, fill the pocket with tags from Bird Song Tranquility

 And that's it! Easy peasy, super cool, and extra manly. If you make your own I'd love to see it. Shoot me a photo of your own manly Graphic 45 tag. Happy messy making!

P.S. You can also view this tute on the Graphic 45 blog along with sneak peeks of their newest line, Typography.



  1. Lovely! Thanks for the tips too.


  2. Love this tag!!! Thank you for the tutorial and freebie download! You are so generous!!