Art Journal with Embossed Tags (Tutorial)


Welcome! I’m joining two of my favorite companies for a Blog Hop this week. It’s  fun to have teammates from both StencilGirl and Xyron working together.

Adding texture to art journal pages - Marjie Kemper

Adding Texture to your Art Journal

Adding texture is really easy. I was inspired by a page Kourtney Osborn-Vallee shared on Facebook where she used embossed tags to create a background.  Here’s a link to the finished pages Kourtney blogged a few weeks ago. I started with tags and tag parts that I had embossed using Sizzix Texture Fades and other embossing folders:

Embedding embossed tags in art journals - Marjie Kemper

I used the 6X6″ Heart Swirl stencil designed by Margaret Applin with my Xyron® 5” Creative Station to create a mask.  Just lay down the stencil on paper, spray it with any wet ink, and cut out the shape.
How to create a mask with a stencil and a Xyron machine - Marjie Kemper


I ran the mask through the Xyron machine and placed it on my page and painted around it using a makeup sponge. Since I used re-positionable adhesive, I was able to lift the mask off and use it a second time.
art journal in progress - Marjie Kemper


Next I painted the insides of the hearts with a different color paint. I used the stencil for a pattern, positioning it differently on the second heart so I’d get a different look. It’s important to remember you don’t always need to use a stencil in the straight way it’s designed.
Art journal in progress - Marjie Kemper


Use Tissue paper for cool effects

I stamped some images from Dina Wakley onto tissue paper. After I applied gel medium to these pieces (front and back), the tissue paper became almost translucent. I love how they sink into the page. 
Including tissue paper images in art journals - Marjie Kemper


I stenciled some more with Michelle Ward’s Circle 9 stencil, and added more ink to highlight the raised/embossed areas on the tags.  Finally, I outlined the hearts and page edges with black pastels.
Textured art journal pages - Marjie Kemper
Dry embossing in art journals with Sizzix Texture Fades - Marjie Kemper

Would you like to see more of my art journaling?  Check out my online class with Craftsy.  It comes with lifetime access and a money-back guarantee!   The class is called Inventive Ink: Colorful Mixed Media EffectsSign up here for the newsletter for a discount. Here’s a 2-minute preview video:



Thanks so much for the visit!  Let’s connect via newsletter or Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.




Your comments are very much appreciated!


  1. I loved seeing the progression of this page. I love how you textured the various tags to make up the background!

  2. Court's Crafts says:

    ugh! I love embossing! And painting over embossing – love love love! Sorry this is a little late but thank you SO much for swapping and hopping with us over at Xyron! 🙂

  3. It’s amazing how effective that embossed patchwork background is when treated in this way. A fantastic idea, again! Jenny x

  4. This looks completely lovely! Love seeing how you worked through to the final result aswell….

  5. Fern Edwards says:

    Thanks for the great tute – love the depth and color in this piece.

  6. Wow! Love all the texture!

  7. What a cool idea! Love the texture and the almost woven appearance of the final product.

  8. This is gorgeous, Marjie! Love it! And what a great idea to use tissue paper on the embossed surface! Hugs, Sandra

  9. Oh Marjie you and your creative techniques :). I never would have known the background was made of tags you clever lass you! Love the tissue paper stamping and the rich golden tones with bright pops of green.

    I cannot believe CHA is right around the bend… I gots to get moo-ving! 🙂


  10. This is a beautiful page! Just gorgeous.

  11. Margie! you rock, sista! i am lovin all of that artsy texture!!!! what a blast to create with StencilGirls and Xyron!!!

  12. So like tooled leather, love the effect you achieved……Sweet rocking hearts. xox

  13. Gorgeous page Marjie! I love the texture! Great technique! x

  14. LOVE the embossed tags for texture ~ awesome idea for an art journal page. Very inspiring!

  15. Every element works wonderfully well. Love the embossed tags.

  16. Gorgeous tags!!

  17. Janis in ID says:

    GORGEOUS colors and textures. Love this idea of using the tags!!!
    <3 J

  18. Fabulous Marjie. The textured background gives an amazing backdrop for your great colour palette and images. Love this.
    hugs {brenda} x0x

  19. That is such a beautiful design. I would like to do an art journal and have been looking at journals but am so confused as to what to buy. Most of the ones I have seen do not support using inks or anything wet. What would you suggest?

  20. TracyM #6773 says:

    WOW – loved it when I first saw it and LOVE IT EVEN MORE now that I know how it was created!!! GORGEOUS colours, textures and patterns!!!
    THANK YOU for the inspiration 🙂

  21. This is exceptional Marjie, I love it and I really like how you made the background with embossed tags. What kind of tissue paper do you use? I have tried this with tissue paper and mine never completely disappears, it’s stays sort of milky and I’m not sure why.

    • Marjie Kemper says:

      Great question, Claudine. I use cheap white tissue paper and I’ve noticed different reactions based on what I am adding it to… so far the paints seem to be a very welcoming base.

  22. Karen Kress Nelson says:

    What an intriging card! Thank you for sharing the image with us.

  23. Carla Hundley says:

    Wonderful tutorial on this.
    Great use of the stencils
    and paint.
    Carla from Utah

  24. The perfect mix of StencilGirl and Xyron. Your page is full of textured yummy color!

  25. Denise Spillane says:

    Love love love this. I have been trying to get inspiration for a heart project art swap. Thus project has clicked!

  26. Nancy Lee says:

    Great picture. The colors are so very nice.
    The texture makes you want to feel the picture.

  27. Stunning Marjie, love what you did with the tags, such a fabulous idea and the end result is amazing! Totally gorgeous spread!!

  28. Wonderful! Valerie

  29. Hi Marjie, I do love the way you laid those embossed tags down first, such a great idea (will check out that link). Your colours are ALWAYS divine – love this page! Hugs, Anne x

  30. A wonderful page. Great idea to put so many embossed tags together. Thanks for the inspiration.

  31. How beautiful1!!! thanks for the tutorial I trie to do!

  32. I love how clear you made this! Thank you. I’m still wrapping my head around the stencil and running it thru the xyron machine. I must experiment. I love the embossed tag background this is way too cool!! wow.

  33. Gorgeous page, I love the texture from the tags.

  34. Barbara MacAskill says:

    Wicked! Love your colors and the stenciling is awesome! Now I have to run to my craft room to make a page out of tags! Sooooooooooooo cooooooool! TFS!

    • Barbara MacAskill says:

      The color reminds me of a mix of sunflower and saffron! Two wonderful things in my opinion!

  35. What a great idea to use all these embossed tags as a great background Marjie…gorgeous results on this page

  36. Great idea! I may have to “journal lift” this…

  37. Gorgeous page. Love the technique with the tags. Must try it.

  38. Love your embossed tags.

  39. You had me at “embossed”. Wow.. you are on fiya, girlfriend.

  40. I love the texture in those tags and I love how they fill the page! Really beautiful!

  41. Happy happy yellow! Love all the texture and designs you’ve layered- great use of tissue too!

  42. GORGEOUS!!!!!! The colours….the texture….absolutely love this!

  43. This is one fabulous journal page, Marjie! I love the clever use of the tags. The heart masks, too! Such a deeply textured spread!!!

  44. Wow Marjie, I love your work and you usually amaze me, but this project is superb. It is absolutely stunning….the colours and textures just set it off xx

  45. I noticed that as I was reading this, my lips parted, I sighed audibly, and by the time I was finished reading, my mouth was just hanging open in amazement. You have so many tools in your toolbox my friend, and you use them to astonishing results. Gorgeous!!!

  46. Oh WOW!!! Marjie this is such an incredible idea. I love the way you arranged the tags … and the texture … fabulous! Of course, I love your colors. Really, really cleaver project! — Mary Elizabeth

  47. Wow!! This is gorgeous!! LOVING those yellows and those hearts!!!!!

  48. I don’t believe any of us could get by without having tags to hand, they are so fabulous to work with as you have displayed in this incredible Journal page – WOW.