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Shabby Tag Box

By: Bumblebees and Butterflies
January 18, 2018

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Shabby Tag Box
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I am so happy to be back in 2018 as part of the DecoArt Mixed Media Design Team and am beginning the year with a shabby project. I have had this tag box for a few months now and decided it was time to paint it up and have it ready to take my finished tags for this year. I have used a mix of Media Acrylic and Chalky Finish paints to achieve a look of age and wear and tear on a brand new greyboard project kit, it is such a pretty distressed look. I love the idea of using moulds and have decided that this year I will look to use more of them on my projects. The ones I have used here I cast using moulds from Prima and the internet.

Items needed:

  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Raw Umber
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Heavy Gel Medium - Gloss
  • DecoArt Media Varnishes - Ultra-Matte Varnish
  • Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint 2oz - Everlasting
  • Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint 2oz - Vintage
  • Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint 2oz - Heritage
  • Tando Creative - Tag box kit
  • Moulds
  • Assorted brushes
  • Stencil
  • Text stamp


Paint both sides of all the individual box pieces with the Raw Umber Media Fluid Acrylic paint.

Instruction #1 - Photo Shabby tagbox Step 1
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For the next few steps, we are concentrating on one side of the box pieces which will become the inside when it is put together. Take the Everlasting and Primitive Chalky Finish paints and blend both colours randomly on one side of the pieces. Give it a quick blast of the heat gun and then use a wet wipe and a piece of dry kitchen roll to rub around the edges and create a shabby worn look to them. Repeat for the other sides of the two pieces that will create the partitions of the inside.

Instruction #2 - Photo Shabby tagbox Step 2
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Now take a stencil and create random patterns using Vintage and Heritage Chalky Finish paints. I used a piece of blending foam to blend the colours over the stencil but you could Just as easily use a piece of sponge. Keep the foam/sponge dryish and add more layers of paint rather than have it too thick as it will seep under the stencil and spoil your design. Also, remember which way up your pieces will stand so that the design matches all the way around.

Instruction #3 - Photo Shabby tagbox Step 3
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TIP: I thought I would show you how to make yourself a throwaway palette, using kitchen foil, on which you can use the chalky finish paints and foam and then throw the foil away rather than have to clean up your craft mat.

Instruction #4 - Photo Shabby tag box  TOP TIP
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To continue the shabby look and create a bit more depth take a text stamp and use the white Chalky Finish paint again to stamp with.

Instruction #5 - Photo Shabby tagbox Step 4
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Use a paintbrush and splatter some watery white and brown acrylic paints over the pieces. Dab with dry kitchen roll if and of the splashes look too bold.

Instruction #6 - Photo Shabby tagbox Step 5
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Sand around the top edges of the single pieces and lend in some vintage photo distress ink. Give it a quick blast with the heat gun to help dry it in – but remember it reacts with water so when we use varnish in the next step it will start to move around somewhat. 

Instruction #7 - Photo Shabby tagbox Step 6
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Now assemble the box using decoupage glue along the edges to bond the sides together and then seal the inside with Ultra Matte Varnish.

Instruction #8 - Photo Shabby tagbox Step 7
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Now repeat steps 2 – 6 on the outside of the box finishing with a coat of varnish and let it dry.

Instruction #9 - Photo Shabby tagbox Step 8
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Take the moulds you want to use and also paint them with the Everlasting and Primitive Chalky Finish paints. When they are dry rub/brush over some brown wax and then rub with a soft cloth to remove most of it leaving some in the cracks and recesses making them look slightly old and worn. Let it dry and then buff with a dry cloth to get a nice sheen to it.

Instruction #10 - Photo Shabby tagbox Step 9
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Adhere these to your box with Heavy Gel Medium and leave the glue to dry thoroughly. 

Instruction #11 - Photo Shabby tagbox Step 10
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Take a brown distress pen and a small paint brush with clan water and add some more aging and shadowing around the pieces to make them fit with the background.

Instruction #12 - Photo Shabby tagbox Step 11
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Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at my first project for the DecoArt Mixed Media Team for 2018.

Wishing you a happy, peaceful and creative New Year.

Instruction #13 - Photo Shabby Tag Box Staged 2
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Hugs Brenda xxx


Gorgeous Brenda, adore the ageing and colours you used, beautifullly and delicately embellished. Tracy x

Tracy Evans

January 18, 2018

What a lovely tag box you made. Really pretty and it will be useful for storing different items. Thank you for the descriprion on how you made it. Hugs from Monica Spain


January 19, 2018

Love the look Brenda, mounds are so ontrend. The colours are perfect x


January 19, 2018

Wonderful details here Brenda and what a great tip about a disposable palette using tin foil. The embellishments look amazing and I love the way you have altered them TFS and best wishes Hugs Annie xx ps it says above to visit The Small Things but should that not read Bumblebees and Butterflies ??


January 19, 2018

Brilliant Brenda, love the finished look of the box!! And I love your paint palette idea too! One to remember (I tend to use paper plates) but this would be much better for using a brayer.


January 19, 2018

Beautiful !! Love the colors !!

January 19, 2018

Just had to come and see the details of this beauty! Great idea to use foil as a palette! Chrisx


January 19, 2018

Gorgeous project, Brenda! I love the depth and vintage look of this piece!

Candy Colwell

January 30, 2018

Such a fantastic project and tutorial! Thanks for sharing, Brenda! XXX


February 2, 2018

Thanks for taking the time to share this adorable tag box. I have been making so many tags they are just everywhere and this is such a cute primitive way to store them. I will be searching for a kit online, and looking forward to making it look primitive like yours. Although I don't have all the items to work with, your description gave me some ideas of what I can do with what I have, you sparked my creativity and that is a real blessing.


February 10, 2018

Thank you for sharing all the details. Beautiful shabby chic look on your project!


February 10, 2018

I'm probably the only person on earth who doesn't know what a tag box¬Ě is. So, what is it used for? Why is it called this? BTW, I really like the tutorial.

Kathleen M

February 20, 2018

Brenda, I don't know how I missed seeing this gorgeous project! The colours, the detail of the stencilling and stamping is superb and the mould elements are wonderful! I just LOVE this beauty!!! Anne xx

Anne R

April 12, 2018

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