Saturday, October 9, 2021

Saturday Showcase: Tim Holtz Idea-ology altering ephemera

Hello I'm Janna and welcome to this week’s Saturday showcase! This week I am going to be showing you how to alter some Idea-Ology ephemera with different distress mediums. Then we will assemble a Halloween themed vignette box. For video instruction on altering ephemera click here.

Here is a list of the different components I will be using today. I will also  of some substitutes that could be made with the new Halloween Idea-ology release as well. 

To get started we will first start by altering ephemera with frosted crystal. For altering with frosted crystal add some distress embossing ink and then add frosted crystal. I like to work over a piece of scrap paper to catch the extra powder. Emboss with heat gun. The trick with the frosted crystal is to go easy with the heat. Too much heat and the crystal look will melt and become glossy.

Next medium we will look at is vintage collage medium. This is a tinted collage medium. Here I have added it to an Idea-ology skull and a piece of thick board ephemera.

Regular collage medium is also very useful when transforming ephemera from shiny to mat. Typically when adding to ephemera I find that the medium will take about 2-3min to dry. This will vary depending where you live and the level of humidity.

Here I am altering some Halloween ephemera with some distress collage crazing medium. For crazing I like to spread the medium on thick in the middle of ephemera and then fade it out as I get to the edges of a piece. This normally takes about 30-40 min to fully dry for me. This will vary with claimant and temperature of your work space.

After the crazing is dry I then like to add some distress crayon to help highlight the crazing lines. Here I used some distress walnut stain crayon.

Next we will be playing with snowfall grit paste. This distress grit paste is from the Ranger Holiday release and has the added bonus of distress glitter in it to give it a fantastic snowy look. On this ephemera frame I added some snowfall with a pallet knife along the interior edges.

Here is the dried snowfall. Love it so much, it looks just like sparkly snow.

Now let’s checkout distress crackle paint. This is one of my absolute favorite mediums to use for altering ephemera. When hardened it gives a cool broken glass look. Here I added a fairly heavy layer of the crackle paint to a piece of thick board Halloween ephemera. I let the paint sit for about two hours.

Once dry I added some distress walnut stain crayon to help highlight the crackle effect.

Here we are going to add some of the new distress Ranger icicle to some Holiday ephemera. When working with icicle I found that it has a much lighter consistency when compared to distress crackle paint. Because of this I do not add it on as thickly to ephemera pieces. Icicle spreads with the consistency of butter on toast. I add a thin layer and try to spread it out evenly over ephemera pieces.

Once dried icicle crackles like ice. The cracks are loser and less square than distress crackle paint the crackles like glass. Icicle also has some added sparkle in it. To add more definition to the icicle effect I rubbed in some distress crayon picket fence.

Now lets alter some impresslit wings. For these wings I die cut them from black cardstock and then added some Ranger sticky embossing powder with distress embossing ink pen. When embossing with sticky embossing powder it is necessary to work quickly. The sticky adhesive sets quickly so it is necessary to have all materials open and ready to use. I like to open my jar of glitter and have a pieces of scrap paper already in place when I start embossing. then the second the embossing powder is melted I pour on the glitter. To avoid burned fingers I like to hold the die cuts with the Tim Holtz Sizzix squeazers. For these wings I added nightfall glitter for the top set and midnight mica on the bottom set. The mica and glitter are from the Ranger Halloween release.

Down here I have altered some of the Idea-ology beaded berries. To alter these berries dip the berries into collage medium and then into some distress glitter. Here you could use any of the distress glitters to alter these berries such as: tinsel, garland, vintage platinum, night fall, or alcohol ink colored rock candy glitter. Once dipped in glitter I let these dry about 30min before they are ready to create with.

The last medium we are looking at today is distress crypt paste. This stuff is fantastic and has these wonderful dark specks in it. I find that it looks quite like granite. Here I am altering a finial into a granite pedestal. Like other texture pastes this medium works best with porous surfaces. Taking a large scoop of the crypt paste I spread it over the finial with my fingers to cover up the wood.

Since there were some gaps still visible on the finial I decided to add some smoked hickory distress paint.

Now what to do with all of this fun ephemera. I decided to use some of the Halloween ephemera to create a Halloween themed vignette box.

To start this project I lined the box with some of the TH Idea-ology Halloween wallpaper and painted the walls of the box black. Then on the outside I covered the box with washi tape and some TH Idea-ology paper. Click here for process video.

Then around the edges of the back of the box and the edges of the front of the box I added some pinked golden washi tape.

On the inside of the box I used many of the pieces I altered at the begining of this blog. In the background I have some of the thick board ephemera pieces. In the center I have the crypt paste covered finial and an altered Idea-ology skull.

For the skull, I wanted it to be the center piece of this creation. I placed it under a mini Idea-ology dome. The dome itself was also altered. Since the dome is made of glass I applied a layer of distress collage medium first before adding a layer of distress icicle. Adding the collage medium gave the icicle something to stick to. Otherwise it would just flake off the glass dome.

To add some different texture and detail I decided to throw in some mica sheets. These I cut with scissors and scuffed up with some sandpaper and glued them into the corners of the vignette box.

For the wings I decided to add them to some Idea-ology TH paper dolls. Before adding the wings I added some glaze to the paper dolls. To add the glaze I used the distress embossing pens to put down a layer of distress embossing ink. After I added the wings to the backs of the paper dolls with a foam square. For the lady I used fired brick embossing glaze and for the gentleman I used some distress walnut stain glaze.

At the top of the vignette I placed the chip quote that I added frosted crystal embossing powder to.

Thank you so much for joining me today over at the Funkie Junkie Saturday showcase. I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about altering ephemeral and assembling a vignette box. Don't forget that many of these Idea-ology pieces can be taken from old skews  of product and this years new releases. Until next time happy crafting!

~Janna 💕🎨

Collage medium
Distress crackle paint 
Distress glaze Fired brick 
Distress glaze walnut stain 
Distress  embossing ink dabber
Distress embossing ink pens 
Idea-ology Paper Dolls 


  1. Janna that is totally creepy and hauntingly beautiful!

  2. This is so cool Janna. Love the walk through for altering ephemera!

    1. Thank you so much! Love altering ephemera and experimenting🖤🧡🖤