Curiosities Vintage Cabinet Card

Distress Ink Painting

Last August Tim Holtz featured Brett Weldele on his blog.  Tim had commissioned a steampunk art piece from Brett to display at CHA showcasing his distress coloring techniques.  I found myself wonderfully intrigued by both the techniques Brett employed as well as the stamp set that arose from that commission – CMS157 – “Time Travelers”.  I went to Brett’s website and watched his videos to see how he was using Tim’s Distress Inks; the videos are very informative and if you have a little time they are definitely worth watching. You can watch his videos here. You can see Tim’s blog feature here.

The following project was inspired by those videos and of course by Tim’s “Time Travelers” stamp set.  Hopefully you will be just as inspired to try it yourself if you haven’t already.


Frame components:


Die-cut the following from matboard:

2 Black frames using Tim’s “Mini Cabinet Card” die inserted in the “Vintage Cabinet Card” die.

1 each of Black Vintage Cabinet Card and White Vintage Cabinet Card.

1 Black matboard from Tim’s “Small Easel” Die


Stamp “Steam Guy” from Time Travelers stamp set twice.  Once on the white vintage vanity cabinet card and once on white photocopy paper.  I used Ranger’s Jet Black Archival Ink.


Trim image stamped on photocopy paper to create a mask.

Overlay mask on Steam Guy backing and stamp Gears stamp (from the same set) using Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  Heat set the distress ink so that it doesn’t blend with the distress inks used in the next step.


Replace mask over Steam Guy and using an ink blending tool (Foam) and assorted Distress Ink pads add color to the background.

I used wild honey, rusty hinge, scattered straw, vintage photo and barn door.


From the videos on Brett’s website and Tim’s Distress Stains you can create whatever color scheme you would like for your Steam Guy.

I used Rusty Hinge, Spiced Marmalade, Tattered Rose (skin tones), Black Soot,  Pumice Stone, Walnut, Old Paper and Vintage Photo Distress Stains.

 Outer Frame:


Using Clear Distress Embossing ink, stamp random gears on one of the black frames.  Sprinkle Tim Holtz Distress embossing powder – Antique Linen and heat emboss.  Let cool.

When embossing powder is cool apply Black Soot Distress Paint to frame.  Let dry completely.  You could use a heat tool to speed up this process just be sure that the paint is totally dry.  When dry, randomly sand small sections of the frame to remove paint and reveal some of the texture of the embossing powder.  It adds a nice effect.



Using double sided foam tape assemble the frame by layering the plain black frame over the artwork and the top frame over the plain frame ensuring that there will be enough space between the layers for your embellishments to tuck in behind the outer frame.  Add the easel to the back center.

Embellish with Tim Holtz Idea-ology findings and assorted watch gears and cogs.



Many of the products can be found at and are below for quick reference.

As always, thanks for stopping by!


Products used in this project:

Little Sizzles MatboardLittle Sizzles Matboard
Tim Holtz Alterations Vintage Cabinet CardTim Holtz Alterations Vintage Cabinet Card
Tim Holtz Alterations Mini Cabinet CardTim Holtz Alterations Mini Cabinet Card
Tim Holtz Alterations Small EaselTim Holtz Alterations Small Easel
Tim Holtz CMS 157 - Time TravelersTim Holtz CMS 157 - Time Travelers
Ranger Jet Black Archival Ink PadRanger Jet Black Archival Ink Pad
Tim Holtz Distress Ink PadsTim Holtz Distress Ink Pads
Tim Holtz Distress StainsTim Holtz Distress Stains
Tim Holtz Distress Embossing Powder - Antique LinenTim Holtz Distress Embossing Powder - Antique Linen
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Word BandsTim Holtz Idea-ology Word Bands
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Sprocket GearsTim Holtz Idea-ology Sprocket Gears
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Adage TicketsTim Holtz Idea-ology Adage Tickets
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Remnant Rubs - WordsTim Holtz Idea-ology Remnant Rubs - Words

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