I recently learned that embellished ephemera was a thing. Having consciously moved away from making journals with dangling threads and randomly placed bits of ribbon and lace, I’d moved towards creating ephemera as places to write and store precious ideas. As looked around a noticed a new – to me – concept. This was pieces of embellished ephemera, items that are more elaborately decorated than other pieces in the book. They can be used as a bookmark, or attached to the spine as an external ornament.
While still wanting to stay true to my clean design esthetic, I have to admit the idea of layering multiple items and using mixed media to create a key piece has surprising appeal. With this thought in mind I scoured my paper closet and found my packets of vellum. I used it to print paler versions of the tags I had already printed, potentially to use as a light overlay. In real life I found that if not completely accurately aligned, this gives a slightly unsettling effect, so am now thinking about layering them over blank tags for an ethereal effect.
Then I dug into my boxes of buttons, ribbons, and bits and craft supplies to see what else I might have that I could use. I was astonished (but really shouldn’t have been!) to discover so many potential options, including Washi tape, baker’s twine, strings of beads, and spools of different kinds of ribbon.
So what did I create in my first foray into making these pieces of embellished ephemera? It was harder than I expected not to fall into a design rut, and to try to think afresh as I began to work. Ultimately I made three tags, one flower themed, one sea themed, and one butterfly themed.
Flower embellished ephemera tag
This tag evolved mostly from a flower and butterfly tag I had previously printed and cut out. I overlaid it with a floral vellum layer, and backed it with a card in a similar color palette. Over the top I laid a sentiment, pink pearls and a heart charm to back up the sentiment.
Sea embellished ephemera tag
This tag evolved from a watery scene with a fish on it. I overlaid it with a vellum design showing a shell, then added Washi tape across the lower edge of that paper. On top is another underwater scene. The final elements are green and white baker’s twine tied in a double bow and a starfish charm.
Butterfly embellished ephemera tag
This tag came together mostly by finding items in the beige and brown color range to create a calm tag. It begins with paper with French script on it, followed by a tag with cream and brown elements. I topped it with a butterfly print on vellum and a sentiment. the final pieces are pale gold ribbon and a butterfly charm.
I can see how easy it would be to create dozens of very similar pieces of embellished ephemera, so need to challenge myself to come up with different formats and sizes. Beyond that, I’m pleased with these three tags!