Haunted Halloween Manor | Tim Holtz Sizzix Village Collection

If you haven't heard, Tim Holtz just released his Village Collection with Sizzix. This set of dies was inspired by his original Village Die Series (that has long been retired) and includes all of the pieces you need to create a wide variety of village buildings.  Along with the die set, he also created 3 new mini texture fades that are perfect for adding textural details.

Today I want to share with you the first project I've created using the Village Collection. From regions beyond I present to you my Haunted Halloween Manor! This is also my very first time playing with any of Tim's Village dies and I learned a ton, but it was definitely a fun crafty adventure. Today I'm going to share tons of tips and tricks so you can learn from my mistakes, the products I used to create my haunted manor and background, along with some organization and storage tips.

During the live, Tim mentioned that this is one of those makes that you really have to enjoy the process of making. You can't be ready for it to be over with before you get started. This is a time to play and enjoy the process. Also, as you go through the process you have to think in steps and phases. After going through this process for the first time, I agree with each and every word he said. Take your time and enjoy the process. If that isn't your thing, then this type of project might not be for you and that's ok!

(P.S Consider yourself warned. This is a long post full of tons of details. So take your time reading through it and I hope you enjoy all the tips and tricks I've shared.)

Haunted Halloween Manor by Juliana Michaels featuring Tim Holtz Sizzix Village Collection Thinlines


Here are some of the mistakes I made along the way and the suggestions I have for you when you make your first village piece:

I should have planned out where to cut the windows and run the window dies through with the main house dies. Instead I added the windows after the fact, which is why I totally forgot about adding windows to the sides of my manor. I didn't realize this until I was nearly finished with the entire piece, so there was no going back and adding them.

I would also recommend adding the shingles and roofing details before you attach the house to the roof. 
Another thing to keep in mind is if you are planning to add shingles and you want a window, die cut the window after you add the shingles. I cut a window, then added shingles then had to cut the window again and it was a total pain to try to line up the die with the already cut window.

If you want to add any texture to the pieces using the embossing folders or a medium such as texture paste or even ink, make sure to do this before you assemble the piece.

Now that I've shared my mistakes and organizing tips with you, let me share some details on the products and techniques I used to create the manor along with how I created the base and background for it.


Now onto the Haunted Halloween Manor itself! For the paper, I used grey and black papers from the Scrapbook.com 6x8 Christmas Paper Pad. These papers are thinner than standard cardstock or heavystock, so to give the pieces more structure, I cut the main building pieces twice. I didn't glue these layers together until after I had completely assembled them. So once the piece was glued together, I then slid the second one inside it and added a bit of glue to hold them together. You don't need to fully adhere them to get the necessary support.

To add some texture to the main structure, I used the Mini 3D Lumber Embossing Folder and then inked it lightly with Black Soot Distress Ink.

For the shingles I used black glitter paper from the Scrapbook.com Mixed Metals Paper Pad. Each piece is double layered with plain black paper from the Christmas Paper Pad to give them a little more structure. I used Distress Collage Medium to glue them together after I die cut them. I had better luck gluing the layers together after die cutting than when I attempted to glue and then die cut. Once I had all the piece die cut,  I  used my finger to wrinkle and bend the edges just a bit. For an extra touch of shimmer, I dabbed Sizzix Silver Luster Wax along the edges.

The chimneys were embossed with the 3D Cobblestone Embossing Folder and I added a bit of Distress Grave Texture Paste to them.

You might have noticed that the windows look slightly frosted. To achieve this look, I actually cut up a plastic storage envelope and adhered it to the inside. I love how this diffuses the Tiny Lights that I placed inside to light up my Haunted Halloween Manor.

The final touch was the addition of some floral moss from my local craft store. Sometimes you can find this at your dollar store, so check there as well.


The background piece for my Haunted Halloween Manor was made from a Stampers Anonymous Mini Thickboard Tag. I painted the entire piece with white gesso. I then adhered torn pieces of paper from an old book using Distress Collage Medium. I let this dry and then added another layer of Distress Collage Medium over the entire surface. Once this was dry, I dry brushed Chipped Saphire Distress Paint over the entire surface and used a dry paper towel to wipe some of the paint off of the paper so you could still see the print.

With the paint dry, the next step was to add some texture by applying Distress Crackle Paste with a palette knife over the Scrapbook.com Stars Stencil. After I applied the paste, I carefully removed the stencil and immediately washed the stencil to prevent the paste from drying on the stencil.

Once the paste was dried and all the crackly goodness could be seen, I applied some color and shine using the new Distress Mica Crayons in Flickering Candle and Empty Tomb. I applied the color to a specific area and used my finger to rub it in.

With the main background completed, I took the Thickboard Web and Bats Trim Set and pulled out several sizes of the web trims. I painted them with white gesso and once that was dry, I applied some Distress Crackle Paste and set them to the side to dry.

I really recommend applying the gesso to the Thickboard because it helps the Crackle Paste adhere better. If you skip this step, the Crackle Paste tends to flake off quite a bit. At least more than I care for. Once these were dry, I adhered them to the edges of the tag. To grunge them up a bit, I rubbed some Crooked Broomstick Distress Mica Crayon into the cracks. Even though it's shiny, Crooked Broomstick has a wonderful grungy color to it!

As you may or may not have noticed, I adhered the tag upside down to an upside down Vignette Box. Before I adhered the tag to the box, I applied more torn book pages to the box using Distress Collage Medium and the applied a layer to the entire box. Next, I dry brushed Black Soot Distress Paint onto the box and wiped away some of the excess using a paper towel. I then added another Web Trim to the front of the box and finished it off with a spider die cut from black cardstock.


Another bit I want to share with you is how I'm organizing my dies.  Zoe Hillman shared a great method for sorting and organizing her Village Collection dies. I took this concept and used what I had on hand to create my own version, and after using it to create this project it felt like the best way for me to keep things sorted and organized for all of my future makes.

I began by sorting the dies into groups following how Zoe had organized them per magnet sheet. I then took magnet sheets and stamp and die storage pockets that I had in my stash. I labeled each magnet sheet using a permanent marker. I also slid the packaging sheet into a pocket as well. In total I ended up using 9 pockets. To keep them all together a bit more, I then grabbed 2 Scrapbook.com Medium Storage Envelopes. I was able to fit 4-5 pockets/sheets per envelope. I really love that all of the dies are held together like this. Now I just have to grab the 2 envelopes instead of a 9 of them.

Another helpful thing to keep in mind is that all of the dies are labeled on the back side, with the exception of some of the teeny tiny dies that are used for windows. But you can easily tell that is what these are, so it's really not a big deal. This is helpful in returning the dies back to their proper place on their magnet sheet after you have used them.

I sure hope you enjoyed this post on my Haunted Halloween Manor using the Tim Holtz Sizzix Village Collection. Thanks so much for stopping by!


You can find the products I used to create these projects along with compensated affiliate links to  Scrapbook.com. These links are at absolutely no extra cost to you. If you want to learn more about what an affiliate link is, you can see my full affiliate and product disclosure statement here.

Ghost Town 2 Tag Book | Tim Holtz Sizzix Halloween

Hello friends! It's finally here...my Ghost Town 2 Tag Book that I made for the Tim Holtz Sizzix Halloween YouTube Live! I know many of you have been waiting for me to share this project. It's a bit of a long post, so grab a cup of your favorite beverage and sit back and enjoy.

Ghost Town 2 Tag Book by Juliana Michaels featuring Tim Holtz Sizzix Ghost Town 2 and Ghost Town 1 Thinlits

To get started I began by selecting a mix of patterned papers from an older Halloween paper pad. If you don't have these papers, please don't freak your freak as Tim would say! Just grab what you have and start mixing and matching. I selected 10 different patterns to create the front and back of 5 tags and die cut them using a tag die. You will see how all these tags play out later on.

Next I picked the five tags that would be the front side and using a mix of stencils, I applied Grave Distress Texture Paste in random spots on each stencil. The stencils I used are listed below in my supply list if you are interested. I then set these to the side to dry.

While they were drying, I die cut all of the Ghost Town 1 and Ghost Town 2 houses from black cardstock. I stamped each house with white pigment ink using a mix of stamps. This created a kind of ghostly look to each house. The stamps I used are listed below in my supply list if you are interested.

I also stamped and fussy cut out a mix of labels to layer with the houses. These are stamped onto Distress Watercolor paper with Black Soot Archival Ink and then ink smooshed into a bit of Old Paper Distress Ink and inked around the edges with some Walnut Stain Distress Ink.

In the photo below the second and fourth tag were my first run when I was making this tag book. Originally, I was going to do different backgrounds on each tag. These actually have Distress Crackle Paste on them and the one was colored over with the Distress Crayon. I didn't like how it looked, so I ended up redoing them to all have a similar look.

To give each house the look of ghostly lights shining through the windows, I backed them with gold metallic kraftstock. There are various ways you could do this, but I die cut the house from the gold paper, and while it was still in the die, I applied adhesive tape (you could also use washi tape) to the backside to hold the small pieces in place. I then adhered this to the backside of the black die cuts. To grunge them up a bit, I rubbed some Black Soot Distress Crayon around the window openings. 

Another layer of interest I added were some die cut Decor Frames. After I die cut them, I used the 3D Lumber Texture Fade embossing folder to emboss them. These are cut from Distress Watercolor paper and inked with Walnut Stain Distress Ink.

Once again, I grunged them up with a bit of Black Soot Distress Crayon.

A final addition to the tags was a few black die cut florals that were then layered into the frames. Now that each tag was completed, I was ready to start assembling the tag book.

I placed the tags next to each other and used Tim Holtz Fabric Tape to hold the tags together. Make sure to leave a very slight (like the thickness of the tag) between each tag so that when you fold the book each page folds nice and flat.

Because I didn't want the backside to be "ugly", I adhered those extra tags I cut out in the beginning to the backside of each tag.

To create the closure for the tag book, I used seam binding that was dyed with Black Soot Distress Spray. I cut a length long enough to wrap around the book once it was closed and create a nice bow when tied. The only spot I attached the ribbon to was the first tag, so that it stayed with the book when it was opened.

One last final detail is the machine stitching that I added to each tag. I did this at the very end once the entire book was assembled.

Now that you know how I created this tag book, here are some more detailed images of each page for your inspiration and enjoyment.

This is a look at the cover.

Here is a look at the second and third pages on the inside.

Ghost Town 2 Tag Book by Juliana Michaels featuring Tim Holtz Sizzix Ghost Town 2 and Ghost Town 1 Thinlits

These are the fourth and fifth pages.

Ghost Town 2 Tag Book by Juliana Michaels featuring Tim Holtz Sizzix Ghost Town 2 and Ghost Town 1 Thinlits

A look at the entire tag book when it is open.

Ghost Town 2 Tag Book by Juliana Michaels featuring Tim Holtz Sizzix Ghost Town 2 and Ghost Town 1 Thinlits

This is what the backside looks like.

I hope you enjoyed this long detailed blog post about my Ghost Town 2 Tag Book and that it inspires you to create your own version of this. For more tag book inspiration you can check out my Field Notes Tag Book.


You can find the products I used to create these projects along with compensated affiliate links to  Scrapbook.com and Sizzix. These links are at absolutely no extra cost to you. If you want to learn more about what an affiliate link is, you can see my full affiliate and product disclosure statement here.

Wicked Halloween Card | Stencils, Ephemera & Frosted Crystal

Halloween is fast approaching. Too fast for me and all the Halloween craft ideas that are still swirling around in my head. But who says we have to stop just because Halloween is over?! This year, I really may just continue the Halloween crafting a little longer. As for now, I've got a Wicked Halloween Card to share with you using a mix of goodies from Tim Holtz and Scrapbook.com.

Wicked Halloween Card by Juliana Michaels featuring Scrapbook.com Jack O Lantern Stencil and Tim Holtz Halloween Ephemera and Paper Dolls

I decided to try a little something different this time and pulled out some ephemera to mix in with some stamping and die cuts. I began by creating the background using a piece of orange cardstock from the Scrapbook.com Rainbow Paper Pad trimmed to 4 x 5.25 inches. I stenciled it using the Jack O Lantern Stencil and Black Soot Distress Oxide. I then added some texture stamping using the Tim Holtz Rest In Peace Stamp Set with Black Soot Archival Ink. I then got a bit messy and added some Distress Crackle Paste to the edges and let it dry. Once the paste was dry I inked the edges with a bit of Black Soot Distress Ink and then added some mess machine stitching.

Now because this paper is not really made for adding heavy mediums such as Crackle Paste, the paper did warp. I personally didn't care as it just added to the mixed media/grungy feel I was going for.

Next I grabbed various bits of ephemera from a mix of an older Halloween Ephemera Pack and Halloween Paper Dolls, but you can find lots of good ones in the newer packs as well. I played around with the placement and began adhering the layers. When I got to the paper doll, I decided to try my hand at coloring it using the Frosted Crystal/Distress Crayon technique. The Frosted Crystal is an embossing powder that adds a frosted looking texture to things. And because these is texture on what was once a smooth surface, the Distress Crayons have something to grip to and the color stays a bit easier. I covered the entire surface of the paper doll with embossing ink, sprinkled it with the Frosted Crystal and then heat embossed it with my heat gun.  The trick with this powder is to not overheat it, so once you see the powder start to change move on to the next area. With the Frosted Crystal applied, I then used my Distress Crayons to color the dress, bow and to add a touch of pink to her cheeks.
I then continued with adhering the layers and also included a couple of stickers from the Tim Holtz Halloween Sticker Book.

For a final bit of interest, I added a couple of bats die cut from Scrapbook.com black glitter paper, which can be found in their Mixed Metals Paper Pad. To finish off the card, I layered everything onto a piece of black cardstock.

Thanks so much for stopping by today to check out my Wicked Halloween Card! I hope it inspires you to continue your Halloween crafting!


You can find the products I used to create these projects along with compensated affiliate links to  Scrapbook.com. These links are at absolutely no extra cost to you. If you want to learn more about what an affiliate link is, you can see my full affiliate and product disclosure statement here.