Sunday, 18 May 2014

Make Your Own Fancy Papers

There are times when I want a paper effect that is a) not something I have in my stash or  b) not something I can easily or cheaply, buy.

One of the prettiest of these is a kind of sparkly, variegated, marbled effect paper.  This is the sort of thing that your printer just can't do in the same way that you can do by hand. Moreover, it is cheap, easy and fun! Come on, playing with paints in a way that requires zero artistic talent to achieve fabulous results! What more could you want?

There is very little equipment needed and once bought, even that will last for a very long time.

Find a source of cheap acrylic paint tubes or, even better if you can find them, some artists inks, and some cosmetic spray bottles. Half fill with water and add a small blob of paint. Remember every colour can be mixed with red, blue and yellow!
If you want sparkle, get your hands on some Reeves Iridescent Medium. I have a separate bottle and keep some of that mixed up to spray all over my papers.

If you use inks, you can dilute a few drops in medical alcohol - it dries quicker. Be aware though, that some paints don't mix well with alcohol and some do. It is trial and error there, so you may want to stick to water on those.

Now, the other thing I love to use, is a thin embroidery backing to paint on. It has the advantage of being semi transparent, doesn't mind getting wet and it makes very pretty flowers. It also cuts like a dream with the Cameo set to 'copy paper'. It is quite strong too.

So, using a bin liner to set it on, I simply spray different colours over the material, at random. I top it off with a spray of the iridescent medium and for a final touch, use a VERY fine brush with a little acrylic on it to add veins when it is all dry.  Use the brush by holding it at the top of the handle and using very little paint, just lightly and quickly, randomly make marks.

Once you have your paper, it can be used for flowers and leaves, or cut into ribbons or even just used as background. It is extremely versatile stuff! Cut doily patterns out of it, use it to cover boxes..

The camera does not capture the full beauty of this, with the lovely sparkle and delicate hues, it really is lovely.
If you can't find embroidery backing, have a look at fabric stiffener for dress making. A light weight one should be very similar.

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