Technique Details (1)

(Click on images to see them at a larger size)


Antiqueing Cards
Bleach Stamping
Outdoors Backgrounds
Backgrounds to Dye For
Paper Beads
Blender Pen Refill Fluid
Card Holder
Cray-Pas Background
Découpage (Napkins)
Faux Polished Stone
Faux Shrink Plastic
Faux Wax Seals
Heated Pearls
Hot Glue Art
Hot Glue Art II
Hot Glue Art III
Ink Wash
Ink Wash 2
Iridescent Shadow Technique
Leafing Pen Nib Restoration
Lumiere Techniques
Marvy Metallics Backgrounds
Mystical Pearl-Ex Spritz Paper
Napkin Cards
Seed Paper
Soap Art
StazOn Cleaner Technique
Vinegar & Icing Sugar Technique

Antiqueing Cards

I brush layers of matte acrylic medium (used to thin or texturize or acrylic paints) over an image to decoupage them to different collage papers.

I include metallic watercolor additive as I brush over the image to give it that ancient appearance. (Don’t be too heavy handed or you’ll cover too much of the image.) I also sprinkle some of the powder in little splotches.

I get the medium and metallic paints from Daniel Smith Art Supply. They are a really fabulous art supply company and these two products are among my favorites. Also check out their Pound of Paper from Books By Hand for only $14.95 USD.

Daniel Smith Acrylic mediums: (link shortened)

Daniel Smith metallic watercolor powders:

Books By Hand Pound of paper:



Outdoors Backgrounds

This is an activity that can be done with children who are home for the summer and bored. Adult supervision is a good idea.

FAST and inexpensive Background paper Tip:
If you want fast and easy backgrounds, grab leaves off trees, roses, bushes, grasses or anything growing in your yard. Spread newspapers on the ground and lay various colors of cardstock on top. Do not overlap the cardstock. If there’s a breeze, small rocks can keep the newspaper stable.

Scatter the leaves and petals haphazardly on top of the cardstock. It matters not where they’re placed. It’s a serendipitous experience that always creates a surprise.

Stand UPwind and spray paint the leaves. A distance of at least 12 inches is a good place to start. The overspray will create incredible patterns on the cardstock that can be used when you’re indoors in winter and the leaves have all flown away. Use up leftover cans of spray paint. They’re already paid for and taking up space, so use it and toss away the empty cans.

Allow the leaves and cardstock to dry in the sun. Stack the cardstock to use later and once the leaves dry completely, you can use them as embellishments in your artwork. Press them in a phone book if you want the leaves and grasses to be flat.

I really like this idea because it’s FREE, fast, makes lots in an hour, uses up leftovers and the clean up is instant. Just grab the newspapers and toss in the trash when you’re done.

Once the cardstock is dry, you can stamp, emboss and heat emboss, too.

Suggested color combos:
Black with copper or silver or gold
White and any color
Red and gold with black spray webbing
Red and green for the holidays
You name it; it’ll work.

Happy stamping,
Annette :O)
Backgrounds to Dye For

Light cardstock – white or cream
Sample colors:
Green dye ink
Green pigment ink
Gold pigment ink
Rubber Brayer
Clean meat tray, or anything that had a lip on the sides (eg. *cookie sheet). Make sure the tray has texture, or the inks will blob.
Spray bottle of rubbing alcohol
*Do not use for food afterward
1. Put drops of dye, and pigment inks onto the meat tray. Spritz the inks with alcohol.
2. Roll brayer over the inks (but not too much that the inks are all mixed together). Roll onto cardstock at various angles.
3. Allow to dry
You may DTP with a bit of Radiant Pearls or metallic pigment as well after brayering. I made a whole bunch of these a while ago and I’m still finding places to use them in my projects.

Back to top Paper BeadsMaterials
Minimum of 2.5 x 5” Gold print Indian paper
X-acto and cutting matt
Skewer or thin knitting needle
Two-way glue, or any liquid glue
Dimensional Magic, Crystal Lacquer, Diamond Glaze, or anything that dries clear (some use clear nail polish).

1. With a pencil and ruler, mark off .5” from the edge on the short side of the Indian paper. Proceed to mark 1” increments after that until you reach the end.
2. On the opposite edge, mark off in 1” increments until the end is reached.
3. Place the ruler on the .5” mark on the first edge and line it up with the first 1” mark on the opposite edge of the paper. Connect the points using a pencil, or you can cut using an X-acto right away. Angle the ruler in the opposite direction to connect the next mark on the first edge to the first 1” mark on the opposite edge. You will now have marked off your first triangle. Continue marking off the rest of your triangles. Cut out the triangles.
4. Line up the short side of the triangle with your skewer/knitting needle. The triangle should be on the bottom with the tip on the triangle pointing away from you. Begin to roll. After the 1st or 2nd
roll, dab a bit of liquid glue on the wrong side of the paper triangle and continue to roll until you’re almost at the end. Dab a bit more glue along the backside to the tip of the triangle and finish rolling to the end. Make sure that you haven’t rolled too tightly so that your bead has become a permanent part of the skewer/knitting needle. You can remove it at this point and thread it on a thin piece of wire.
5. Brush Dimensional Magic (or any similar alternative) to cover the bead. Dimensional Magic will give it a glossy finish. Allow to dry on wire.

Back to top Blender Pen Refill FluidFor a 1-ounce bottle: 1/3 GLYCERIN, 2/3 DISTILLED WATER, 1/4 Teaspoon ALCOHOL
This can be used to refill a DOVE blender pen, or added to a colored marker such as TOMBOW (after carefully removing the tip with pliers with a twisting motion), to give added life to the colors. Keep in a jar or bottle with a dropper tip.

Card Holder

If you want an inexpensive card holder, take a large drapery hook, pull the hook legs apart, and pull the back holder out ever so slightly and you have a card holder. You can paint these too and the ones with the rubber tips at the bottom won’t scratch anything. Cray-Pas Background
(Adapted from Eleanor, “Stamps and More by Eleanor” in Easley, South Carolina)

How to create beautiful backgrounds using Cray-pas oil pastels, baby oil and a cotton ball. Use a white cardstock that’s mostly smooth but has a little “tooth” to it (NOT glossy) so the color sticks to the paper. Cut a piece of cardstock the size you
want to use. Color lightly over the cardstock with several different colors of the Cray-pas — maybe red, gold, and orange for a warm autumn palette or blue and purple for a cooler, more wintery feel. Then squirt a little bit of baby oil onto the cotton ball and swirl around the colors on the cardstock. They’ll start to blend together and take on a watercolor effect.

On the card she made for us Eleanor used red, gold, and orange. She let it dry for a minute or two then stamped an image on top in black ink. After letting the ink dry for a moment, she took a paint brush and lightly brushed on a transparent gold glaze. It was beautiful by itself but she cut out the image and layered it over printed paper that was deep burgundy and gold.

But I’m changing my cards slightly from what Eleanor demo’d. I had already stamped an image in black on clear transparency but couldn’t get the variegated gold leaf to stick to it like I’d wanted. (Gave up on Plan A and made different cards using a chalk faux resist instead.) I’ll create watercolory backgrounds with the Cray-pas and baby oil, brush the gold glaze across the background color then cut out and mount the clear transparency over top. Voilà!

Tera H.

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DécoupageSharon S. Découpage Tin

I used an AOL tin, painted it black, and dry brushed some metallic gold paint on it. For the napkin: cut it to fit the lid of the tin. Separate the two plies of the napkin (you only use the top printed part, not the white bottom layer).

Using a soft wide paintbrush, brush a nice thin even coat of Mod Podge over the tin lid and gently lay the napkin over it, gently rubbing the napkin down in place from the center outwards. Once you have it all smooth and no air pockets, paint a THIN even coat of Mod Podge over the napkin to seal it. Be sure to go slightly over the edges to seal them to the tin lid well.

When you are working with Mod Podge you should always use thin even coats, especially when working with thin papers like napkins. If your paper is a thicker kind, then more glue can be used. A little glue goes along way…:o)) so don’t glop it all on if you get my meaning. lol.

Mod Podge does come in Glossy and Matte finishes, so if you want a dull finish use the Matte… :o)

If you want to use a napkin as a background on a CARD, separate the napkin as before, then lay it face down on scrap paper and gently rub a glue stick to the back of the napkin, swiping it from the center outwards, then gently place it on your card. Rub it down as before. :o)

Sharon S.

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Faux Shrink Plastic

As many of you know, you can use CD cases as storage cases for unmounted stamps. Well, I went to the Dollar Store and got some more cases (those UMs are just getting our of hand…why so they keep coming in the mail??…. Oh yeah, better hide the credit card again).

Anyway, I was pulling the innards out of CD cases (the black/clear plastic lining that holds the CD just pop it out, leaving the outer case to store your stamps) and was getting ready to trash them. This really bugs me, because I hate to fill up the landfill with more junk, and I was sure that my recycling center would not accept this stack of plastic.

hmmm… So I took my scissors and tried to cut one … Made an interesting cut/break around the central spindle. Hey, I can use the flat plastic pieces as some sort of background layer for an embellishment! So I cut out this pile of black plastic pieces, trying to be random in size and shape, which is pretty easy to do, considering that some of it cuts and some of it fractures. I put them aside for later use, threw the remaining pieces in the recycle bin with a note to the recycle guys asking them if
this is recyclable plastic. Oh well, at least I reduced the amount of plastic I was sending out.

So later in the week I am making a card and decide to try the plastic. Okay, looks good, try stamping on it, Brilliance ink works fine, all is well, looks cool….. hmmm….
…. so what would happen (you know that most inventions come about this way) if I embossed it?

So I inked an entire piece, threw it into the embossing powder, shook off the excess, and turned on my heat gun. Shazaam! Shrink plastic! The plastic started to curl up, then straighten out just like shrink plastic. Excited, I grabbed a stamp, inked it, poured a bit more embossing powder on the piece, heated it again and impressed the stamp into the molten EP… WOW!

All I can say, is that it looks great, has a nice black background, and the plastic adheres to my card with a permanent-glue stick, so most adhesives should work. Have not tried the clear plastic innards yet, so maybe one of you can try those and report back? Try it; it reuses plastic that would end up in the landfill, and saves
money on shrink plastic that can now be spent on more stamps! (now where is that credit card…)

Now you know why they call me Pyromomma!
Lorie M.
AKA Pyromomma

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Faux Wax Seals

Instead of using sealing wax try coloured glue sticks: ink up a stamp with your clear embossing pad or VersaMark to prevent the stamp from sticking in the hot glue. From the hot glue gun dispense about a 10-20 cent piece blob onto a tile or glass surface, gently press the rubber stamp into the glue and let stand for 5 minutes, remove the stamp. A variation of this includes immediately adding one drop of acrylic
paint onto the hot glue once it is dispensed and mixing the glue and paint quickly with a toothpick, using a swirling motion before stamping. If you don’t like the uneven shape of the final stamped glue button, you can trim the edges of the seal with scissors. If you make the seal with clear glue, you can paint the final seal with
red nail varnish (e.g. bought for about $2 at the pharmacy or cheap shop) or you can paint with Lumieres. The glue seals can be attached to cards and envelopes with just a touch of glue and you can always put ribbon or fibres underneath to hang from the seal.

Have fun Ann G.


Take your cardstock and put it on some newspaper outside. Shake up a can of webbing spray and lightly spray your CS. Lay a sheet of foil on top of the webbing spray, final side UP… wait a few minutes till the webbing spray dries. Then pull off all the excess foil.

The foil will stick to some of the webbing spray, but not all. It creates a truly amazingly beautiful background.

Color coordinate your CS, webbing spray, and foil.
Jody M.

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1…stamp image on paper side of laminate…
2…using xacto knife..cut away paper of section you want to glitter.
3…remove backing…and apply glitter.
4…continue cutting away paper until the whole image is glittered.
5…apply another sheet of laminate on the back (glitter side).
6…cut out image and apply to project.

Tracey D.

Heated Pearls

On black glossy cardstock cut into fourths, spread out some glue to cover the piece with your fingers. I tried both Perfect Paper Adhesive (works great) and Aileen’s Tack it Over and Over (stays tacky–had to cover it with the PPA). The techniques I read also recommended Elmer’s glue, but I didn’t have any. Make sure the glue layer isn’t -too- thin, or else it’ll dry before you can get it to bubble. Then sprinkle very small amounts of Pearl Ex randomly over the glue, and re-moosh it around with your fingers till you’re more or less pleased with the color distribution. Heat with the heat
gun until it bubbles, then let dry more if it needs it. That’s it!

I have some samples in my gallery:



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Hot Glue Art

Coolest idea. It’s really easy!

Use colored hot glue. Let the glue warm up, then drizzle the glue in a stream into a bowl of cold water. The higher you hold the gun, the finer the lines. The lower you hold the gun, the thicker the lines. Let cool, then lift out of the water. Dry, then attach to a card. Instant art! If it’s warm, you will probably need to put some ice cubes in the
water, otherwise the hot glue will not solidify right away.

Looks a lot neater than it sounds. I’ll try to take a picture of my sample tonight.

Here’a a variation on my directions, using a block of ice:


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Hot Glue Art II

I have been doing this for a couple years now… I use hot glue as well… BUT, I HATE the colored ones… where ya gotta change them in the glue gun when ya want a different color… ( yeah…I am way lazy that way… ROFL )…

SOoooooooo… This is what I do…

I use my hot glue… normal color glue stick… and a rubber mat they make to use for your glue gun to catch the drips. The glue peels right off… and… EMBOSSING POWDERS!! Now… how many of you have loads of purty embossing powders and ya hardly use them ?!?! I am one… hehe…soo…I decided to try this and it works kinda cool…

Make a puddle of hot glue on the mat to roughly the size of your stamp you want to use… then immediately cover the glue blob with embossing powder of your choice (this is great for matching your card … be sure to completely cover the hot glue with the powder… mound it up… let it sit for a few minutes… then pick the mat up and brush off the excess powder with a fluffy paintbrush.

Ink your stamp of choice with either a permanent ink or a clear ink… (pigments will rub off the finished seal so I do not use them)… set the inked stamp aside… heat the glue blob with a heat gun to melt the powder… which of course re-softens the glue… once the powder is melted, immediately put your inked stamp on top. If you are using a wood mounted image, the wood will be enough weight to sink the stamp into the glue… do not press hard at all.

Be careful so you do not get the glue on the foam cushion under the rubber, as it will not come off easily. Allow the stamp to stay in the glue until the glue has cooled, then gently peel the stamp off the glue. The glue seal will pop right off the rubber mat :o)) I do this a lot with antique gold as well as translucent red powders… real purty!!! I DID find though that some metallic powders (like silver) do not work well for this… for when they melt they are hard and do not ‘give’ enough to press a stamp in… weird… lol…

The thing to do though is to play with the glue and powders you have… it is fun to make these to go with your image/design./colors on your cards…:o)))

Hot glue design works fantabulous with Foils!!! :o))))))))
I have drizzled hot glue in a christmas tree shape on a card… allow it to cool… (when hot glue is cooled it is still a tad bit tacky to the touch)… now simply press foils onto the hot glue design… and burnish the excess foils off with a stiff brush… works great!!!!

I also like to color the hot glue with Pearl Ex or any other Mica Powders… looks real cool…..


Sharon ‘Harry’ Solly

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Hot Glue Art III

Cut your slice of glue stick (clear) and heat, then press foil onto it while hot. Let it cool a little till you pull the excess foil away. Heat again and watch the foil change and press your INKED stamp into it. Remove when cool and you have a great embellishment.

Carol C

Ink Wash

I had an epiphany while in a stamp store looking at Art Impression Stamps and one of their booklets on how to use their stamps with a watercolor technique. I realized that if one used their techniques,
rubber stampers could imitate the classic, Oriental, black ink wash paintings. This is the card I hinted at when I said I had sent a special, Stampscapes card to Beppie.

Warning: the first time I tried this technique, I stamped Stampscapes style with the building, trees and mountains overlapping and this just made a “muddy” mess. Use space. Use “open” stamps with space in the image. Most of the classic paintings I have seen do not have much or any overlap of elements. This proved to be a vital point in doing this technique.

This technique does not work on matte paper. I have tried this on glossy cardstock, but watercolor paper works much better. Not only does the paper not buckle but the ink also moves more. Note I did not find that a water pen worked as well as an ordinary paint brush. The one thing I have failed to do so far is to first do an aging, watercolor wash to remove the stark white of my base cardstock (make sure the card is very dry before starting the next step).

Siamese ink wash

The Siamese cat card is done only in black. I just stamped using black dye ink, then wet a small paint brush and moved the black ink from where it was stamped to the empty areas. You put water on the line and then pull it in the desired direction. This creates gray areas that can be lighter or darker as desired. I think this works best with freshly stamped ink. You can pick up more black ink from the stamp pad with a wet brush and brush it on the card. I did this to put a shadow under the cat. The one place I did not put water was on the cat’s tail as I wanted the maximum hair texture.

The panda with bamboo is more “artsy” than what I sent in for the panda / bamboo swap. I used black dye ink for the mountains & panda. The panda did not stamp very well so I used a black watercolor wash to darken the shadows and give the body more shape. I really like how the mountains respond to the addition of water. They take on more substance. The bamboo was stamped with a mistake. I accidentally re-inked a black pad with green ink. It stamps pretty black, but if you add water, the green shows up. So I’m having fun using it to stamp the bamboo, and then wash out a green “cloud.” Now in fact I’m doing part of the wash with green tinted water to add even more color. And once the card was at least partly dry, I went back and filled in the leaves with pine green, water color to darken and fill in the bamboo leaves. Again I put a ground shadow under the panda with brushed on, black ink.

This technique should work well with a brush animal stamp as animals were really stylized in this oriental painting tradition. You might try a brush cat with a cherry blossom limb.My version of waterfall

Enjoy experimenting,
T. Linda

Variation 1

Here is my revamped idea.

I recently tried my black ink wash technique using Marvey #3 blue. I was trying to create the look of the very popular oriental (willow pattern) blue image porcelain. The look of the vases & jars that was a huge import from Asia and widely made in Europe in the 17th & 18th century.

I stamped on watercolor paper using a medium blue (#3). For this one you need to use a smaller stamp that will fit the scale of a jar and you may want to repeat stamp to mimic the porcelain; a tiny landscape, a bird in foliage, some flowers and / or tiny oriental figures. I used a Bee’s Wax crane in water with cloudy “moon” stamp which is fairly large but I thought would work for this experiment. As soon as it was down on the paper, I washed the image out a bit with a water brush. What this means is that a line for water now has a lighter blue haze along it. The cloudy sky now went from a soft hint of blue to the untouched, blue circle of the moon. The bird was softened. Then I pulled out my Marvey, Oriental Blue pad and water colored a bit of darker blue onto the bird’s back.

Then I made a mess of cutting out the image in the shape of a tall jar. It looked more like a milk jug than a graceful oriental vase. I should have sketched it first. I went ahead and mounted it to a card and Charlie (Chazzymc) has the only sample of this revamped technique.

T. Linda

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Ink Wash 2

Sumi pear and chopTo make this sumi-e wash effect, place some Colorbox black (pigment) reinker on your palette (I used a CD case) and have some water handy. With a lightly moistened sumiSumi pears & dragonflies brush, dab some paint on one side of the stamp (large area stamps will work best, I think). Rinse the brush, and paint the rest of the stamp with plain water, then pick up just a touch of reinker with more water and brush it on the part of the stamp you just watered. The results are kind of hit and miss, but usually come out pretty cool. Note: I just used the unmounted stamps as is–didn’t even mount them temporarily.

Heather T.

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Iridescent Shadow TechniqueIridescent Shadow Technique

I learned this at my local stamp store in Madison, WI – Stamping Jazzy Style. It is called the “Iridescent Shadow Technique.”
1. Use glossy cs.
2. Stamp your “background” image using pigment ink – Brilliance gold, moonlight white, or a silver. You can also use copper but it stands out more so just experiment and see what you like.
3. Dry thoroughly with your heat gun. This is important!
4. Using a slightly water-dampened sponge*, dab sponge on a dye ink pad and rub onto the glossy cs. Start with the lightest color first. Add more color – med to dark – as desired.
5. Your main image should be a more bold stamp. Color with markers as desired. HUFF and stamp on cs. WOW – you’ve just made a really cool card!

*you can cut up a regular household sponge into 2″ x 2″ pieces

Linda K.

Leafing Pen Nib Restoration

4 different things: one is to pull out the nib, turn it around and put the dried end in the pen. The solvent in the ink can eventually “lube” it up again. Just don’t forget to recap it! LOL!

If you have some toluene (not likely) you can use a drop on the dried out tip, or try using a couple drops of “UN-DU”. That will dissolve the gold ink that’s fried out as well as fresh gold ink . When it evaporates, the tip should be fine. Just don’t forget to recap it! LOL

I find that UN-DU is great for removing metallic inks from table surfaces, rulers, and skin. I wrote to the company several years ago about this fact. I found out by using it to remove a Mrs. Grossman’s sticker that I had used a gold marker on and it removed the ink!! It only dulls gold on regular cardstock, paper, and uncoated stickers (not a good look).

The other thing I do, for regular markers like “Zig”, is use a drop of “Perfect Ink Refresher (comes in a spray bottle for $5 by Ranger). I unscrew the sprayer and let a drop or 2 onto the nib, recap it and wait. If you can open the barrel, it’s even better, and faster!


Lumière Paint Projects

Gift box (by Cheryl McVeigh)
Lightweight clay pins
Lumière mask
Customizing Buna cord
“Funtustic” jewelry
Bug pin
More jewelry (by Jane Roulston)
Silk decorating
Oval pin (by Tyra Smith)
Matchbox amulet pendant (by Lynne Krucke)

Back to top Marvy Metallics BackgroundMaterials:
Marvy metallic markers (3 different colors)
glossy black cardstock
water spritzer filled with water
heat gun

How to:
Scribble big globs of color using Marvy brand metallic markers on the glossy cardstock. Be bold! Leave a little of the cardstock showing. Spritz the colored cardstock with water until the colors start swirlling around. Use a heat gun to blow the colors around and dry the cardstock. Cut into pieces and use as a background
OR punch out with jumbo craft punches and edge with Krylon leafing pen to make accents for projects. The cardstock can be stamped after it has dried.

My favorite color combination is purple, silver and blue; but truly, all of the combinations look great. Just don’t use too many colors as they may get “muddy” on you.

Jane in San Diego

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Mystical Pearl-Ex Spritz Paper

Supplies:Mystical  Pearl-Ex Sample 1

– 1/2 sheet sized 20lb regular copy/printer paper
– 1-2″ foam brushes
– 3 (or desired amount) coordinating dye reinker colors
– Little container of water
– Dish for watercolor mixing
– Fresh spritz bottle of bleach
– Newspaper to protect surfaces from ink and bleach
– Iron and ironing surface
– Pearl-Ex spritz bottle in aztec gold (Mix 1/2 tsp gum arabic and 1 tsp aztec gold Pearl-Ex to spritz bottle filled with distilled water, shake well before each use.)

1. Mix your reinker colors with water (separately in your mixing dish) with a little water to your desired colors.

2. Using your foam brushes, apply 3 colors randomly to your paper, let dry or iron on backside on low heat until dry. The colors will soften slightly when dry.

3. Spread newspaper on floor and place your watercolored paper on top. Spritz lightly with bleach about 3-4 feet away, giving them a finely speckled appearance and let dry.

4. Leaving your paper on the floor, now spritz from the same height with Pearl-Ex to your liking. Sometimes, I get carried away and it will pool up on the paper and I’ll pick it up and tilt it so the gold runs all over. Let dry again.

5. Now iron backside on low heat, just until paper is flat again.

Mystical  Pearl-Ex Sample 2A few Tips:

– Mix reinker colors together for your own custom colors.
– Use just one color reinker for variations of the same color.
– Mix other colors of Pearl-Ex in separate bottles.
– Try Pearl-Ex spritz on dark cardstock.
– Mist Pearl-Ex spritz on any of your other artwork.

Have fun!
Dawn Hass

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Napkin Cards

Necessary Equipment

1. Paper napkins of your choice
2. Envelopes the size of your finished card
3. Cardstock – white or colored
4. Clear Cling Plus SARAN WRAP
5. Parchment paper
6. Scissors
7. Iron
8. Protection for your work surface

Optional Items

1. Fusible Webbing – such as Pellon, light weight “Wonder Under”
2. Contrasting cardstock for layering
3. Double Sided tape – (Scotch brand)
4. Rubber Stamps
5. Stamp Pads of various colors
6. Mounting tape to raise images above cards
7. Glue
8. Glitter
9. Embellishments – such as “Stickers”
10. Computer “print-out” sayings or greetings


Napkins come in 1, 2, or 3 ply (layers) You must separate the layers and use just the top imprinted one (difficult sometimes to get apart – check carefully – a craft knife is helpful in separating the layers) – otherwise you will end up with nothing but an “unprinted” napkin layer on your cardstock! I save the rest of the layers to wipe off stamps, paint, etc. You use the parchment paper as a bottom layer (on your work surface) because the Saran Wrap will not (should not) stick to it, and can easily be released if you have some that comes over the edges of the cardstock – and you will because it is absolutely impossible to cut it just to size.

FIRST, put down parchment paper, then your choice of cardstock ( the entire card or the cardstock folded to do just the front of the card), then the layer of Saran Wrap (spread smoothly – almost impossible), then the top napkin layer (ply), then another piece of parchment paper, so that when you iron the layers together, the iron will not come in contact with the Saran Wrap -YUCKY! Get a new iron! Yes, a little scrub with a Brillo Pad or SOS will remove the, “stuck-on,” stuff. I just use an old iron that I keep for craft purposes. It takes a “hot” iron – cotton or linen stetting – to adhere the Saran Wrap to the cardstock. You can use the parchment paper over and over – as long as you check and see that there is no residue of Saran Wrap on it – it will show in the light and you can rub it away with your finger.

As far as the envelope is concerned, I select a part of the napkin that I think would look good on it and follow the same process as for the card itself. Just cut the Saran Wrap and napkin as close to the size of the flap as possible. I did discover (by trial and error) that if you insert a small piece of parchment paper between the flap of the envelope, and the envelope itself, they won’t, “stick together,” so to speak, cause that’s not so good!



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To scan 3-D objects and not have the image distorted by light seeping in at the sides, cover your artwork or the scanner lid with a shoebox lid, towel, or piece of black material.

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Seed Paper

This is a great summer activity. Make lots so you’ll have papers in winter with blossoms and seeds galore. These papers make beautiful card fronts, gifts, RAKs…

Making paper using the following technique is inexpensive, quick and the results are worth the effort. I’ve used this procedure with children as young as 3 and adults as old as the hills and all ages in-between. Everyone feels successful and is pleased with the results.

Directions to make Parchment/Seed/Inclusion Papers

Materials needed:
1 Tissues (nose blowers, the cheaper the better, any color) TP (toilet paper) or tissue paper from gift boxes will also work well.
2 dampened wash cloth to wipe your hands
3 Liquid starch (from the grocery store next to the laundry detergents)
Optional Inclusions: Seeds, flower petals fresh or dried, bits of string, glitter,
scent (a drop of perfume in the starch), photocopied pictures, magazine pictures, colored tissue paper…
4 Brownie pan or any shallow container for the starch that doesn’t tip easily.
5 Sponge/cotton balls or a paint brush to apply the starch. (Fingers work too, and are always handiest.)
6 Waxed paper (don’t use aluminum foil; it sticks and won’t come off without tearing the paper.)
7 Masking tape or any sticky tape
8 Optional: Hair dryer and an Iron (a medieval tool used to press clothing)
9 Pillow case (or tea towels…)
10 Newspapers for easy clean-up
11 Waste basket

Your kitchen counter or a picnic table on the patio/veranda are good venues for this ‘experience’. Choose a workspace that is 2-3 times larger than the paper size you’ll create.

1 Cover your workspace with newspapers so all you need do is wrap up the newspapers and toss when done.
2 Cover the newspaper with waxed paper and tape in place. This is your format. It’s okay to overlap it. For delicate papers, separate the layers of tissue; for more sturdy parchment, leave them as is.
3. Cover the entire format with a layer of tissue overlapping the joints a wee bit.
4. Dampen the tissues with starch. Do a small area at a time till all of the tissue is damp. If you want colored paper, add a layer of colored tissue paper at this step and repeat #4.
5. Place your seeds, flower petals or inclusions on top.
6. Repeat #3 and #4.
7. Set aside to dry.
8. Repeat #1-7 to make as many sheets of paper as you wish.

If you add flower petals or scent, the fragrances will be delicate.

Use a hair dryer set on low-medium to dry the papers or let them air dry.
The heat will also release the waxed paper from the parchment and it won’t tear.

Caution! To avoid a conflagration (fire) do NOT use a heat tool to dry your papers.
Once dry, you can iron your papers inside a pillow case or between two tea towels on medium steam heat. Or leave them as is.

These papers are biodegradable, so if you use flower seeds, the recipient can ‘plant’ the card and have flowers in the spring. Flower shapes punched from seed paper are charming.

Should you have any questions, please ask.
Annette :O)

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Soap Art

You will need:
New Bars of soap (I like the ones from motels I visit on vacation. They’re complimentary and come in a wrapper that can be stamped and decorated. Just turn the wrapper inside out. Regular bar soap from the store works, too.)

Melted paraffin (wax, found in the baking section of most grocers). Melt in a bent can (so you have a pour spout) in a pan of water. The flash point of wax (when it catches fire) is higher than boiling water, so if you melt in a pan of water, the wax can’t get above 212F (100C) and it can’t catch fire. THIS IS AN IMPORTANT STEP!

Tissue paper any colors, glue stick, stamps, dye ink pads, small photographs (optional), tongs, newspapers for your working surface, warmed brownie pan

Stamp images on tissue. I use smaller images depending on the size of the bar of soap. Use a glue stick directly on the bar of soap. Tear out the images and adhere to the soap. Overlap to cover ONLY 1 flat side of the soap. Add a small photograph if you wish. Let it set a few minutes. Pour the melted wax into the warmed brownie pan and using tongs, dip the soap into the wax just far enough to cover the stamped images. Leave the rest of the soap bar unwaxed so it can be used. Set on newspapers to cool.

Because the paraffin is translucent, you will be able to see the artwork through it.
Wrap for the holidays and put it in the cupboard ready for gift giving.

For teachers, have each child bring a bar of soap from home. You’ll need to provide soaps for some students, but it can keep down the cost for you. I always choose soaps that I know my friends use. Dove is a favorite because it comes in its own box and can be wrapped nicely once the art and wax are added.

Another technique that is so cool:
Grate soap using your vegetable grater. It’s okay. Just pop it into the dishwater when you’re finished and it comes out clean. Put the grated soap into a bowl and add a few drops of water to make a paste but not enough water to dissolve the soap. Add food coloring if you want the soap to be colored.

On waxed paper, pat the ball of grated soap to 1/2 to 1 inch thick. Using hors d’oeuvres cutters (tiny cookie cutters), punch out the shapes. Reform the ball and flatten until you have punched shapes for all of the soap. Let the shapes sit for a few hours till the water evaporates.

Stamp tiny images on tissue paper with dye inks. When the soaps are dry, use a glue stick to adhere the tissue paper to one side of the soaps. Dip the soaps, just the tissue paper side, into the melted wax and set aside to cool. Put them in a small basket in your guest bath for your guests to use OR Wrap them in plastic wrap, add a bow, put them into a small basket and they’re ready to give as a gift.

One Response to Technique Details (1)

  1. When I was in high school, my art teacher showed us how to take the ink off a print intact. We glued the print upside down on a piece of hardboard (today we probably use MDF or chip-board) Then we let it dry and slowly removed the paper off to leave the picture intact. The trouble is, when I try this today, I can’t get it right. Does anyone know the method to make this work? I have a few prints that I want to take off in this way.

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