Techniques with Brown Paper Bags
I save brown grocery bags….never know when they will come in handy. Some of you may already do this, but I had to try it. I had a large piece of a bag left over and am a packrat. I hate to throw anything away. I dragged it into my stamp room and cut a piece off. About 12″ x 5″. Then I cut that in half. Went and grabbed a couple of Encore ink pads, Gold & Bronze. Then I wrinkled both pieces and dragged my ink pads over them. Wheeee! What a beautiful background paper and it is freeeeee!!!!
I am sure you can do this with other in pads, as well, like black, brown or other Encore colors. Then just put it between 2 pieces of paper and press it flat. You could also wrinkle it again and add another color of ink.
Crinkle and crush them up until your arms and hands get tired. Then take paste shoe polish and rub it in with a soft, old rag. Looks like ancient leather. Air it out for a few days if you don’t like the smell.
And tagging on to the shoe polish while you have it out….Rip pieces of plain (not blue or other color) masking tape and place them randomly over a piece of paper, cardstock or whatever you want to have this particular texture on. Once everything is covered, apply paste (wax) shoe polish in your choic of color all over the masking tape. Don’t know what you would call it, but pay extra attention to the torn edges of
Jane in San Diego
Fill a small spritz bottle with a little bit of water. Add 2-3 drops of alcohol ink and a little heap of mica powder (such as Pearl Ex). Jump up and down around the room until it’s mixed, then spray your paper. On dark paper it’s quite iridescent; on white paper, the dye ink does a nice job of lightly coloring your paper without being intrusive, and the powder leaves a nice sheen. There’s no need for fixative, because
the alcohol in the ink acts as one for the powder, so it doesn’t come off on your hands, either.
When I am working on a vintage theme, I like to give my embellishments an aged look. I have found a really quick and easy way to do this.
Running them over a flame gives them a blackened look which I just love and they can then be sealed with fixative, so that it doesn’t rub off.
I have tried several different methods, over a candle flame, over a match flame (always holding the embellishment with long tweezers – of course!), but my overall favourite and quickest way, is to use a mini blow torch that is run by gas. We can pick them up here in Western Australia at our local hardware store and they are just
simply called Hot Spots.
I have loaded a pic of this mini blow torch into my webshots album under the folder Ageing Embellishments. I have also added a pic of a card I made where I aged the oriental coin and the photo turns with the above method.
Any questions, please feel free to ask..
Use a bookboard type square. First…..using the DPT technique, color each tile with a different color. (Of course you can make them all alike if you want to) Then……while the tile is still wet, dip it in embossing powder and heat to set.
Next….do this same thing again.
And….one more time but this time, put the kimono tile down on it while the embossing powder is still wet. The kimonos seem to sink right into this.
On the last go round, using a silver stamp pad, restamp the kimono over the tile to make the kimono stand out.
The important thing is you need to be dipping the tiles in the embossing powder while they are still hot.
I used some tiny stamps of kimonos that I have. I think you could also use just about anything.
All you need is your computer, printer (bubblejet ink printer works best…NOT A LASER PRINTER) and a piece of transparency film.
Before printing you will need to change your print options to print MIRROR if you are using words. To change mine I went to FILE, PRINT, PROPERTIES and then LAYOUT and changed my printer to print MIRROR and I also changed the PRINT QUALITY to print NORMAL OR BEST (this puts more ink out when printing).
I put the transparency film in shiny side to print (mine are dull one side and shiny on the other) and printed it out.
VERY IMPORTANT!!! Let it sit for about 20 minutes so the ink will dry.
I used a popsicle stick and rubbed on the words/ graphics onto a small tag and used it on a card. This would be great for personalizing a card and adding someone’s name!
After you’ve rubbed off the ink you can clean the transparency film and use it again.
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Using black or dark colored cs, stamp your image with a versa mark or clear embossing pad, then sprinkle with clear embossing powder and heat to emboss. When cool use a white pigment ink pad (I used brilliance white) and brush it all over the card (or just the design if you want). After this is done, use your preference of coloring the image. Either pigment inks, of your choice or chalks work just fine.
This has a stunning effect, especially on asian flowers and kimonos.
If you are a fan of using napkins in your creations, this background technique should be of interest to you. The botanical card is made with paper towels that have been given a gold metallic wash and pressed with an iron. The leaves are Sheer Heaven colored with Prismacolor pencils. The butterfly card background is made with paper towel that was left to air dry. It is very sparkly and I couldn’t scan the stamped butterflies on the background. The central tile is made with a pressed paper towel. All images by Hearts in Touch. Vinyl butterfly sticker from Pop Ups by Plane Class. I’ve also uploaded some tiles made by covering squares of mat board with a layer of paper towel so you can get an up-close look.
- paper towels (any kind, these are the kind on a roll that you use in the kitchen)
- inks, dyes, paints or colorants (Dyna Flow) of your choice
- foam paint brush for spreading colors
- water mister filled with water
- gesso (optional–this is a primer paint sold in the fine arts aisle of most craft stores)
- mica powders (optional–these are Pearl Ex, Perfect Pearls, etc.)
- metallic paints (optional)
- aluminum foil
- blank newsprint (optional)
- iron for pressing (optional)
Place a piece of aluminum foil on your work surface. Place a sheet of paper towel on top of the aluminum foil. Using the water mister, mist the towel so it is damp but not sopping wet; this helps the colors spread. If you are using gesso, skip the misting step and apply the gesso directly to the paper towel and let it dry completely. Gesso makes the paper towel very sturdy and look/act more like canvas.
Using inks, re-inkers, thinned down acrylic paint or other colorants, randomly apply dabs of color all over the paper towel. Be careful not to use too many colors or you may get a muddy look. Use the water mister and the foam brush to push the colors around and let them bleed together.
For a sparkly or metallic look, create a wash by watering down metallic acrylic paint or mixing mica powders to a clear binder (such as clear acrylic paint, Future floor finish or Diamond Glaze). Apply in a haphazard manner, letting some areas get globs of color and leaving other areas plain. This adds visual interest to the background.
You now have a choice: You can air dry the paper right on the aluminum foil. If it sticks, it doesn’t matter; it just makes the paper all the stronger. OR you can carefully lift the paper towel and press it with an iron between sheets of clean newspaper. HINT: If you are pressing the paper, add another sheet of paper towel on top of the decorated paper towel to get a washed out version for future use.
Pressing the paper towel allows for a smoother surface that is more acceptable for stamping. Air drying leaves beautiful texture to the paper.
Adhere to your project by using glue stick, double sided tape, spray adhesive, mod podge, Diamond Glaze or acrylic gel medium depending on the look you are going after.
NOTES: There is a technique where you actually want the paper towel to stick to the aluminum foil. This makes a beautiful material that you can crumple and arrange into frames or other embellishments. The credit for that technique belongs to Mary Jo McGraw.
Jane in San Diego (J. Stumpfel) Not to be reposted without permission
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Make a little oriental sachet from stick or cone incense.
Crush a stick (or cone) incense, put a tiny bit of scoop into a folded washi scrap paper (of course decorate with stamp!!) and glue them together.
This is called “Fu-mi-ko”(pronouce like foo-me-ko) which is a tiny sachet especially for mailing envelope.
I am an avid watercolorer and this is my all time favorite tip that was passed on to me.
Stamp your image you are going to watercolor onto the cardstock. Lightly spray with Krylon Matte Spray (available with sealers and spray paints). It will dry in seconds. (best to shake the can for 30 seconds before you spray! as per instructions on the can)
The matte spray makes any ink waterproof (navy, gray, brown, etc.) and lightly coats the paper so the watercolors blend effortlessly.
You can watercolor with any medium – aquapainters, blender pens, paintbrushes, etc.
Because the paper is coated, it won’t soak up the water as fast, won’t curl and won’t “pill.”
Have black and white clip art that you want to use in your artwork but don’t want to take time to color?
Give it a wash of light walnut ink and add highlights with mica powders. Looks great and you can do several sheets of clip art ahead of time and then they are ready to go.
Never did this before, so I hope it is ok. I am new to stamping, so maybe this is old for you guys ;-)) Then, just delete…
I have caught the ”background making” virus ;-)) Since I only own 8 stamps of which one background stamp I need to be creative…
Yesterday I created a background which I really like, and has an Asian look.
I started cutting out flowers from a magazine, and glued those to a piece of paper (dark colours first, light colours last) then I adhered silver skeleton leaves to the whole project (glued one bit of the background at a time with a glue stick), then cut the paper up and covered it with Versamark and UTEE, to make sure everything stays in place.
I have placed two cards made with this background paper and a piece of the background paper itself in my photo album at Yahoo groups;
Regards from the Netherlands,
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I’m going to tell you, in just a few easy steps how to create printed twill or ribbon to express exactly what you want.
1. Go to a fabric and craft store (Wal-Mart sells it also) and purchase your twill or ribbon. (I buy my twill by the yard at Walmart)
2. I choose to cut my twill (or ribbon) to the desired length before stamping, but you can stamp first.
3. I then stamp my words or graphics onto the twill or ribbon (or if you stamped first, you’d cut now)
4. Last thing is to choose your method and attach to your project.
You now have created your own printed twill or ribbon to express just what you want. This doesn’t have a ‘professionally printed’ look to it, but that’s why I like it so much. It has that soft, handmade appeal to it. After all, if we wanted the professionally printed look we would just buy it right? 😉
Magnetic stamp sets by Making Memories work well for this project, as do the Oopsie (Sentiment) sets from TAC or any other `mini’ sets. If you use ribbon and it’s a wider ribbon you have even more stamp choices as you have a larger workspace.
Thanks for reading!
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Printed or patterned vellum can be created easily by scanning a favorite piece of patterned paper and saving it in a word document.
Open the word document and set margins at zero on all four sides. Then print on deli paper that you’ve taped to copy paper at the top edges. Make sure the deli paper is on top when you place the taped edge down in the paper feed of your printer. Deli paper can be purchased in rolls, but I prefer the paper that comes in sandwich-size pop-up sheets. I get mine at Sam’s Club or at Costco. I think there are 500 sheets to a box and they usually come 2 boxes to a package. You may wish to ask fellow Stampers to divide the packages and share the cost. Be sure to let the printed vellum dry before you touch it.
I have made a few Faux Foil Stickers and thought I would share the technique with anyone who has not done them. Easy peasy and ever so much fun! Use any color paper (I like black also) and clear embossing powder. Ink your stamp (I like black Memories, Stazon it’s up to you though) and print stamp, emboss, heat, then quickly dip it again in the powder for a second time and heat. Run Gold/Silver or Copper Leafing Pen over the image, cut it out and run it through the Xyron “create a sticker” machine and enjoy. Note: Deeply etched and not to much solid rubber in your image usually works out the best.
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Do you hate to toss out all your wee bits of mulberry, pricey washi & handmade papers? Make elegant confetti backgrounds! It’s simple & thrifty, so start saving all your teensy scraps of gaily colored paper.
1. Coat a sheet of cardstock with Gloss Mod-Podge.
2. Place all your saved bits of mulberry, washi, handmade leftovers on the card stock, covering surface evenly.
3. Paint another coat of Gloss Mod-Podge over the scraps.
Let dry & voilà! you have unique & unusual backgrounds.
If you want to flatten your dry cardstock, place it upside-down on an old towel & BRIEFLY iron the backside on LOW setting. You can also flatten the paper under a blotter or books.
You can of course, color coordinate your confetti for special projects. Have fun!
Stamp an image with bold lines on glossy card stock with black ink. Outline the image with white crayon, then sponge on ink (sev. colors look better). The crayon acts as a resist, forming a halo effect around the image. Try it — it’s fun!!!!