Wednesday, July 9, 2008

4. Patterned Gesso cardstock/DIY Designer Paper (& dress templates)

In this post:
A) Dress template B) Gesso patterned Cardstock tutorial C) Card elements made with little gesso dresses & gesso d.p.

A) Dress Template:

dress template or pattern for cards scrapbooking

The dress template is linked in a PDF here for any of you who may want to use it, but who don't want to read about gesso. ;0) The largest one could be used to make a 6" shaped card. The smaller ones will fit on standard cards (5 1/2" x 4 2/8") Several more dress templates linked here.

B) Easy-Peasy Patterned Gesso Cardstock:
(photo tutorial below)

Okay, you may be tired of gesso cardstock, but you'd be surprised how easy it is to make this version (& much less messy than the thick textured version--though I do love making messes!) Wish I had a video camera, so I could show you how fast & simple this is! (But then I'd have to do my hair--Oh man, you should see how bad it usually is, lol.)

  • Cardstock (I like the back of glossy c.s. but others should work & just need more flattening)
  • Stazon or ink of choice
  • Brayer (optional)
  • Gesso
  • Brush (read somewhere that it's a good idea to reserve one for gesso use)

Summarized directions:

1. Stamp text/background... onto the back of a sheet of glossy cardstock
(glossy c.s. curls less, but regular will work, it may just need flattening under a book.)

2. Mix Gesso with water (or use undiluted) (for this one sheet I used about a teaspoon of gesso and a 1/4 tsp or a wee splash of water--water amount depends on consistency of the gesso you have & translucency that you want)

3. Brush Gesso on in long strokes (cover as much or as little as you like. Leave raised lines by using a rougher brush or adding more gesso if you want that brush-stroke look.)

1. Brayer your stamp for even coverage.
Stazon (or other waterproof inks won't bleed, but you can use Classic (dye) ink as long as you don't mind if it tints your gesso a little bit. If you don't overwork dye inks, they shouldn't smudge.)

2. Stamp back (rough side) of entire sheet of glossy cardstock.

Or other cardstock. Don't worry about irregularities in stamping. It's a random look & the gesso smooths things out for you.

3. Mix Gesso with water

(For this one sheet I used about a teaspoon of gesso and a wee splash of water. The amount of water will depend on the consistency of the gesso you have & how thin you want it to look.) If it goes on too thin you can always add a second coat. If you want brush strokes to show use it a little thick.

4. Brush Gesso on in long strokes...

...Or in short strokes, swirls... however you want. Cover your text or image as much or as little as you like. Leave raised lines by using a rougher brush or adding more gesso if you want that brush-stroke look.)

C) Card elements:

These are little dresses made & mounted on (and/or embellished with) DIY gesso designer paper. I love how strong the gesso makes the paper so that stitching is a joy & won't tear...but if you like the look and don't want to gesso, you could just use the template on regular cardstock or d.p. (guess that's overstating the obvious!) I made these little pieces with both textured gesso c.s. & with the text patterned gesso c.s. that I made in the tutorial above:

Here's how to do these dresses:

1. Get textured gesso cardstock or d.p... (for this one I brayered on the gesso, inked with brown ink, sprayed with water & brayered again)

2. Run it through the printer to print dress template (if you dare) ;0)

3. Emboss the wet printer ink with clear embossing powder (or e.p. of choice)

4. Cut & embellish dresses

This Baby doll dress
is tied with skinny black organza ribbon & embellished with snaps (used my Tim Holtz design ruler & making memories piercer to get even holes and snapped the male & female end to add the snaps to the paper. They hold themselves on--and I think the snaps would look schnifty even if you could see the backs of them on the inside of a card. They're cute lookin')

Between the snaps, the stitches are markered on (if you use a stamp'n'write marker they'll need to be embossed to stay put, oh darn! lol--I just love embossing!)

The darker words detail is added by going over it in pencil & then clear Sakura glaze pen (so the graphite wouldn't smudge.) I freak in a happy way that the Friend by Definition background stamp says "ineffable" and "underlying oneness" [two of my favourite literary motifs in two of my favourite writers' work: The ineffable in Samuel Beckett & underlying oneness in Virginia Wolf. (Sorry had to geek out on ya!)] ;0)

This little shift was stitched like this:
  • Pierce the dress where you'd like the stitches to go
  • Stick it to your paper & re-pierce the stitches (so it goes all the way through your paper)
  • Sew the thread through (the c.s. is nice & strong from the gesso) I used black embroidery thread & I like to anchor the end of the thread with adhesive at the back
  • The background paper is made by distress embossing (tutorial here.) I just added a wash of waterproof black magic ink to the paper that's described in that tutorial
  • The round tab punch is made of Notebook designer series paper (SU) embossed with "exquisite" from Amazing to Zany & punched with the round tab punch. It's held on with a straight pin from Making Memories.
  • The bottom detail is punched with the Spiral punch (& embellished with a mystery vintage number tape--sorry no source; it was a gift from my sweeeeeeet Aunt Kat.)

This little dress is super simple. More snaps & stitching, but it has a little hook & eye. (Reminds me of my favourite Margaret Atwood poem):

You fit into me
like a hook into an eye
A fish hook
An open eye

(Creepy, I know, & that's why I love it, hehe)

This house dress was fun. The neckline is made using the scallop circle punch Just punch it stick it on & cut away the extra. More organza tied around the waist, snaps & embossed stitch details between them & embroidery stitching (done the same way as i described above.) Marker & clear embossing powder again to add the faux stitching.

The scallop hem
detail was made with another of the gesso patterned cardstocks that I made. It used the Form & Function background, which I had never used but am now super glad that I bought. One awesome thing about gesso paper pieces is that you can give them a fine embossed edge to distress them. I wanted the scallop hem to stand out from the white text background, so I just edged it with a black SU marker & stuck it in embossing powder.

Something about playin' with all of this stuff is blissful in a rudimentary way isn't it? Like sand castles & finger painting, no? And... the most fun playing of all--just like a playdoh barbershop toy: the Cuttlebug...

...Of course you can cuttlebug these thingers. This is the largest dress of the template. It's 6 inches tall. I ran it through two cuttlebug embossing folders: the Swiss Dots folder (skirt) & the Floral Fantasy folder (top.) Then Crayon rubbed the top & markered in the sunken dots of the skirt (adding embossing powder to set the marker.) The faux-stitching along the bottom is also marker embossed. The black ribbon is a vintage ribbon that I got ages ago in a great secondhand shop. (How I miss the garage sales & secondhand shopping of Ontario, sighhhhh...)

Thanks so much for reading my blabbering/looking at the pics &
I hope you have a crafty-Bliss kind of day! :0)

P.S. Edited to Add:


Kim said...

Oh these are adorable, thank you for sharing the patterns with us! Your blog is always so informative. I haven't tried many of the things you have done tutorials on, but I plan to do some! Great ideas and inspiration!


Anonymous said...

You are amazing!!! I still don't know how yu find the time to do all this. You inspired me to experiment last night. I should have a card later today to show you. I also added a used dryer sheet to gesso and ink.

Maria said...

Wow, Mel. . .how do you find the time to post all your tips and techniques? But keep them coming. . . I love them!

I love the template! Thank you for sharing it! Your cards turned out fabulously with the template! As always, beautiful job!


Jeanne said...

Thank you for the sharing you do. I am fairly new to your blog and haven't yet had a chance to try some of your tutorials, but I hope to soon. I wish I had an ounce of your creativity!

Thanks, also, for visiting my blog and leaving such nice comments! :o)

Crafty Treasures said...

Oh WOW.....You've been a busy lady! These are really beautiful...I'm gonna have to get some Gesso now and try! Hurray, another technique in my tool bag!! You are a true creative mastermind!! Thanks for sharing! (And thanks for your comments on my blog last week!)

Joani McDonald said...

Mel how stinkin' cute are those! You are simply amazing. I look at your blog the 1st everyday. Thank you so much for the inspiration!

Deb Neerman said...

WoWZa, Mel, you're one busy Chickida!!

These tutorials are fantastic; thanks for sharing ... YKYR!

Petras-Creationen said...

Oh, you are amazing. I love your works. How much hours has you day?????
This is really a great idea.


Annapurna said...

Gosh these dresses look awesome. Look at all the perfect embellishments too. Great work and TFS the templates.

StampinCathy said...

Another great tutorial and your project is so adorable.

Tonniece said...


Thanks for the cool patterns Mel.

I finally just started printing all this out, so I don't have to keep running back to my puter, cause I have that ICRAT syndrome going on. lol

Your cards are so unique, and adorable.

Have a great day A M

CreativeMish said...

I love all the projects you've been showing. I've used gesso for several years on my tolepainting. I never thought of incorporating into my stamping projects! Thanks for the fabulous ideas! and tutorials!

Anonymous said...

I love each new e-mail update I receive from your blog. You present such neat ideas and tutorials. Thanks for sharing with us.

Anonymous said...

How adorable are these little dresses! I especially like the snap embellishment. I have sewn for years so I'll be digging through my drawers to find those! I'd love to have a fraction of your creativity!!
Beth Greco

Anonymous said...

Ohh, I was just reading the other comments and someone used a dryer sheet in the gesso. Isn't that brilliant?!? I've tried to stay away from this gesso stuff but I'm hearing it calling my name.... ohhhh no!
Can I resist...dumdumdum....
Beth G

Chriserendipity said...

Hi Mel! I just have to tell you that I think you are the MOST creative and original designer out there! I blurf a lot of blogs and you definitely win my vote hands down for the artsy/practical/fun techniques that you so freely share. Thanks for having a heart of gold, and an enthusiastic, adventuresome spirit--you're a real blessings to us!


Risa said...

I love love love all of the beautiful! This Gesso technique is new to me Mel. Where would I buy c/s that has Gesso on it? Or do I have to get in there and make it myself! lol

Angie Tieman said...

Wow! I love these dress projects! They are so cool, and the snaps too, love them! Thanks for sharing the dress pattern too!

ScrapMomOf2 said...

Wow! This looks like cut out papers dolls . . . I can picture my girls TOTALLY getting into making something like this! What fun! Love the Cuttlebug effects too! Mel, I've said it before, and I'll say it again, you are AMAZING!!

katemade designs said...

THESE ARE WONDERFUL. Thanks for the template, the tutorial and the inspiration. You really do rock!

Michelle Pearson said...

Totally WOW! You are a busy one!! Love looking at all you've been up to! Love the cards you made....very fun and different!!

Traicee said...

Thank you for your tutorial- your cards are fabulous and so inspiring! I am going to try this with paint in my gesso...

Shirley said...

Mel, did you use white or clear gesso? I love all of your blog and read lots by feed.

Thanks for a great blog.

Julie S. said...

Holy Freakin' Dinah! I just LOVE your use of materials, Mel -- WOW -- I gotta get me some snaps!!!

Just wonderful!
Hugs for sharing. *jumping up and down with excitement and inspiration*

Pattyjo said...

You are such a great teacher and you inspire me to use my gesso. I have had it for awhile and now I am going to have some fun with it. I just wasn't sure how to use it until now. Thank you sooooo much!