Thursday, August 20, 2009

DIY text papers (Caardvarks Stamp Box colour challenge)

One of my favourite things to do is to make do it yourself text papers. Art supplies and/or embossing can make them look like art papers. It's way quicker than going shopping, and you can get any look or theme that you want. (Plus it's practically free, and I'm really cheap, hehehe.)

1...Caardvarks challenge for Stamp Box: pink white & black
2...embossing digital images on patterned gesso paper tricks: embroidery knot flower centers
4...making quick custom mats
5...making a long tag (with the SU punch) freebies: for ledger & text paper


Hope you can join us for this CaardVarks challenge to make something new with the colours of the My Stamp Box logo. The projects that the 'Varks Crew has made are something extraordinary!


...emboss digital images
(on patterned gesso paper)

Don't do Digis? Of course, you can use patterned gesso paper for stamping instead (or paint gesso over stamed backgrounds)

This beauty is a Digi-Shack image: cherry blossom
(scroll down on this page to find it)

These cherry blossoms are printed & embossed
onto patterned gesso paper made by:

A) printing the ledger paper scan (linked below) onto cardstock
B) Painting a wash on it with Gesso
C) Printing the digital image over that & embossing in clear
D) Colouring with a mix of water-based & Copic markers

The Gesso layer lets you emboss digital images since it keeps the ink wet,
but it also gives your colouring fun texture...

It's a snifty way to make homemade patterned paper on the cheap.
More about my beloved Gesso here.


Embroidery knot flower centers

Is there any emebellishment cheaper than sewing?

Step 1) Pierce holes where you want the flower stamens (Gesso makes the cardstock nice & strong for this.)

Step 2) Thread needle with embroidery thread & adhere the end at the back of the image.
Step 3) Pull the thread up through the hole to the front image & knot it
Step 4) Return down the same hole you came up & then you have a knot
Step 5) Repeat :o)


...make custom card mats
(a couple of quick ways)

copic colour mats:

Here's that great trick I learned from Dawn again. Copic coloured papers.

I love the Whitewash for this since it goes on so smoothly--uses very little ink & there's a lot less splotching than more porous papers. (Plus the fact that the ink floats on the surface somewhat means you can blend colours.) {Like I always repeating...I like to use the broad/chisel tips: it applies colour quickly and preserves the finer colouring tip.]

embossed Core'dinations
text pattern papers:

This black text paper is homemade patterned paper.
It's so fast to make! Just print any text on Black Magic Core'dinations & emboss.

I used white embossing powder on this text
(about silk flower making, scanned from a vintage book):

I like this text content for flower cards. It's sized 6x6 inches wide, but if you'd like another size the JPG is linked below too. Of course, you can lighten or colour it if you like...

my distressed mess: I had some double printing & was sloppy with the embossing, but I didn't worry about the flecks ('cause I'm a rebel-haha) --but text will emboss much more clearly on Black Magic Core'dinations if you rubbed an anti-static bag & weren't as sloppy as moi.

faux-stitched faux mat:

lazy person's mat: pierce colour with pink, colour with black, quickie glue pen, glitter. :o)


...make a long tag
(with the SU punch)

The tag is punched by:
  1. Cutting a strip of Black Magic to the width of one of SU's tag punches (or any tag punch)
  2. Slipping the one end of it up & out of the punch (so it's missed by the blade)
  3. Punching just the top of it, for an extra long tag
-->"I'm here for" is from the LPS set {Topiary}
-->"U" is a piece of thin chipboard (embossed)
-->Ribbon & twine (from the "I want it white" collection)


(Ledger paper scan & silk flowers scans)

Here are all of the downloads:

ledger paper
(PDF prints 6.5 high x 4.5 wide)
Click links to download:

1) Ledger Paper PDF
2) Ledger paper JPG

silk flower text

(PDF prints at 6x6 inches)

Click links to download:

Thank You for checkin' this out!

Edited to Add: Thank You Gwen, for reminding me to add this! :-D

(various mediums in your printer)

With gesso (or other goopy media) I can't guarantee it won't affect your printer. Mine was under $50.00 so I play with wild abandon. Maybe experiment with another old printer, if you have a really pricey one? :o)


Linanna DESIGNS said...

Good morning Mel, wow what a stunning card and an absolutely perfect tutorial, you have taught us so much here, thank you! hugs Linda x

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Your blog post will be advertised on the DigiFree Digital Scrapbooking Freebie search engine today (look for timestamp: 19 Aug [LA 11:19pm] - 20 Aug [NY 01:19am, UK 06:19am, OZ 04:19pm] ).

Crafting Queen said...

Another inspiring project and thanks for the downloads as well. Anesha :-)

Teri said...

I love it! inexpensive, and beautiful!

Chris said...

I'm ashamed that I don't comment enough on your blog - I read it everyday! This card is particularly beautiful (and more of something I can "manage" - tee hee). Love it!!

Tricia said...

very very cool Mel ! I never heard of this stuff before. Thanks!

Dawn said...

the Gesso Queen is at it again! Beautiful card!! I still gotta try that printing and embossing...hmmm, I'll have to bring some of stamp room downstairs to do that!
you're the bestest!!!

CFLanger said...

OMGoodness! This card is just beautiful and the tutorial is fabulous! You have a wonderful blog!

Kim said...

This is brilliant! Both the card and the gesso technique. Thanks so much!

Gwen said...

OK OK....I am off to get some gesso today! LOL!!!! If I am understanding is ok to run that through my printer w/o messing up the print heads.

mel m. m. mccarthy said...

Hi Gwen,

Thank you so much for commenting & with such a great question (that's one that I usually put a disclaimer about, but I've been migraine-y and not on the ball lately...) sorry. :o)

I'm very reckless with my printer (a Canon MP240 all in one) since it was only $50.00. I put gesso & paint & other things in it & I don't have any problems (that I can tell, but I'm no pro and only use my printer for stamping stuff.) If your printer is expensive you may want to use an older one for this-or an inexpensive one. Sometimes you can ask around and people have one they're giving away, or you can find free ones online.

Sorry if I took the wind out of your sails on this one. Hope if you can try it that you like it.

Nathalia Castellon said...

Magnificent card Mel! LOVE the stitching details to the flowers. Wow! :)

Toni said...

OMG this is gorgeous!

Beth said...

WOW GF what a gorgeous card I so love looking at your art sure hope you are feeling better and that nasty migraine goes away.

Whimsical Wendy said...

I am bowing to your awesomeness Mel. I totally love this design!! :0)

lilscrappers said...

Mel, you blow me away with all the ideas u come up with. I wish I had the time to play with half of them. You are amazing (like you didn't know that ;) Keep it comin' you have tons of silent fans like me that gaze on in awe and forget to tell you that we are watching!

Anonymous said...

Thank you! :) RosieB

Unknown said...

Gorgeous Mel! I love the close up pics that show all the amazing details!

(-: Heidi

SmilynStef said...

Your creativity never ceases to amaze and inspire ... thanks so much for all of the instructions and fabulous photographic details. You rock ♥

Tiff said...

This is gorgeous!!!! WOW! I love everything!!! And thanks for the tips!

Erum Tasneem said...

This is beautiful Mel.