Monday, March 1, 2010

The beginnings of Decorating Papers.........

I have had many friends ask me how I decorate my papers.   For the papers I am going to show you here, I used some acrylic paints and a lot of Ranger's Adirondack Color Spray Washes and Ranger's Distress Reinkers with Perfect Pearls.  And you can use any dye ink reinkers to accomplish the same thing.   Just add the reinkers to the water until you are happy with the color.    Since I do so many at a time, I make up a quart size bottle of water, reinkers and perfect pearls.   One Warning:   This is a messy endeavor but a whole lot of fun.

A lot of times I will lay down some color with acrylic paints using stencils, masks, puchinella, etc and be sure and let it dry thoroughly before you put on the next layer of color.  I use the excess paint that is left on the stencil from the first piece to make another print on a new piece of paper.  I just turn the stencil over and rub my hand over the stencil or you can use a brayer.   I never let any paint go to waste.  It will be a lighter print of the stencil but makes for a good design.   You will see a lot of that done on these papers where there are many different colors.   I always let it dry between each color.  

Another way to make really great designs on your paper is lay down some light weight plastic and don't lay it out smooth.   Spray it with a few colors and then lay the paper down on it.  Pick it up and let it dry.   It gives it a great design that shows up on a lot of my finished papers that I have shown in previous posts.

I just try all kinds of stencils, Punchinella, doilies, name it and just have a lot of fun doing it.

You can make your own stencils cutting whatever design you like.  I make geometric designs and sun rays and cut them out using an exacto knife.   Joann's/Michaels has sheets of stenciling material that works great.    I made some out of wallpaper and that worked well.   Any acrylic plastic sheets you have will work too.   Just look around, you will be surprised what will work.   Chipboard and anything paper will wear down after awhile.     In order to learn more about stencils and such, I took this great class with Mary Ann Moss called Stencilry.   She uses can spray paints but the smell gets to me so I use the color washes and reinkers to color with.

Another thing I like to use for the first layer is big image stamps like big leaves, big moon and stars, you name it, you can use it.   I do this with acrylic paints and let it dry thoroughly before you do the second layer of color.   And be sure and wash your stamps right away when using acrylic paints.

I use Wausau 140 lb Exact Index weight paper.    You find this kind of paper at places like Kelly Paper and PaperZone or whatever you have in your area.   I learned about this wonderful paper from Kelly Kilmer as it is such a cheaper route to go over watercolor paper.   It holds up well to paints, water and sprays.   Kelly does a lot of bookmaking and journaling classes  and she does online classes too which I have attended and loved.  

So this is the first, second, and third layers in my paper decorating endeavors.   Once I complete these, I will show you the finished product.

Here is a couple to start with.........

Here is a link to an older post of mine where I showed some of my other decorated papers.    

Please don't hesitate to either leave a comment or contact me via email, rubbermick at yahoo dot com if you have any questions about what I did above. 


  1. Love all the layers & color...will await the finished products!!! I appreciate the name of the Wasauu paper....too!!!

  2. These are great, Nancy! Thanks so much for sharing this technique and also the name of the paper! That's good info to have!

  3. Great paper, now I can use up that which was no longer my favorite by over-inking it.

  4. Do tell. Where did you get the punchinella with the biggest holes?

  5. Hello Nancy,

    thanks for sharing your backgroundtechniques ! I know most of them, but it's always nice to see a reminder.

    I had to smile when you wrote : " you never waste any paint"... You're like my mom who paints... : she almost never clean her brushes. She rubs her brushes with left over paint on other papers until all the paint is gone :)

    I'm trying to do the same now and you do end up with very nice backgrounds. Like you wrote : to turn over the sprayed stencil on another paper... Mostly I clean my stencils right away, but now I'll try more like you do.

    If I don't like the result, I can add more layers in the future until I like it. What is done first will add an interesting layer and layers is something I'm really fond of.

    So, like my mom, thanks to be an inspiration :)
    greetings from Belgium


Thanks a lot for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. That means a lot to me.