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Topic: Re-vamped computer paper (TUTE ADDED!)  (Read 12969 times)
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Goddess Divine
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« on: August 02, 2007 12:41:02 PM »

Hi!  So, i'm a huge fan of mail, i.e. letters, snail mail, post, whatever, etc. And, since i have absolutely ATROTIOUS handwriting most of my letters end up being type-written.  The problem, of course, is that plain old vanilla computer paper is EXTREMELY boring, and magically delicious pretty paper is majorly expensive!  The solution?  To dye my own paper with chalk dust!  I'm sure there must be a post on here already with regard to how to do this, but I learned how in 5th grade and have been loving it ever since.  So, here are my most recent results:


Ok, i'm not in a photo-taking mood, so you'll need to use your imagination with this tute!
1. Grab some computer paper, a butter knife, some chalk (artist's chalk, not sidewalk chalk), and a shallow pan (I use my pyrex 13X9 cake pan).

2. Fill the pan 1/2 of the way full with water.

3. Choose a piece of chalk and, holding it over the pan, scrape some dust off with the cutting side of the knife.  I tried doing this with a plastic palette knife, and the sound was like nails on a chalkboard!  Stick to metal, and stick to butter knives.

4. The water should be tinted with color, but you dont want piles or clumps of dust hanging out on the waters surface.  Youll have to play around with your different colors of chalk and see how much you really need of each color, but a little definitely goes a long way.  Certain colors will clump up every time, I noticed this mostly with purple and black, not sure why.  Also, youll notice that some colors repel other colors which can be very cool or very annoying, depending on what you were going for.  Some colors are hard to see once theyve made contact with the water (so photos would be useless anyway) but youll notice when you put the paper down that they suddenly show up brilliantly!

4 . If you dont like the way the chalk is sitting on the water you can blow it gently or cut swirls in it with your knife.  However, this can cause clumpage and should be done with care.  Once you get the feel of how your particular chalk behaves youll understand more what I mean by this.

5. Take the paper and hold it at both ends with a little slack so it bows in the middle.  Lay it on the waters surface this way so that there is no air trapped between the paper and the water.
Like this!:

6.  At this point, you have two options:  
(1)You can push the paper through the waters surface all the way to the bottom of the pan.  This will ensure that the entire front of the paper has been coated with chalk, and you might get a slight design on the back as well.  OR,
(2) you can lift the paper off of the waters surface, keeping the back of the paper, and your hands, mostly dry.

7. Depending on how much chalk you used last time, you can dip another piece of paper in without adding more chalk and get a pale design, or you can scrape more chalk in and repeat from step four.  Dont worry if your water isnt so clear anymore, its the chalk suspended on the surface, not the dissolved chalk, that will color your paper.  Of course, if the water gets murky you probably should change it out.

8. To finish up, I put my pages on my deck outside in the sun, weighted down with pebbles, You can also just line a table with newspaper and lay them out to dry that way.  While theyre still wet I mist them with Hairspray (this can be done once theyre dry too, but they might get sticky).  This fixes the chalk in place so that any small clumps you may have wont smudge.  After theyre dry I iron them out (overkill, I know) so that my printer can handle them easily.  (Hairspray on the front, iron from the back with something protective between the ironing surface and the paper, just to be safe)

p.s. if you're a highroller you could buy pro chalk fixative, but I swear by my Suave Extreme Hold.
And Voila!  Let me know if I forgot anything!
« Last Edit: June 19, 2015 08:08:12 AM by kittykill » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2007 12:47:13 PM »

wow! that's pretty cool. Yeah- if you wouldn't mind, I'd love to know how to do this.

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« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2007 12:52:34 PM »

So cool....I just happen to have an entire box of old school tractor feed computer paper here that is screeming to be revamped.  Now I know what to do with it, thanks to you =)

« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2007 01:05:47 PM »

that looks awesome - I'd be interested in instructions too.

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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2007 01:13:41 PM »

I'd definitely like a tutorial as well Smiley That looks really nifty!
jenna rose
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2007 01:22:23 PM »

 Shocked how awesome!  for the love of everything crafty, please post a tute!  Cheesy
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splish splash i was takin a bath

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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2007 01:37:56 PM »

a tute would be fabulous! then i can have pretty and cheap paper to write on when i send out my swap stuff! cuz thats really the only time i write letters...

Red Fumes
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2007 02:28:07 PM »

Thank-you for the tute! It's so cheap and simple, I'm going to try it out Grin
Goddess Divine
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« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2007 05:52:59 PM »

You're welcome!  It's my pleasure.  Thanks for all the sweet feedback.  Smiley
Crazy Craft Lady
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Life is good.

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« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2007 08:19:16 PM »

Is it OK to put the paper in the printer after it's been dyed?  I wouldn't think chalk dust would be too good for the gears.

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