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Topic: Fabric Paper Tutorial - Great for Journals, ATCs etc  (Read 8123 times)
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« on: February 04, 2013 05:25:46 AM »

Hi All, I've recently got into making fabric paper, which is great for covering books, mixed media art, ATC backgrounds etc, so I thought I'd share my friend Margaret's method here:

Fabric paper by Purple Heather, on Flickr

As the name suggests, fabric paper is a big sheet of paper, pasted with glue and then covered with lots of textured paper and other materials. As we're primarily embroiderers, lots of the stuff we put on is textiles related, but you could add all sorts of papers, as long as they will glue down. It's quite an easy, fun make, though it does have quite a lot of drying time.

If you want to make some, you'll need:

  • A piece of cotton/muslin (not too loose a weave), whatever size suits your project/work area. We used a piece about A3 size (like two sheets of letter paper side by side, approximately)
  • PVA/Craft glue, in a big jar/pot, diluted 1/3 glue to 2/3 water
  • An old brush suitable for gluing & brushes for acrylic paint
  • Lots of interesting textured things to paste on to your paper, e.g.:
    • Plasterers' scrim - it's a plastickey mesh that is (slightly) adhesive on the back, and is sold on a roll - I guess it would come from Home Depot or another hardware store
    • scraps of lace, scrim fabric, muslin, gauze, etc
    • Melted kunin felt or dollar store duster, when you heat it with a heat tool then it melts and goes holey in places
    • scraps of shiny metallic fabrics or papers
    • Crumpled brown paper
    • Magazine clippings, especially on shiny paper to let a bit of the print show through
    • Tissue paper, either plain scrumpled tissue, or textured kitchen roll
    • All this is optional, anything with texture that can be glued on is worth a try!
  • Acrylic paints, we used the absolutely cheap ones from a high street clearance bookstore, if you have the equivalent, like $1/tube acrylics, those are fine!
  • Paint palette/old plate, one with a flat area on it
  • Metallic stuff, e.g. metallic acrylic paint, markal paintstiks (shiva oilbars) (optional, but adds pizazz!)
  • Sewing machine, threaded with a bold colour, e.g. red or metallic (optional, but adds pizazz!)

Lay a plastic sheet on your work table, shut out the baby, cat, etc, and put some tunes on, this is a messy job! Get your big sheet of cotton/muslin and paste it all over with the PVA glue (Craft glue) & water mix, then paste on your pieces of chopped up scraps of things, still with a gluey brush. If you go to here, I've added notes to highlight a few of the things we pasted on.

I would go to town sticking things on, some stuff won't stick, some will, so you can always peel off the bits that haven't stuck later. Another tip if something won't stick is to lay a thin layer of tissue over it and paste it down well. Leave the gluey mess to dry - it'll look horrid!

Fabric paper by Purple Heather, on Flickr

Once your piece has dried, get some acrylic paints and apply a couple of colours to your palette (or old plate) thinking about good combinations for colour mixing, and drag your brush through them, then paint over the piece, aiming for good colour mixing, a wet brush might help. Cover the sheet in acrylic paints, but be careful not to go too thick, so as to keep the texture of the underlying materials.

Again, I would let the piece dry, and then dry brush on some metallic paint, either gold acrylic, or some markal paintstik/shiva oilbar. Run this thinly over the raised areas, to highlight them and add glitz. Let it dry.

The last step is optional, but you can add some interest if you have a sewing machine threaded with either a bold thread colour, like red, or a metallic. Stitch into your piece, either in straight lines, zigzag stitch, or any of the automatic patterns, like a satin stitch. Take it easy and just meander over the fabric paper. You can use the stitching to tack down any elements that might not have stuck.

Fabric paper by Purple Heather, on Flickr

Fabric paper by Purple Heather, on Flickr

You can use the finished piece of fabric, which is quite sturdy, to cover books, as a base for ATCs, etc, to back pictures before you mount them, anything. It's great fun, I'd love to see what you do with it!

*Mods - I've tried to pick the right place to put this, as I felt it was most applicable to the Arty end of the Craftster scale, but feel free to move it if I've aimed wrongly! Ta!  Smiley

« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2013 06:10:54 AM »

Simply beautiful! Thank you for sharing Cheesy

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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2013 06:14:41 AM »

What an amazing end product! Thank yo for sharing it!

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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2013 08:24:53 AM »

this is gorgeous !!! I can feel an afternoon project with the children coming on ! (we like it messy !)


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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2013 09:19:36 AM »

Thanks for the tutorial! This looks like fun Smiley

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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2013 12:01:48 PM »

Paper fabric is so much fun to make and use!  Thank you for sharing your tutorial Smiley

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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2013 11:53:01 PM »

Thanks guys, glad you like it.

P_E_S_T - would love to see what you do, great idea to try it with the kids...

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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2013 06:46:40 PM »

Thanks for the tutorial, the finished look is beautiful.

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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2013 09:10:25 AM »

I've never heard of this technique, but the results are stunning.  Thanks for sharing how you make this.

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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2013 12:34:12 AM »

Very interesting and a great way to use up little bits of scrap fabric and paper.

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