Tuesday, 8 May 2012

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Paper fabric and birthday cards...

Paper fabric? I've not tried it before, but as I'm doing alot of mixed media and textile work lately, it seemed only fitting that I give it a go... creating a material stronger than paper alone by collaging layers onto a fabric base.
What fun! I didn't have any muslin for the base, so I used some ponge silk, which would have it's own benefits/ downsides mentioned later.
I gathered up a collection of tissue papers, leaf skeletons, napkins, string, quilling strips etc. Next came ripping, tearing  and  cutting random shapes.
The idea of fabric paper is to have the benefit of pattern/texture and flexibility of paper, but with the added strength of a material base. Using a 40/60 pva/water mix lay out the material on a plastic sheet and wet it down. Adding papers and the other materials in layers, I built it up until I was happy with it, then overlaid with a white tissue paper. I made four with different themes; nature, butterflies, trees and funky. I also sprayed alcohol inks throughout the process... I could have tried glitter, angelina, sequins... or any number of other items!
I laid them out to dry in the sun, but they seemed to firm up even more over the next couple of days.
They turned out quite well for the first batch- I'd like to get a more flexible piece next time, maybe a texture gel will be more forgiving?

When I began to cut out for the birthday cards I found that the silk hadn't stuck very well, so I began to peel it away. Luckily it came away clean, leaving the paper layer intact. However, it did have one suprise, as the glue had seeped into the inks on the papers in some cases it had spread through to the silk, so I had loose, blended image transfers. I shall be trying this again! with specific images. Both the alcohol inks and the sharpies used on some of the papers transfered really well.

One of the projects I wanted this paper fabric for is my Birthday cards swap... I had 7 to make this month. I cut the standard 6 x 4" with various patterned scissors. I planned to work on the elements again as I'd just cut out the set in lino, so I embossed them onto handmade papers and highlighted them with inks. Adding ribbon, brads, and printing "happy birthday" on leaves finishes them off nicely. I also made a name tag on frosted shrinkies for each recipient.

Here they are complete...

I also had a quick play for a bookmark swap and came up with these little treasures...


  1. I have to try this as soon as possible! You did a great job, and as always, you make me want to try new things. Art is contagious. :)

  2. I agree with Sonja,you always seem to have brilliant ideas.


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