Sunday, September 27, 2009

How to make basic fabric paper according to Belinda

Some handmade paper someone gave me.
You can't see it very well unless you click on the pict and enlarge it. This is using Japanese lace paper. I used some leftover muslin that I had laying around - that is why you see some paint on it already.

This is a piece that has the paint wash on it with the Japanese lace paper. If you click on it to enlarge it, you can see the patterns more.

This is a mixture of papers because I had this leftover from the other sheets I made.

Text papers from a dictionary.

This is some tissue paper I picked up at Michaels while I was buying some white tissue paper.

Can you tell which half has white tissue paper on top and which one doesn't? I did that so you could have a comparison.

See how there is more texture on the top half of this one? Tissue paper on top of the top half and the bottom half does not have white tissue paper on it.

I am doing this for the start of the book study that officially starts October 4th. I just wanted to get things started so people could get basic sheets started so they could try out some of the other techniques in Kelli Perkins book - Stitch Alchemy. If you want to play, you can join the fun at Mixed Media Art Friends:
I also recommend Beryl Taylor's book - Mixed Media Explorations - very highly. There is a section on fabric paper in that book. I go back to that book for inspiration all the time. She does a great job at combining fabric and mixed media elements into her art.

Back to the basic fabric paper...
I used freezer paper and cotton muslin - cheapie from Joann's that is thin and a bit off-white because that was what I had. White will work as well. You need to use the shiny side of the freezer paper or it will stick to the paper. Do not substitute wax paper. People have used other things instead of freezer paper.

Mix up a glue wash. I use Sobo and water. I use about a 1 parts glue to 2 parts water or a little bit more on the glue side. Mix it up well with cheap brush or foam brush. I use a cheapie foam brush. Remember to swirl every once in awhile because the glue will settle to the bottom. People have used Elmers and Aileens as well.

Place something underneath the freezer paper to catch drips. I use red rosin paper or plastic sheet. You might need to tape down your freezer paper if it curls up on you.

Take your brush and brush an even layer of glue wash on it. Place your tissue paper, wrapping paper, whatever paper on it, and put a layer of glue wash on top of it. Instead of wiping the brush across, you might need to tamp instead like the book tells you. A lot of people on their blogs have been showing a layering of paper on their muslin.

To begin with, I highly suggest you do one sheet with just one layer of paper/tissue with a bit of space between your paper pieces. The reason why is the texture. It is especially true if you intend on sewing on the fabric paper later on. When I did this before when Beryl's book came out, I layered the paper instead of leaving space between the paper. My fabric paper came out too thick instead of being more like fabric than a collage. It did not have enough give to it like fabric. You don't need a lot of space but just a smidge so that retain that fabric flexibility. Once you have done the basic fabric paper, you can go on to experiment with Kelli's book and layer to your heart's content. I just want you to see how different it is with just one layer of paper and with the spacing before you go off and do the other things. It does not matter what the shapes are, squares, rectangles, or long strips. It matters if the paper is thick and if you leave spacing in between.

Once you have your paper down and have put a layer of glue down, then it is time to decide if you want a layer of white tissue paper or not. I did some of mine with tissue paper and some of mine with half tissue paper to show you the difference. If you go back and click on my picts, you can see the difference. There is more texture on top because of the tissue paper on top. If you want more texture, crinkle the tissue paper and loosely uncrinkle before putting it on top of you fabric paper. Put a layer of glue on top. You need to tamp instead of wiping sideways or the brush/foam brush will pull the tissue paper apart and you will get a gooey mess.

Applying paint wash. I wait until the glue has dried instead of doing it right away. The reason why is because the tissue paper has a tendency to lift off and get gunky. I like to wait until the tissue paper has dried. It also gives me better texture that way. You can also lift off your paper because the glue is not dried.
If you are impatient you can apply the paint wash while the glue is still wet.

Once the glue is pretty dry, I have a roll of paper towels and a garbag can with a liner nearby. The idea is to get some color down without obscuring the paper elements. I don't want my color wash to be to pale - my preference. I don't want the consistency of watercolors. I like my colors to be more bold. If you want more pale colors, you might want to add more water. I add less water and more paint. I use a foam brush here as well because I don't like brush marks. I generously add color to the fabric paper and then pick up the excess liquid with a paper towel in certain areas. I will press down harder in some areas than others. I use the same color on different sheets in several different layers. I might have 2 or 3 or 4 layers when I am done. I might use an interference color for my last layer.

Remember, this is your background. You will be doing more things to it from the book. You are not done with the fabric paper. Yes, I had to remind myself before I went too far. The pieces you see with color are while they are wet. They will probably look different when they are dry. I might make some more with just one color background so I can get started with some of the techniques in Kelli's book. I get carried away when I get started with something. I can use these backgrounds for something else, if I can't use them for the book. I bet I can find a technique in the book that I can use. Just need to look.

Remember, don't do too much so we can do things in the book study!!!

So, I hope this helps. This is what we are going to do the first week of our book study. We are going to make basic fabric paper so we can use it for all the other stupendous techniques in the book study. See you in Mixed Media Art Friends!
Comments welcome.


Dotti said...

Belinda, you are doing a great job with this book study and you deserve a very big THANKS! I think a lot of us are tired of trades (because too many put out crap) but, we like the stay-in-touch groupie/learning thingie. Kelli has an appeal that hits a wide spectrum. You have hit on the right group, at the right time, with the right book! You go girl! said...

That was very interesting, I enjoyed reading and learning! Suzie. x

Judy said...

So nice of you to share, must have taken you ages to write it all up - I have Beryls Book too - its really amazing.

sab said...

This is most interesting! I've made fabric paper before and am looking forward to this project. I can't formally participate as I have a rigorous show schedule this fall but will be following along and hopefully will find time to do a little work on this too. If not, I'll hold it until after the holidays.

In MY experiments with fabric paper I've found that cornstarch paste works nicely too. Formula is 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 cup water; boil for 1 minute. Let cool and it's ready to use. This is already semi-transparent and will dry clear. Keeps at room temp. for a day or so, in the fridge for several days. If refrigerated, zap in microwave on low for 30 seconds to return to brushable consistency. Clean up with soap and water.

I like this glue especially because bits of it that run off the paper/fabric will just flake off. It dries VERY quickly too, so multiple layers can be worked in the same session and brush strokes are negligible.

I spread other glues with a foam paint trim roller. Totally eliminates brush strokes and leaves a nice, fine "orange rind" finish. sab

Nicks said...

Thanks for posting this, I have made a start and I am having a ball!

Nicks said...

Thank you so much for sharing your expertise Belinda, I am having a ball playing with fabric pva paper and paints

Robinsunne said...

I finally have all my stuff - new tacky glue - and can start to make new, softer paper. Yay.
Also, I gave you an award: