Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Making a background from ugly scrapbook paper

I brought back this tutorial from January, 2009 on one of my favorite ways to alter scrapbook paper. In fact, you can just as easily use this technique when starting with a blank page.

I usually make my own backgrounds, and love the grunge look. However, I've never seen a tutorial on how to take a sheet of ugly scrapbook paper and turn it into something that can be used in altered art. So, I started playing around awhile back, trying to come up with the look I so love and admire, and came up with this. I was just playing, pulling out my supplies, and adding layers until I got a page I liked.

I started with this really ugly sheet of lightweight scrapbook paper,

and turned it into this. The main colors in the original page were lavender and yellow flowers, and green leaves. This is the palette I decided to work around so some of the background could still show. Click to enlarge and see the difference.

I started by placing gesso on the page. I didn't try to cover the entire image, because I wanted some of it to eventually show through the grunge.

After I had toned the paper down a bit with the gesso, I spritzed it with green (Bottle) color wash. I then allowed the color wash to dry.

Next I added a silver glaze, covering some of the piece and leaving some of the original background intact.

My next color was Cranberry color wash.

I used a dry paper towel to wipe some of it away.

It spread into the still slightly wet silver glaze for a really nice effect. I then repeated this step in another area of the page. Since color wash dries quickly, you should work in one small spot, then repeat, rather than trying to work with the entire page at the same time.

For my next step, I sanded parts of the page, being careful to not damage the thin paper.

Using the edge of an old credit card, I added white paint.

I specifically left the lines rather than spreading the paint around.

I used a different credit card to spread gold metallic paint around, but this time, I didn't just create lines. Instead, I scraped in a few places.

Next I used the same credit card without cleaning it to add a green glaze.

I again added just lines with the green glaze, much like I did with the white paint.

Next I swiped white pigment ink on the page, using the direct to paper method. I poured clear embossing powder over the ink and heat set. I did this in a few places only, and not all over.

Although I didn't photograph this step, I added some lavender paint using the same dirty credit card. And finally, I dipped a bottle cap in the same lavender paint and created the circles. From ugly to grungy, and now I have a background I will use in my art.

If you like color, splatters, and drips, you are going to love my blog choice for today. I just found this blog and I think her art is so unique and different. Her name is Carol and she proclaims she is a self taught artist from Los Angeles. Check out her blog, called Carol's Bloggie, if you like color and whimsy.

13 thoughtful remarks:

Anonymous said...

Wow. I love the final piece and how it came together. Thanks for explaining your process so thoroughly. Do you have plans for this page already? Or are you going to hang onto it for a while?


HeARTworks said...

Thanks for sharing this! Appreciate it!

Franny said...

I love your technique! I am also following your blog as I truly would love to learn this craft. Thank you for the step-by-step.

Anonymous said...

This turned out terrific! I can't wait to see what this background will be used for...it's wonderful all by itself.

aliceinparis said...

It is always fun to see how people do things:)
Thanks for popping by, I love your cats:))

Anne said...

Very nice tutorial! Thanks for sharing it! :-)

And thanks for stopping by my blog during OWOH!

Latharia said...

Oh, very clever! Love how it turned out!

Ingrid Dijkers said...

This REALLY came out very well. What a great idea! I have a lot of paper that when I look at it I have to say "What WAS I thinking when I bought this...was I highly medicated at the time?!?! This is such a great solution for all that rediculously ugly paper I have bought over the years. Thanks for sharing!

rivergardenstudio said...

What an amazing tutorial. I love how you use the credit card and the ink. Have a beautiful Tuesday. Roxanne

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

Fantastic transformation Elizabeth, it looks too good to cover up!

Carol Anne's Boutique said...

I just love how your background turned out Elizabeth!! You explain your techniques so well and I really appreciate that! The transformation is truly amazing!!
Hugs, Carol Anne :)

Barb said...

Nice, I just love the way this turned out... Nice to have a use of those papers you don't really like.. can't wait to try it. thank you

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