Saturday, July 31, 2010

Making paste papers: a tutorial

There's a funny story behind today's post. I actually created this tutorial in June, 2006. I wasn't blogging back then, even though I had this blog, but created it for a lesson on ABC, my altered book Yahoo group.

Thursday I did a modification of this technique and wanted to reference my tutorial. That's when I went looking on my blog for my paste paper tutorial. I spent hours trying to find it, even though Blogger is fairly good with their search feature, providing you know keywords. When I couldn't find "paste papers," I typed in "Sta-flo" and other nonsense until I was convinced I had never posted it on my blog.

Since the post I had intended to show yesterday was a follow up to a paste paper tutorial, I decided I no longer had time to search for it, and went with Plan B (which if you were here yesterday was Halle's signatures). To make a long introduction even longer, I found the photos of the tutorial stored on a Yahoo site at low resolution. So you can bet they are not going to be the sharpest photos in the drawer, but at least I don't have to recreate the tutorial. Enough said. Let's make some paste papers.

From upper left clockwise:
Cups for mixing
Cheap acrylic craft paint
Sta Flo liquid starch (found at discount stores, drug stores, and supermarkets in the laundry section)
Various papers and substates
Credit cards cut using decorative scissors
Foam brush
Knitting needle
Bamboo skewer
Rotary cutter for pie crusts
Pastry cutter

I am not sure if Sta-Flo is available in all countries, but it's concentrated liquid starch, so any concentrated liquid starch should work.

Using your first cheap acrylic craft paint color, mix about 1 part paint to about 4 parts Sta Flo in a mixing cup. Stir well, then apply the first color with a brush. This is not an exact science, so if the mixture is too thin or too color saturated, add a bit more liquid starch. If too thick, or not enough color, add more craft paint. You don't need expensive acrylic paint for this technique, since the colors will become diluted anyway.

Use a different mixing cup for each paint/Sta-flo concoction. I prefer to wait until the first color is dry before applying the second color, but you can brush the second color on at any time. Just be aware that when you apply the second color over the first wet color, you take the chance of losing the two distinct colors.

Pick a tool, any tool, and, before the second color dries, begin running lines through it. The above lines were made with the pastry blender. Allow your pieces to dry. However, if you don't like your design, simply smooth the top color out with your foam brush and begin again. When pleased with your design, set aside to dry.

I realize now that this was probably a very boring photo, because I didn't change my paint colors even though I used substrates with very different weights. On the left is some 110 lb card stock in which I used a hair pick to make the design. In the middle, and underneath everything is a large sheet of butcher paper that I used the pastry cutter on. In the back are (left) card stock and (right) photo mat decorated with a plastic hotel card I cut using decorative scissors. On the front right

is a better view of a photo mat decorated using a rotary pie crust edger.

Tomorrow my dear cyber friend Caterina Giglio begins her four week on-line "Transfer Love" class, in which she will be teaching all kinds of wonderful transfer techniques. You can check it out here. I bet it's not too late to sign up, either.

Today I'm thinking about all those lovely pets many of us own. Julie Palmer is a pet portrait artist from the UK and my blog/artist pick of the day. If you are a pet owner, you might enjoy her web site filled with cat, dog, and horse portraits. Have a great Saturday and celebrate this last day of July, 2010.

15 thoughtful remarks:

Steph said...

Dear E, you've been busy....thank you sooo much for sharing these tuts....
have a good weekend!!!

Dianne said...

Looks like a cool process... Do you think it would be a good primer for oils?

Diane said...

Elizabeth, Thank you!! I am bookmarking this--I will try this when I get a chance--arghhh--not enough hours in the day!!

Anonymous said...

These are neat. And guess what? I have sta-flo! Well, my hon has some but he won't notice it missing.
You can also use that stuff to paste wallpaper cuttings onto walls (like if you only want a specific picture in a design) and then peel them off without messing up the paint beneath when you are sick of the wallpaper design.
k. beats me why I shared that.
I am going to fool around with sta-flo papers though.

donnalouiserodgers said...

doh - took me ages to realise you are adding to the substrate not MAKING paper!!!!

duh! kept thinking _ how is it going to work????
Penny has now dropped and i'm with it!

Stressful day today..... not really with it at all...

thank you for the tips.....


Threads of Inspiration said...

I have made paste paper before but it was with a somewhat time consuming recipe that had to be cooked. I am going to give Stay Flo a try. Soooo much easier!

peggy gatto said...

Oh boy, thanks!!!

Cynthia Schelzig said...

This is an interesting concoction...will try to track down this liquid starch stuff here...should be quite a scavenger your kitty kat foto...what a beauty!!

Terri Kahrs said...

I've never made paste paper and will have to try this liquid starch method. Looks so much easier than some of the other recipes I've seen. Thanks, Elizabeth! Hope you're having a super weekend! Hugs, Terri xoxo

Threads of Inspiration said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and thanks for making me one of your next blogs of the day! What a nice gift for me! Actually I might steal that idea from you because I run across so many great blogs! I can't wait to get some Sta-flow!

Caterina Giglio said...

Thanks so much dear Elizabeth! I really appreciate your help in getting my class info out there and I love your paste paper tutorial!! fabulous!!!!

Mary S. Hunt said...

OOOOOOOOOOHHH i haven't seen this technique mentioned in a couple of years
good revival!

elle said...

Hmm, this is cool. I need to see what our grocery stores carry. Thanks

Martha's Favorites said...

Hi Elizabeth: I always love to stop by and visit. You are so talented. I remember a post you did around your home and it was full of rocking horses. Your home was beautiful. Thank you for always having kind words to say. Have a wonderful week. Blessings, Martha

~*~Patty S said...

Paste paper is such fun, you've done a super job here! Thanks as always for sharing!