Do-It-Yourself Craft Mat

Hello, Marilyn here with a cool how-to from Alchemist Misty.  Have you ever need something, but just can’t seem to make yourself part with those hard earned bucks to purchase it?  Never fear!  Today, Misty shares with us how to make one of those much longed-for items, a craft mat.  So without further ado or to-do, here’s Misty……………………………………………………

If you’re like me there are things you should probably have but don’t buy because you would rather spend your money on more paper, inks, mists, etc.  One of the things I really needed was a craft mat, but I really couldn’t see spending $20 on one!  So I kept trying different things to get the same effect and finally stumbled upon a roll of laminate…the kind you can find in hardware stores to protect drawers and shelves.  I has some on hand as I had just laminated a chore chart for my kiddo.  Anyway, I decided to test it out over a piece of cardboard and I was so excited to see that it worked PERFECTLY for my needs!

Homemade Craft Mat

First you find a large piece of cardboard.   I’ve used the Gauche Alchemy “pizza box”.  It’s the perfect size and you already have the shape lined out for you!  Plus, who wouldn’t love to have their own Gauche Alchemy craft mat, right?

Craft Mat Step 1

Then you use the “magic cover”, which is just a roll of clear laminate, and cut two pieces about an inch or so bigger than your cardboard piece.  Take the first piece and slowly remove the backing off small sections at a time while laying it over your cardboard piece….trying to smooth it out and prevent any bubbles or creases.  Then once you cover the first side, repeat with the opposite side.  The second side is a little harder because you want to make sure that you place the laminate on the cardboard without touching the sticky side of the laminate on the opposite side…or you will have troubles detaching them.

Craft Mat Complete

Once you have both sides laminated, cut the excess around the cardboard and your mat is ready!

Nonporous craft mat

Craft Mists

As you can see from the pictures you can use inks and mists and since its a non-porous surface, it has the same effect as the expensive craft mats, and you are paying less than $5 for this one!

Now, I’m not saying that this is just as good as a craft mat in every way.  For instance, the Ranger mat is supposedly heat resistant, and this one will melt under extreme heat!  If your a cheap-o like me though, this is a perfect knock-off so that you can spend your money on better things like more mists, inks, and glitter!

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Thank you Misty for once again giving us a great how-to.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but this is the perfect solution to a problem I’ve been having.  See, I LOVE glue, but I get it everywhere & my nice, expensive craft mat is just too big for my work area.  So did I give this a whirl?  Oh, yessiree, yes I did, I sure did, I made a smaller one using Misty’s instructions.  PERFECTION! Now I can glue to my heart’s content and when done, move the mat out of the way.

Until later……………………
Smiles~
Marilyn

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Layering Techniques for Paper Crafters, Part 3

Happy Friday, y’all! Scraps, here, with part 3 of the fabulous Layering Techniques video series by Alchemist Amy!

In  case you missed them: part one is here, part two is here.

In this final part we get to see how Amy arranges her embellishments, adds items that will lead the eye where she wants it to go (very important when you’ve got a lot of elements in play!) and ponders the ever present question: Does it need just one more thing?

I love it when a page comes together! And this series was like looking over Amy’s shoulder throughout the whole process.

Awesome work, Amy, on the layout and the videos! And is anyone else itching to get their hands on that Moshi Moshi kit–it can’t be just me!

Until next time!

~Scraps

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Layering Techniques for Paper Crafters: Part Two

Hi everyone! Maggi here to share the second video in a three part series on layering techniques from Alchemist Amy! (Part one is here)

Don’t forget to join us on Friday for part three!

Now go glue something awesome onto some awesome something!

Maggi 😀

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Blended Paper Backgrounds

Greetings and salutations! Scraps, here, with a fantastic technique two-fer from Alchemist Jo!

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Jo: One of my favorite backgrounds is a blended paper background.  I learned the basic technique from Mary Green when I took her online classes–“Your Vintage Gluebook” and “Collage Coterie”–and have further developed it to suit my style.  I’ve prepared two 4″x6″ postcards to show two variations on the theme.

Firstly, I covered both postcards with pieces of book pages, torn and randomly stuck to the postcards with a gluestick.

blended_paper_collage_background1

Map pages are good, and handwritten letters, receipts, and postage stamps add interest, too. Gauche Alchemy has fab packs of  foreign text paper which would be perfect for a project like this!

For the White Gesso Background

Over the basic blended paper background I added a coating of white gesso.  This can be thinner in some places than others and it’s great to allow some of the background paper to show through.  Remove any excess gesso with a paper towel.  While the gesso is still wet, stick on some pieces of masking tape, making sure it’s well adhered by smoothing down with a bone folder or similar tool.

blended_paper_collage_background_gesso_image_transfer_1

Allow to dry.  No, don’t just count to 30 and then carry on–walk away and go to bed.  It’s best to leave it overnight otherwise when you try and remove the tape it’ll take all the collaged paper with it, which is NOT the effect I think you’ll want!  So, once totally dry, peel off the masking tape which will remove some of the gesso and, hopefully, the top layer of some the paper.  Don’t be too gentle when removing the masking tape, think of it as taking a plaster off a cut knee! [Scraps: That’s a band-aid to those of us in the States 😉 ]

blended_paper_collage_gesso_background_image_transfer_2

Mmmm, this looks so scrummy, I love it!  I then roughly smeared Distress Inks round the edges (Dusty Concord and Peeled Paint).  Where the gesso has been removed by the masking tape, the Distress Ink will be a much stronger colour.

Using your normal everyday inkjet printer print out your chosen image.  I often use The Graphics Fairy, who has a wonderful selection of images which are free to use.  For this postcard I chose a wonderful moth image.  Remember to flip the image because when it is transferred it will be a mirror image.  Especially remember this if there is writing or numbers on the image that you want to be the right way round.  Allow the ink on the copy to totally dry, not overnight this time but I would allow about half an hour.  Cut out the image and, using a paint brush, coat the IMAGE SIDE of the paper with matte Mod Podge (or similar).  Stick this face down onto your background, making sure there are no air bubbles and, if possible, brayer firmly to totally stick it.  Try and avoid getting the Mod Podge on the back of the paper as this will make it harder to remove later (actually, virtually impossible!).

blended_paper_collage_gesso_background_image_transfer_3

IMPORTANT: ALLOW THIS TO DRY OVERNIGHT!

Now comes the magic bit!  Wet the back of the image with clean water (I use a wet paintbrush).  With your finger, gently rub in a circular action.  The image’s paper backing will start to lift in small rolls of paper.  It’s quite messy, but keep with it, adding more water if it starts to feel a bit dry.  Even though you are being careful, some of the image may lift with the backing paper.  That’s OK!  If you wanted a perfect image you’d have simply stuck down the picture, right?  Leave it a few minutes; if there is a white fuzz on your image, then just wet the image again and rub gently, more backing will be removed.

blended_paper_collage_gesso_background_image_transfer_4

As you can see I lost a bit of the moth’s wing, but I’m quite happy about that :o)

blended_paper_collage_gesso_background_image_transfer_postcard_5

I used a quote by Sara Teasdale, rubber stamped onto old book paper and edged with Distress Inks.

For the Clear Gesso Background

Taking the basic blended paper background, I brushed on a coat of clear gesso to seal the background and to provide a decent ‘key’ for the image to adhere to.  The background will, this way, show through clearly.  I dragged Distress Inks round the edges (Dusty Concord and Peeled Paint).  Once dry I cut out my chosen printer copied image (again from The Graphics Fairy), brushed a coat of matte Mod Podge onto the image and put the image face down onto the blended paper background.  Ensure good adhesion by firmly brayering it.

LEAVE IT TO DRY OVERNIGHT.

blended_paper_collage_background_clear_gesso_image_transfer_postcard_1

Wet the image with clean water and gently rub the image backing.

blended_paper_collage_background_clear_gesso_image_transfer_postcard_2

The background is clearly seen through the image, giving rather a dreamy,vintage and/or ghostly effect.

blended_paper_collage_background_clear_gesso_image_transfer_postcard_3

I drew with a charcoal pencil round the image, smudging it with my finger – this adds some depth (another tip learnt from Mary Green‘s classes).  I also used the charcoal pencil around the edge of the postcard and around the title, taken from an old book.  I used rusty wire to attach the old rusty key to the card.

blended_paper_background_clear_gesso_image_transfer_postcard_4

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I usually go for the instant gratification projects, myself, but this techniques shows that the old saying is true: good things come to those who wait!

~Scraps~

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Behind the Scenes of Misty’s Show Stoppers Mini Album

Hi there! Scraps back with a closer look into some of the details of the mini-album from Alchemist Misty!

Last week we took a page-by-page peek into the mini-album Misty created with the new Show Stoppers Mixed Media Paper Craft Kit. Now we’re going to take a look at 2 of the techniques she used inside the book.

Collaged & Distressed Background Pages

collaged base page
You’ll need:

Show Stoppers Kit
Gesso
Mod Podge
Mists
Sovent ink pad
A straight-edged tool of some sort

Misty: Prepare the backgrounds for all of the inside pages (Sav[ing] the front cover for the last step).

collage

To prepare the pages, cover with Mod Podge, then create a collage by gluing down random sections from the magazine pages.  Then top off with another coat of Mod Podge.

distress gesso

Once the glue has dried, use a straight edge tool like an old room card or credit/gift card and distress the collage by scraping bits of gesso over the top.

distress stamp

After that has dried, ink up your ticket stamp with a solvent ink like Stazon, and then randomly add stamping.  Since we are using this as a distress technique try not to get a perfect stamped image.

close up stamp distress

A close-up of the distressed and stamped background.

Paper and Fabric Flowers

You’ll Need:

Show Stoppers Kit
Scissors
Paint Brush
Glue
Mists
Heat Gun
Fabric
Button

The flower is made out of large heart shapes cut from the pattern paper in the kit.

heart flower supplies

First, I cut out the heart shapes, and then with the end of a small paint brush I curled the edges under.

Scraps: When I first learned to make these sorts of flowers, I had a bobby pin handy and used that on the petal ends, sort of like a quilling tool. It makes awesome, tight curls and then slips right out without having to uncurl the petals!

heart flower petals

Once that was finished I started to assemble the flower by gluing the hearts together at the ends, slightly overlapping each other.

flower assembly

Keep adding layers until your flower looks nice and full.  Then mist in your color choice, scrunching the flowers slightly towards the middle (you may have to curl some of your edges again).  Then use the heat gun to dry…this will urge the “petals” to curl up a little more.

paper ribbon flower

Then add a middle.  Here I used a bloom from a rose ribbon and added an elegant button that came in the kit.

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You know, I’ve always started my paper flowers from the center and worked outward. That way does make it easy to stop when you’ve got a full-enough flower, but you end up with the problem of a stem end to deal with if you’re not making a bouquet. I think it’s pretty genius to work from the bottom up if you’re planning to place them on a page, what about you?

~Scraps~

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How to Make a Book from Scrapbook Paper

Hi everyone! Maggi here to share another project from this month’s guest designer, Lenna Young Andrews! She created this awesome book using our Showstoppers Kit and the best part is she gave us a step by step so you can create your own!

Take it away, Lenna!

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Here’s a Gauche instant book!

Handmade Book Using Scrapbook Paper

Take a piece of 12×12 double sided cardstock from the Showstoppers Kit. I picked Basic Grey’s Life of the Party: Popcorn Poppin:

Scrapbook Paper Handmade Book

Score the paper at 3”, 6” and 9” in 2 directions so you end up with (16) 3” squares:

Make a Handmade Book

Cut on the middle score line (the 6” one) just 9” up -so the paper is still intact:

Make an Instant Book

Turn the paper 180 degrees and cut 9” up on both the 3” and 9” score lines:

Book Making Tutorial

Start at one corner and fan fold (back and forth) on the scoring lines you made until the paper is all folded up. Watching this video by Tim Holtz may help you to understand how to do it. This is not hard to create, but I think visual instruction will help:

Making a Book from Scrapbook Paper

Before you do any gluing or taping, your instant book will look something like this:

Instant Book

There are 3 pages which can be made into pocket pages because they are open on one end:

Handmade Book Pocket Pages

I used tissue tape to seal the sides and create the pocket pages of this little book:

Tissue Tape Pocket Pages

I also used Tissue tape for the side binding of the book, but any decorative tape will do:

Tissue Tape Book Binding

You can see the 3 pocket pages and how I cut an slight opening to make it easier to see the contents of the pocket:

Handmade Book Paper Pockets

I used the Tim Holtz Ticket stamp from the kit and StazOn permanent ink to decorate the front cover:

Stamped Book Cover

From the kit I also enjoyed using the “Admit One” tickets, “Questions” Trivia Card, Groucho Marx patch, the yellow feather (in a pocket!) . . . and I cut a heart out of the sequin fabric that was in the kit to embellish the pages. I used various rubber stamps to decorate the pages and tucked some of my own photos of my husband & I on a date into one of the pockets. I hand wrote a few notes and slyly gave this to my husband before sharing it here with you!

Handmade Book Pages

Click for larger view!

Enjoy!

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That is too cool Lenna!!!

Don’t forget to grab your very own Showstoppers Kit in the Gauche Alchemy store! (And throw in some washi tape while you’re at, eh?)

Now go glue something awesome onto some awesome something!

Maggi 😀

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Easy Steps for Adding Texture to Any Background

Hi everyone! Maggi here to introduce a guest poster for today. She’s sharing a background technique that I personally have used a couple of times already, it is just that awesome! (I kind of want to make out with it a little bit.) Take it away, Julie!

Hi! My name is Julie Tucker-Wolek and I have been scrapping for about 15 years!!
Julie Tucker-Wolek

About 3 years ago, I really got into altering stuff!! I will alter anything! I go to antique stores and scour the aisles looking for things to alter. Lately, I have been making canvases. I have seen people paint them, cover them in paper etc…. and I decided to find a way to create ‘texture’ to my canvases without adding a lot of product to them! So today I wanted to share my way of transforming a canvas to make it look like you added a lot of texture!

First, I paint my canvas:

Painted Canvas

Next, while the paint is wet, I mist it:

Glimmer Mist
Misted Canvas

Next, I take an old dress pattern, (if you don’t have a dress pattern, you can also use tissue paper)
Sewing Pattern Paper
Next, I ‘squish’ (such technical words here! lol!) the dress pattern all over the canvas:

Adding Texture to Background

Then I remove the dress pattern and there you have texture!!

Texture with Tissue

And here is one of my canvasses with my technique in use:

Wizard of Oz Canvas

And here are some extra tips! I mist stuff on my kitchen counters – to prepare for this, I lay down paper towels, and then to make sure that my canvas doesn’t stick to the paper towel (with the wet paint and mist), I lay down either an old plastic bag from a scrapbook kit that I have or in most cases I lay down wax paper!  I hope you find this technique helpful and fun!! Thanks for letting me share it!

Have a great day!

Julie Tucker-Wolek
http://thetuckerwolekclan.blogspot.com/

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Thanks so much for sharing this fantastic technique with us, Julie! I just LOVE it! Although I’ve recently realized that I’ve been leaving the pattern paper ON instead of taking it off! Just goes to show, you can always add your own twist. LOL Make sure to check out Julie’s blog for more scrappin’ and alterin’ goodness!

Now give this a try and then go glue something awesome to it!

Maggi 😀

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