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4 free paper art techniques

explore designs using

paper collage, paper mache,
handmade paper,
and paper quilting
step into a story:
papier-mch, graphic
papers, and stitch
grafti paper quilts
inspired by street art
itty bitty bits
of inspiration: winter
blue sweet heart magnets
anthologies: creating collages
with rescue books
presented by cloth paper scissors

1 2
aper is one of the most
versatile fbers in the mixed-
media artists repertoire. It
can serve humbly as a
substrate for mark making or take
center stage as a work of art unto itself.
You can fold it or wet it and mold it into
shapes, cut or tear it, and write on it.
No wonder we save every scrap we get
our hands on!
In this free eBook, 4 Free Paper Art
Techniques: Explore Designs using
Paper Collage, Paper Mache, Handmade
Paper, and Paper Quilting, we offer you
four ways of creating art with paper as
the main element.
In Anthologies: Creating Collages with
Rescue Books, Cathy Taylor takes
an old book apart and puts it back
together in a new way. Rather than
destroy the book, her method brings
to light all the lovely worn, faded, and
tattered parts and arranges them in an
artistic way.
4 Free Paper Art Techniques:
Explore Designs Using
Paper Collage, Paper Mache,
Handmade Paper,
and Paper Quilting
presented by
Cloth Paper Scissors


Korday Studio
Projects and information are for inspiration and
personal use only. Interweave Press LLC is not
responsible for any liability arising from errors,
omissions, or mistakes contained in this eBook, and
readers should proceed cautiously, especially with
respect to technical information.
Interweave Press LLC grants permission to photocopy
any patterns published in this issue for personal use
Catherine Nicholls was inspired by
street art to create Graffti Paper
Quilts. With watercolor paper, photos,
transparencies and machine stitching,
plus art materials, she tells visual stories
in these patchwork projects.
Heres a sweet deal: Turn leftover pieces
of wood into tiny works of art using
decorative papers and text. Jodi Ohls
Itty Bitty Bits of Inspiration, Winter
Blue Sweetheart Magnets can send a
message, prompt an affrmation, or spell
out a poem.
Gail Walker takes papier-mch mixture
and combines it with graphic papers,
glitter, and hand stitching to create
adorable shoe sculptures in Step into
a Story. Her tutorial includes a shoe
pattern and tips for making your own
graphic papers.
We know youll enjoy learning the
techniques and making the projects in
4 Free Paper Art Techniques: Explore
Designs using Paper Collage, Paper
Mache, Handmade Paper, and Paper
Quilting and encourage you to use
them as a jumping off point for your
own adventures in paper art.
Cate Prato
Online Editor,
Cloth Paper Scissors Today
Where mixed media
artists come to play
4 Free Paper Art Techniques presented by
Interweave Press LLC
Adapted from

March/April 2011
4 Free Paper Art Techniques presented by
Interweave Press LLC
BY Gail Walker
note: Follow these basic instructions to
make both the bunny slippers and the
Mary Janes. All shoe-specic steps are
1. Tear some short narrow strips of
newspaper. Dip the newspaper
strips in the papier-mch mixture,
ithout my sisters, I would be
awash in a sea of serious,
cursed as I am with a knack for
good proportion andrealism
and a tendency to overthink,
which doesnt always translate
into engaging artistic expression.
My Worried Shoes came out of
a challenge from my sister Nancy
to make a pair of shoes based on a
song by the same name, featured in
the movie Where the Wild Things
I doodled up a concept and not much
else happened until I messed up a
papier-mch egg and discovered I
could make a toe box from the scraps.
The Smile Bunny Slippers were
inspired by that crazy bunny suit in A
Christmas Story.
No matter what style shoe you choose,
this project is all about making the
most of scrips, scraps, and stories. Use
your shoes as a canvas to tell your
very own story.
into a story
papier-mch, graphic
papers, and stitch
remove the excess glue, and wrap
the papers around the plastic egg
tocreate the toe boxes for the shoes.
Apply 2 layers of paper, and then
place the egg on a nonstick surface
and allow it to dry overnight.
note: Youre not building up a heavy
piece so there is no need to let the rst
layer dry before adding the second layer.
2. When dry, cut around the egg with
the craft knife, end to end (the long
way), and wiggle the 2 paper pieces
off of the plastic egg. Its ok to draw
a guideline if youre not confdent
about making the halves even.
(Figure 1)
3. Draw a small oval on each egg half,
starting at the middle of the egg and
going down to the center bottom of
the smaller side of the egg.
4. Cut the oval from each egg half and
you have toe boxes for the shoes. If
youre making the bunny shoes, cut
down the middle of 1 of the ovals to
make the bunny ears. (Figure 2)
5. Draw, doodle, stamp, color, or collage
to decorate your graphic papers, and
work both sides to create maximum
visual interest.
6. Using the pattern provided, trace and
cut out 2 soles from the cardstock,
and cut 4 soles from the decorated
graphic paper.
note: Remember to ip the pattern for the
second shoe or youll end up with two left
7. Use the acrylic medium to adhere
the graphic paper soles and any
additional decorative paper elements
to the cardstock soles. Coat both
sides of the soles with acrylic
medium and let dry on a nonstick
8. For the Mary Janes: Trace and cut the
shoe side pattern pieces out of the
decorated graphic paper. Remember
to fip the pattern over to trace the
piece for the second shoe. Also, trace
and cut the heel portion of the sole
pattern 45 times, per shoe, to make
heels. Later, you will glue the heel
shapes together to form the heels.
note: I used a computer, a atbed
scanner, and a color inkjet printer
to make graphic paper components
for my shoes, but this technique can
be accomplished just as easily with
paper collage.
Papier-mch mixture (Use your
recipe of choice.)
Plastic egg (7" circumference)
Freezer paper or other nonstick
Craft knife and mat
Graphic papers (See Make your
own graphic papers, or use
decorative papers of choice.)
Rubber stamps and ink pads
Shoe patterns
Cardstock or poster board
Acrylic medium (I like Golden Artist

Acrylic Glazing Liquid,

Paintbrushes: small foam brushes or
inexpensive craft brushes
Paper tape (I make my own.)
Craft glue (I like Aleenes

Tacky Glue

Acrylic sealer, clear matte
Embellishments: glitter, eyelets and
setter, brads, buttons, beads
Embroidery needle and embroidery
Colored pencils
Sewing machine and thread
Figure 1
Figure 2
4 Free Paper Art Techniques presented by
Interweave Press LLC
note: If you want to add any free-motion
stitching or embroidery to the shoes, do so
now, before assembling the shoes.
1. Cut some

" strips of
lightweight paper, or use paper
tape, and glue 1 side of the tape/paper
to the inside of the papier-mch toe
box. Allow to dry. (Figure 3)
2. Cut slits along the other side of
the tape/paper strip to make tabs.
Glue the tabs to the sole, working
gently from the inside of the shoe
to make the egg shape match the
sole shape. The toe box will be
distorted somewhat as you make the
toe box and sole ft together. Work
slowly. This requires patience and
persistence. When dry, trim any
excess paper, if needed.
(Figure 4)
3. For the Mary Janes: Repeat the taping
for the shoe body, creating tabs and
gluing as you did for the toe box, and
then attach the shoe body to the sole.
Glue the stacks of cut heels to the
soles now. Fold down the back fap
and add an eyelet to hold it in place.
graphic papers
1. Arrange your fabric, personal elements,
and/or decorative papers face down on a
fatbed scanner.
2. Scan and save the images to your computer.
3. Use a photo-editing program to enhance,
adjust, or change the colors. I scanned a
favorite vintage silk scarf for the body of the
Worried Shoes.
4. Print out the new paper.
note: This is a great way to keep on using
deteriorating fabrics. You can even reprint the image
onto fabric instead of paper, if you like.
gure 3
gure 4
Always use spray acrylic sealer in a
well-ventilated space
4 Free Paper Art Techniques presented by
Interweave Press LLC
Because I dont like parts to fall off when the shoes are
handled, I use stitching with embroidery foss as more
than just a decorative element. I recommend stitching
any buttons or beads to the shoes, as opposed to gluing
Youll notice the bunny ears are attached with brads;
this is for strength. I use acrylic medium to apply glitter.
Once the shoes are dry, spray them with a few coats of
clear acrylic sealer.
The most important thing to remember is that this is
your story to tell. Change it up and make it yours. I am
already thinking of fairy princess party shoes, wingtips,
hiking bootsstop me!
If you prefer a pristine look, seal your graphics with acrylic sealer before you apply the medium.
Save your paper scraps. You can cut out any bits of visual interest and decoupage them onto a
larger piece to get the image or effect you want.
(Mary Jane)
cut 2 (mirror)
cut 2
(Mary Jane)
Interweave grants
permission to photocopy
these templates for
personal use.


4 Free Paper Art Techniques presented by
Interweave Press LLC
graffiti paper quilts
inspired by street art
BY Catherine Nicholls
Adapted from

March/April 2010
4 Free Paper Art Techniques presented by
Interweave Press LLC
Some people consider graffti
an act of vandalism and I know
that removing it is often quite
challenging. But to me, it is
also a form of street art and the
practitioners are just as diverse as
regular artists. Where I live, the
cladding around a construction site
is a favorite spot for graffti of all
types, from tagging to detailed and
colorful murals.
To make my graffti paper quilts,
I used a combination of good-
quality brochure paper and
printable transparencies, both
suitable for a home printer. Spend
some time thinking about the size of
the individual pieces you want so you
can size your chosen images up or
down before you print. I chose to use
3" squares for each of these nine-patch
paper quilts so I could include the parts
of the image I wanted to show.
the squares
1. Print some of your favorite images
onto brochure paper.
2. Cut out squares from your favorite
sections of the printed images. I cut
fve 3" squares and four 1

" squares.
It might take a little fussy cutting to
fnd exactly what you want in your
3. Create your tag before doing
anything else; thats graffti speak
for your signature. Tags are used
by graffti artists to mark territory
and are usually a name, nickname,
or street name. Write the tag out in
bold colors on a sheet of watercolor
paper. I worked out what I would
like my signature to look like in my
sketchbook frst and then used oil
pastel to write it on the paper. I had
to practice to get it to look the way I
tip: I started by printing my name and
then trying different thingspulling some
letters longer, squeezing some letters
together, etc.
4. Paint over the oil pastel tag with a
brightly colored watercolor wash to
make sure the tag is bold and bright.
I let the colors of the 3 different
washes run together where they met.
I wanted the same free and easy style
as the graffti inspiration.
5. Once the watercolor wash is
completely dry, scan your tag into
the computer and print a copy on the
printable transparency.
egends and stories have always inspired me, and usually the stories that
attract me most are the old onesthe ancient legends passed through the
generations, the stories that change and grow with every telling. But lately I
have been attracted to a new form of storytellinggrafti!
Photos of your chosen subject
(I always take my own photos to
avoid any copyright issues.)
Computer, scanner, and printer
Good-quality photo paper or
brochure paper for your printer
(I use matte, 8

" 11", but gloss
nish will work just as well.)
Printable transparencies
note: These are transparency
sheets specically made to support
laser printers. If the box doesnt
specically say compatible with
laser printers, it isnt. Both 3M
and Hewlett Packard

Watercolor paper, one 8

" 11"
Oil pastels or Shiva


Watercolor paints
Paintbrushes, including a stencil
Sewing machine and thread
Paper glue with a ne tip (I prefer

quick-dry adhesive. Its

acid free, non-staining, and readily
Stencil plastic and cutting tools, or
pre-made stencils
Acrylic paint (I used Jacquard


526 Met Olive Green on

the blue sample and Lumiere 555
Halo Pink Gold on the pink sample.)
India ink
Perle cotton, 12-weight
Hand-sewing needle
Embellishments of choice
Tag on watercolor paper.
4 Free Paper Art Techniques presented by
Interweave Press LLC
6. Cut some squares from the printed
transparency. I selected a part of the
transparency that included a color
that worked with my chosen images
and cut out three 3" squares to use in
my quilt.
note: Quilters will recognize this little
paper quilt as a simple nine-patch block,
nine pieces of paper all the same size. I
subdivided one of the 3" squares using
four 1

" squares. I like the detail and
interest that this square added. I used
smaller pieces from the same images to
create a pieced square, but the assembly
is the same.
1. Arrange your cut squares into a
nine-patch layout (3 squares by 3
2. Prepare your machine for zigzag
stitching with a machine-weight
thread. I used the standard zigzag
setting on my machine: stitch width
3.5 and stitch length 1.5. I selected
a bright color rayon thread that
combined the colors in my chosen
images and transparency.
note: I used the same color thread
on the top and in the bobbin of my
machine. When you add stitching to
transparencies the bobbin thread is
visible, so you want to use a bobbin thread
that looks good.
3. Sew 3 rows of 3 squares as follows.
Butt the edges of the paper squares
up to each other (Figure 1). Make
sure the edges do not overlap at
all. Take your time and keep the
edges tight. Make sure the needle is
swinging from one side of the butted
line to the other and leave long tails
at the beginning and end of every
seam; a 4"5" tail will do.
4. Knot and then fold each tail to the
back of the fnished piece. When all
the piecing is done, I add a tiny touch
of glue to the knots. But dont use
the glue just yet; you dont want it
getting into your sewing machine.
note: Do not use the automatic x
function to start out your seam or the
automatic tie-off to nish it. The paper will
fall apart if the needle repeatedly enters
the same spot.
5. Join the 3 rows of squares together.
You now have 2 long seams joining
the rows. Tie the thread ends as
6. When all the stitching is fnished,
add a dab of glue to all of the thread
knots on the back of the work. Allow
to dry overnight, and then trim the
thread ends.
7. Take a good look at your source
photos and you will probably fnd a
few shapes apparent in the graffti
designs. There are some abstract
stars in one of my favorite images so
I decided to use that shape for a bit of
8. Draw your shape onto the stencil
plastic and cut it out, or use a
The tag on brochure
paper (left) and on a transparency (right).
Figure 1
4 Free Paper Art Techniques presented by
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pre-made stencil of your chosen
shape. It doesnt need to be an
identifable shape, but the sharp
angles of a star gave me just the look
I was after. I drew my star stencil
freehand. I didnt want the star to be
too perfect. I think its unevenness
suits the graffti inspiration better.
note: I made my large star stencil about
4" from tip to tip at the longest point and
the small star stencil 3" at the longest
point. I like the arms of my stars to be on
the long side.
9. Using a stencil brush, apply a very
light coat of paint inside the stencil.
Above: 3 Graffti 9" 9"
Right: Figure 2
4 Free Paper Art Techniques presented by
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I let the color fade out towards the
center of the star (Figure 2).
tip: I used a mixture of Lumiere paint and
a drop of black India ink to stencil the
stars. The black ink tones down the sparkle
in the Lumiere. But if sparkle suits your
images, omit the drop of black ink.
10. Add some stitching to draw
attention to your stenciled shapes.
I added a simple running stitch, by
hand, in black perle cotton, around
the edge of each star. My stitches
are about


" from the painted
edge of the star. I like the look of
the hand stitching with the graffti
theme; it draws attention to the
details in the images I have chosen
for my paper quilt.
note: Hand stitching into paper takes
a little more patience than stitching into
fabric. The paper has no give to it, so you
need to work one stitch at a time. If you
bring your needle up in the wrong location
the hole will show. To make sure I have all
the stitches in the right place, I mark the
stitch holes by rst piercing the paper with
the needle from the right side of my work.
Once I have a few holes in place I begin
stitching, working a small section at a time.
11. Once the outlining is complete,
carefully tie off the thread at the
back of the piece and add a touch
of glue so the knot doesnt fray and
come loose.
12. Add embellishments of choice.
I added a few buttons, but beads
would be a nice addition as well. I
used the same thread with which I
outlined the stars, and I carefully
tied off the thread ends at the back,
again adding a touch of glue to keep
the thread in place.
13. Tag it! The last thing to do with
this little paper quilt is to add your
tag. Creating it was great fun and it
makes an interesting signature for
my work.
tip: Keep your oil pastel/watercolor tag.
You can scan the original and print copies
onto any nish paper and in any size you
I love the colors and the bold strokes of
graffti and often wonder how it gets in
the places it does. Im sure the urban
graffti whiz would be amazed to see
graffti inspired paper quilts!
Paris in Winter 7

" 11

4 Free Paper Art Techniques presented by
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itty bitty bits of
BY Jodi Ohl
asked my friend if
he had any paint
stirrers. No, but I
can get you some.
Well, you dont have
to offer twice with
me. I said, That
would be great. Can
you cut them into 2"
lengths? Now I was
pushing my luck,
but you cant get
anywhere in
this world unless you
speak up.
Adapted from

January/February 2009
4 Free Paper Art Techniques presented by
Interweave Press LLC
Flash forward a couple of weeks; my
friend didnt cut up the paint stirrers.
Instead, he had something better:
leftover molding strips made from
a recycled wood and paper material.
Perfect. He handed me a big box of cut-
up strips and the next question was what
to make with all these bits of wood. I
was inspired by Traci Bautistas collage
work and Karen Michels Spread the
January/February 2008) to transform
this timeless symbol into my own
statement of affrmation in the form of a
sweet magnet. The beauty of this project
is that you cant make a mistake. Once
completed, you will have a variety of
mini masterpieces.
1. Cut your wood pieces to
approximately 1

" 2". Sand all
sides and corners and then paint the
back and sides with black gesso. Let
2. Using a ruler, cut a long piece of
scrapbook paper into 2" strips. Dont
worry if the strips are not perfectly
sized; you can trim or sand them
down later.
tip: I like to use coordinating papers for
the base and hearts, but you can also use
vintage papers, bingo cards, sheet music,
or other scraps of paper you have in your
3. Use gel medium to adhere paper
to the unpainted side of the wood.
Cover all your wood pieces with the
base paper at the same time. Smooth
out any air bubbles with your fngers
or use an old credit or gift card.
4. Cut more strips of paper to use for
your hearts. If desired, use a variety
of paper strips. Cut each strip into 2"
lengths and fold in half lengthwise.
5. Starting at the bottom of the folded
edge, cut almost to the outer
edge and then circle back towards
the center to get an angle. When
unfolded, the paper forms a heart.
Trim the heart, if necessary, to ft on
the wood base.
tip: I like to cut the heart slightly smaller
than the full width of the wood piece so
I can add decorative elements to each
Wood trim, paint stirrers, or scrap
Black gesso (I used Liquitex.)
Plastic gloves
Decorative scrapbook paper
Gel medium (I used Liquitex) or Mod

Acrylic paint (I used Golden

Carbon Black and Titanium white.)
Paintbrushes (assorted sizes)
Foam sponge brush
Typed text on regular copy paper
Charcoal pencils, black and white
(soft or medium works best)
Strong magnets (I used magnets from


Workable Fixative or clear

acrylic spray varnish
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Stencils, such as drywall tape or
sequin waste, or rubber stamps
Gel pens
Paint pen
Sheet music
Credit card or old gift card (to
smooth your papers onto the wood
4 Free Paper Art Techniques presented by
Interweave Press LLC
6. Glue a heart onto each wooden base.
Print several inspirational words in
a favorite font and cut and glue one
or more words to the center of each
tip: If you use an inkjet printer, spray
clear acrylic spray onto the paper to seal
the ink so it wont smear with the gel
7. Paint the sides and bottom of the
magnets with a black acrylic paint
and let dry.
8. After the magnets have dried,
decorate them using charcoal,
paint, and stenciling if you choose.
Outline the text and the hearts with a
charcoal pencil in black or white.
9. Spray your magnets on all sides
with clear acrylic spray or workable
fxative to seal. Allow them to cure
for several days.
10. Finish by hot gluing a strong
magnet to the back of each wooden
While this is an easy project, it is time consuming. Consider doing 20 or
more magnets at once to be more efficient.
Black gesso covers the wood wonderfully and provides a perfect seal for
your acrylic paint, but it stains easily. Be sure to wear gloves during this
process. Trust me on this one.
Watered-down super-heavy gel medium can be used instead of regular
gel medium or Mod Podge; test different glues with your papers. You may
find one works better, depending on the paper you use and what you are
adhering it to.
Instead of scrapbook paper, try using old letters (copy or original
depending on your preference) or copyright-free images.
Create a Word document with your favorite affirmation words. This can be
used in future projects quite easily. Simply change the font if you want a
different look.
Cut up a variety of words to adhere to the magnets that can be arranged
into a found poem later.
Pop the magnet into a card for a friend as a sweet treat, or use the magnets
for gift swaps or as stocking stuffers during the holidays.
4 Free Paper Art Techniques presented by
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creating collages with rescue books
Adapted from

November/December 2007
4 Free Paper Art Techniques presented by
Interweave Press LLC
BY Cathy Taylor
was working on a particularly
stubborn mixed-media painting
when, in a moment of inspired
exasperation, I grabbed a battered
old book from my pile of OPJ (other
peoples junk) and ripped off the
cover. As I was turning back to my
mixed-media mess, I did a double take
on the tattered old book: its lovely
mottled pages, its water-stained cover,
and the crusty, old binding with loose
threads hanging askew captivated me.
I never did nish that mixed-media
I love a good Aha! moment, and
creating fne art collages from rescue
books has become my latest obsession.
Using battered, torn, and unwanted
books, memorabilia, and OPJ, you can
create wonderful collages that can
be framed. These expressive, textural
collages are the perfect way to showcase
old photos and antique postcards that
might otherwise be tucked away in a
shoebox, while rescuing unwanted books
from the junk pile.
1. Cut watercolor paper to your desired
working size. One standard 22" 30"
sheet divides evenly into four 11"
15" pieces that will ft a standard mat
and frame.
2. Select old books based upon size,
shape, color, and texture. Some of the
Watercolor paper, 22" 30" sheet,
preferably 200- or 300-lb.
Old books
Acrylic matte gel medium
Palette knife
Old photos, copies, postcards,
letters, decorative papers,
memorabilia, copyright-free images,
and OPJ

Brayer or metal spoon
White glue
Water-based pigments
Spray xative, matte
A good, strong cup of tea
4 Free Paper Art Techniques presented by
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most forlorn books produce the most
beautiful features in your collage.
3. Pull the front and back covers from
the books and stack them to the side.
4. Remove unprinted pages and any
pages with interesting images, and
organize them into separate stacks.
5. Arrange several book covers,
blank pages, printed pages, and
decorative papers to create a pleasing
background. Be sure to leave room
around the edge if you plan to mat
the collage.
6. Glue these background pieces to
the watercolor paper with the matte
gel medium. Use a palette knife to
smooth a layer of gel on the back of
each piece, like frosting a cake.
7. Choose a spot for the binding piece
and glue it into place with the gel
8. Add other book and paper elements
in layers, creating pleasing textures
and shapes. Use a brayer or the bowl
of a spoon to smooth the layered
pieces into place.
9. Decorate your collage with
found treasures such as antique
photos, old postcards, copyright-
free images, fbers, and other
embellishments to create a focal
point in your collage. Use matte gel
medium for thicker elements and
white glue for thinner pieces.
note: Photos or other elements may be
tinted with watercolor pigment if desired.
Also, papers may be antiqued by soaking
them in a tea bath for a couple of hours
prior to use. Allow them to dry on a paper
towel and then glue to your collage.
10. When your collage is complete,
spray it lightly with a matte fxative
to keep small bits and pieces from
faking off during or after the
framing process. I added this step
after framing my frst magnifcent
masterpiece only to fnd a frizbit of
undetermined origin smack in the
middle of my clean white mat!
Rescue book collages make fantastic
gifts for friends and family. Personalize
each collage with favorite quotes, music,
photos, and other meaningful
memorabilia. Each collage is its own
journey with a unique message at the
Use spray xative outdoors or in a
well-ventilated area.
a binding
To highlight an old binding and
create a vertical design element,
select a book with a thin, stitched
binding. Remove the front and
back covers. Using matte gel
medium, glue the pages of the
book together next to the binding.
When dry, carefully cut through
the pages about 12" from the
binding with an X-acto knife until
just the binding remains.
4 Free Paper Art Techniques presented by
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