06 September 2010

Fabric Paper Tutorial

I'm going to show you the steps to making fabric paper in this post.  I'm going to show you how I make it anyway. Others make it somewhat differently. Just means there's more than one way to skin a cat, er, make fabric paper!

First thing you're going to need is a sheet of plastic big enough to make a sheet of paper on. I use the front panel from a 40 pound bag of dog food. That makes my finished papers approximately 20 inches wide and 30 inches long. You might not want yours that big. The bigger the finished paper, the bigger your workspace will need to be.
You will also need some type of fabric material. Muslin is what is recommended but ANY thin fabric you may have laying around WILL work! Cheese cloth, printed cottons, gauze bandaging...anything thin. Doesn't matter what color it is. I use gauze bandaging that I found at the thrift store. If you use a printed fabric make sure you turn it over so the wrong side is facing you. That way the back of your finished paper will have the print of the fabric on one side.
You're going to need some paper. I have used many different types of paper on a single sheet of fabric paper so it does not matter what paper you use. Magazine pages, envelopes, newspaper, junk mail, bills, whatever kind of paper you have laying around will work. The more colorful, the better. Or you could do like I did on the blue sheet you'll see later in this post and use all one type of paper. I always put at least two layers of paper on each sheet of fabric paper made. I try to stay away from using cardstock weight paper. I keep it separate from the other paper.
You're going to need a bottle of school glue. PVC glue. Plain old white Elmers Glue.
You'll need some water to mix with the glue and a bowl or some sort of vessel to hold your glue mixture. I mix my glue approximately 2 parts glue to 1 part water, heavy on the water. I have heard that the glue will work thinned even further than this. I've yet to try it thinner though.
Feel free to experiment! That's the fun part!

Gather all your materials together somewhere you can spread out. Make sure you've cut or torn (or both) your papers into smallish bits. 3 or 4 inches.
I make paper out in the burnt house in the room that used to be my bedroom. There's a big stack of particle board out there taking up most of the room and I commendeered it as my work station.
I've mixed my glue. I ran out of Elmer's and mixed Tacky Glue with the remnants of the Elmer's. Didn't seem to make any difference in the drying process.
Pour a blob of glue on your plastic.
You need a good sized brush to spread it all around. Or you can use a credit card to spread the glue. Either way works. I've done it both ways. With this one I used a brush though.
You're going to lay your fabric over this layer of glue. My fabric comes on a roll. I need three lengths of it to cover my plastic sheet. You do not have to cover the plastic sheet if you don't want to. You're going to peel that plastic sheet off when the paper dries.

When you get your fabric down on the plastic, give it another layer of glue. You want the fabric saturated so your paper bits will adhere.

All glued up and ready for the papers.

A shot of my paper stash for fabric paper making. I had paper stars all over the place from the last sheet of paper made before this one. All the papers showing came in snail mail, dictionary pages and stars punched from a magazine. It took me about half an hour to punch an entire magazine. I have enough stars to make 3 sheets of paper, lots of stars!!! And it was therapuetic to sit and do it!
The picture below shows the junk mail torn/cut into smallish bits.
Some of the things in the box:
magazine inserts
copy paper
 raffle tickets
tissue paper
you get the idea....

When I go through the snail mail in the livingroom, I put all the 'good' stuff in a drawer in my desk and when that drawer gets full, I go through it and sort it into its proper place. This is the box that gets the crap too good to throw out, but useless for much more than collage fodder and not really suitable for it either.

Don't dilly dally once you've put a layer of glue onto your fabric. Start slapping pcs of paper on top to cover the fabric. I don't overlap these papers, just put them down side by side and cover the fabric. It really does not matter the order...just slap them down! Let your hands do the work and put your mind to some other task.

Keep at it till you've covered the fabric with paper bits.
The next two pictures are out of order. When you get this layer of paper on, the edges are gonna be sticking up. When you fill in the gaps with fabric showing, you're going to glue down the edges while adhereing the smaller bits to cover the fabric.

Now we need some smaller bits of paper. I just tear them to fit as I need them. You want to glue everything down as you go along. So put a layer of glue down over your first layer of paper, working in the little bits to cover the fabric showing through.

You can see the gauze sticking out between the pcs of paper. You want to cover all that up with more paper and glue.

We've covered the whole thing with paper. No fabric showing through. Only the edges should have fabric showing, not out in the middle. If you find a hole you missed, glue another piece of paper over it.

another shot.

I was interrupted when I was making this sheet of paper and this is as far as it got with the pictures. After I put that last layer of paper and glue down, I put some gold glitter glue over the whole of it. It turned it a nice yellow color.
Then I walked away from it. It's probably dry by now. That was two and half days ago.

Here are some finished sheets of paper before they were cut down to more managable size.

This one has a layer of gold glitter glue and splotches of paint as it's last layer. If you're going to put paint splotches on your's go easy on the paint. I put it on way too thick.

this one has more magazine pictures, newspaper flyer pictures and the like than any of the other sheets I've made. I put black and blue glitter all over the last layer of glue. This is my least favorite sheet made thus far.
Junk mail, security envelope insides, magazine pages, yellow tissue paper, ect. gold glitter glue, lavendar colored netting and turquoise colored sewing thread snippets make up the last layer. This paper is quite thick. VERY sturdy!
The netting on this could be used as the backing fabric. Use only tissue paper to cover it...many possibilities!
dictionary pages, junk mail, magazine pages, ect. paint splotches as the last layer.
This one could have used another layer of glue before the paint was put on. Not all of the last layer of papers are glued securely. It will work though.
blue security envelope insides, junk mail, the strips are cut from a clip art manual. I put three layers of paper on this one. The last layer is the clip art manual strips that were laid in a loose pattern across the paper. Last layer atop the glue is neon pink glitter, and gold glitter.

I cut the strips from the clip art manual pages on my guillotine cutter some time back to weave into sheets of paper. Weaving paper is very time consuming!
Blue security envelope insides, both layers of paper....then neon orange glitter, blue glitter and gold glitter
I almost cut this one before I took its picture. That's why it has a slice cut into it. I really like how this one turned out.

this paper was made with black security envelope insides and other junk mail. I spray painted it black after I got the fabric all covered, then sprinkled the stars all over it. There aren't quite that many stars on it now. A good many of them didn't stick to the glue under the spray paint.

You can do anything you want to produce your own fabric paper. There are no rules in art.
Just have fun and see what you can come up with.

What can I do with my fabric paper?
Lots of things!
book covers
wrap a gift in it
use it for wallpaper

What will you do with it?
Make some and let me know!

I really haven't decided just what to do with mine....gonna trade some of it in a swap and end up with more that I'm unsure what I will do with!

give it a try and them come back and tell me if it worked or not.
If anyone has any questions, please ask in the comments and I'll try my best to answer correctly. I'm sure my instructions are not the clearest!

Thanks for taking at peek!
Be good to one another! It matters!

1 comment:

soulbrush said...

back to look at this again, and it is wonderful. am going off the blogging road for a while, se ya later gater.xx