Archive | printing

Free download of scrapbooking magazine

I read on the Blade rubber stamps blog that the latest issue of Scrapbook and Cards magazine is available as a free download if you click on the link.

Offering free downloads seems to be a recent trend for magazines but I’m not complaining!

Blade Rubber Stamps is an awesome shop in London that I’ve visited a couple of times. It’s near the British Museum. It seems to sell a lot of arty stamps, not just the usual cutesy ones which seem to be the only stamps I can buy in shops locally.

How to reuse scrap paper for journalling, packaging and tags

I wrote this post for the Ecoetsy team blog last year and thought I’d repost it here in case any of you feel like having a play day printing – I’ve got so many envelopes which arrive and look almost as good as new, especially those which come with lots of pretty stamps on; I can’t bring myself to throw them away so if I’m not careful I get drowned in paper. So here’s something to do with it. Those envelopes with stamps could be altered to use in journalling or scrapbooking… I wrote the article originally for Etsy sellers who’d be using it for packaging but you could easily use them in handmade books or tags… I’m sure your imagination could supply other uses… So here goes..

We often think about how we can recycle packaging but what about other everyday objects that we might otherwise throw away? Have you ever thought of using them to print with, to make cool tags or decorative papers, rather than buying these items ready printed? In this tutorial I am going to show you how to use bubble wrap, plastic packaging material and other odds and ends to make your packaging pretty. If you get in the habit of looking for interesting textures and shapes, you will be able to find loads of inspiration.

The best base for printing is a slightly soft one. I do a lot of screenprinting, so I already have one made of a piece of wood covered with a couple of layers of thick fabric and a piece of wipe-clean plastic (not that I seem to wipe it clean very much as you can see from the photo!). But a piece of that foamy stuff you can buying for washing dishes would do as well, or even a folded newspaper.

printing surface

Here are my printing materials – one is some black plastic moulded with an interesting grid pattern, bubble wrap in two different sizes, and one of those polystyrene pizza bases. They are brilliant for creating texture, as you will see later.

printing materials

You will need some paper or a pile of old envelopes (which is what I am using here). And some paint – I used Golden acrylic paint because I already have it for my art but you could use poster paint or children’s paint. If you want to use the decorative papers for packaging, tags, or similar, acrylic paint is best because once it is dry, it won’t wash off or, more importantly, transfer to your products and stain them. Here I diluted some red Golden Fluid Acrylic paint with water (about 50:50) and painted it on to the bubble wrap with a sponge brush.

painted bubble wrap

Then I placed the bubble wrap face down on to the envelope and rolled a soft brayer across it.

brayering the painted bubble wrap

This is the result:

printed envelope

Here is some large bubble wrap being printed:

painted bubble wrap

I then painted the same piece of bubble wrap with blue paint and printed that on top:

two colours of printed bubble wrap

This is the pizza base from the above photo. I scored a grid pattern into it with the tip of an old pen, or you can use the end of a paintbrush or a similar object.

more printing tools!

I painted the pizza base with blue and red paint and printed it:

pizza bases are great for printing with!

You can use the pizza base to draw any design you wish. Here I am making a flower design with the end of a paint brush.

leaf drawn in polystyrene

This is the result:

flower drawn in polystyrene

I painted this with green paint:

green paint brushed on to polystyrene plate

And printed it by pressing it down and, again, rolling it with a brayer. (This helps to transfer the paint to the paper).

polystyrene paint printed on to envelope

Here I printed a great grid pattern using something I found in my husband’s DIY workroom! I’m not sure what it is meant to be used for, but it makes a great pattern!

more printing with grid this time

And this is the moulded plastic which I have painted with red paint:

painted moulded plastic

Great design, huh?

red paint printed on to envelope from grid

Here I added a bit of yellow paint to the red and painted it on in stripes (you’ll see the yellow has already mixed to make orange) and then overprinted it with the green pizza base leaf shape.

more printing on top

And these are the results!

printing results

When these are dry you can cut them up to make tags or use them in any way that you would use wrapping paper or commercially printed decorative paper.

box and tags made from printed papers

There you go – I hope that has given you just a few ideas for printing patterns on paper. There are loads of other possibilities and I’m sure you will come up with tons of imaginative ones.

Garden progress

Well, the patio is looking a bit better stocked now;   I just hope these French beans will look as healthy after the slugs sniff them out!

French beans

And here are the tomatoes all bedded in!   The big ones are Alicante, the smaller ones Gardener’s Delight.

beans and tomato plants

Just to end this little horticultural interlude, the wisteria at the front of our house is in full bloom; it smells heavenly.

wisteria

And to get back to textile content, DH and I went and got a HUGE piece of MDF for my printing table the other day – here it is in my studio.  So now I won’t have to keep pinning and unpinning fabric and moving it along to do the next bit…

print table 

Here’s a sneak peek at my reeds hanging no.1.  The stuff on the table above is being auditioned for hanging no. 2.

reeds hanging

Altering photos for Gocco/thermofax using Photoshop

Karen Stiehl Osborn has just written a tutorial on her blog entitled From Photograph to Thermofax. If you use Photoshop or Photoshop Elements and want to make a Gocco screen or thermofax screen and don’t know the best way to alter a photograph to make the best sort of image for it, check it out!

If you prefer using Paint Shop Pro, I wrote an article a few months ago on the same subject. You can find it here. There is also a link on my left sidebar.

While I’m on the subject of Gocco prints, I do still have some Print Gocco machines – PG10 and PG10 Supers – for sale, and have reduced the prices for April so there’s still a few days left!

Jane Dunnewold’s Art Cloth Challenge

In December, Jane Dunnewold of Art Cloth Studios issued a challenge to 12 brave and adventurous art cloth makers. This was the brief, in Jane’s words:

In December of 2007, I issued an invitation to surface designers through the Complex Cloth Internet list. Anyone who was interested in working on a dyed two yard length of silk habotai was to write to me and indicate interest. I put all the names in a hat, and drew out twelve participants’ names. I wanted it to be a democratic event.

I spent a happy evening reading the wonderful blog The Art Cloth Challenge. Go and have a look – it’s really worth it! And amazing to see what different cloth resulted from 12 people’s vision of the same piece of cloth and to read their journals about how they altered it.

Screenprinting with Natural Dyes

When I had my great fabric decorating spree in January, some of my favourite pieces are those I screenprinted with Gocco screens.  I used natural dye extracts mixed with gum tragacanth as a print paste/binder.

Continuing the series on mud and footprints, I made a screen of these bird prints.  I actually made a tiny stamp from an eraser, printed the back of an envelope with it, and scanned it into the computer.  I then made it bigger and made it into a screen. 

screenprinted fabric, bird prints

A close up:

close up of bird print fabric

I then stuck torn masking tape over an empty screen and printed over the bird prints:

bird prints and mud fabric

bird print and mud fabric

I’ll be interested to see how these turn out when I wash them.  I have to leave them for a few months to batch.  The longer the better, really.  And I don’t plan to use them for a while so they might as well sit there….

This fabric below was printed first with torn corrugated cardboard, then printed with a couple of screens made of brick patterns.

screenprinted fabric with natural dyes

And this one is a screen of a tree, made from a photograph I took on one of my walks:

tree fabric

I printed the same screen with colours getting gradually darker.  I also printed some fabric using the same screen and another screen of a letter.

If you read this in Google Reader or another feed reader, you probably won’t notice that I’ve changed the blog ‘theme’.   I changed to this one because it is very easy to alter the way the page looks and I want to try and incorporate my website into the blog so it all looks the same and I think I can do it with this one without messing too much with the code.  But if you find anything’s not working for you in your particular browser, do let me know and I’ll try and change it.  The header, by the way, is rotating, which means you might see a different picture up there each time you come to the blog!  Fun, eh?!!

Before I finish this post, Judy Nolan from the Etsy Boomers Street Team, of which I’m a member, has written a great blog post about the way different people get ideas for their work and capture them.  She got lots of us to tell her what we all do and how we all go about things!  I think it’s definitely worth reading.  You can find it on the Boomers’ blog here.

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