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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Paste Not Waste Your Way to Crafting Time

In a time before kids, I would look for something out of my regular routine to do. My mother-in-law mentioned that a few teacher friends were going to take a bookbinding class she thought I would be interested in also taking so I jumped at the chance and was delighted by it. Not only did I learn a few small bookbinding techniques, but I was also fascinated by the paste paper process.

Trying to be creative with what we have for the Splitcoaststampers Mix-Ability challenge, I decided to combine the technique of paste paper and unused stamped rejects. No matter how hard I try these days I'm always making a mistake stamping, I will inevitably smudge or blur the stamped image... yes, even with a stamp positioner. 

Here's my process as best I could photograph it out, but first tips on the paste making process. Links are at the end of this post for credits, recipes, and other tutorials.

I searched the internet, and here are a few thoughts:
  • Cooked paste is smoother than raw (think paper mache recipes), but nowhere did it say that one is better than another for the end result.
  • Start with a thicker ratio of starch to water like 1:6 respectively, then if you want a little bit more fluid paste, add more water in the temperature the recipe calls out. (See photo 1)
  • Use a binder of some sort. The recipe I used at Lil Bookbinder (link below in credits) had ground alum and an acrylic medium which is supposed to help bind the colorant to the starch. (Photo 2)
  • Use a plastic table cover. I have a thick clear table vinyl on my work table, so it was easy to clean up.

Photo 1

Photo 2
  • Catalyst Tools (a.k.a. tools that make designs) - use whatever you have on hand. In a pinch, you can cut designs out of plastic loyalty cards and even chipboard. Here are the tools I used (Photo 3).

Photo 3
Let's get started!
  • I started with one page that I had a hard time stamping a full image and just kept stamping in all angles until it was filled up.
  • For this post, I did other pages so you can see that any stamp will work, whether it is a background stamp or a few single stamps. (Photo 4)

Photo 4
  • After the stamping is done, start making paste paper. With a clean brush, apply a layer of water on the backside and then the front  (Photo 5)
Photo 5
  • While the paper is damp, paint the paste onto the paper (Photo 6). You can use just one color or two or three, just keep in mind that mixing complementary colors will result in browns and dull colors (Photo 7). If that occurs lightly swipe it up with a wet paper towel.

Photo 6

Photo 7
  • Use your mark, making tools to create designs in the wet paste. See the next five photos for marking ideas and click on them to see in the original size.

  • Let the paper dry and begin using it for a super start on your project backgrounds or bookmaking endeavors. 


I'm a maker who receives goodies chosen by myself for design team work. To see a list of these companies just scroll to the bottom of my blog under FTC Declaration.

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1 comment:

  1. Nice tutorial. Looks like a fun hobby. I love your tools. They made great patterns. [Bunny]


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