I've been wanting to make paper into some sort of sturdy form that you could sew into coin purses, for example, so I ended up trying three different methods: silicone, transparent contact paper and laminating paper.
To start with, I stamped images onto my book page with Ranger Jet Black Archival ink.
Next, I got out my stencils, paints and inks and decorated my page.
SILICONE: It was at this point that I tried to plasticize my paper. I'd seen an online reference about using silicone on paper, so I bought a tube of clear silicone at the hardware store, squirted it onto my paper, squeegied it around and let it dry. This method did not work out very well for me. For starters, I hate working with products with strong noxious odors and I definitely had to whip out the face mask for this one. Next, it took a long time to fully dry (a couple of days), and even after it did, the surface of the paper still felt...not exactly tacky...but skiddy? Like if you rubbed a cloth against it, the surface would pick up all the lint. It wasn't smooth and had some grip to it that would not work well for a coin purse. I also didn't think the finished product would be sturdy enough to hold up for long. Maybe I just didn't do the process correctly since the online reference didn't give many details, but silicone was a no-go for me.
TRANSPARENT CONTACT PAPER: Trying to salvage my book page, I decided to try contact paper next, which I got at Walmart and which is pictured below.
I covered my book page with this, both on the front and on the back. Then I cut the pieces to size and laid them out flat with the zipper in the middle. I sewed my zipper in place, then folded the two halves together and sewed around the edges to finish it off. I didn't turn it out or anything; just left the stitching exposed on the outside. Please note that I am NOT a seamstress and I like wonky stitching. This was never meant to look pro if there are sewing experts out there scoffing!
Here's how it turned out (view of the back).
Problems with contact paper: even though I bought the kind that said "permanent," you can see if you look closely enough that the contact paper was peeling up a bit on the edges. This got worse after the purse was made and after I'd taken pictures for this post. The whole coin purse now is a wrinkle fest. In contact paper's defense, this could be because I was trying to stick it to the book page that I'd already coated in silicone, but I tried it on a sample piece that didn't have silicone and it still separated from the book page because of its lack of stickiness. In addition, my book page turned brown-ish once I'd covered it, but I don't know if that was a result of the silicone, the age of the book page, or the contact paper. Lastly, since the contact paper came on a roll, it was kind of tricky to get it flattened out long enough to cover my book page.
Second attempt! My husband told me I should try some laminating paper, which I'd never heard of. This is not a heat-type of laminating paper, but is adhesive and is pictured below:
LAMINATING PAPER: I found this on Amazon (good old Amazon). Here's how coin purse #2 turned out using the laminating paper:
The laminating paper was very easy to use because it comes in flat sheets and it also was a little lighter-weight than the contact paper, which I thought was a plus. It stuck much better to my book page and so far, it hasn't bubbled up or wrinkled.
Summary? To plasticize paper, I found silicone to be too fragile and weird-feeling after it dried, contact paper to not stay stuck down very well, and adhesive laminating paper to be just right!
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and will learn from my mistakes. In the meantime, you can pick up these other supplies I used from Simon Says Stamp:
I'm interested to see what all of your clever minds come up with for this week's theme! Upload your creations to the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog for your chance to win a $50 voucher to the Simon Says Stamp store!