Sunday, July 26, 2015

Tutorials: Paper Coin Purse

I've been wanting to experiment with "plasticizing paper" for quite some time, so this week's Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge, which is, "Not Your Regular Paper," was the perfect kick in the pants I needed.  So I made a coin purse out of a vintage book page which I decorated and plasticized.  HUGE DISCLAIMER!  Most of the tutorial that follows is a lesson in what not to do! 

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!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

My Other Creations: Smarty Pants Trophies

I often run the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog's weekly themes past my husband and parents to get my creative juices flowing.  This week's theme is the letter "I."  When I asked my mom what came to mind for the letter I, the first three things she said (and I kid you not) were: isotope, ibis and incarceration.  This is the problem with having a genius mother!  I didn't even know what an ibis was (apparently some type of long-legged bird) and I certainly didn't have an isotope stamp handy.  But bless her, my mom did inspire my "I" craft after all because I wanted to pay homage to her intelligence!  So I made a little trio of trophies to celebrate the lovable smarty pants's in my life.

I started out with Tim Holtz's trophies, which are a shiny silver.  I Gesso'd the heck out of them, then painted them with Dina Wakley's acrylic paints and Tim Holtz Distress paint.  While they were drying, I went looking for bases and decided to use some old ugly wooden stamps that I'd kept for just such a nonsensical purpose.

I cut out squares of paper from Prima's Garden Fable collection and glued them onto the wood stamp blocks.  I also stamped out the sentiments and glued them on as well.

To fill my trophies, I used two girl images as well as one from Tim Holtz's Found Relatives cards (the girl with the turquoise crown).  I glued a wooden spool into each trophy, then glued the girls to the tops of the spools and wrapped a "yarn nest" around each.

I added some oomph to the trophies by gluing on some Washi tape (which wouldn't have stayed put without the glue) and adhered my trophies to their bases.  Done!

Sometimes we tease my mom about how smart she is, but it's more of an "in-awe" type of teasing.  I grew up with a set of encyclopedias in the front room which, though now is at least 20 years out of date, still sits in my parents' house to this day.  Whenever my mom doesn't know the answer to something, or wants to learn more, she'll drop whatever she's doing and look it up in the encyclopedias.  She raised me to love learning and I owe her for keeping that love of learning alive in me.  In addition to mom, my dad and my older brother saved me from a dark and dreary death in math while growing up, so I pretty much hit the jackpot with a super smart fam.  I'm so grateful to all of them for teaching me that learning is cool and that it never has to stop.

For my trophies, I used the following supplies from Simon Says Stamp:

I can't wait to see what inspires you and what interesting and inventive things you come up with for this week's "I" theme (see what I did there)?  Be sure to upload your creations to the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog for the rest of us to see and to give yourself a shot at winning a $50 gift voucher to the Simon Says Stamp store.