So , the saving grace is this is constructed from stuff that would otherwise go in the bin or in the burn-box.

I’m happy-ish with it but the spine will always annoy me.  I did suspect it might be an issue, but carried on anyway, and to me fair it really WASN’T an issue till I sewed in the last signature.  The cover is the hodge podge of all leftover bits from my roll-off pad.



The spine I sewed based on a suggestion given to me when I asked bookbinders about multiple signatures sewn thru single holes.  I ended up doing the top five and bottom five as singles, but sewed all thru the same middle hole.



The spine was stuck with thick black duct tape and seems very sturdy – plus it opens really nice and flat.  BUT there is a little dimple on the pages where the last signature was sewn in



The weirdest thing is if I flip the book over, and treat the BACK cover as the front cover there is no hint of  the dimple at all – not on the page that opens the book (like the photo above) and not in the first 4 signature – only in the LAST one can you see it at all.

bizarre.  I’ll def. remember that and start sewing from the first rather than the last signature.

Now I just need to stick the pages two-together to give them a bit more weight.

I must do a bit of research – would it be best to pre-Gesso a lot of pages in this junky journal so when I am rolling off the brayer, soaking up spray ink, scraping off excess paint, etc, the pages are “ready” or will multiple layers of paint be all that these pages need in terms of a base for future journaling??

I find, too, that I have the same problem I used to have with scrapbooking – treating the left page as ONE page and the right page (in a two page spread) as a completely unrelated page OR treat the two of them as a single larger page?  I’ve managed to overcome my need for the two pages to “match” in my scrapbook albums, but now I am right back there, same question, AGAIN, with baby steps to AJ play.  Sure, if you have a pretty style, consider your page’s overall design at every step, and like things to be neat, it makes sense.  But it could be a plus that you have a messy page – I tend to think so but that might be because I am drawn to that kind of art.  And I think it is easier to truly PLAY if you aren’t constantly considering how PRETTY it’s going to be in the end.  And for ME – that is what this process is all about. To quote,  Art doesn’t have to be pretty. It has to be meaningful. And I aim for my journal to be meaningful, even if only to me and pretty be damned….


Junk Art Journal

I do enjoy making books, and this idea sprang from a household task, but I think it’s going to work.

We burn anything that has our address on it, so it isn’t in the rubbish readable.  It’s a DH thing.  So we always have a huge bin of stuff waiting around till there is enough to warrant firing up the burner.  When DH and DS took on the task recently, DS found that there were a load of old exercise books that DD had put in the bin – she is always wanting to “move on” and isn’t sentimental about stuff like this.  DS felt we should save it so he set a massive stack aside for me to go thru – nothing to do with avoiding work, I’m sure…


As I was sorting thru them, I noticed that the paper was decent weight and already in “signatures” so I started reducing the bulk by taking out blocks of blank pages.  The idea was to use it as scrap paper or for random Gelli print experiments.



By the time I got done I had quite a stack!



I usually have a paper pad on my desk, where I roll off excess paint from Gelli plate play – I also press paint-covered stencils to the pages, or soak up excess ink there too. Some of the “pages” are rather interesting. Seems a shame to waste the paint and I felt I could do something with them at some point.





I took the signatures and re-stapled them – as the pages are wide, I just opened up the stapler and pressed it to the crease, over a bit f cork floor tile.



Flipping it over, I just pressed the staples closed.



Might be an unnecessary step, as I looked at the stack and thought I could make a journal from them.  I can still use the stacks to soak up excess paint and ink, but then I have a pre-decorated book of background bases, so why not? I’m sure I’ve seen others doing something like this.

I cut some covers from a nice sturdy box (it has a nifty wood-grain effect on it and is just the right size)



I tore up some of those scrap roll-off pages


and collaged them on to the box pieces.



Like making the old serendipity squares idea, I was pretty random – or I tried to be.  But I found myself making decisions about placement and size and colour more than I had planned! But you get the idea.

Just like “composition book” journals, to give the pages greater stability I would need to glue two together.  I need to check into that a bit more – just glue them? gesso them after glueing? depend on the thicknesses of rolled off paint to give them body?  Lots to read up on….

Now, the binding.  I have been trying to research sewn signature spines cause I had the idea to assemble the covers and spine using duct tape.  As I have maybe 6 or 7 signatures, of varying thicknesses, I wondered if I could punch the holes in the signatures as usual, but add just 4 larger-size eyelets to the spine and sew in the signatures so each one is sewn into the spine thru those eyelets. Does that make sense?  USUALLY each signature is sewn to the spine thru individual sets of holes – 6 signatures will mean 6 columns of 4 holes.  I don’t want the spine to be that thick! So as it is basically a “junk” journal, I may just take the plunge and give it a go.  I am also considering separating the signatures and re-grouping them so each is the same number and can be stuck two together without the risk of any leftover or odd pages.

Is this a way to avoid actually working in the journal?  Maybe. But I need the roll-off space before I start working in the “real” journal so I’m going to call it prep work.   Don’t judge me….


PB AJ – made a page

Well, a few things to mention,

First, I have to wonder if the paper bags are too thin.  I’m not entirely sure how well they will stand up to loads of paint and ink.  The first clue was brushing on the Gesso.  It was hard to get good coverage.  As the brush pulled the paper bag paper it wrinkle and shifted.  OK, when the Gesso DRIED it seemed a lot more stable a surface, and I suspect with both sides covered it will be even better. but it is a worry.  I did find that spreading the Gesso with an old gift card worked great and will do that on all future pages



I spent quite a bit of time cutting up old magazines, thinking back to things I’ve seen, work I admired.  But really, is my goal to mimic some other person’s style?  Do I really want to be a poor imitation of Teesha Mooore?  Perhaps not.



While I am not opposed to using TECHNIQUES I’ve seen, I am more interested in my pages being, well, MINE.  For example I did a technique I had seen, perhaps in one of the Interweave videos, perhaps on You Tube, but DEF. from JournalArtista, where she painted then laid on a stencil (or in my case, sequin waste) and rubbed away the still wet paint to leave the Gesso (or in my case the background layer of already dried paint).  Def. wanting to play with this a bit more – I have an idea….



What is the thing I hope has come across as the one thing I totally love?  Well, fonts of course.  I figured that as long as I had cut up all those magazines, and since there was a LOT of text I might as well figure out a way to use it.



Lots of layers, stamping, painty play, etc.  and the writing is around the edges – that appeals to me and might be my unifying element.  There is plenty of space and isn’t to focus of the page.  At this point that is what I am comfortable with.



And of course I didn’t miraculously fall in love with my own chicken-scratch handwriting overnight so…

I am also a little concerned about the machine stitching.  I did say I feared it might not hold and I am trying to decide if I should make use of a new tool (Japanese book drill with 6 different tips – kinda like an Anywhere Punch but without the need for a hammer) and go ahead and sew the signatures as well as having them machine stitched.  Still dithering about that – might give it a few more pages as so far it seems to be OK but I don’t want it to slip past the point of repair without me realizing.

It was enjoyable.  But I fear I am over-thinking it.  The whole process needs to be a bit more….medatative, I think.  Problem is I have so much on my mind I am flying off in 20 directions at once.  Maybe this will help me focus on one thing at a time and really think it thru.  That can only be a good thing, right? Hummm. We’ll see….

Now, I went back to a font site I haven’t been to in YEARS and found a whole load of fun new ones so I may just have to switch gears and play with them for a bit…


Journal done

I finished and it worked out fairly well.  who am I kidding?  I’m over the moon with it.

I sewed the signatures to the spine – I won’t know until I actually use it how effective and sturdy that will be!  I did one signature with a small stitch and one with a bit longer one – I worry that the small stitch will be too weak and in future I think I might use the clear nylon thread or thicker linen thread.  What can I do but use it and see what happens?

There is very little gap between the signatures – I marked and clamped it all carefully to try to keep it all straight.



And the signatures open nicely and pretty flat – certainly at least as flat as a moleskin journal



You can see the stitching but it’s not obtrusive IYKWIM

Cutting the cover pieces to fit was simple enough – I cut the two areas I liked best to size, and stuck the spine to them, front and back, then stuck the leftover bits (just a bit too small widthwise) to sandwich



I added a strip of the bags left over when I trimmed them to size, over the bare bit, both to reinforce it and to cover the gap.


I pressed some drywall tape into gold paint on the Gelli plate.  I often use my smaller Gelli plate as a sort of stamp pad, for lack of a better word.  I find the giving nature of the surface and the fact the paint does stay damp for a bit, works really well  to press in a stamp, get good cover on it, and then stamp. So I thought this would work with the drywall tape.  It did, but to be honest I’m not sure just brayering the paint on wouldn’t have worked equally as well. 

5PBAJmoreI Covered the spine with a bit of the brown bag then layered the gold drywall tape over that. The adhesive on it is not that strong, so I may end up adding a layer of acrylic medium over it – in fact I may end up doing the whole cover, just to make it waterproof too.



I one sense I am dying to get some paint into it, but in another I am scared stiff to mess it up.  I just gotta let go, I think, and have at it!



Paper Bag Art Journal

Funny, isn’t it, how different it was pre-internet?

As ever, a number of things all dovetailed to result in a project I swore I would NEVER try again. Yep. Art Journals.

My track record is appalling, at least as appalling as any attempt at Project Life.  I WANT to do both.  I ENJOY doing both when I do have a go, but I just can’t seem to muster up the commitment.  I see others setting off on this creative journey and I am envious they can follow thru and I can’t seem to.  But having a chat in a UKS thread about AJs, asking others for some input on their trigger moment and what keeps them doing it, it occurred to me that one of the best reasons to do it is you get to make art and KEEP it.  When I make something I really love it can be hard to set it free – even stuff like the things I made at Christmas for DH and DS were in a way hard to part with.

I thought I might begin by seeing if I could create a journal-like thing with the idea that it would be more a place to house arty-farty play, and if at any point I felt driven to journal in it, well that would be a bonus.  But like the 52 BIG CARDS, otherwise it could just be a place to create that  I didn’t have to give away, that would store in a relatively small space (unlike say canvases, for example!) and where I could just play.

So then I thought what to make?  I didn’t want to begin with Gelli prints, for example, as they are busy (or at least mine usually are) and I wanted free rein to try any old thing that appealed to me.  I didn’t want to begin with a ready-made book either, as I just love the whole bookmaking process.  And I wanted something that was a little different.

I thought back – while having my massive tidy-up pre-Christmas, I can across a stash of paper lunch bags.  I think I am over paper-bag books.  I’ve made maybe 10 projects, all variations on the norm, trying out all manner of odd constructions, and have seen a handful of really unique ones by others.  I don’t need any more mini-books, as much as I like making them, so maybe I could use them as the base.

I have the habit of browsing You Tube for videos when I have an idea – I always want to know if it’s been done before – so had a quick look for paper bag art journals.  I did find a few, none that looked quite like what I saw in mind, but not a million miles away.  One video (which I won’t identify) was informative up till the point the filmer knocked the camera off the desk.  There was a part 2 but I felt I had actually gotten the point and didn’t need to watch more.  What stuck with me is she mentioned wetting, scrunching bags, and ironing them, and that reminded me of a faux leather technique that I’ve done before and sounded like just the textural idea I wanted for the bag-base.  I didn’t have much luck finding any sort of video on that so shifted to image display and I found THIS.  What also interested me was the date! 2007.  but totally new to me.  Just what I had in mind, although I was thinking lunch bags, because I had them, and except for Primark I’m hard pressed to think of a place locally that gives out HUGE brown paper bags anymore – or the next time I am likely to buy enough stuff to warrant a huge bag, to be honest.  Not a ton of info but all you need with a few photos.  Perfection.

SO I took what I learned, matched it with what I had on hand, and started.

First I cut open the bags – that produced a “sheet” of about 12 x 20 inches by cutting up the back and then removing the box-bottom fold

Then, following Judy’s soaking and scrunching technique, I found wetting the bags made removing the glued strips a piece of cake.



Rather than laboriously trimming them all, I just peeled them all away after their soak.

6PBAJI hung them all up in the warm kitchen, where I had a massive pot of chicken soup on the go, and let them dry.

5PBAJThen a quick iron and they came up so lovely and textured.  I did find the trick was to barely skim the surface of the bags, so the heat made them contract, I guess, rather than ironing them like you would a shirt.  Enhance the wrinkles rather than press them away.



Now, the big arty pieces I showed for WOYWW actually will be too small for this.  My plan had been to fold them (actually I showed only one, now I think about it, but actually made two) and slip signatures inside.  Well the base watercolour paper was NOT 20 inches, more like 15, so now I just have to consider how to put it all together – and if where I am now (two signatures of 5 folded sheets or about 20 pages) is the right number.  I think it is, as much bigger and it will be far too daunting and any smaller and it’ll be full too fast!

I’ve been fiddling about with two front and back cover pieces and am considering something I did mention ages back, when I was making the torn paper “fabric” book, and simply machine stitch the signatures to a spine piece then attach the covers to that, but I’m just not ready to take the plunge till I maybe make a mock-up to see if it opens flat enough to work in.

Then we’ll see…will I bail? fail? forget? or will I actually manage to make a few things in it, with or without words?  What do you think?





WOYWW 241 – class projects

Happy WOYWW day!  I’ve been looking back at a couple of the Interweave classes I downloaded and at a couple of You Tube videos and playing. What’s on my desk is a large sheet of watercolour paper that has been painted with Jane Davies “scribble paint” technique with a few things layered over that. It will become…something else


I like the technique – it’s super easy but with enough scope for you to bring your own flair to it.  I’ll have to see if an idea I have will work before I share. Here’s a bit of a close up:


Now DS is finally gone back to Uni, with luck crafting time will be more possible – I have a ton of things I want to be doing.  And I’m sure after hopping around desks this week there will be a ton more!


Flexagon layout

I did say I wanted to try it so I did.  I wanted to see how the flexagon structure would work for a mini-book.  I think it worked, but the inherent problems with it made me think of another use.

Start with creating the flexagon as I mentioned in the post here.  I opted to make it as close to 12 x 12, with the idea that the photos wouldn’t be skimpy, even in the fairly small areas.

I made another on using the only large format paper I had on hand, which was vellum/tracing paper.  I stuck the circles to create the structure with repositionable adhesive, so I could see where the folds were.  My plan was to make templates to use when cutting the actual photos and/or decorative papers to add.


That allowed me to note the various shapes and cut apart the sample to create templates. Once I had folded t, it opened each section and noted the direction of the photo and how many of each section, with what orientation and number I needed.



Problem One:  With the best will in the world, and as much attention to detail as you can muster, getting ever fold absolutely precise, the EXACT same size, is impossible if you aren’t a programmed machine.  Creasing to the left of a line one time and to the right of it another is going to have the cumulative effect of things being “out” when all those tiny differences are added up. Accept it.

I had the idea to do something I’ve always done when using odd-shaped templates for photos, which is to cut them from black card, scan them, take them and the photos into PSE and use the shapes as a mask – that way I print only the area of a photo I need.  I started down that route but had the niggling suspicion that I wasn’t going to be entirely happy with the project in the end, so went instead to a stockpile of old printed photos, with the idea I would make one and see how I felt about it in the end, while not spending a huge amount of time on it.





Where I discovered the cumulative effects of so many folds was when I tried to match the templates to the actual piece.



They fit fairly well, but I noticed that, for example, with the cover, the small shape at the top is actually repeated 4 times, the large shape twice.  BUT the top two small shapes were every so slightly smaller than the bottom two.  It was the same in every case, where a shape LOOKED the same, but it was slightly different.  I just resolved not to worry about it if they were not perfectly matted, but still checked each template according to which photo I was cutting, and adjusted on the fly.



Problem Two:  There are a couple of areas that you will see either in two different flips OR thru a gap to another page.  Not a PROBLEM, per se, but it’s worth checking to make sure those repeated photos work with both pages.

Problem Three – The photos in some areas are really big.  The middle two, top and bottom above, are 5 x 7 prints and they are too short to fill the area.  You can work around that by leaving the background on show, like here, OR by covering that area with decorative paper or an embellishment or journaling OR you can cut two photos smaller to fill the page OR cut many smaller photos.  MY aim was to have the biggest photos I could for each section. You’ll see how I dealt with it at the end.

And that leads nicely on the PROBLEM FOUR, which is, I think the biggest one (no pun intended) – it’s so darn BIG!  a 12 x 12 “mini-book” is no mini!  Where would you put it? How would you display it? – especially given there is no way to have a cover that protects it because that would totally interfere with the flip action! and unless you only want there to be two flips, leaving the front AND the back as “covers” of only decorative paper, there will be photos on the back page, the final flip before returning to the front cover, exposed.

Let me show you the un-decorated version – I’ll add some flat decorative items, some journaling blocks, etc, to finish it off – and then talk about how I think it COULD be used.

The “Cover”

7flexscrappythe first flip – I just added some decorative strips to extend the too small photos:



Note those two side photos – here they are again in flip two!



Also note you can see thru to the last page – I tried to get faces in those areas by careful photo cutting with some success, but it may not matter too much.  Just be aware.

And the final flip before returning to the cover – this would be the BACK cover if you left it as decorative paper, which is a waste of good photo space! Note too you can see the green bits from the front cover.  You may think they could be the green curves from the previous page, but they aren’t. That may inform your title placement. unless you want sideways words appearing here.



Right.  So while I so love the flipping action of this how do I make it more usable or do I give up on it?

1. I DO think it works in this large size as a LAYOUT.  The hint was in the title of this blog post LOL!  So, decorate the cover, add the journaling, and slip the whole thing into a page protector in your album just as if it were a round layout.  Where might it work?

  • first or last page of an album
  • any memorable moment with lots of photos but I think it would be fab as maybe a Baby’s First Year, where the flipping action could highlight the changes in a baby.
  • it might also work for maybe school photos?  If you, for example, did the repeating photos as 1st grade and 6th grade (or nursery and year 6)  that could be cute.
  • any sort of THEN and NOW layout – dating photos, ending with a wedding? documenting a weight loss or makeover or haircuts over the years?

Any of those things COULD work for a layout topic.

2.  Make it smaller as a mini-book (I’m thinking 8 inch circles to start) and use photos only in the biggest spaces, saving the smaller ones for journaling. Present it in a large custom box or envelope.

3. Make is smaller still  (6 inch circles like the Steins;Gate doodah for DS) and present it with photos only in the middle two flips, leaving the front and back as decorative, and present it more as a CARD, for a really special person on a really special occasion.

So that draws a line under this particular experiment.  It was fun, working it out, I’m calling mine a LAYOUT and will put it in an album.  The photos are a bit random, but I would call it Out and About, or something like that as all the photos are from days out, or at the very least out in the garden.  That works for me.

If you find a use for this that I haven’t thought of, do share.  I still think it makes a cute card, but I really like the interactive nature of it with the photos.  But I’ve satisfied my curiosity so I can move on….



Apologies in advance for the shockingly bad photos.  I took them in the dark this morning just before shoving DS out the door for the long train ride back to Uni. I only add them to show the better design placement based on the actual action of one of these flexagon circles.  I also show the method I used to close it – not sure what else you COULD use other than a band or a loose tie.

Normally I would choose to have the opening run top to bottom, but the images I had to work with forced the cover-split to run side to side.  That is another tip if you make one.  I think opening like a book is the expected and forcing the opening the opposite feels odd.

Another thing worth noting is that it is a bad idea to make the circles thicker – by that I mean the areas that are scored should be one thickness.  My last experiment with this will be to see if I can get a template from a scrap version.  That way the BASE of the flexagon is free to move, but the decorative paper can get stuck on to the base without affecting the folding and then the flipping.  I was rushing last night to get it done so took the short cut of printing two faces and sticking them back to back for one of the pairs rather than trying to work out how to lay out the files for printing one, then printing the other bit (perfectly aligned) on the back so they appeared the right way round as you flip.  But doing it that way showed me that what I suspected was in fact true! Make the base structure out of single layers then decorate within, not overlapping, the score lines.

I have SO much to do to catch up but don’t feel in the least bit guilty – time spent with DS is a fair tradeoff for falling a bit behind on other things.  I STILL have a handful of WOYWW visits to get back to – OK that one I do feel a little guilty about.   Also on my list is finishing another hat for DD!  Turns out she loves the one from Christmas and wanted another so we shopped for the yarn (how is it the stuff she loved was just about the only yarn in the shop NOT on sale??) and she picked the pattern (and how is it that she picked the only pattern we saw that uses one of those infuriating symbol charts rather than written instructions?? Actually, worse than that, it uses a chart for the first 10 rounds then SWITCHES to a written list of stitches for the rest – ARRGGHH!!) so this one is totally her “design” and she is asking about it every day.  My desk is a disaster and I have at least three projects I am dying to get to.  I’ll just bet you are the same, so I’ll stop whingeing and just get on with it…..



Circular Endless card (Flexagon)

Well, sadly, DS is off back to Uni tomorrow.  But he has hijacked my time to watch a favourite Anime series called Steins;Gate.  It’s a bit odd (time travel, sending texts back in time, alternate world lines, you know….)  but absorbing, once you get past the first couple of episodes.  A number of things all played a part in this little experiment and you know me – I like to credit people who inspires me. Let’s begin with Giving Hands Creative.  I had a hankering to make an endless card but wanted to make a round one – me?  I love circles.  I had the idea to do it with Gelli Prints, cause it’s been a while since I had a proper printing session, and the round plate is on my mind, so I thought I would have a little Google to see what I could find.  That link popped up.  That took me to Kiala’s Book-in-a-day series on You Tube. I took the time to compile them all into a playlist so they are all in one place and in order – there are at least 3 or 4 of them I am dying to try!

Anyway I watched the video in the wee small hours and then decided to have a go at it first with some images from the anime. It isn’t a total success, given the placement of the printed images but I think I’ve worked out how to do it better.  Having made an imperfect one, I can now more easily see how things need t be placed in order for them to appear as I want them to in the final card, as it “flips.” If you have never seen an Endless Card, this will help. That is only one of many so Google yourself if that one doesn’t suit you!

Start by cutting two identically sized circles.  Ignore the printing on mine for the moment – if you want to make an actual card you can just make the basic structure then add the embellishments, perfectly placed.



I had already (stupidly) printed the circles and the printer paper circles I am using here were to practice the CONSTRUCTION, rather than the placement. I really should have done this step first then printed to fit.  What do I say? I make the mistakes so you don’t have to! LOL.

Fold the circles in half and be as precise as you can – both directions.  Use the first fold to line up the cross fold. Just match the top and the bottom on the first fold line to bisect the circle perfectly.


Now, Kiala measures to divide her half-circles into 4ths.  I decided to use this scrap circle as a template and avoid the measuring totally.  Folding in the two sides to met in the middle will give you 1/4th on each side and 2/4ths in the middle – exactly what you want.




See? The same basic idea will let the math-challenged use any size circle, even odd measurements.



I drew the pencil lines to mark and then cut this template along the centre line.  Laying it over the printed circles I both cut them along the centre and scored them along the 1/4th marks.

My circles need to be one cut widthwise, one lengthwise, because I was using printed images.  For the basic plain card base you can do them the same.



And scored:



Taking another tip from Kiala, I added a tiny bit of tape int the middle just to hold the circle halves together. I got a bit turned around, and laid them out with all the folds in the same way – up.  They should be stuck with one circle mountain folds up, the other, valley folds up. Think of it as back-to-back if it helps.  Having said that it isn’t hard to just crease them back even after the card is done.  That’s what I did.



The critical thing here is to line things up as carefully as you can. I found my gridded mat helped with that. If you look at it, you will see the folds delineate a small triangle on the bottom circle.



Apply your glue in  just that small area.  I used wet glue but I suspect ATG tape might work as well.  Wet glue just seemed like it would hold up better as you flip the card. Stick the two circles together in the glued areas, LET IT DRY if you are using wet adhesive, then remove the bits of tape and start flipping! This is nowhere near as instructive as actual motion video, but you get the idea.  Let’s call this the front:

flipOpening at the cur across the middle so the top half and bottom half split and flip to the back:



Flipping the middle arched sections to the back:



Flipping the side half-circles to the back:



and finally splitting the centre two bits out and back will bring you to the front once again – I won’t show it a second time!

Now, depending on how you begin, you will see different areas of the card with different orientations.  I may still try to work out THIS particular card for DS (just as a bit of fun) and if so, I’ll try to give some pointers.  But I also now hanker after making one from a 12″ circle and making in more of a scrapbook-y thing, with photos so I may just jump to that, using this flawed version to place things properly.  And I still think it would be fab with Gelli prints, so there is still THAT to try as well.  I also wonder if there is a way to work it out so the basic beginning shape is a heart (hey, Valentines day isn’t THAT far away…) then flexes even if the hearts don’t perfectly match up.  So I have a lot of ideas to fiddle with in the next few days, I think.

Do check out Giving Hands Creative too.  Like I said this is just one of many interesting books she did.  I admire her committment to a book in a day, and a book a week for a year.  Yu may find something that makes you rush to your desk, you never know….



Ink jet acrylic medium sealing without a Gelli plate

NOTE:  Just to be sure I asked the Gelli Arts folk about the baby oil trick and they said:

Gelli Arts – Gel Printing Plate yes! baby oil is fine on the Gelli plate and yes – it does remove much of the deeply ingrained color. Thanks for sharing your great results and the fun video!!
 On to new stuff then….

As I suspected, it is possible to use the acrylic medium sealing of ink jet prints technique WITHOUT a Gelli Plate.

There are issues – it is not as smooth an application, it uses a bit more medium than the Gelli plate would, and the wiggle-risk is greater, but on the flip side it does give a (perhaps?) more interesting texture to the sealed piece than the super smooth Gelli plate version.

I am pretty sure I mentioned I felt this would work, so really, having said that I just had to give it a go, didn’t I?

I just grabbed a small piece of Fun Foam – these are 6 x 8.5 inch pieces that I got in a big pack for pence – and brayered on the acrylic medium.  It sits on the surface a bit better than plain acrylic paint does but you still need to be a bit generous.


As with the plate, lay the printed piece printed side down into the medium.  I didn’t leave the extra at one side to make peel off easier and regretted it! But as you can do a transfer of ink jet prints with acrylic medium it won’t surprise you that some of the ink transfers to the foam “plate!” This is a character from a font – love him


the lines on his belly are part of the print – either in the actually character or due to my printer – but def. NOT a smear from the transfer. You can just see the ghost of it on the foam


For the text sample you can see it a lot more clearly, and I hope you can see the texture of the medium better too



So there you go – while I would always say the plate is BETTER than the foam, the foam will work in a pinch!

With either, you can always let the medium dry then do a second coat – that’ll make the paper thicker and stiffer, which may be useful for some applications.

DS is nearly healed from the wisdom tooth surgery and demanding “special” meals before he heads back to Uni (chicken with walnut and whiskey cream sauce and enchiladas so far, with 7-layer bars to take home with him) so shopping is top of my list today, right after I get back to a few WOYWW return visits.