Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Technique: Background Paper Refresh!

If you've been paper crafting for a while, you probably have several sheets and scraps of background paper that you just don't like anymore.  You know the bought them early on or got them as part of a package and the colors or patterns aren't your style anymore.  There is a way to refresh these and bring them back into favor with Tim Holtz texture fades and a variety of ink applications.

I dug in my stash and selected five papers that I usually avoid.  As you see, they're pretty dated:

And turned them into five that I want to use!

The Details:
  •  Cracked Lace
    • Embossed with 'Cracked' texture fade
    • Starting from center of "crack", applied Stormy Sky, Broken China, Peeled Paint, and Tattered Rose Distress Inks with a foam blending tool
    • Then, over the top of the colors, applied Tea Dye for depth and to blend everything together
    • What a pretty background this would be for a "grungy" wedding card...not so lacy anymore!
  •  Purple Ledger Page
    • Embossed with 'Collage' texture fade
    • Rubbed SU! Basic Black pad directly onto the paper in a variety of directions, trying to only hit the embossed areas.
    • I love how this one turned out...great for Halloween!

  • Regal Roses
    • Embossed with 'Regal Flourishes' texture fade
    • Vintage Photo DI applied all over with a foam ink blending tool, then additional layers of Vintage Photo applied in only one direction to add depth to the "bottom" of the flourishes
    • Crushed Olive DI also applied in one direction with a heavier application in random areas
    • Oh so subtle and romantic now and the pearls have virtually disappeared...what a great background for a vintage lady image!
  • Chic Checkerboard 
    • Embossed with 'Retro Circles' texture fade
    • Peeled Paint DI pounced on with a foam ink blending tool
    • Be sure to alternate the direction of the blending tool as you pounce so that if you do get a hard edge it is randomly placed
    • I bought this paper EONS ago to make Easter cards and still have this scrap left...I just keep avoiding it.  But look at it now!  All steampunky and grown up!

 Trellis Dot Matrix
  • Embossed with 'Dot Matrix' texture fade (backwards! oh well, I ran with it!)
  • Dragged Old Paper DI pad down the paper in one direction for a streaky effect
  • This one's my least favorite, but it is still a lot better than the original!

Here's a birthday card that I made for one of my brothers-in-law using this technique:

Okay, I know you all have papers you don't like anymore, so get embossing and inking! 


  1. Great idea! Those papers were totally changed with this technique. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Very cool, love what you did. Will have to try this.

  3. Great way to use up those papers that we just keep avoiding. Thanks for the tips

  4. Great idea for sprucing up those papers!

  5. great idea and thanks for sharing. I will try this, I have a lot of old, old scrapbooking papers that I bought a long time ago. been keeping them for I don't know what and now I do!

  6. Brilliant! It's amazing how different the papers look. I tend to drag paint over papers where I want to lose the pattern. I shall definitely give this a try now.

  7. You're right about giving old paper new life...thanks for sharing!

  8. Great idea & love how you have recreated these papers. I have some very similar, unloved papers that I will refresh using your technique.

    Thanks so much for sharing

  9. Great job! Love the creative reuse of less than stellar paper.
    Aloha, Kate

  10. Such a great tip - thanks!

  11. made me want to go buy folder and I AM!!!!!!!

  12. What a timely idea! I was just recently dragging through my supply of paper for some cards I needed to make and found quite a few that are really past their prime. There are also some that I just don't know what I was thinking, LOL.
    I'll have to see what I can salvage with your great idea. If it turns out horrid, I haven't really lost anything!

  13. thanks for sharing this awesome tip~

  14. This is such a great idea, I will have to try it. Thanks for sharing!,


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