handmade paper project example

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  • Cookie cutter or form for casting
  • White paper or cotton linter to recycle
  • 6 x 6 inch piece of masonite or stretched canvas
  • Sand paper
  • Gesso
  • Spackling compound (for filling wall cracks)
  • Kitchen butter knife
  • Fabric glue
  • Acrylic paint, paint brush
  • Plug-in potpourri wax melting pot
  • Small chunk of white beeswax: do not use candle wax or paraffin
  • Inexpensive ‘chip’ brush from the hardware store
  • Heat tool or seam iron from the fabric store
  • Collage embellishments: buttons, beads, fibers, small objects that fit a theme, old letters, postage stamps, junk mail, pages from books, old maps … anything light weight and small


  1. Blend linter or white paper and create a cast in any shape. Let dry. Coat cast with gesso, one side at a time, drying between sides.
  2. Use sandpaper to roughen the smooth side of the masonite. Coat sanded surface with gesso, let dry.
  3. Create a foundation for your collage. Use a butter knife to apply, spread and add texture spackle on the sealed board. When dry, use sandpaper on rough or high edges until you have the texture you want.
  4. Paint the textured board with acrylic paint to create a background. The tiny script shown was made with a rubber stamp brushed with acrylic paint and stamped onto the surface.
  5. Glue paper cast to background with fabric glue.
  6. Melt beeswax in pot pourri melting pot until liquid. Use the chip brush to cover the piece with melted wax. To add embellishments, melted beeswax like glue. Spread wax with paintbrush and push embellishment into it. Collage cut out words or messages in place the same way. Before finishing, make sure the entire area is covered in beeswax.
  7. Note: Beeswax is an excellent medium for embedding buttons and baubles. It creates transparency, letting words and images pop in a subdued background. Use a heat gun or seam iron on the finished piece for a clear and uniform surface.

Arnold Grummer’s Items Used In This Project