Monday, February 16, 2004

Faux Leather

{LM Archive)

When I first saw this technique, billed as Faux Leather on HDTV, I was intrigued. Supplies were minimal, all things I already had, and the results were beautifully aged cardstock pieces, things I would love to have grace my scrapbook pages. By varying the color of cardstock, chalks, inks, etc., you can achieve the look of leather, antiqued tin, verdigris pieces and more.

1) Cardstock
2) Bowl of warm water
3) Paper towels
4) Rolling pin
5) Rubber Stamps (Read below for notes on choosing stamps.)
6) Thin plastic
7) Chalks, Metallic Rub-ons and/or Inks

Step 1:
Soak cardstock in warm water for at least 15 minutes. To completely submerge you may have to cut into pieces and place a glass on top.

Step 2:
Crumple cardstock, squeezing out water. This is when you make your wrinkles, so be generous when crumpling, but take care not to tear the paper. Gently unfold and smooth out the cardstock on a hard, flat surface. Use a rolling pin, or glass on its side, to flatten and further remove excess water, blotting with a paper towel.

Step 3:
Place cardstock between plastic and the rubber stamp. On carpet or other well-cushioned surface, step on the stamp to impress the paper. More force is needed than simply pushing down with your hand. As an extra step of assurance, I carefully turned the entire “sandwich” over, removed the plastic, and pressed with my fingers to be sure all areas had an impression.

Step 4:
Allow the cardstock to dry completely. It doesn’t take very long, since most of the water has been removed. But, you could use a hairdryer or place in the oven on its lowest setting to speed up the process.

Step 5: The Fun Part!
Depending on the look you’d like to achieve, you can rub an inkpad over the raised surface of your cardstock, apply metallic rub-ons to the raised areas, or do a combination.
Here, I first applied a darker shade of chalk, followed by an application of metallic rub-ons.
The accent pieces (heart tag and photo corners) on the layout, Valentine, Be Mine, were created by using red cardstock, black chalk, and silver metallic rub-ons.These pieces were made using rust (frame) and brown (photo corner and letter stamp) cardstock, chalking lightly with brown/black then applying copper metallic rub-ons.

Notes on Choosing Stamps:

*Stamps with an overall design are great for making textured backgrounds. Stamp again and again, filling all areas of your cardstock. Use textured paper to cover journals or altered books. Or cut to make cowboy boots, vintage shoes and purses, etc.
*Use frame stamps to make frames, corner stamps to make photo corners, snowflake stamps for snowflakes, etc.
*Try alphabet stamps for raised letters.
*Experiment with different stamps. Some designs may be too fine for clear impressions. Try another one!

Come on and experiment. Pick a stamp! Pick a cardstock! Then have fun with your chalks, inks and rub-ons! Please show us what you create by posting in the gallery…and note it here too so that others can be inspired. Thanks!