1. Cut down both sides of the seam on a brown paper garbage bag and cut out the bottom so it can be flattened. I cut this flat piece into 3 sections making 3 different pieces of decorated paper.
2. Completely wet the paper with water, Wad it into a ball squeezing out the excess water. Open it so that it is relatively flat. The paper will have a crinkled surface. Do this wetting and wringing step again. Flatten the paper and smooth it down onto a hard surface for painting.
3. While it is still wet randomly apply several dime- to nickel-sized dabs of three to five desired colors of acrylic paint onto the paper. (I use inexpensive acrylic paint that comes in the 2 oz. bottles like Delta Ceramcoat, Plaid Apple Barrel colors, or Plaid Folk Art.) Use at least one dark, one light and one medium shade of color even if they are in the same hue. Remember, there are also metallic acrylic paints that would look good in this. Space them fairly evenly around the paper.
4. With a brayer, use EXTREMELY light strokes to moderately blend the tops of the colors. Note: Be careful that the colors simply blend -- particularly where they meet -- but do not mix too much. Excessive brayering results in muddy or undesirable colors. One or two passes over an area is all that will stay bright. Use your finger or the edge of the brayer to dab away any unpainted spots.
You can stop here without adding any further decoration to the paper. I do this when I’m making metallic sheets (silver, gold, bronze paint) or when I’m making leather-look paper (dark brown, medium brown, cream paints.) These are the back side of two book covers I made with brayered paper.
5. Sprinkle tiny holeless beads, loose glitter, PearlEx pigments, Suze Weinberg’s Beadazzles, over the wet paint. I find that sprinkling these elements in clusters is visually more pleasing than an even, overall sprinkling. The effect is that a lot of the inclusions are clustered in one area with sparse areas in between.
6. For even more texture and visual interest, add a few random streaks of one to three colors of spray webbing either before or after the paper dries. (I adding webbing before the brayered colors were completely dry so the webbing would go down into the valleys as well as sitting on the top of the crinkled ridges of the paper.) Allow the paper to dry thoroughly.
7. After the paper is dry, you can use metallic stamp pads or some metallic acrylic paint on a cosmetic sponge to lightly brush color onto only the tip tops of the dry, crinkled ridges on the paper. Just the high spots will get this ink. Allow this to dry thoroughly. If, however, you have highly textured the paper with a lot of the other elements, this step will hardly make a difference in the overall look.
8. Place the painted side of the paper face down on an ironing board. With water, thoroughly spritz the exposed, unpainted side of the paper. Cover the dampened paper with a second; protective sheet of paper or cloth is you wish to protect the iron. With your iron on its cotton, non-steam setting carefully smooth the paper.
9. (Optional) I sometimes spray the whole thing after it is dry with Krylon Crystal Clear . . . to seal it. . . but I rarely do this . . . and mainly only do it when I don’t want to wait for the metallic ink I rubbed on to dry!
Do try it. You’ll love the paper you make. Email me if you have problems.
Here are just a sample of things I've made with my Glamorous Brayered Paper: