Friday, September 19, 2014

Paper Tiger

 I'm posting again for the Fitztown Design Team. What inspired me this week? A pile of crumpled napkins. *shrug* It's how I roll.

I submit for your review, the basic brown paper napkin. Dining and coffee establishments love to give everyone copious quantities of them. In my life, there is always a bunch of these things hanging around - jammed into my purse, stuck between pages of books as a marker, tossed aside on an end table - until I finally get tired of seeing them or digging around them and toss them.

Toss them? Not this time and probably never again! I went with, "Hmmm... crafting possibilities...?" So I taped one to a piece of printer paper to give it stability and printed out Fitztown's tiger (available here) on it.

So far, so good. Now what...? I decided to see if I could color on it without ripping it and see if I could then maybe decoupage it onto a blank coaster. I experimented with different mediums on a spare napkin. With dozens of them in residence, it wasn't too painful to sacrifice one. Some of the mediums I tried were too wet and tore the napkin or bled too much. So, I went (very gently) with crayons, a blender pen with distress ink for the leaves, and a white ballpoint pen to give ol' Tony some contrast.

Next up, I got out a blank coaster (this one is a 3.5" square) and my Liquitex gloss gel (I use the medium thickness). I also ripped the napkin down to an easier to manage size at this point.

I turned the napkin over and applied a coat of the Liquitex gel to the back of the image, coating only the image and not outside of it. I flipped it over again and adhered it to the coaster. I applied more Liquitex gel to the top of the image going slightly outside of the image, since my intention was to be able to rip away excess napkin.

As you can see, I used my finger to apply the Liquitex gel both to the back and the front of the image. I like getting messy. Plus, I find that I can control what I'm doing better by being completely "hands-on". But, for those of you who don't like to get messy, you could easily use a sponge or a brush - just be really careful not to tear the napkin.

Once the piece was mostly dry, I carefully tore away excess napkin. Then I swiped some of Ranger's Tarnished Brass Distress Stain around the edges and sponged over that in a scrubbing motion using Ranger's Crushed Olive Distress Ink. Finally, I went over the entire piece again with the Liquitex gel.

The piece seemed too dark to me and I wanted to lighten it up and give it a little extra interest. So, I used StazOn Opaque White and an old background stamp that I got from who-knows-where and stamped around the tiger.

And that, as they say, is that. I know it seems like a long, complicated process, but it really wasn't. Waiting for it to dry in between gel applications got a little tiresome, but that's what goofing around on Facebook is for... isn't it?

Look around you. Look at the stuff you normally toss out and try to come up with something creative to do with it instead. Let me know what you come up with.


  1. Fantastic Barb just love what you have done and great technique
    Hugs Dianne xx :)

  2. Barb, this is fantastic! Over the top and your writing is just so entertaining! I love all of it! With the details you provided, I think I may start hoarding brown paper napkins too and give this a try myself! xx

  3. Over the top? Is there such a thing when it comes to crafting? heeheee...

    I think I will be doing some other paper napkin posts - I'm going a little crazy with them. Bonus, no more guilt over throwing them away! I can't wait to see what you come up with.

  4. Barg, I was about to ask you how did you create the white background. So, before I did that I came on your site and there it was. I thought white ink but I wasn't sure how you created your texture, it was something I never had seen before. Thank you for sharing your work. You've got a fan in me. Great job!

  5. Barb, I realized I spelled your name wrong... sorry about that. ; )