Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Project - Artist Trading Cards - An Arizona Sunset

One of the biggest trends in paper crafting is Artists Trading Cards. These 2.5 by 3.5 rectangular cards are the artist's equivalent of business cards. Scrapbooking conferences and similar expos often have trading sessions where attendees can swap and build a great collection of cards.

If you haven't tried your hand at making your own ATCs, I'll take you through the steps of how I built my own. Here is the first in a series of articles on creating ATCs.

The theme for an ATC can be anything you desire. I live in Tucson and creating artist trading cards with a local theme was a natural for me. First up, an Arizona sunset ATC. I used layers to create a floating three-dimensional look for the cards.

Artist Trading Card Sunset Lesson by Kim Bayne

Materials & Tools List
· Picture of Arizona sunset cut from a local brochure
· Plastic or Acetate
· Cardstock for your ATC "canvas"
· Dark Brown Paper with a Leather-like Texture
· Puffy 3D Star Stickers in Colors
· White Sticker Paper or Label Stock
· Green and Beige Inkpads, Different Shades
· Medium Point Black Marker
· Scissors and/or Paper Trimmer
· Scallop Corner Punch from Armada Art 6-Pack Corner Punch Art Set
· Double Stick Tape or Scrapbooking Adhesive Tape

The Steps
(Click to enlarge each image. Another browser window will open.)

1. Cut color pictures from magazines or glossy brochures to suit your theme. Crop each image to 2.5 by 3.5 inches each. Cover up any writing on the image with matching color markers.

2. Cut clear plastic pieces to 2.5 by 3.5 inches each.

3. Cut card stock pieces to 2.5 by 3.5 inches each.

4. Freehand draw or trace the outline of a Saguaro cactus onto the back of white sticker paper.

5. Using a direct-to-paper technique, dab or rub green inkpads onto the front of the sticker paper. Use a blender pen or tissue to blend the colors to create a softer look for the cactus green.

6. Cut out the cactus shape from the sticker paper. Using a black marker, freehand draw scribbles and lines to create the shading in the cactus.

7. Peel the backing off the cactus and stick it to the plastic layer, slightly right of center.

8. Tear a 1/2-inch wide piece of brown paper. Adhere the brown piece to the front of the plastic layer at the bottom of the cactus. This becomes the "ground."

9. Assemble the ATC card layers in this order: plastic layer with cactus, Arizona sunset layer then card stock layer with any printed side hidden in the "sandwich."

10. You might not be able to fit the top left corner into the corner punch after you apply the puffy stars, so cut the top corners now. Hold, but don't glue, the three ATC layers together. Position the card sandwich into the punch, then carefully cut the top corners.

11. Apply three star stickers of different sizes to the front of the plastic layer, in the sky to the left of the cactus.

12. Apply adhesive directly behind the cactus, brown paper and stars on the back of the plastic layer. Adhesive should be hidden when you assemble the layers. Do not apply adhesive anywhere else on the plastic unless you want it to be visible from the other side. Place the plastic layer on top of the sunset layer, being careful to align the scalloped corners.

13. Apply adhesive to the back of the sunset layer and attach it to the card layer, again aligning the scalloped corners. If you didn't cut them the first time, you can now cut the bottom corners with the scallop punch.

14. Sign the back of your ATC to identify yourself. I include a sticker with my name and email address instead -- it's faster for me and easier to read at a glance. In addition, you may wish to number each ATC you create as part of a series. I number mine in batches of nine, since trading card sleeves hold nine cards. This Arizona sunset artists trading card is my first in a series of identical cards. I labeled it 1 of 9.

Project Tips
· When you go to a trade show, everyone wants to stick brochures in your hand. Take a quick glance at the images before you say "no." You might decide to take this free paper home and recycle it after you read it.
· Old plastic report covers are great for recycling into ATCs. I've used both clear and colored vinyl covers for my ATC creations. Whenever my daughter wants to throw away an old folder or report cover, I try to salvage a 2.5 by 3.5 inch piece before it hits the trash.
· Second choice for plastic: packages, packages, packages. Open something you bought at a store and you've probably got clear plastic you can recycle into an ATC.
· Discarded folders and old cardboard take-out menus are great for free, interesting card stock. I recycled a local pizza parlor menu for this ATC.
· If you use layers, decide if you want to cut your paper corners before or after the ATC is assembled. You may have to experiment to see what works best for your design.

Product Resource Guide
Find your choice of materials online. Shop for:
· Dotto Adhesive Applicator
· Scotch Double Stick Tape
· Jo-Ann Scrap Essentials 3pc Precision Scissors
· Fluid Chalk Inkpad-Dark Moss
· ColorBox Pigment Ink Pads
· Fujifilm Photo Sticker Paper
· Avery White Inkjet Labels, Shipping, 3 1/3in. x 4in
· EK Success Corner Adorner Punch - Corner Stone
· Victorian Frame
· Dual Sided Cardstock, 12x12" - Neutral Colors
· Brown Decorative Paper at
· Most project photos on this page were taken with a 5.0 MP resolution KODAK EASYSHARE DX4530 Zoom Digital Camera

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Templates - A Plethora of Torso and Other Tags

Are you signed up for a Torso Tag Swap? Download some printable templates right here! I've even included a foot tag template, if you're inclined to alter something sole-ful.

Do you need a new shape? Want vintage hat tags? How about people's heads or profiles? Post a comment here. ~ Article and Images by Kim M. Bayne

How To Use These Templates

These templates are GIF files, which means they are graphics or pictures. View them in your browser by clicking on the thumbnail picture and printing from your browser, if you like. You can also download these templates to your computer so you can manipulate them in another software program.

To Download: In Microsoft IE,
right click on the picture you want
select "save picture as"
save the picture to a directory on your computer.

To Print: Using Microsoft Word, select
From File

Browse to the directory where you saved the template. Doubleclick to insert the picture into your Word document. Drag the corner of the picture to size it. You can duplicate and size it as much as you need to fill up an 8.5 x 11-inch piece of paper.

By the way, if you'd like to have your torso tag art featured at BellaOnline, please let me know. I'd love to share what you do with my templates!

Printable Torso Tag Female 1Printable Torso Tag Female 2Printable Torso Tag Female 3Printable Torso Tag Female 4

Printable Torso Tag Female 5Printable Torso Tag Female 6

Printable Torso Tag Male 1Printable Torso Tag Male 2Printable Torso Tag Male 3Printable Torso Tag Male 4

Printable Torso Tag Child

Printable Torso Tag FootPrintable Hand Tag 1Printable Hand Tag 2

Note: These templates were designed by me -- Kim M. Bayne -- for non-commercial use by individuals engaged in personal at-home crafting, making gifts and/or swaps. Thanks for your understanding, support and respect for my hard work.

Article Description: Are you signed up for a Torso Tag Swap? Download printable templates right here.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Project - Making Paper Beads with Dagny and Lil

Sunday is family dinner night. Our family drives across Tucson for a great meal and a few games of cards with Ruth and John, my husband's folks. One weekend, Dagny (Mom's friend and next-door neighbor) invited me over to look at her paper beads. This weekend, I had my camera handy so I could snap some photos. Dagny demonstrated how to make the beads, with the step-by-step instructions illustrated here. ~ Article and Photos by Kim M. Bayne

Materials List
· Covers of Colorful Paper Church Bulletins or Flyers, about 4.75-Inches Wide, or Your Choice of Paper (gift wrap, gift bags, decorative paper placemats, etc.)
· Ruler
· Pencil or Pen
· Pair Of Scissors or Paper Trimmer
· Box of Round Wooden Toothpicks
· Tacky Glue
· Sewing Needle and Thread
· Ace Instant Drying Lacquer or Acrylic Sealer Spray, in Matte Or Satin Finish
· Beading Thread and Crimp Beads
· Small Spacer Beads made of Glass, Ceramic, Plastic, Metal, Whatever -- Gold, Silver; Pearl-Like Blue, Lavender, Purple or Your Choice

The Steps
(Click to enlarge each image. Another browser window will open.)

1. Choose your paper. For print materials, like church flyers, you may have to collect a few copies before you have enough beading paper with the same color scheme. This means going to church regularly and/or asking friends to save the flyers for you. Besides using flyers from the church she attends, Dagny collects flyers from other churches in the area.

2. With the color/picture side down and print side up, mark the flyer in 5/8-inch increments across the long sides.
Paper Beads MeasuringPaper Beads Measuring

3. Draw diagonal lines across the paper to create elongated triangles.
Paper Beads Marking

4. Cut the triangles using scissors or a paper trimmer.
Paper Beads Cutting

5. Put a bit of tacky glue on a strip of paper at the short end (on the picture side). With the print on the inside, wrap the triangle strip around the toothpick, taking care to tuck in the end before starting. Roll the paper up, like you're making a crescent roll. Apply tacky glue on the inside of the paper as you roll.
Paper Beads Rolling

6. Put the toothpick aside and allow the bead to dry. Using a new toothpick, start work on your next bead. Continue until you have about 36 beads.
Paper Beads Sample

7. Pull the toothpicks out of the beads and string them on a "dummy" thread temporarily, using a needle and any type of sewing thread. Tie the thread together at the end.
Paper Beads Sample

8. Take your string of beads outside and spray them with lacquer or acrylic sealer. Allow the beads to dry overnight.

9. The next day, cut the "dummy" thread and remove the beads. Restring the beads on beading thread or wire, alternating paper beads with your favorite glass or other bead.

10. After restringing the paper beads, hide your final knot (or crimp bead, if applicable) within a paper bead.

Paper Beads Necklace 1Paper Beads Necklace 2Paper Beads Necklace 3Paper Beads Necklace 4
Paper Bead Necklaces by Dagny and Lil

Paper Beads 1
Dagny Sharp, 77, and her sister Lillian Lindsay, 91.

Project Tips
· Pick a color scheme before you start and start collecting flyers to match.
· If you use flyers or brochures, don't worry about words over the picture. The print adds a nice design to the bead.
· To avoid paper curling, apply the glue to the strip of paper while you roll, rather than all at once.
· Avoid getting glue on the toothpick or it will stick to the paper and you won't be able to remove it from the bead.
· Dagny says, "If you don't want to muss your hair, make your necklace long enough to slip over your head." (I'm making a paper beads necklace and matching earrings for my mother-in-law and I don't think she wants to wrestle with a clasp, either.)
· Lil says "Try rolling the paper strip with the print on the outside." Alternate paper beads with black and white beads to complete the look.

Product Resource Guide
Project photos taken with a 5.0 MP resolution KODAK EASYSHARE DX4530 Zoom Digital Camera

Article Description: Dagny Sharp, 77, and her sister Lillian Lindsay, 91, show Kim Bayne how to make paper beads using colorful church bulletins.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Tools of the Paper Crafts Trade

If you've ever registered for a beginning crafts class and read the phrase "bring your basic supplies," you may have wondered what that means. In fact, most paper crafts folks have more junk amassed than they know. Yet, they still ask the same basic question: "What supplies should I bring?"

Below are some items you might want to have handy plus a few comments about why. Now when you take a class, you won't scratch your head at the last minute trying to figure out what to tote along.

One more thing: there are no rules in altered art, so don't treat this page as Gospel. After you've finished reading it, I'll edit it again and again. Bookmark this page and check back for a refresher once in a while -- and to see if I've added anything new. ~ Article by Kim M. Bayne

1 = Altered Books Basics
2 = Altered Books Cover Art
3 = Altered Board Books
4 = Altered CDs
5 = Artists Trading Cards
6 = Domino Art
7 = Matchbox Pocket Shrines
8 = Terrific Tag Art


Tape, Glue and/or Adhesive 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8
· "Tape" and "glue sticks" are excellent for paper on paper, but poor for heavy embellishments. Choose a wet glue instead.
· If you want to hold together two to three altered book pages, you can get away with using just a little bit of "double-stick tape" in the page corners. If you don't care about acid-free, then get by with some cheap stuff from the dollar store.
· For groups of altered book pages, use glue stick or wet glue, or faster yet, just punch some holes and wire the pages together.

Cutting Tools 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8
· Use "Scissors" with special edges -- like pinking or scalloped designs -- for finishing the edges of altered book pages or artists trading cards.
· Flat, table top "paper trimmers" make fast work of cutting white card stock into artists trading cards.
· Using an "X-acto knife", with extra blades, is a very standard way to cut niches in books.
· Lately, I've used large round and square "paper punches" to make page niches. If you do the same, just make sure you line up the previous page hole and check your alignment frequently, or you'll get a strange skewed niche when you're done...hmmmm...maybe that's not a bad thing, after all.

Metal-Edged Ruler 1, 2, 7, 8

Pencils, Colors and (don't forget!) Plain Black 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8
· Recreate the vintage look of hand-colored photographs using soft watercolor pencils on a black and white photocopy. This will look great in an Ancestors Altered Book project.

Markers, Colors and (don't forget!) Plain Black 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8

Applicators 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8
· Brushes
· Sponges
· Stipple Brushes
· I love the look of "cosmetic wedges" when used to apply ink to altered book pages. If you're going for a soft look, it can create a romantic look.

Alterable Images and Photocopies 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8

Embellishments 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8
· Fibers
· Charms
· Stickers

Favorite Rubber Stamps, including Alphabet Stamps 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8

Inkpads, Colors and Document Black 1, 2, 3, 6, 7

Paper 1, 2, 3, 7, 8
· Cardstock, White and Colors
· Paper, Scrapbooking
· Paper, Specialty

Embossing Heat Gun 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8
Collage Materials 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8
Acrylic Paints 1, 2, 3, 6, 7
Circle Cutter 1, 4
Paper Punches 1, 5, 7, 8

Around the House
· Rubbing Alcohol and Cotton Balls6
· Roll of Wax Paper1, 2, 3, 6
· Sandpaper2, 3, 6

Specialty Items
· Hardbound Book1, 2
· Children's Board Book3
· CD disks4
· Package of White Card Stock5
· Standard Size White or Ivory Dominoes6
· Small Bottle of Household Bleach6
· Kitchen Size Cardboard Matchboxes7
· Pack of Manilla Hang Tags8

Only look for acid-free if it matters to you. For example, books are not acid-free, so you might not care. Acid-free only matters if you want your art to last for years. If you're just playing with technique, grab anything that's available, even your kids' arts and crafts goodies.

Article Description: A checklist of what to buy and why for all your paper crafts projects.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Book Review - An AB Primer by Naumann and Dukes

How To Make Altered Books If You Think You Can't

How To Make Altered Books If You Think You Can't

by Sara Naumann and Paris Dukes
Oregon: Hot Off the Press (2003)
ISBN:1562318993; Paperback : 32 pages
Reviewed By Kim M. Bayne
Rating: ★★★★
If you've never created an altered book, this book should be your first purchase. In snippets of text written to motivate beginners, this book walks through the basics. One downside -- the overemphasis on Artsy Collage is a bit distracting, even though these products provide an almost turn-key solution to the craft. If you can overlook the sales pitch, you're home free.

For starters, the authors admit you won't see any painted pages here. Covering a page with paint is an accepted way of preparing a background, but it's not their way. Who can blame them? Part of the fun in trying a new art form is not having to wait. Altering book pages with paper, instead of paint, allows you to reduce, if not totally eliminate, that show-stopping drying time. This book shows you how it's done.

The page designs in this primer are a bit sterile, showcasing a rather tame -- spelled Hallmark -- version of this outsider art. The projects are devoid of the edginess that appeals to unconventional souls normally attracted to book altering. Perhaps that's not so bad -- the authors' emphasis is that you don't have to be an artiste to try your hand at this. If you want to create altered books with calm, cutesy charm, here's your bible. If, however, your style is more akin to graffiti, you'll be so bored you'll want to alter this book.

"How to Make Altered Books..." includes clear, detailed color photographs of a variety of layouts and techniques. Novices will appreciate the simple explanations of layering, niche cutting and playing with text. Designers Naumann and Dukes provide easy-to-understand help throughout to inspire the budding ABer.

Product Resource Guide
· Browse for Paper Crafts Books at