Thursday, March 07, 2019

Video - Paper Towel Backgrounds

Hi everyone.  Today I'm sharing a new video on how I make my paper towel backgrounds.  This is an easy and quick way to upcycle your paper towels that you've used to mop up excess ink after making a project.

I keep my used paper towel and use them over and over until they are saturated with ink.  You need that saturation in order to have enough ink to transfer to your background.  I have used different kinds of ink and they all work for me (Distress Inks, Distress Oxide Inks, Watercolour Paints, Powdered inks including Brushos, Bisters, Magicals, etc).

I hope you'll take a few minutes to check out this quick video tutorial.  Please give me a thumbs up on YouTube if you found it helpful.  Click below or click HERE to watch it on YouTube.  Thank you!


For my first card (above), I used the first background I made in the video.  As you can see, the paper towel makes a very artsy, random design which is a wonderful base for stamping, die-cutting or stenciling. I stamped a peony image in black and heat embossed in clear before watercolouring my image with Distress Inks over top of the paper towel background made with mopped up distress inks.  A simple sentiment was stamped in black and heat embossed in clear to match.

Here's a close-up ...

This second card uses the second paper towel background I made in the video.  This was done with a paper towel which has mopped up Brushos.  I added a die-cut over top of my background, cut it to size and popped it up on the card front.  A simple sentiment stamped in black finishes the card

... and a closer look ...

For my last card, I used the paper towel to create a background.  No transfer of ink for this design.  Instead, I used a paper towel that has already transferred it's excess ink onto another piece of card.  I dried the paper towel and am now upcyling again to create a background using the paper towel itself.  I love the colours and the beautiful texture from the quilted design of the paper towel.  A simple white die-cut was added over top.  It was framed in a stitched peek-a-boo window and a sentiment was stamped in matching inks.

... and here's a close up ...
I hope you've enjoyed my paper towel background cards and will give this a try yourself.






Card #1:
Stamps:  happy snippets (Penny Black)
Paper:  Card front - Mixed Media paper (Strathmore 140 lb. 400 Series); White card base (Neenah 110 lb.)
Ink:  Leftover Distress Inks from mopping up previous projects
Accessories & Tools:  water mister, acrylic block

Card #2:
Stamps:  Sentiments (AliExpress)
Paper:  Card front - Mixed Media paper (Strathmore 140 lb. 400 Series); White card base (Neenah 110 lb.)
Ink:  Leftover Brushos ink from mopping up previous projects
Accessories & Tools:  water mister

Card #3:
Stamps:  Happy Messages (Stampendous)
Paper:  White card stock (Neenah 110 lb.)
Ink:  Leftover ink from mopping up previous projects


22 comments:

Betty Keefe said...

wonderful idea, Loll - love the soft backgrounds these create!

Christine Alexander said...

Great video Loll, i just wish I could remember to keep my paper towels for separate colour families :)

Darnell said...

Those darn inky paper towels made the most breathtaking cards, Lolly! Thank you for sharing the video! I love how simple and easy it is to produce magnificent bright backgrounds that look like they were meticulously painted and the addition of the pattern in places is a great bonus!! Hugs, Dolly

Viv's Visuals said...

Love all of these Loll.... but the last one is my stand out! Why is it I have always thrown out my paper towels when you can use them to make such wonderful backgrounds.....??!!!

Liz said...

What a clever way to us the paper towels, Loll. I'll certainly be looking at my inky paper towels in a different way from now on. Off to check out your video....... xx

Karen @ Misplaced Mojo said...

Gorgeous, and ingenious!!!

Susan said...

Fabulous video as always, Loll - so glad you make them so short and so clear. And beautiful card examples too - especially the beautiful sympathy one!

nancy littrell said...

Thank you for sharing your saturated with leftover ink paper towels backgrounds cards, Loll. I love your colors and the bit of texture from the paper towels. Beautiful! I am off to check out your video that I am sure is Wonderful! Love and Hugs, Nancy

Nancy Stislow said...

Outstanding cards and fabulous technique, Loll! I love the soft background this creates and why don't I think to save those inky towels! I also like that the backgrounds are soft enough to color an image directly onto it. And thank you again for your wonderful video! You are one of the few that do a video with readable captions! Perfect for me! I also love that they are to the point and your hands are always in focus.

Bonnie said...

Another great tutorial, my friend! I see that my paper towels haven't had enough ink in them. I need to get those inks out and try to saturate some paper towels. Love all your samples!

Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

Brilliant Loll.
I had tried this technique with not great success. I was interested to see you spritz it generously whilst the paper was underneath. Think that's needed plus multiple applying. I will be trying again soon.
I'm doing serviette cards for a request. Your background with split towel is identical.
Thank you for short informative and non rambling video.
Truly in some videos they go for ages with minimal benefit! They are scrolled through. I dont do 30 min videos often. Its a shame they dont make two 12min videos instead.
Hugs Shaz in Oz.x

Maura R said...

Loll these bg's are fantastic!! I love the texture it creates, especially in the first 2!!

Viv said...

Super cards and great idea for backgrounds too, thanks for sharing Loll ;) Viv xx

Julia Aston said...

What a great reuse of a throw away Loll - your backgrounds are beautiful and they add a great watery look of color behind your die cuts!

Marcia HIll said...

Great video Loll and beautiful cards!! I guess I need to quit throwing those paper towels away so I can try this easy and fun technique! All your cards are so pretty but I really LOVE the pink and orange card...absolutely GORGEOUS!! Hope you had a wonderful time away and are feeling refreshed and ready for Spring!! :0)

Brenda in IN said...

Who knew used paper towels could make beautiful cards! I have two saved but they need more ink on them. Then I am going to try this. You have the most amazing collection of tree dies. Do you know the name of the die on your very last card in the video. It is awesome and I would love to purchase that one. Thanks for the video.

Daffodil Cards said...

All I can say is WOW! to ALL your cards and the great video. Thanks for the lesson.
Faith

Mac Mable said...

Fun techniques Loll and so enjoyed the video. I don't think I realised quite so much the importance of the card type and how inks sit on card etc so thank you for that (and in your last post) x.
Your three cards are so very pretty. Love the 'texture' effect from the paper towels on all three of them. The colours on the first card are so beautiful, the second card is so striking and dramatic and the third card adorable. Fabulous inspiration....Thank you x.

Jo Manna said...

Beautiful array of paper towel colouring. Lovely cards! After your video, I'll surely give your technique a try. I do love the imprint of texture. You make it look so easy, thanks xx

Bobby said...

I knew you did this but totally forgot when I threw out that messy paper towel from my last foray into Brushos. Now I'll keep it in mind and stop using my Absorber to wipe up excess paint. You have some of the most fabulous dies, Loll. That barren tree is stunning.

Linda said...

Great video and gorgeous cards. I love how the paper towel gives great texture to those backgrounds. Now I just need to remember to save all my mop up paper towels. Thanks for sharing xx

Trina P. said...

Awesome video, Loll! You make it look so easy. My problem is remembering to keep my pieces and then to mop up in colour sets. I really love the artsy and textured look. Your cards are all so beautiful. Fabulous job from video to cards. xx