Upcycling Part Two

Before I add  more pictures of the canisters, I first want to thank everyone who visited both this blog and my Paper With Everything Facebook page. Thank you so much for the likes! This site is my way of doing my bit for the environment. Like many of you,  my mailbox is inundated with all sorts of mail. When I see the pile I sort through, I multiply the image in my head and think of all the paper that goes to waste. Unfortunately, we can all make only so much upcycled projects, right? Still, think of it as one less pile, no matter how small.

The other reason I like putting up blogs like these is I’ve met so many creatives since moving here in 2009. Many of them, like me, are new at being full-time creatives. Many, too, are seasoned. The one thing I learned is almost everyone is more than willing to help. Artists, crafters, writers, and even entrepreneurs are more than willing to share what they know. It’s my intention to feature these wonderful people on my blog with the hope of sharing the joy of creating. This blog is mainly about paper and other materials that can be used with it. I have another blog where I share all other types of arts and crafts. The third blog is dedicated to the world of mommies and children though with more dads going hands-on, I’d like to think that it’s for them as well. You’ll be seeing the links to those blogs soon as I do some housekeeping!

On to the canisters!


I decided I wanted to put a label on the oatmeal canister. Last Sunday, I went over to Joanne’s and found that their 18 x 18 paper stacks were on sale (and cheaper than the ones on sale at Michael’s!). There was a chalkboard stack by DCWV which I couldn’t resist so it came home with me. I decided to make a label using one of the chalkboard sheets. This would allow me to write the recipient’s name with chalk on the label. The name can be erased later on and if I make sure to include a piece of chalk along with my gift, the canister can then be used to store other stuff and labeled again! Martha Stewart would be proud!

I tore a piece off the sheet and used tacky glue to stick the label on. I secured it with rubber bands–otherwise, I’d have to sit there a while, holding the label in place. Of course I didn’t think of that when I decided to glue on the label so I had to quickly look into one of my stash boxes and pull out rubber bands that turned out to be too small. I ended up looping them together, as you can see in the photo.

Remember though that paper has a grain. It will tear easily one way. You’ll  know because when you begin to tear, the strip will come off easily. Then when you rotate the paper and start to tear, you’ll find a bit more resistance and you’ll see how your tear will curve in the direction of the grain. When this happens, just go slowly and guide the paper. If you look at the photo of the label, you’ll see that the left and right edges are almost straight while the top and bottom edges look more scalloped.

Just in case you’ve not tried using torn paper, here’s something to keep in mind. If you want the piece you’ll be using to have that white edge, make sure you’re holding the part you’ll use on your left hand (if you’re right-handed). The part you’re tearing with your right hand won’t have the white edge.


The photo on the left shows how the right side of the paper (the side I held when tearing) has no white edge. The other photo shows the white edge of the paper on the left hand side.

The coffee canister was up next. I pressed the play button and continued listening to World War Z while looking at the silhouettes I had painted in. The couple I have in mind for this has two Siamese cats. A quick web search on Siamese cats gave me an idea of how I wanted to render the pair on the canister so I painted away. I added a bit of texture by using chalkpastels on the edges and blending them out. I added printed paper and a strip of handmade deckled paper for more texture. When the glue was completely dry, I dried-brushed white paint here and there to soften the images on the printed paper. Then I dried brushed over some areas using metallic copper paint. I added more of the metallic paint around the cats to bring them out more. I’m thinking of writing out a quote at the back so I’ve held off adding more ephemera.

collage_elements1This photo shows the handmade paper strip at the bottom and the printed paper that I tore. The other printed areas you see are from junk mail and a Post-It note that also came with one of those unsolicited mailers.

This is the front so far. I have to add some highlights to the faces so the features don’t disappear altogether but after that and the quote, it’ll be ready for filling.


Meanwhile, I’ve cleaned what I could on my space and removed the plastic sheets that were on top of the cutting mat. Next up will be hand made journals. I’ll take you through preparing your signatures (pages that are sewn together), creating the front and back covers, and putting everything together. Make sure to sign up for alerts so you won’t miss the posts! And if you do try this project don’t forget to share them on the Facebook page.

Finally, if you happen to be a paper artist, please consider doing a guest post on this blog so we can enjoy your artwork! Happy weekend!


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