Worksheet Wonders

 Background Noise #13

I keep reading instructions for techniques and projects both online and in magazines and some of them tell you that you must always protect your work surface with one of those special non stick sheets when working with inks and paints.

While in some cases I agree that you really do need to protect your work surface as some paints and inks are just too messy I also cant help but wonder if its just a marketing ploy to make you buy the special work sheets which you dont always need.

Take this ugly looking background for instance which you can see below:


The background above is just a sheet or ordinary copier paper which I used as a protective surface while stamping and dtp-ing inks onto a project.

I wonder how many of you would normally discard this worksheet after working on it?

But why throw it away when it would make a perfectly good base for a background!?

This is how my ‘Worksheets Wonders’ idea came about – finding a use for those scrap worksheet protectors which you wouldnt normally give a second glance…

Basics Directions For Worksheet Wonders Backgrounds:

1. When starting on a new project which doesnt involve too much paint or glue; protect your worksurface with a large sheet of ordinary copier paper or blank card.

2. As your working; deliberately stamp off the edges or smear inks off the edges and be a little sloppier than usual so that some of it transfers onto the worksheet page protector underneath.

3. When your done, take your basic worksheet and have a good look at it, if there are any empty blank spaces on the page; fill them up! Use an inkpad to dtp or spray inks or anything you have to hand to add colour to it to fill in the white spaces.

4. Next step is to add some interesting stamped images to the worksheet – I find that the best stamps to use are collage or wordy backgrounds. If youve got a big ugly darkspot in your worksheet like I had above you can use a white inkpad to stamp the images with or a metallic one to make the image stand out.

Continue till your happy with how the worksheet looks.

At this point you can now go and use your worksheet wonder background as is – trim or tear it into sections and layer it onto atcs and decos etc OR you can continue with the steps below to add a bit of glitz to the background…

Adding Glitz:

5. Sprinkle clear embossing powder over the entire surface of the worksheet.

Tips – Work in small sections of the paper until you have more or less covered the entire sheet, you dont need a lot of powder -just enough for a light coating.

I dont use embossing ink for this step as I find the sheet will be damp enough for the powder to stick to from the ink application.

Remember when heating the embossing powder with your heat gun, to move the gun slowly towards the powder as it gently melts otherwise you’ll get it all over the place!

6. After the clear embossing has cooled, crumple the entire page up to get some nice texture going on, you’ll find some of the clear embossing will crack and even break off. Thats ok 🙂

7. Uncrumple the sheet again and flatten it out slightly for the next step.

Again this next step is completely optional but I do think it adds a nice final bit of glitz! 🙂

8. Reheat the embossing with your gun so that it warms up and take some metal foil sheets – you want the types that you can use with double sided tape and glue to adhere.

9. Gently press the foil sheets onto the warm embossing powder, leave for a few seconds then lift it off to reveal a lovely foil finish which has stuck to some of the clear embossing. If you use different coloured foils for this step the end results are pretty stunning!

Try it and see! The scans on this page really do not do these backgrounds justice – you need to do them and see for yourself. If you dont have foil sheets why not improvise and use glitter embossing powders instead for a twist.

Worksheet Wonders Background With Embossing & Foiling Sample:


Close Ups Of The Background:



Art Work Featuring These Backgrounds:

Lady Of The House
Green House Skinny Page

8 thoughts on “Worksheet Wonders

  1. Trish,
    you’re really a creative soul!!

    You’re like my mom, she keeps on recycling and the results in the end look really stunning !

    Inge from Belgium

  2. Absolutely stunning Trish! These are gorgeous! I never throw stuff away, like kitchen roll that’s been dripped on, etc. I tend to keep it for backgrounds for ATcs etc. Then there are scraps of text pages that are useful for filling gaps. I love your background sheets though – really spectacular!

  3. This is awesome! I usually use blank newsprint under my work….I never thought of jazzing it up like this. Your backgrounds came out so beautiful!

  4. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who thinks the ‘worksheets’ are a load of old tosh designed to part you from money better spent on nicer stash.
    Stunning backgrounds. I must get some foil.

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