Monday, April 8, 2013

Giving Smooth Cardstock a Texture

I am SO excited about this post.  It may be nothing new because I came up with this on my own but never Googled it, so who knows.
I have lately discovered that when using my cutter that the Recollections smooth cardstock from Michael's is the BEST for cutting tiny and very detailed pieces.  I have also been using Bazzil Basics also but like the Recollections better.  I purchased a TON of it when the packs went on sale 4 for $10.  I began making paper piecings and discovered that although the cuts were wonderful, I missed the texture found in other cardstocks and began to worry that I had a LOT of paper I wasn't going to use.  Well, that wasn't OK with me so I began to think how I could make that smooth cardstock textured. Let me clarify - textured, NOT embossed.
My hubby and I had just finished a building project and we bought some course sandpaper and I woke in the middle of the night with the idea that it would be cool if I could use that sandpaper to texturize my smooth cardstock.
Flash forward 4 very busy weeks.  I tried it this morning and I really like the results.  So here is a picture description of how I did it.
Here is the sandpaper I used.  I really like the no slip grip because it doesn't move around in my Cuttlebug.  The 60 course works really well, I think any number higher wouldn't give you any texture.
Here is what it looks like on the rough side.
This is the crazy sandwich used, from the bottom up:
1. A plate (the thick white one)
2. a rubber embossing pad (the squishy one used with Spellbinders dies and such)
3. the paper you want to texturize.
4.  Sandpaper
5. B plate
6. Shim - I used 3 pieces of cardstock (more or less determines the depth of the texture)
7. B plate

Then you just run the whole sandwich through your Cuttlebug (or which ever machine you have) and here is what the paper looks like when it comes out!  If you use another machine you will need to experiment with your sandwich making.
The left side is the textured side and the right side is the smooth side.  The back side offers even a bit different texture.
This is a title shadow that I had already cut and really wanted it to have texture so I sent it through the Cuttlebug and now it looks GREAT!  I am thinking that I will texturize the pieces AFTER cutting them, so it does not compromise the machine's ability to get really clean cuts.

Now my brain wouldn't stop thinking of other things I could use to get texture.  I am a mixed media artist so I have a drawer FULL of things I use to create texture on canvases.  Here are a few other items I found to send through the Cuttlebug.
From left to right - some kind of metal mesh, it is super thin, I got it at the hardware store years ago (don't remember why??), then the next piece is the stuff you use when taping seams on drywall (it is sticky on one side, make sure that side isn't next to your paper).  The blue piece is called "Magic Mesh" I got it at scrapbook convention - Google it, and lastly the gold piece is punchonella (sp), it is the waste left from making sequins.  You will notice most of the pieces have paint on them, that did affect the texture, so if I wanted a clean look I would want to use a clean piece.  Here is the result on the paper.
I know it is a bit difficult to see but the idea is that it looks textured, not embossed.  This isn't as deep as embossing.  I also realized that I switched the seem tape with the magic mesh in the photos.

Take a look around the house, you might find something cool to give your paper texture!

I hope this will be useful to you.  I love the fact that the Recollections papers are nice and crispy for cutting, come in MANY wonderful shades and it goes on sale often!  It comes in many sizes also.  Let me know your thoughts on the process and if you have something you think will work better.  As I said before, this was born from my own brain so there may be something better and easier.  I know, just purchasing textured paper solves the problem BUT it just doesn't cut as clean :)
Have a blessed day!

I just kept digging around my house for more texture ideas and found a package of Shade-Tex texture plates and tried them.  They are GREAT!  I purchased these online from an art supply source.  Can't remember which but it was probably either United Arts, Dick Blick or Sax.  Anyway here is what they look like:
And here is what a couple of the papers looked like after using the texture plates.  LOVE IT!!!!!
OK I'll quit tearing my house apart for textures but what do you think about window screening ????? ;)


  1. Wow....when I read sandpaper I wasn't thinking this....great idea!
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. This is BRILLIANT Jana!! I'll be going to the shop to buy some coarse sandpaper now...and to the local art supplier for the texture rubbing plates....I sooooo hope I can get them here in Aus! Thanks for sharing your brainwave with us :)
    Hugs xx

  3. All very neat ways of texturing, think i'm gonna have to hunt around my home to see what I can find, thanks for the idea.

    Christine (UK)

  4. This is pretty cool. I just found your blog and I love it. I am your newest follower
    Nana Donna's card dreams

  5. Thanks everyone for your sweet comments. Some one on the MTC forum mentioned fabric too! Burlap and linen I think would be very nice!

  6. What a great idea!!!! I am going to have to look around and see what I can come up with... and find some time to play.

    1. Glad you found this post helpful Diane. I have found that I use this technique a LOT with my paper piecings. Have fun and thanks so much for stopping by! I love visitors :)