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Scrapbooking with Texture Paste

Have you tried "texture paste?"  This product is basically a texture medium often used by artists and decorative painters.  It is a thicker paint-like substance that you can apply and create an artsy 3D type of background or textured surface on your scrapbook layout or altered project.  Here we will discuss methods of applying the paste, how to make your own, products available on the market and show some ideas for using it.

Methods of Applying Texture Paste

One method of applying texture paste to your surface is to use a pallet knife or paint brush.  Apply it with messy strokes or even strokes. Once it is dry, you can rub an ink pad on it or a little paint. The ink / paint will settle in the recesses creating a really interesting effect.  You can also tint the paste with a little acrylic paint, alcohol ink, chalk, walnut ink or glimmer mist.  All make for interesting colour options.

Sandie Downey made the cupcake shown at right using texture paste.  This was part of a card for a Cuttlebug Challenge.  You can see more of Sandie’s project here plus one photo is shown at right.

Another idea, is to spread it through a mask or stencil directly onto your surface.  If you don’t have any masks or stencils handy, use the negative pieces of chipboard from chipboard shapes or letters.  You may get some really interesting shapes!   Scrolls, scallop shapes, fonts for monograms, etc. You will be left with a really cool 3D image.

Add a bit of texture paste to a pastry bag and ‘decorate’ your page by on piping designs.  You can see more on this idea in the tutorial we posted on gesso embellishments.  (See one photo at left.)

Make Your Own Texture Paste

You can also improvise and make your own texture paste by tinting gesso with a bit of paint colour and applying a thick layer of it to your surface.  Gesso is often a bit runny, so I would suggest letting it sit out in the open a bit to thicken up before using in this manner.  If you find it’s still not thick enough, try adding a little sand or sawdust to it and mixing it in.

Back in my mural painting days, I would use a bit of drywall compound mixed with the paint to thicken it up and create texture.  This is a good option for using something you may already have around the house (check your husband’s shop!).

Jeanette Lynton describes a technique that artists on her Close to My Heart team used to create a frosting on a paper cupcake.  They applied "Sculpting Foam" and then once it was dry, mixed some paint and cornstarch together to paint it.  They also added glitter.  One of the photos is shown at right.  You can see more photos and read about it here.

Texture Paste Products on the Market

A couple of ready-made texture paste products currently available on the market are Liquitex’s Modeling Paste, Jo Sonja’s Texture Paste, and Close to My Heart’s Sculpting Foam.

A Word of Caution

Texture paste can cause paper to curl due to the liquid content, so be aware of this in advance.  If your card stock is not very thick, it may be best to use a canvas background or other altered object as your surface.  As well, if you are concerned about acid free, check the packaging of the product first.

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