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Paper Making

The Muse
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Direct to Paper

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Use pigment or crafters ink. I prefer the Colorbox Petal Points for 2 reasons; you get 8 colors for one price and they have a rounded butt on each pad which doesn’t leave hard lines in your patterns.


Matte paper is used, either color or white.


Using the butt of the pad, blend colors. The object is to get very smooth transitions from one color to the next. If you can see lines or abrupt changes in color, blend more. Do not push down on the pad or you will get dark blotches of color. All motion should be away from you. If you hit the paper traveling backwards and then move forward you will have a dark line.

On the other hand, you may want to play with the patterns and forms that can be achieved by purposely using the edge or butt of the pad on the paper. Just be gentle on the pad. The pads were not designed for this use so they come loose and tear if abused.

The Stylus

There are 2 different types of foam on the stylus’. One is white foam. This is for doing the basic direct to paper technique (although you can just use the Petal Point Pads themselves as directed above). It can also be used to apply color in patterns on your cardstock.

The other type of stylus is gray foam. This one is for molding and stamping.

Both types of tips come in a variety of shapes. You can buy them in packs of 3 or 4 or in combination packs with several tips and a handle. They also come in larger kits that include refill bottles or ink pads. The handles can also be purchased in packages of 3.

The handle is fragile. It is best to hold it close to the bottom when stamping so as not to put too much pressure on it.


You can start with white or color matte cardstock that has either been colored with the direct to paper technique or not. The stylus tool is very flexible.

If you do start with a piece of cardstock that you’ve done direct to paper on, the blend that you start with will determine a large part of your success with the final technique. Practice these blends and this will be a technique you turn to again and again.

Mold the stylus tip by holding it under a 75 watt household light bulb for approximately 10-20 seconds. It is important not to use halogen light bulbs or a heat gun. This will destroy your tips. While it is still hot, gently press it down onto the rubber side of an un-inked stamp. It is now ready to use as you would any other stamp. When you no longer want the design simply hold it under the light bulb again and it will flatten back out. The tips are easily cleaned with water.

If you are going to use the same tip for more than one color, work from lightest color to darkest so that you don’t pollute your lighter ink pads with darker colors.

When the design is how you want it, you can either leave it as is, layer it onto a complementary color of cardstock and/or emboss the whole thing with clear embossing powder for a glazed look.

To further enhance the piece you can rub a black (or other color) pigment ink pad over the whole thing. Wipe the excess off the previously embossed areas and then emboss it again. This gives it an “antiqued” look.