R is for Rubbing and Recycling

Paint Party Friday

Okay, this didn’t quite work out the way I had intended. This post was supposed to be about rubbings, where you place a piece of paper over an object with a texture or relief and rub with a pencil to bring up that pattern on the paper. After fiddling for a little while with leaves from my garden and various writing implements, I failed to create any decent rubbings. I decided that I needed to do some research on this particular technique and instead grabbed my embossing tools and tried to get a three dimensional texture off the leaves. Which I did, but in the negative, which didn’t look so good.

Several days ago I was rifling through the Net looking for a way to make my own stencils. My sister has been experimenting with stencils and moulding paste and has gotten some interesting results,  so I wanted to try it out for myself. But although I have a handful of stencils here, mostly lettering stencils, I didn’t really want to be confined to other people’s creations, I wanted to make my own (also much cheaper – $15 for two approx. 8″ x 8″ sheets of plastic at our local craft shop, not to mention how much the actual stencils were, really made things like margarine container lids much more attractive). I looked at a number of materials like margarine lids, icecream container lids and acetate sheets (bought cheap), but a mention on an airbrushing website suggested something else – the cardboard from milk and fruit juice containers.

And it has worked beautifully. Today I tried it for the first time. I was able to cut the material very easily with my scapel/hobby knife and the card is very sturdy, keeping its shape well. It also has a nice depth which is a factor I was particularly looking for to create relief.

I made a few experimental stencils and started with embossing.

I was really excited with this leaf. It is a simple design, but I cut it out of the juice container cardboard quite easily and it embossed nicely. To celebrate, I then created a stencil that said !YAY!

Here you can see all my little experiments. I embossed !YAY! twice – the first was a straight emboss, but the second I placed on top of a texture plate and then embossed both the texture and the stencil at once. That was kind of exciting too. Oh, and if you are wondering why there is an exclamation mark at both the beginning and end of the stencil, it is because I created the word, ended it with the exclamation mark and then realised that text should be written backwards when stencilling….or not, I haven’t thought it entirely through yet – so the exclamation mark at the front of the word was added – artistic license to mask artistic d’oh 😀

Here is a closeup of the textured !YAY! I did a similar thing with a love heart stencil and texture plate.

But remember, embossing wasn’t my sole interest in the ‘make your own stencil’ investigation. One of the things I had been concerned about was if I used moulding gel/paste to fill up the stencil, would it stick to the stencil and make a complete stuff up?

Well, this one didn’t.

And here is my contribution to Paint Party Friday this week. I’ve now got the ability to create my own stencils and paint in relief. It doesn’t seem like much, but there are so many possibilities. Here is a close up of how relief this first attempt is.

The background I slapped the Yays down on was a stuffed up background I had in my art journal.

One part of both of these experiments is the ability to add extra layers of embossing/moulding paste and make some very relief works of art. Looks very interesting.

And I’ve found a way to recycle juice cartons 😀

Oh, and PPF peeps, you might also be interested in the paper mosaic I created earlier in the week. Lots more paint involved there.

Don’t forget to drop in on all the great artists over at Paint Party Friday artists. There is some fantabulous art being created over there.

See all my Paint Party Friday posts!

See all my Blogging A to Z posts!

Have a great weekend!

Best wishes,


19 responses to “R is for Rubbing and Recycling”

  1. Yay indeed!! Great work my lady.

    1. Thanks heaps!


  2. Fab peek! Kim

    1. Glad you enjoyed it 😀


  3. Love the way this has turned out. Happy PPF and enjoy the weekend. Annette x

    1. Thank you! I hope you have a great PPF too.

      Best wishes,

  4. Fantastic creativity and so much you will do with it ~ thanks for sharing ~ namaste ^_^

    1. Thanks. I am looking forward to experimenting.


  5. Great experimentation!
    Really love that last shot especially!! 🙂
    Happy PPF!!

    1. Thanks. I’m a sucker for a nice close up shot 😀

      Thanks for dropping by.

      Best wishes,

  6. this is beautiful, have a great weekend.

    1. Thanks. I hope you do too.

      Best wishes,

  7. Thanks for sharing as I was going to try this as well :). Love your Yay!
    Stay inspired!

    1. Go ahead, try it, it is great fun. I’m hoping to do more today.

      Thanks heaps and thanks for dropping by.

      Best wishes,

  8. […] blog topic for today which had been ‘sgraffito’, I contented myself with playing with yesterday’s embossing  and stencilling experiments and arranging them in my […]

  9. I am all kinds of impressed with this! Especially the fact that you made your own stencils, rather than be satisfied with someone else’. Then when I started thinking about having to do the text backwards, my brain cramped up.

    1. Don’t worry…turns out I don’t need to do it backwards 😀 I just need to turn the stencil around. I had a brain blink moment 😀

      Thanks for your kind comments and for dropping by.

      Best wishes,

  10. I enjoyed stenciling many years ago, and combined the craft with batic to make an interesting bedcover for my son. Totally absorbing.


  11. Sandy King Avatar
    Sandy King

    Love this ! Tx for sharing all your success and missteps along the way. So helpful. And great photos.