Arts and Craft Ideas from Karen's Whimsy




I call this section "Play" because I want to share some of the fun I've had in creating decorative paper to use in my art work. Making unique background papers is fun and satisfying. Each attempt produces something new and exciting. Further down the page, you will find other tips and techniques for playing with art, as well as a link to my personal collection of public domain images that you can use in your arts and crafts.

Arts and Craft Ideas

Public Domain Images

Are you looking for public domain photos and pictures that you can use in your artwork? Please check-out my Public Domain Images page to find a selection just for you.

Make Your Own Decorative Paper

Crystalline Paper

Crystalline paper is lovely to use in collage art. Tissue paper painted with fluid gloss medium becomes tough and translucent with this fun technique.


Gessoed Paper

The process for making Gessoed Paper is similar to crystalline; however, in this technique you drench the tissue in fluid gesso. When dry, this paper is opaque, lightweight, yet strong and leathery.

Crayon Resist

Try using crayons and a watercolor or acrylic wash to create some nice Crayon resist background papers.

Background Sparkle

Using modeling paste, iridescent white paint, and glitter, you can make some beautiful Background Sparkle for your art.

Glitter Backgrounds

Use the same basic technique from Background Sparkle paper to create dark Glitter Backgrounds.

Bubble Wrap Art

Try using Bubble Wrap Art to make interesting patterns on your decorative paper.

Stucco and Mesh

Stucco medium and patching mesh from the hardware store blend together to create the highly textured Stucco and Mesh Background Paper.

Silver Backgrounds

Another shimmering surface is created using modeling paste for Silver Backgrounds.

Paper Doilies

Create interesting patterms and stencils for your background papers with Paper Doilies.

Salt Watercolor

Salt Watercolor can be easily created for decorative paper using water based paints and regular table salt. Try kosher salt for an even more dramatic effect.

Wrinkled Paper

Take your paper and paint it, squish it, wring it and dry to create beautiful Wrinkled Paper for your backgrounds.

String Paper

Use the String Stamp you made to produce your own unique String Stamp Decorative Paper.

Arts and Crafts Ideas

Decorative Paper Napkins

Here's an easy way to get a precise tear when using Decorative Paper Napkins in your collage art and altered books.

Image Transfer

Looking for a virtually fool-proof image transfer method? Try an Image Transfer using Contact Paper or packing tape.

String Stamp

Tired of using commercially produced rubber stamps in your art? Make a String Stamp and you'll have a tool for making your own one-of-a-kind String Stamp Background Paper.

Tips for Using a Masque Pen

When you're ready to create found poetry in your altered books, you'll want to read this selection of tips for using a Masquepen to block out text.

Background Texture

You'll be pleasantly surprised at all the items around your house that you can use to make wonderful printed paper. Look at this list of ideas and then fill up a Texture Box of your very own.



Want to be notified when new Arts and Craft ideas are added to Karen's Whimsy?

Subscribe to Karen's Whimsy Newsletter!