Your miniature questions are welcome here!

The original Miniatures Question and Answer Blog was the brain child of Nikki Rowe from Witch and Wizards Miniatures. Lately, she realized that she was spreading herself way too thin to continue doing all the things she's involved with well.

Since we all wait in anticipation of what awesome item she'll create next and we all want her to concentrate on making those fabulous mini's that we love, I have agreed to take over the responsiblity of the Miniature Question and Answer blog.

Format is the same. Once a week, on Sunday or Monday, a new question will be posted, researched and, with any luck, answered. You are all welcomed and encouraged to comment with your own answers and suggestions.

If you have a miniature related question you'd like investigated, the best way is to send me an e-mail.

But you can also put it in the comments section as a suggestion for the following week and, hopefully, I'll find it.

Nikki will be deleting the original blog so you will have to "re-follow" here, but I have saved all the questions...and answers and comments and they will be the subject of the first post.

Sounds like fun, eh?



Friday, October 1, 2010

Paper, paper printing... longevity.

Another question related to the printing, dyeing and aging of paper.
This week we will look at paper, paper printing and the longevity of these products when combined in relation to miniature work.

What ink to use for printing, best types of paper for various types of work, how to age paper, how to create effects with paper, can paper be baked, will this last over time, and so on.

Pop over to this blog:
Carol has kindly created a photoshop tutorial on how to create aged paper with a burnt edge. Photoshop I find difficult, but the way it’s been explained is fantastic and ever so easy to follow. Thank you Carol.

 Scrolls stained with tea prior to printing. Tim Holts distress ink has been used to further age the edges once the scrolls were put together. Did not burn the edges for these.

The Fairy papers were stained with tea prior to printing, once printed and cut out I burned the edges a little, and then use Tim Holz distress ink to age slightly in areas I wanted to highlight.

Fantastic product... comes in various colours and they even do an old paper.

Julie Kendall said... I would like to know about the new eco printing machines that use solid ink (wax).  Price or printers and ink blocks to replace, longevity of printed item and so on ( don’t want much do ) and if anyone has any info or has them etc...guess who needs a new printer :O)
I follow this ladies blog and she has lots of tutorials from youtube...thought this might help,

Tabitha Corsica said... One thing I have started to do is aging my paper BEFORE printing on it. I use strong tea. I have found that the lesser grades of printer paper do not take well to this process, however...they begin to disintegrate. So I use a heavier paper, don't leave it in too long and lay on paper towels to dry. The "dye job" is not uniform but that is what I want. If the paper becomes o wrinkly to put through the printer, I iron it. When I've printed what I want on it, I spray it with a fixative or matte sealer, cut out what I want and then use a heat tool to scorch the edges.
When I print on un-dyed paper, I spray with fixative before aging but I have found the tea/coffee doesn't work as well then. I have used chalks to age paper I haven't dyed but I prefer the texture of the tea-dyed paper.
I haven't been doing it long enough to know how long it will actually last. I have toyed with the idea of using acid/lignin free paper but dipping in tea rather defeats that end, I think.

nikkinikkinikki72 said... This is how I age paper. And also some suggestions from people. I use a top quality matte photo printing paper. It’s a little thicker than regular every day use printing paper. Although i would love to find one that is not so heavy. I use a large paintbrush (decorating one) and paint it with a mix of tea and coffee and let dry. You can microwave them if you like to dry or even pop them in the electric oven (not gas). Then these sheets go under something heavy like a stack of books to make them flat again ready for the printer. Then I print my images/text.
Then spray with a matte sealer. I then cut the images just a little bigger (say 2mm) than the text or image. Using a lighter I hold to one edge of the paper to it and keep rotating. But it will burn quick and so I have spare paper below me and as I burn I bring it down onto the sheet to stop it burning too much. Goes out instantly by the way. I’ve tried many ways to burn edges and find this one the best and quickest for me, but its best to have the click lighters and several because they get hot to hold, just use a different one every few minutes.
I then just rub the edge on a cloth (normally my clothes, lol) to take away the burnt edge a little.
If it’s a very small item say for instance a label use your tweezers to hold the paper.

I have heard you can age edges with Lemon juice on advice by Debbie of Tiny Treasures. You just brush or dip your edges into the juice and use a heat gun over the paper to make the lemon go dark and create the aged effect.(crafters one, not a paint stripper type, lol like Ithought... stupid me, lol).

I have also recently started using Tim Holts distress ink. It comes in like a stampin block. It’s the tea dye one and acid free.  I use the lid for watering down the ink with water and use a soft watercolour brush to work on edges and make them a little older.
Use the same type of paper as your image to run quick tests as you work. Too much ink on your brush can spoil your work.I just add more water in the lid of its too strong and dark.
The Tim Holts inks mentioned also come in various colour including old paper.
I don’t know if you are meant to use water with these but it works for me.
If you have a particular paper you like but it won’t feed through the printer because it’s too think and flimsy. Say for instance tissue paper, this is what I do to make it happen.
Using a regular piece of printing paper, I use a glue stick and at the top (the bit that will go through the printer first) I attach the paper that would not otherwise not go through.
If you pop to my witch and wizard blog you will see some printing sewing patterns on the hat table. These were made with very fine tissue paper.
But for this I had to set my printer to have wide printing margins because I also had to glue all the four edges. I tried just the top edge but the tissue ripped on printing.
Doing the four edges worked and did so several times, so it wasn't just pot luck.

You can also do this with fine material such as cotton and silk on just the top edge glued down to the regular A4 paper.
Don’t forget to set the top margining high because you lose a lot of that edge due to the glue.

My Wee Life said... I use tea and coffee (for larger labels that I have used on jars in my kitchen I also put some cinnamon powder in!). I normally pop them in the oven and to burn the edges on my kitchen jars I used a match blown out and use it like a pencil and then rub off with kitchen towel. The one thing I haven't thought of doing was preparing the paper and then printing!! I have done it the other way round and sometimes the print runs unless I use a laser printer. Think I will be trying some of these other methods.

nikkinikkinikki72 said... Just put a picture of some scrolls and fairy papers I aged using the Tim Holtz distress in. I have the tea one by the way).
For the open scrolls I used a lot of ink, but the fairy papers just a little to highlight areas such as the envelopes to make them stand out more.
I brush little bits on the old photos to give them a very slight sepia look.
You can also find an image of tea stained paper on google images, copy and paste it, then attach to a word file and print off.
The pop back in the printer and print over again with your images.
Or find the right colour in paint/photoshop, print off and then print over as above again.

Debbie said... Walnut Ink Granules can be used to age paper. Grab an old jam jar boil the kettle, add a teaspoon of the granules to the empty jam jar, add hot water and mix until all the crystals have dissolved. If the colour is too light add more crystals, if too dark add more water. You can either use an old baking tray to pour some ink into and place your paper in that, or use a spray bottle to spritz the paper with the ink. I used to use this for aging paper for my scrapbooks. Be warned though Walnut ink is not acid free. Store unused Ink in the jam jar, but make sure you label it. If it’s left for a long time, the water evaporates a bit and the solution becomes stronger.
I also read in a scrapbook mag that to age the edges of paper, dip in lemon juice and then heat with a craft heat gun and it will turn it brown as if it’s been burnt. I age my paper before printing on it.

Carol said... Nikki, I love your ideas. You mentioned that you would like to try Photoshop to age your paper. I posted a tutorial on my blog:

nikkinikkinikki72 said... I didn’t explain earlier about the strength of the tea and coffee solution and also about making it. This is what I do:

I use about 1 teaspoon of coffee and 1 tea bag in a coffee mug or similar.
I add boiling hot water to this about 2-3cm high in the cup.
Let the tea bag sit for about 10 mins, squeeze it out and get to work painting the pages with a large brush.
Test your solution on some paper, if it’s too strong in colour add more water, if too weak add more coffee and tea.
I don’t have a lot of this on the brush and tend to work back and forwards, so the paper is moist but not swimming in the stuff.
Only takes roughly tens mins somewhere warm, or about 1 min (maybe less)in a microwave on full power, or an oven for say 2 mins.
It does however I find dry darker when put in the microwave or oven than letting it dry naturally.

Glenda said... What I've learned from my small foray into mini paperland - chinese calligraphy paper is no good at all, it disintegrates.
I have dyed tissue paper with tea and hung it up to dry on my 'flying nun' indoor clothes dryer - works well, but messy.
Throwing a little rock salt on to wet dyed paper makes lovely effects.
Paper can be ironed to flatten it.
In miniature paper work, the way it's cut shows up - scissors and scalpels sometimes have different effects. Whether the scalpel is sharp also shows - it can drag the edge.

Whittaker's Miniatures said... Nikki I hadn’t thought of putting tea into a cup and using as a wash. I have my tea bag bowl that each bag goes into as used and then just rub the tea bags onto the paper raw! We have extremely weak tea so there always lots of colour in the tea bags still! Sometimes as I go up and down with the bag it ruptures and then you get s few leaves fall out which isnt too bad as when tipped off they seep into the damp paper and add little 'age spots' in the paper and give a good effect!! Then I just dry by the rad in winter under a book or use a hairdryer if I’m too impatient!! Have only ever used normal printer paper so bought some matt photo paper today to see the difference it makes. Why do you need to spray the paper? I love the idea of the inks or lemon as I have burned my fingers too many times and even set light to tea towels when I work! I also use an incense stick, light then let burn a little and blow out and while still hot dab onto the edges to give a singed aged look. Great advice from ALL Kate xx

nikkinikkinikki72 said...
Is the type of sealant we mean, but you can use other cheaper brands.
I use one that is meant for ceramics called Mayco True Matt, its quick drying and is also great for spraying on fimo and other polymers.
It also comes in gloss and that’s ideal for spraying polymer too.

Tabitha Corsica said... Just a note to say I visited the scrapbook store today (our miniature club meets in the workroom) and was able to purchase the Tim Holz inks in a bottle. I got "old paper" and "tea stain" ....or something like that. My next foray into aging paper, I'll try these products. Nikki....the "old paper" has a greenish cast to it. And, dumb bunny that I can be, bought the re-inkers and not the pads and since I've opened them,(to see the color) I cannot return for the proper thing. So now I have a question...
Any suggestions on how to make your own stamping pad using the re-inkers?? What material might work best. Foam or cloth?

1 comment:

Joanna Slan said...

I believe felt is the best fabric for inking pads.

And you know you can drag the edge of your paper along an ink pad to discolor the edges, too. I did that for one of my scrapbook technique books that I wrote when I ran out of paper to mat the photo. The idea caught on and started a trend! Necessity is the fairy godmother of creativity.