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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Fusing Papers with Plastic

I wanted to make a pretty birthday card for someone special. I found myself with absolutely the perfect paper for the person I had in mind. The problem was that both sheets of paper I wanted to use were single-sided, meaning the back was white. I almost always use double-sided paper/cardboard when making cards.

I remembered reading an article in Scrapping & Kie (the South African scrapbooking magazine) on using Glad Wrap to fuse serviettes to paper (Issue 52 Dec '12/Jan '13). I wondered if the same technique would work with paper. Of course I had to try. I took photos of the process so we could learn together.

I laid one of my papers upside down on my work surface. I then put a layer of Glad Wrap on top.

Next I put my second paper on top of the Glad Wrap and cut the plastic to size with my craft knife.

The article suggested that I put some Teflon between the paper and a towel before I ironed the 'sandwich' together, so I tried this.

I had absolutely zero success with this and the 'sandwich' did not fuse at all.  I then grabbed a masonite off-cut I had on hand and put it on the padded ironing board with the paper sandwich on top of that. I carefully tucked all of the plastic in and then applied the hot iron directly to the paper. This worked like a charm! Take note that you do have to allow for a substantial amount of time to pass before the melting will actually occur, even when working with a very hot iron, like I did. (I suggest you keep a fire extinguisher at hand in case everything catches fire). Don't leave your iron in one position on the paper, but keep moving it over the paper all the time, giving the paper time to cool down and thereby reducing the fire hazard.

I did notice some bubbles on the surface of my paper, but I think it can be ascribed to the 'soft' ironing process I tried the first time around. That was when the bubbles first appeared and I did not see any 'new' bubbles after I changed to a hard surface.

I was not too put off by the bubbles, knowing that what I intended to do with the card would mask it. That meant I could continue on. I cut my 12" x 12" paper in half, not wanting the word "Wedding" to appear anywhere on the birthday card. I used my cutting mat, lining the paper up with the 0 lines. I put a metal ruler on the 6" line and used a craft knife to score the cut that would slice the paper in half.

The birthday card could simply be folded in half and I did so without much effort.

I did not want to simply discard the top half of the paper, noting that it could be used with great success as a wedding card on another occasion. With the word "Wedding" firmly in the middle of the page, I had to desig the card around this. I again lined the card up with the 0-lines on my cutting board. This time I needed to find a spot 1/4 into the paper, i.e. 4". I folded the card on the 4" line, using the ruler to make sure the fold ended in the right spot. I did the same on the right hand side of the card, folding it in a little closer to the centre so that there would be a slight overlap when the card closed.

That was that. I'll show you in another blog how I finished these two cards, but I was very happy with how simple it was to fuse the two papers, making a perfect background for two home-made cards.

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