How to Make Handmade Patterned Paper by Kathy Adams

by Art Anthology

I love to make my own patterned paper using Art Anthology Colorations sprays, paints and stencils. To create the background for this layout, I used a very unique technique using rain!


  • 12" x 12" Watercolor paper
  • Colorations Sprays in your favorite colors
  • A rainy day
  • Drop Cloth
  • White Cardstock
  • Tuxedo Velvet
  • Take Flight Stencil
  • 4-5 Favorite Stencils
  • Background Stamps
  • Black Archival Ink
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Set watercolor paper outside on a rainy day on top of a waterproof drop cloth. I used an old laundry bag. Make sure that the paper will be rained on.

    Step 2

    I opened the bottles and splattered or poured Lark and Patience Colorations Sprays on one paper, and Lark and Timeless on the other. I poured a bit too much Patience on the second paper!

    Step 3

    It needed more color so I added Waimea Bay and Tango to both.

    Step 4

    Then I let it sit in the rain for a while. Actually, I forgot about it and it rained really hard for a while.

    Step 5

    Much of the color washed a way because I didn't monitor it enough. It probably sat out there for a few hours. But I liked the soft background I created, or rather, the rain created.

    Step 6

    I decided to try it again with cool colors and monitor it more so I could get more patterns. I applied Waimea Bay, Studio Blue, Lark, and Grass on two more watercolor papers and set them outside.

    Step 7

    I set my iPhone timer for 15 minute intervals to monitor the progress.

    Step 8

    After about an hour of light rain, I liked the patterns I got so I brought them in and let them dry completely.

    Step 9

    I love the patterns it made! Now to make something with them.

    Step 10

    I chose one of the blue and green backgrounds to make a scrapbook layout using a photo of my brothers. I wanted to add birds to the "sky" using Tuxedo Velvet and the Take Flight stencil.

    Step 11

    Art Anthology paints are the perfect consistancy to use with stencils. The birds are slightly raised when dry. I added a few more to the right after I let these dry.

    Step 12

    Next, to make my handmade patterned paper. I laid out two pieces of white cardstock and covered them with stencils. I chose a neutral color palette to keep the natural feel of the layout.

    Step 13

    First I sprayed Raider on the Soliloquy and Got Your Number stencils. I kept the stencils in place.

    Step 14

    Next I sprayed Warm on the Take Flight stencil.

    Step 15

    Spray Grass on the Inspired Grunge stencil. I overlapped the stencils on the paper, so my images will be random and messy.

    Step 16

    The goal is to get color onto the paper. Also, did you notice my thumb nail is painted with two different colors? I was trying to figure out what color to use for my toes and never removed it!

    Step 17

    See? I never paint my nails because within hours they are messed up! Anyway, continue spraying Colorations over the stencils. I had a bit of trouble with Lark!

    Step 18

    I added more than one color to some of the stencils. This time I used Studio Blue. I love these two colors together. I even like that Lark is splotchy.

    Step 19

    The cool color palette needed some warmth, so I added Salted Caramel over Fern Leaf through the Bubbles stencil.

    Step 20

    And a third color for the Bubbles stencil, Peacock Feathers.

    Step 21

    Look at all that spray on the top of the stencils! I can't waste it so I took two more pieces of white cardstock and placed it over the stencils.

    Step 22

    I used my hands to smooth out the cardstock over the stencils and soak up all of the spray. I love this technique because it's like Christmas when you lift them off to reveal the images!

    Step 23

    It's like Christmas when you lift off the paper to reveal the patterns! The three stencils on top are actually masks, since the image isn't open. I love the play of positives and negatives!

    Step 24

    Here is the other piece of cardstock I placed on top of the stencils. I really don't care about the words and numbers being backwards. I love the cool negative pattern the technique created.

    Step 25

    Here is the cardstock that was underneath the stencils.

    Step 26

    We aren't done with these yet!

    Step 27

    I decided to add some background stamps to the paper. I didn't mount the stamps on acrylic blocks, but just stamped parts of them onto the paper using a rolling motion.

    Step 28

    Here is what they look like.

    Step 29

    I love the graphic black and white patterns.

    Step 30

    Step 31

    I've got lots of images to choose from for layering my photo.

    Step 32

    Of course, no project of mine is complete without splatters! Mix Tuxedo Velvet, water and 1 spray of Raider Colorations.

    Step 33

    Using my fan brush, I splatter the black mixture randomly on all of the pattered cardstock.

    Step 34

    I used the rest of the black mixture to create drips on some of the papers.

    Step 35

    I cut apart my handmade patterned paper and found some images that worked with my layout. I added a black cardstock mat to my photo and sprayed more Raider onto one of the papers.

    Step 36

    A few embellishments, a title and some journaling and it's complete!

    Step 37

    And here are all of my leftover patterned papers! So guess what? I made some cards!!

    Step 38

    I added a bit more paint to the background paper, painted die-cuts. I love how they turned out! I may make some Thanksgiving cards with the rest.

    Step 39

    I made the branch and raven with a Tim Holtz die and chipboard, then painted them with Velvets. I also wanted to calm down the background a bit and dabbed on watered down gesso and added the moon.

    Step 40

    The pumpkin die-cut is from a Tim Holtz die using chipboard, painted with Tango Velvet, then embossed. I lightly ran an Archival Black ink pad over the raised areas to bring them out.

    Step 41

    So grab some Colorations Sprays in your favorite colors and make your own pattered papers! It is so much fun and will be uniquely your own style to use for cards, scrapbook layouts and more.