Tooled Leather Paper
Designed and demonstrated by Michael Strong.
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Materials and Tools:
deeply etched floral or filigree rubber stamps
8-1/2" x 11" light brown or rust card stock
Adirondack terra cotta dye ink pad
basin of warm water
clear-drying water-based sealer (Mod Podge matte finish or similar)
waterproof pressing surface (vinyl placemat, rubber mouse pad or similar)
1. Soak a sheet of card stock in warm water until saturated (minimum of 10 minutes).
2. Remove the saturated sheet from the water and gently crumple paper into a tight ball.
3. Gently uncrumple the sheet, taking care not to tear it, and lay it on a smooth nonporous surface such as a tabletop or countertop.
4. Smooth out as many wrinkles as you can, patting with the palm of your hand.
5. Continue the smoothing process with the rolling pin until paper is flat.
6. Peel the sheet off the tabletop or countertop and transfer it to the waterproof pressing surface.
7. If using the vinyl placemat, the next step will be to lay the placemat with the damp paper on a carpeted floor. If using a foam rubber mouse pad, place the pad with the damp paper back on the tabletop or countertop.
8. Press a rubber stamp into the damp paper with as much force as possible. NOTE: Placing the paper on a waterproof surface on top of a carpeted floor and pressing the stamp into the damp paper by standing on it works better than the countertop method. If using the standing method, take precautions to make sure you are well balanced with something sturdy to hold onto.
9. Continue to press the stamped images into the paper until the sheet is filled with designs.
10. Air dry the sheet in a sunny location, or you may speed up the drying process with a heat tool.
11. When the sheet is thoroughly dry, cut the designs out.
12. Pick up some of the ink from the dye based pad with your paper-towel-covered finger.
13. With a circular motion, rub the color on to one of the cut out designs. Continue this process until the raised portion of the design is as dark as you want it.