"If you hear a voice within you say, 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." --Vincent van Gogh

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Toilet Tissue Stamping - TUTORIAL

Wow, several people asked for a tutorial for the Toilet Tissue stamping that I did in my previous post, and I'm honored to provide it. This is my first tutorial! If you have any questions, leave a comment and I'll do my best to provide an answer. Here we go ...

Gather your supplies:
*Stamps (large ones work best, detail is ok but don't get too fussy!)
*Roll of TP (I used Charmin because that's what we've got!)
*Old Paintbrush (this was one of the kids' brushes ... notice I said "was")
*White washable glue (Elmer's in the US, PVA elsewhere I believe)
*Two small containers with water
*Mod Podge or other decoupage medium (for use later)
*Paint (for use later)
*Beverage of choice (coffee, black please)
and prepare your work surface (this one isn't too messy).

First Step: Using PLAIN WATER, wet the surface of your stamps (you might as well do several, it's easy but it takes a while). Cover the stamp with one layer of toilet tissue. You may need to overlap a few pieces if your stamp is really large. Just make sure it is all moistened.
Use your brush to gently push the TP into the details of the stamp. For the pear, I pounced the brush and for the fish I brushed gently along the fin lines. Do whatever feels right, but be gentle - you don't want to tear the TP (if you do, just remove and start over).
Now mix some glue in with your small water container ... I don't know what ratio I used, probably about 2 parts water to 1 part glue. I don't think you need to be too picky about it. Brush the watery glue onto the TP on your stamp - cover the whole surface of the stamp, plus a little around the edges, but don't worry about going all the way to the edges of the TP - you will be cutting the image out later.
Add another layer of TP, and then paint it with glue. If your shape is large, make sure you place the TP pieces in different directions and locations - you don't want all the seams in the same place.
You may find that the center is building up faster than the edges ... just add partial pieces around the edges until it looks even.
Keep adding layers of TP and glue until it seems like a reasonable thickness ... about 8 to 10 layers of TP.
OK ... now we wait ... go work on something you are avoiding ... go clean out a closet ... go to the grocery store ... take a nap ... hum the "Jeopardy" theme song over and over again ... whatever but don't peek at your images!!!
If you feel the top of the TP on your stamps, it will feel slimy. You don't want to move on until most, if not all, of that sliminess is gone. I set my pieces on the counter underneath a ceiling fan and waited about 4 hours ...
When the time comes that the sliminess is gone, CAREFULLY peel the TP off the stamps. The impression should be there ... and the TP will still be wet, so be careful. Go wash any residue off your stamps (there shouldn't be much glue on the stamps - this is why the first layer is water - but clean them anyway).

Here are my pieces once I removed them. Now you need to wait again - a couple of hours - until they are completely dry. You can turn them over to help dry them out from the other side as well. Make sure they are totally dry before you continue. If there are seams that aren't glued down or small bubbles, don't worry about it (you can see some in the flower).

Time for the Mod Podge and another beverage - tea this time. Now that your pieces are completely dry, paint them with Mod Podge to seal them (you did wash the glue out of your paintbrush, right?). Once the front is done, and dry, flip them over and paint the back. Let dry.

Now we are ready to paint!!! Use your favorite acrylics to paint your pieces. For these I used Golden Fluid Acrylics, Setacolor Transparent Acrylics, and Lumiere. You can use whatever you like. It's your art!

Once the paint has dried, cut out your images. For more complicated images (like the fish) it is helpful to refer to the actual stamp for the details. You can glue these, or stitch them. You can seal them with varnish if you'd like. You may want to paint the edges. If any of the layers are trying to separate, just dab some glue in there. They did NOT respond well when I subjected them to a heat gun, but go ahead and experiment.

Below is a detail of the fish: I painted it using red and yellow directly on the fish, so that they combined to varying shades of orange (rather than one solid color). When it dried, I rubbed gold and turquoise lumiere on it to bring out the details. I just LOVE the way this stamp works with this technique.

If you give it a try, be sure to let me know!!!


LW said...


This is great, I have a sunflower stamp that I would love to do.....

A few years ago I did some snowmen using a cookie mold that was some what like this....

Thank you,

Doreen G said...

Great samples Michelle I have tried this before with tissues and they look great on cards.
Thanks for dropping by and leaving a message.
Have you voted in the Artists Muse new poll yet.

Joanna van said...

Michelle this is great! You should submit this idea to CPS! Love it.

Homeleightigger said...

Thanks so much for doing this Tutorial Michelle - I have several stamps I will try. What other sealant could I get other than Mod Podge - must it be Mod Podge?
The pictures are lovely and clear too. Val

Michelle said...

Thanks all, for your comments, I really do appreciate each one of them!

Val - try using undiluted PVA instead of ModPodge. Anything made for decoupage that dries clear and can be painted on will be fine. The purpose is just to seal the surface. Please share your results with me! Michelle

Judy Rys said...

Great job on the tutorial. I'm going to have to give this a try.

Marlene said...

Michelle, It may have been your first tutorial but it is certainly very professionally done. Great job of explanations and illustrations.

You go girl! Thanks a bunch for posting!


FiberPhyl aka Artsygrammy said...

Thanks for the excellent tutorial.
I'm going to play with this. I love the big fish stamp!
My imagination is kicking in! Look out!

Dianne said...

Fantastic Michelle!! Thanks very much - I'm definitely going to give this a try. I love the fish - wonderful colours. Such a great tutorial - and for a change I have all the ingredients right here!!

Charmion said...

Michelle, thanks for the tutorial. It's very well done and the photos are clear and very useful. I want to try out this technique.


Elizabeth said...

Michelle!! i love your tutorial! thank you so much! I agree with Joanna- submit it to CPS With a ll the funny bits- you were making me laugh out loud!!! I can't wait to try this! And I amy have to refer some of my local art group to you as well!!