Tuesday, September 23, 2014

getting creative with paper towels

When you spend a most of your life creating on a tight budget, you quickly learn to utilize cheap materials or everyday things. One of the best little secrets I discovered years ago (though I am sure many of you also know) is how useful paper towels can be in mixed media projects- specifically Viva paper towels (and no Viva is not paying me to mention them)

Back in college painting classes, Viva paper towels were always on the class supply lists because they are super absorbent, almost like a fabric rag. After years of wiping paint on them I realized that once covered in paint, they become saturated with vibrant color, they also become quite durable and can be used in all kinds of projects! Instead of tossing my used paper towels in the trash I began saving them to use in collage, paper and sewing projects.

Not only can you wipe your brush on paper towels but you paint them like any other surface. Again, the Viva brand it will take paint just like, if not better than a piece of mixed media paper or fabric. This means you can use all of your favorite painting techniques on paper towels- even layering lots of messy color.

They absorb ink sprays really well!


In addition to ink sprays, you can also use fabric dye and dying techniques on heavy duty paper towels.

You can use pens to draw and doodle, just keep in mind the surface is not smooth like paper so you have to work around and accept the textured surface. 

Stamps and stencils also work really well.

A roll of paper towels is also a great supply to have on hand for kids to paint on. Simply roll out a foot or two and let kids go to town painting!

I'll use my favorite techniques to create a stockpile of paper towels that I can grab when I am working on mixed media projects. I use them much like you would use colorful fabric or paper- for collage or decoupage projects, for backgrounds in paintings and my favorite...to sew with!

Yes, you can sew with paper towels! I like using them to make art quilts, art journal pages or any paper sewing projects (like tags, cards and scrapbook pages). You can use them in just about any mixed media project that gets stitched.

So there you have it- paper towels, an economical alternative for all those mixed media projects!

Looking for some creative ways to use that cardboard roll once you have used up all those paper towels? Head on over to my post HERE


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