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Could this be an idea for scrapbookers?

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  • Could this be an idea for scrapbookers?


    I am not what you would call a regular scrapbooker, I am a retired bookbinder, and this is really part of an old bookbinders trick to produce an economical substitute for genuine vellum, but I hoped the following would be of use to those folk who are thinking of printing their own pages.

    This picture shows what I did in about 15 minutes.

    Using this method it is very easy to create a convincing gilded manuscript that has the look and feel of genuine vellum or parchment.

    To do this you will need:

    An inkjet printer, Microsoft Word software or similar and a good quality off white or cream paper to print onto.

    Imitation gold leaf. This is for the illuminated letters.

    A bottle of gold size, there are many different varieties, I suggest using an acrylic size like Miniatum or Simple Scribe as they are easy to use.

    Blonde de waxed shellac.

    Methylated Spirit is needed to dissolve the shellac, this is a 90% proof alcohol made to smell and taste very bad.

    Some small paint brushes and a 1 or 2 inch paint brush.

    Lastly you will need a craft knife and ruler, plus a cutting mat, or a sheet of thick card.

    Compose your document in Microsoft Word; if you want the look of a medieval illuminated letter choose an Old English typeface.

    If you do not have such a type face installed on your PC you can easily obtain them as there are many websites that offer free fonts.

    If you want to use a large drop capital you can do so in Word by going to Format/Drop Cap/Dropped.

    Change the colour of the capital letter from black, to pale pink; we do this in order that we can see the letter to be gilded.

    When you have finished creating your document in Word, print out however many copies you want to create.

    Using a small paintbrush, paint the capital letter with the gold size.

    When the gold adhesive is ready it is time to apply the leaf.

    Remove one of the leaves together with the front and back tissue to support it, and cut it up into appropriate sizes with your craft knife.

    Now lift up one of the pieces including the top layer of tissue, and lay it down in place over the large capital, the top layer of tissue paper protects the gold while you rub down firmly.

    When it comes to removing the surplus gold leaf from the illuminated letter.
    Make sure your hands are clean and grease free, take your index finger and rub over the gold leaf in a circular motion, this removes the surplus leaf, you may have to do this quite firmly. But don’t worry the gold will stay in place.

    Now is the time to apply the shellac, in doing so the paper fibres become encased in shellac resin, it changes not only the tone of the paper, but also changes the papers characteristics, in effect the paper looks and handles very much like genuine parchment.

    To make up the solution take 1 part of shellac flakes to 4 parts alcohol.

    Be aware that the alcohol does give of fumes, best to do this in a ventilated room.

    Using a screw top jar add the flakes and alcohol and let it stand for 24 hours; give the mixture an occasional stir. If conditions are cold it will take longer to dissolve.

    Give a generous coat of the shellac solution to the front and back of the paper.

    Leave to dry in a warm room.

    Hope it is of some use to you.

    Last edited by edenworkshops; 22-09-2008, 03:32 PM.
    For DIY gilding and antique finishes to gold leaf.
    For the esoteric & unusual in bookbinding

  • #2
    Nice result! I like the instructions, very clear and easy to follow. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Wood Tattoos
    Decorative Pyrography for all Occasions - Author of "Woodburning with Style" (2010) and "Learn to Burn" (2013)


    • #3
      Cool! Looks very impressive...

      Scorch's Pyrography :
      Crafts on Flickr :


      • #4
        Yes and it looks so beautiful! I would love to try this!

        but what takes a retired bookbinder 15mins will probably take me nearer to half a day!
        "Buffys Charms" my lil ol' Blog

        Buffys Charms Website


        • #5
          Wow I am very suitably impressed.. I love the look of the finished product and is defiately something that I will be trying in the future too!
          ** Jane **
          My Blog


          • #6
            I love the result you have achieved, I don't do a lot of scrapbooking, but I would love to use this method as an idea for a personal gift, for a wedding or christening.


            • #7
              Wow that looks so cool. Brilliant instructions as well.

              I have done a 'cheats' version when I did my wedding stationary, I set my printer setting to 'wet' and when the printed page came out the letters were still wet, I then sprinkled embossing powder on them, shook off, and heated with a heat gun.

              To get just some letters gold embossed, I printed some text as normal, let it dry, and then put the page back in the printer and printed the wet letters I required.

              No where near as impressive as what you have done, but a cheap quick option.


              • #8
                That really is beautiful !


                • #9
                  i always wondered how to do do it...? well, you have expalined it very beautifully. would be using in the presentations of my art works


                  • #10
                    My brother asked me a question about scrapbooking earlier this week, no doubt he will find this handy so I will pass it on.

                    My only question now is where could i find ideas on what to create a scrapbook about?
                    Wood crafting is a lost art, which can seen in the timeless beauty of solid oak furniture


                    • #11
                      wow what a great idea love it