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How to: Create Your Own Scrapbooking Patterned Paper with Watercolors

Creating your own unique patterned paper with watercolors is not only easy but fun!

These pictures of Drew jumping at Sky Zone have been sitting next to my computer waiting to be used for months. I knew what I wanted to create with them, I just hadn't found that perfect patterned paper to go with them.

Do you ever do that? Have a certain look you want and you just can't seem to get your brain or heart to consider anything else?

Well, that was me and these photos.

I finally made the choice to try my hand at painting my own patterned paper. I've been playing around with watercolors a lot lately and I knew they would be the perfect tool for creating the playful arrow paper I had in mind.

Here's how you can create your own arrow patterned paper:

Supplies Needed:

Watercolor paper - The cardstock intended for scrapbooking tends to warp as you paint on it. Watercolor paper is thicker and specifically designed for, you guessed it, painting on it with watercolors. It's also great any other wet-ish mediums like mists, paints, the Nuvo Glimmer Paste, Nuvo Embellishment get what I mean.

Watercolors - I use Pinkfresh Studio's concentrated watercolors. I love how vibrant they are and the little dropper makes it easy to control how much I'm using.

Small paint brush


An artist palette or small plastic cups - You will need a container/space for paint and one for water. I often use small 2 oz. plastic containers that come with lids. I like that I can save what I have left over when I'm done with my project to use in the furture.

Paper towel - I used a paper towel to dry the water off my brush when I want a darker application.

Step #1 - Choose the size of paper you want your pattern to be on.

I had a general design idea in my head so I went ahead and cut my square piece to the size I wanted.

It helps save you time if you know in advance the size you will need for the layout you are working on. It's not so much that the painting takes a really long time, it's just a lot easier to know in advance so you aren't painting a 12 x 12" piece of paper when you only need a 9 x 9" piece for your layout.

Saving a little time and product is always a win.

Step #2 - Paint your arrows one line at a time.

Since I am left handed I started on the right side of my paper and worked my way to the left so I wasn't dragging my hand through wet paint.

I would paint each line in order from darkest arrow to lightest arrow. To do this I would dip the tip of my paint brush in the black watercolor and then lightly dip the end in clean water. After I had painted a few dark arrows I wet my brush a little more to dilute the color and paint a few more. I continued this until I had a line of arrows that varied in shade from light to dark.

After I had completed a line I would dry my paint brush on the paper towel so I could start the process all over again for the next line.

I didn't worry about having perfectly straight lines of arrows. I like the kind of whimsical and playful look the arrows had and enjoyed the arrangement of them. If you do want perfectly straight lines use a ruler or scrap piece of paper to help guide you.

I told you it was super easy! Two steps and that's all!

This paper ended up being exactly what I was looking for and complemented my photos and the design I had in mind.

Some other easy patterns you could easily create are:

• dots and circles

• plus signs

• triangles

• hearts

• stars

• stripes

• squares

• zig zag

To finish my layout I added some large die cut arrows, with hand stitching of course, to add a pop of color to the layout.

The last detail I added was a small arrow the the "U" in "JUMP" for a fun play on my title.

Supplies Used - Cardstock: Bazzill and American Crafts; Watercolor paper: Arteza; Patterned paper: American Crafts; Watercolors: Pinkfresh Studios; Embroidery floss: DMC; Computer fonts: Blackout and American Typewriter

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