Here is this week's Messenger column - Stitching on Paper
I haven’t gone mad. Here is a tutorial for stitching on paper, reusing brown paper bags. You can mount the finished piece onto canvas, use as a book cover or include in your paper crafts.
You will need Brown Paper Bags, White Gesso, White stranded Cotton, Sharp needle, Tracing paper 9optional), pencil, acrylic paint in Burnt Umber and Gold, foam paint brushes, old rag.
1. Crumple your bag up, the finger press flat.
2. Paint the Gesso onto one side of the bag. This strengthens the bag and gives you a surface to draw your design.
3. Using the pencil draw your design, you can trace if you wish. Keep the design simple, do not include too much detail.
4. Thread the needle with all six strands of cotton. If you don’t have white you can use a pale colour. Take care with your stitching as you can’t unpick.
5. When the design has been stitched paint the bag with a couple of coats of burnt umber. Make sure that you cover all of the white gesso. Check up against the stitching. Let it dry.
6. (a)Paint small areas of the bag with gold paint.
(b)Let it partially dry then wipe off with old rag. Continue doing small areas until the bag has all been highlighted.While the gesso has strengthened the bag slightly it is still a fragile surface. Take care that you don’t tug on the thread causing the bag to rip. Also be gentle when removing the gold paint. When you have finished you can gently iron the reverse side of the bag. This will remove some of the creases leaving you with a flat surface to glue onto. You can also vary the paint colour. Pink and gold looks quite effective. Have fun.