It’s been awhile since I shared my Documented Life Project journal pages. Now, I know you’re not sitting on the edges of your seats, eagerly awaiting my next post about the DLP, but I did want you to tell you that I’ve been in a DLP drought – dryer than the brown hills around my home here in water-starved California. I’ll have more of an explanation in next week’s post, but the good news is that my creative drought appears over – although my State’s drought is not as easily remedied and water rationing has begun in my County. We’ve got a bucket in our shower to collect “waiting for it warm up” water!
In the meantime though, I thought I would show you how I’ve incorporated my digi kit “Lighter Than Air” into my DLP Journal. I really loved some of the elements of the kit and thought they would work perfectly on backgrounds I’d already made in my DLP Journal. I tried printing them on copy paper and card stock, but I just wasn’t happy with the way they looked. And then it hit me – I reprinted on deli paper and once cut out and adhered to the pages the deli paper basically disappeared! A little doodling and slight shading around the edges and I had what I was looking for – bits of the backgrounds showed through the deli paper here and there and the pages looked really cohesive!
I get my deli paper at Costco – it’s called that because it’s the paper your local deli uses to wrap up your sandwich. Waxed paper is not an alternative, but if you can’t find deli paper, tracing paper or parchment paper would also work – although they are not quite as translucent as deli paper. To print on this kind of paper, you’ll need removable tape (masking or scotch), regular copy/printing paper and, if you don’t have a laser printer, you’ll need some sort of “fixative” so the ink from your ink jet printer doesn’t smear. I use very cheap hairspray (think Aqua Net – remember that??) in an aerosol spray, not a pump. And lastly, you’ll need some sort of glue. I use gel medium, but you can use anything that dries clear – even a glue stick.
Tape a sheet of deli paper so that the top edge of the tape falls about an inch or so below the top of the copy/printer paper. It generally doesn’t matter which side of the deli paper you print on, and it doesn’t matter whether you place the fold in the deli paper horizontally or vertically – whichever way works. Trim the deli paper to just inside the margins of the copy paper, making sure neither the paper nor the tape hangs over the edges. Insert the taped paper into your printer tray. My HP prints on the underside of the paper as it feeds through, so I have to load my paper deli paper side down in the tray.
Open your image editing software (I use Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, but any program that can print a PNG file – which has a transparent background will work). Create a new document the size of your printer paper – mine is 8.5 x 11 – making sure you have a transparent background. If your background is white, click the little eyeball on the layer thumbnail to turn off it’s visibility. Place your PNG file (I’m using one of the transfer images my from Lighter Than Air Transfers) on your document. My transfer image is very large, so I’ve sized it smaller and I’ve placed it down far enough that it won’t print on top of the tape. If you want print multiple images on one page, you can do so, just remember that you need to keep the images inside the deli paper.
My printer is set to print borderless on 8.5 x 11 paper – although the borderless setting isn’t really necessary since my image is so small – so I’m ready to print. If using an inkjet printer, spray the deli paper liberally – in a well ventilated room or outside!!! – with your fixative/hairspray. When completely dry (usually in just a few minutes), carefully remove the deli paper from the copy/printer paper and trim around your image – as close as you’d like. I usually leave less than a quarter-inch margin. Adhere to your page and watch the deli paper pretty much disappear! If you plan to add more paint to your page, you may want to lightly and carefully put a touch of gel medium on top of your image – it shouldn’t smear if you used enough fixative and it was completely dry. Add some doodle outlines and/or shading around your image and you’re done! Pretty cool?