Sunday, June 29, 2008

Paper piecing/tole tutorial

Since I do so much paper piecing and paper tole, I decided to do my very first tutorial on those techniques. I've been having a ton of fun with the sets from My Favorite Things, so I'm using their You Take the Cake set today. {You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge.}

The first step is to stamp out the image on white cardstock and all of the patterned papers I want to use. In this case I've chosen a couple of prints from Basic Grey's Lily Kate line.

I try to figure out ahead of time how many different layers I want and stamp as many images as I'll need. But of course, I can always stamp out more later, so it's not a big deal if I forget a layer or two.

After the ink is dry, I color with Copics and start cutting out the layers. You can see I colored the spots on her dress, her arms, and then the different layers of the cake. For her arms, I left just a bit of extra cardstock (circled in red) to go underneath her dress. I generally don't like to have 2 cut edges fitting together (in this case the edge of the dress against the edge of the arm in that spot) so I'll put that bit of white underneath the dress, as if the arm is actually behind her body. BUT, that's just my personal preference; you could just cut right at the edge of the arm there.

Next, since I'm using cardstock instead of foam tape for dimension, I stamped the image 3 more times on scrap cardstock and cut them out inside the lines so these layers won't show. I like using cardstock for dimension when foam tape would be too thick (until I find a thinner foam tape). Also, I like how the scrap layer really supports the upper layers all around, rather than just at the few spots where the tape is.

<--Here you can see the scrap pieces are glued down to the blue patterned paper. There is just the slightest bit of room around the scrap layers. My next step (which I forgot to photograph) was to glue the arms with the cake to the dress piece. You may have noticed that I left the cake uncolored for this layer. Since I knew it would be covered up, I didn't bother wasting marker ink on it, but occasionally I will color even the underneath layers for a nicer finished look (if you leave the under layers uncolored, you can see the little white edges when you turn the finished card). It's way more obvious with thick foam layers, but not as much so with scrap CS layers.
In this next picture, you can see I glued the body piece down. I also stamped just the cake portion 3 more times on scrap CS to pop up the cake. Again, I cut these pieces just inside the lines. Then I glued them onto the previous layer, and glued the yellow cake piece over top.

For the very last layer (pink frosting), I again stamped the cake 3 times on scrap CS and cut inside the lines. This was kind of tricky since the frosting layers are so skinny. If I'm having a hard time cutting small pieces like this, I'll actually hold the pieces with a pair of tweezers while I'm cutting.

After the last bits of scrap and frosting were glued down, I colored the little flames with Copics right on the blue paper. If it were darker, I may have had to cut out little white flames and glue them over to make sure the flames looked yellow. However, this blue was light enough that I felt I didn't need to do that. I then went over each flame with a yellow Spica glitter pen, and then over the pink frosting with a clear Spica glitter pen.

And here's an angled shot so you can really see all the different layers.

Whew! That was a long tutorial, but I hope it helps some of you with your paper piecing and/or paper tole. Thanks for visiting!!


  1. Thank you so much Maureen for such a detailed tutorial. I will have a play with paper piecing shortly.

  2. super cool tutorial! Thanks so much!

  3. Great attention to detail: I was interested how you use the extra CS layers. I do tons of decoupage with foam of varying thicknesses but haven't tried that. Thank you.

  4. Thank Maureen! Great tutorial. I can see why your paper piercing is so beautiful...lots of detail!


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