I was cleaning out the tumble dryer filter this morning, and aside from popping some of the fluff outside for the birds feverishly making nests, I noticed a whole pile of tumble dryer sheets in the fluff collection above the washing machine. I’d heard that they make great inclusions in mixed media work (as do baby wipes btw), so I decided (as I do) to make an art journal from them. And a few hours later, a full mixed media journal is complete.
My starting point was tearing up some of my unused Gelli prints and scraps of paper languishing in my scrap paper box. I used a sewing machine to sew each onto the surface of a dryer sheet before sandwiching another piece of double-sided cardstock in between and sewing around the borders, just catching the card to stabilise everything. Next was stamping with acrylic paints and block stamps, followed by adding journaling and lettering with foam stamps and Posca pens. After that, some gesso through sequin waste, and selected stamps printed with archival inks. Finally it was time to sew the spine, and I strengthened it with a strip of hessian.
The theme of the journal developed from the upcycling of the dryer sheets, and a childhood memory surfaced of the theme song to ‘The Wombles’ – and a couple of quotes snuck into the journal.
Things I learnt: tumble dryer sheets are fluffy and can catch on the pen nibs – frequently wipe the nib clean of dryer sheet hairs. Though tumble dryer sheets go through the heat cycle, they do seem to melt under the intense heat of a heat tool, so go gently. And any heat setting releases the delightful spring meadow fragrance which didn’t make it into the dried clothing.