Paper Towel Printing – for art journals and backgrounds

I’ve been playing today 🙂  And one of the things I got playing with was a paper towel. I originally planned to dye it with acrylic paints/inks for decoupaging into my art journal. But one thing led to another, and before long, I’d ended up with what I think to be a totally novel technique – at least I haven’t seen it in all my hours browsing art journal techniques online. I’ll be calling it Paper Towel Printing, and this is the result:

As you can see – I’ve made a lot of backgrounds out of one piece of kitchen towel. I laid the paper towel onto my glass mat and as I was cleaning off a foam brush full of dilute yellow acrylic paint, that’s what went down first. I then dropped dots of light green acrylic ink onto the wet yellow layer and encouraged a bit of wicking with spritz of water. I then added drops of purple acrylic ink, this time spritzing first with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol – which didn’t do much – and then water, which caused a much more satisfying bleed. At this stage I was ready to dry off the paper towel, before realising it was sopping wet and would take ages to dry. And this is where inspiration hit, and the ATCs got dabbed in, and then I shut it inside my art journal and squidged the pages shut, a bit of 4×6″ inkjet photo paper and odds and sods of cardstock got pressed onto it as well. I just kept going with whatever was to hand until the towel was getting dry – I just love the results 🙂

Paper towel printing – art journal page backgrounds. 1) squidge paper towel between pages, 2) gently open up, 3) the full reveal 🙂

I love the texture and the white space that can be left…










Let me know what you think – and also if you’ve seen the technique anywhere else!

5 thoughts on “Paper Towel Printing – for art journals and backgrounds

  1. i’ve never seen this and i think it’s absolutely fabulous! i want to run to my worktable and try it right now!

  2. I love the seredippity of surprise and experimentation. I never ‘printed’ into a journal or on other pages but have saved all my paper towels that are used to ‘sop up’ the excess drippings of my marbelized paper experiments as well as other aerty experiments to use sometime. I’ll use your great idea next time while wet and ‘print’ into a journal.

    • Think of them as a custom ink pad/gelli plate… Though once I finished I did let them dry, separated the plies and then used them as a liner for a shadow box…

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