Paste Paper

Paste paper made with graining combs and sponge.
Metallic paint added after the paste dried.

Do you know anyone who did/does not enjoy finger painting? Of course there are always a few in every crowd, but moving right along... Creating paste decorated papers is a lot like finger painting, and it is an activity that can be enjoyed by a diverse range of people. You can create pastes inexpensively; cheap colorants can be employed; and expensive paper is not necessary. I find that dollar stores are perfect for cheap large brushes to spread the paste; lidded containers for different color pastes; and plastic to line surfaces. So what is not to like?

Multiple colors can be brushed on...and for those who prefer it, glitter can be added.
These designs were made with Lego pieces.

In middle and high school classes with some pretty tough characters I have had success. Maybe it is because I supply the tables with Lego pieces, wheels and model sports cars to drag through the wet paste. The classes are usually happy to help clean up and to iron their papers when they are dried.We then create covers for flag or accordion books based on their own interests.

One student created a book based on the profile of his track shoes. The accordion pages include a photograph of team members and his best times.

Since our region is so diverse, I encourage students to use their own languages and create books about their "other" lives.

These two images show different views of architecture and bas relief.

Once when I held a workshop in a brave soul's elegant dining room, floor and table protected by plastic shower curtains, one of the middle-aged women attending afterwords remarked that this activity made her feel better than after a session with her therapist.

I have also conducted this workshop with senior citizens including those with Alzheimer's. The saying goes, "Art saves lives!", and I think that activities that involve color, movement, texture,
and are failure proof make everyone feel successful.

Check out Claire Maziarcyzk's elegant selection of paste decorated papers. Richard Miller's page has more recipes than you will ever need. The only hazardous aspect is transporting the wet papers to locations where they can dry. Please note that the papers might curl when they have completed drying. Use newsprint to line your ironing boards and to protect the iron and then press them flat.