Monday, 16 May 2011

Crackled Faux Leather Tutorial

This is the technique I was demonstrating on Saturday at the Port Sunlight Show and I promised so many people that I would put full details here to help them try it out. It's something, from many years ago, that I tried out using crumpled tissue glued to card but I've updated it using products, such as embossing powder and Distress Stains, which weren't available to me back then.
It's a special effect which gives a wonderfully impressive finish to book covers or die cuts, making the mundane look spectacular and it recycles items which would otherwise be discarded.
Here are the materials needed..
First... Dress to mess!
Card from packaging, e.g. cereal boxes. 
Tissue paper, light copy paper or old dictionary pages.
PVA glue and a spreader. I used a small spatula but a piece of heavy card works well to splodge on the PVA.
Colour medium. I used and love the new Distress Stains as they are so fluent and convenient to apply.
Versamark Watermark Clear Pad, (use an old one as a new one will dirty very quickly for this process).
Embossing Powder. I used gold and silver detail powder, but try out any colour.
Heat gun.
Wet wipes.
Brayer if available (don't buy one)
Take a piece of tissue slightly larger than your card, as it will reduce in size slightly once crumpled. 
If desired, stamp images on to the tissue with a dye ink pad, then dry, before crumpling it.
Crumple tissue or paper into a ball and roll it well in your palms. 
Open this out and do it again to make sure all the creases are small and fairly even.
Spread adhesive liberally onto the card. It doesn't matter if you use the printed or plain side as it will not be visible when complete.
Open out the tissue ball and lay it onto the glued card, then gently roll the brayer over it to smooth out the crumpled tissue and disperse any air locks. 
If you don't have a brayer, turn the card over onto a non stick worksheet and rub gently. 
Tip: If your tissue is a bit thin, use two layers. Kitchen roll also works but doesn't create such good crackles however, it often has it's own good texture and gives a different effect.

If you are making book covers, cut the card before applying the tissue. When the tissue is applied, trim off and mitre the corners neatly and glue the edges to the back of your card. 
A piece of coloured card, slightly smaller than the book cover, can later (when the card is coloured and embossed), be stuck to the back over the tissue.
At this stage and only once the card is dry, cut out die shapes. It will save both ink and embossing powder if the required shapes are cut out before colouring or embossing.
Colour the pieces of card and dry thoroughly. It is best, if possible, to allow them to dry naturally as sometimes bubbles form and the tissue lifts if a heat gun is used.
If using Distress Stains, clean the applicators with a wet wipe to prevent cross contamination of colours.
When the card is completely dry, rub the Versamark pad lightly over the crackles of the surface of the tissue. Do not press the pad down as this will ink everything and not achieve the crackled effect. 

Lightly dust with embossing fine embossing powder and tap off excess. The powder will stick to the crackles of the tissue.

 Experiment with different colours to achieve a variety of amazing results... clear, brown, black, bright colours as well as gold silver or copper embossing will look so different depending on the colours of ink beneath.
Watch the crackles appear when a heat gun is applied..........It always amazes and fascinates me!
Below the dressforms left to right...
from plain card, with crumpled tissue applied, then with colour and embossing.
A dressform covered with stamped tissue before embossing.
One of the final products!
Below...close up of tags, plain, coloured, and embossed showing the remarkable difference from the beginning to the final result.
Above and below shows the comparison between silver and gold embossing.
Heat embossing stamped tissue
On Saturday whilst watching my demo, someone came up with the great suggestion that I should make intentional creases as strata to form a landscape so, very quickly, I tried this. Some one else shouted out that we should have trees, so I made a few vertical creases. Below is a postcard sized piece of the result after embossing and I really do think it could be developed successfully on a larger scale.
Thanks to whoever gave me the inspiration!
If you try this technique I'd love to hear how you get on and, as always, if you hit any snags or come up with any new ideas for it, please email me. 
I share my ideas willingly but if you pass it on, please mention my blog and give me due credit!! 


Doone said...

I feel a new cover for my next altered book coming on...


Ann B said...

Great tutorial Jo and I can vouch for the finished results because you were kind enough to make me one of the dressforms - it's stunning.

Thanks so much

Heavens2Betsy said...

The results you've achieved look amazing Jo. I love the trees you've created - reminds me of encaustic art. pen x

Paul said...

I adore different textures in crafting, so to me these are amazing. No wonder you had lots of interest in them at Port Sunny. Love the random nature of the creases and that each time you come away with something unique. So generous of you to share. Pxx

Dotpat said...

Wow Jo these are brill, you clever thing

Julia Dunnit said...

Great tute Jo - as always, you really do have some fabby ideas.

RosC said...

Fantastic tutorial Jo. So comprehensive and I'll use the tissue I salvaged from a shoe box the other day. :-) Thank you.

Mrs A. said...

I'm playing around with paper napkins, pva glue, matt artists acrylic paint and a cut down pringles tin at the moment. Something along the lines of what you have here but very much in the invention stage. Love the finishes you have achieved. Hugs Mrs A.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I adore this tutorial, Jo. It is very well done and put together. I especially like the creases you intentionally created. That piece was fantastic. It was good that you listened to the people in the crowd, because you opened up an entirely new realm of possibilities.

Cardarian said...

Oh wonderful - another bit of arty wisdom! Thank you so much for sharing!

sam21ski said...

Fab tute with excellent results Jo. TFS xx

Sam xxx

dizzy said...

i love this technique i was so excited about seeing this done at Port Sunlight and i was not disappointed fab instructions to tfs hugs jayne xxx

Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

Super idea there love it going to copy and paste into word doc for my ideas book. Okay? ta muchly!! Shaz in Oz.x

Peggy B said...

You did a marvelous job on this tutorial!
And your art is wonderful.
Thank you for visiting my blog and I will be back!!!

Dragon said...

Great take on an old technique... I love everything you do, you know that!!! What an inspiration you are - did I ever tell you??? tee hee

LaSharown said...

I absolutely love this technique. I found you through your friend on YT she had your link on the video. I've looked at these photo's several times, I would love a video, but I didn't do to bad following your instructions. One question I have is where dd you get the die for the large spools? They are fabulous. Thanks again my friend

JoZart said...

For LaSharown
The die for the large spools comes together on the Tim Holtz dressform die along with the large buttons. Hope you come back to read this as you have no blog or email details that I could reply to.
JoZarty x
Thanks for following and glad you like the photo instructions. Sorry, but I have never got round to starting videos!