Altered Artist Trading Card Binders

Darkroom Door - Friday, May 01, 2009

If you're an avid ATC (artist trading card) creator and swapper, you'll need something to store them in! Here are two ideas on how to alter an Ecoboard Binder (found at your stationery store). They are made from recycled products so are completely environmentally friendly... and completely art friendly too as they can be completely altered any way you wish!! Completely!


Here are some examples of how they can be altered:




The binder on the left was altered by me (aka Rachel). The one on the right was altered by Sarah Schwerin. Check out the texture Sarah has created on her binder. Just fabulous!! Here is a closer look:




Here are the instructions on how she altered it:

- Tissue Paper
- Gel Medium (or you can use mod podge or similar).
- Acrylic paint
- Metallic rub ons
- Fixative
- Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Walnut Stain)
- Grungeboard letters
- Tim Holtz Distress Embossing powders


* First I tore the tissue paper into large-ish pieces (about 5x7" roughly, or bigger) and crinkled them up.
* Then I coated the surface of the binder with Gel Medium - you should work in sections as it can dry pretty fast.
* Next, I unfolded the tissue paper, and stuck it onto the gel medium, leaving the crinkles in the paper.
* Repeat until the whole binder is covered and you have the look you want. Trim any excess from around the edges.
* Wait until dry (leave it out in the sun for a while to speed it up) and then coat with acrylic paint. (I used burnt umber).
* You will probably need a 2nd layer, so coat again once first layer is dry.
* Once dry, it's time to highlight the texture! I used metallic rub ons, but you could use a small amount of metallic paint on your finger. Swipe metallic rub ons over the wrinkles using your finger. I used a few different colours to get the look I was after. I also sanded it as well to take off some of the shine so it looked more like leather.
* I also swiped over the wrinkles using TH Distress ink (Walnut stain) to make it slightly darker in some areas.
* Basically you just keep going until you have the look you want.
* Spray the entire binder cover with a few coats of fixative, so that the metallic rub ons etc don't come off onto your hands when you hold it.
* I painted the inside with Burnt Umber acrylic paint.
* For the grungeboard letters, I painted them with metallic paint, inked them with TH Distress Ink (Walnut stain) and then added random spots of TH Distress embossing powder (walnut stain) for a rough texture similar to rust. You can try this technique with different colours - it looks awesome no matter which colours you choose!


Thanks so much Sarah for sharing this with us! It looks (and feels) fabulous!


Here's a close us of my binder:




Here's how I altered mine:

- Lettuce Adirondack Color Wash
- Gold Perfect pearls
- Mini Mister
- Darkroom Door Alphabet Medley stamps
- Archival Sepia ink
- 7gypsies gaffer tape


* Spray entire binder with Lettuce Color Wash. I sprayed directly onto the binder then wiped the colour wash all over to even it out. Depending on the strength of colour you're looking for, you may need a few coats or you could use a few different colours for a different effect.
* Add small spoonful of Perfect Pearls into a Mini Mister. Add a little water and shake to combine.
* Spray over the entire binder. The Perfect Pearls has a fixative already in the powder, so it fixes to the project once dry. There is no need to spray any fixative over the perfect pearls.
* Stamp 'Artist Trading Cards' onto the front using Alphabet Medley stamps in sepia ink.
* Sponge the edges of the binder with sepia ink.
* Add 7 gypsies gaffer tape to the spine.


That's it! Hope you like it :) Here's a glimpse of the inside of my binder. It holds all of our Darkroom Door ATC Swaps.




I hope this has given you a couple of ideas on how to store your ATC's creatively!




ava g commented on 04-Jan-2014 08:17 AM
Very nice! Our trading cards are an extension of how the young kids collect things and treasure them. I wonder how much did I collect and trade when I was young? Can't remember......anything specific...the beauty of the mind!!! smileI just know that I do like my natural art now.

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