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Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!  Jen Matott here to show you how I created this sculpture as a celebration of our Earth and how we can reuse materials already found in our homes! 


All the materials were items that I found in my house and upcycled. I took the shredded papers from junk mail, work papers, and personal files to create handmade paper! I used the recycled paper I made to create the leaves and banner for the artwork.  I also used book pages, an old sewing pattern (that I almost threw away!), and cardboard for the other leaves and to decorate the boring pot that I found.  So all of the materials used here were found around my house or in my yard!  I took some fallen branches and stuck them into some old styrofoam (from an old silk flower arrangement) for the base.  Below, I will show you my process and how I used the Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft products to enhance this project.

First, I raided our shredder basket. The paper is already shredded into small strips and ready to be thrown away or recycled.  I placed a couple handfuls into a bucket of warm water to soak for an hour to soften.


You will need an old blender for the next step. I found one at a garage sale for $2!  This is my art blender now.  I filled the blender half full of water and placed two handfuls of the wet paper strips into it.

I added a half inch of shaved Gelato in blue along with the paper. This will add color to your paper pulp.


Once the lid is in place, turn on BEAT for 2 minutes.  

DSC06276 Now, set up a space for you to create your paper.  I used a large plastic mixing bowl to catch the water, a grate or cooling rack over the bowl for your flat surface that allows water to pass through.  Then, I used a piece of fiberglass window screening over that.  You will need enough to cover the grate and one to cover the top of the artwork too.

DSC06277 You might want to use cookie cutters to pour the pulp into to create your shapes. Not necessary but fun! I used a small cup (like an empty yogurt cup) to pour larger areas of pulp and a turkey baster for the drawn designs.

Make sure to have a stack of newspapers or a thick absorbent towel for pressing water out of the finished paper or to clean up wet messes! 

I pour the pulp into another bowl for ease of scooping.  Slowly pour a cup of the pulp into the cookie cutter or directly onto the screen so that the water goes into the bowl.

I also used the turkey baster to draw areas of color (#1).  I made this "Earth" paper this way!

Once the pulp evenly covers the screen, remove the cutter (#2) and place the other screen over the poured pulp (#3).

Press with your hands to squeeze more water out and flatten the piece (#4). You can add more detail with other colors using the baster (#5) or leave as is.

Move both screens with the paper sheet between them and place onto a stack of newspaper or towel and press more water out (#6).  The more you get out, the faster the sheet will dry and flatter it will be.


Allow to dry overnight. I used these sheets to create my leaves and banner for this sculpture...

DSC06297The leaves were cut or torn from the handmade papers, cardboard, or book pages and adhered to the branches with hot glue.


The banner was cut first and then using the Big Brush Stamp Pens in Nouget and May Green to stamp with a Penny Black stamp. The letters were hand colored with the Art GRIP® Aquarelle watercolor pencils in blues and greens. First I wet the canvas letters (Prima Marketing) and then add the pencil colors while blending with a brush.

EarthDay_Matott4 I wanted to embellish the boring terracotta pot that I found in my basement.  I used my Gelato gel medium glazes from the last Technique Tuesday post to adhere and color the sheet music, book pages, and sewing patterns onto the surface. I also sprayed with the Gelato sprays in black that I made. I allowed them to drip to create a "root" look.

Let's see what you can do with upcycled materials and Faber-Castell DMC Mixed media products!  Show us your Earth Day projects on Facebook.


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Gorgeous!!! I've always wanted to try making paper! Love how you used recyling in this project!

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MIX & MATCH from Faber-Castell makes designing with COLOR simple. Choose a color set that inspires you. Choose a medium. Mix & Match as you create. Color coordinated palettes give you the freedom to design your project knowing the colors & mediums will work beautifully together.

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    Oh wow!! I just saw that I won the grand prize!! Thank you all for your congrats!!! What a wonderful treat!! :)

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    P.S. This is the best birthday present ever, to win goodies from my favorite company on my birthday!! I'm not excited...LOL
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    Thank you guys soo much!!! I have never won anything before! My granddaughter is just as excited as I am and she asked me if she can play with the goodies I will be getting too...and of course I said she sure can. Can't wait to get my goodies. Thank you again. Last night was a fun and great tutorial. Can't wait to see more of them. Keep up the great work and hope to see more colors in the Gelato's.

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