Journals & Collaborative Projects

Below you will find a sampling our members' work from previous collaborative projects.  Click on images to view them larger. We hope this will inspire you to come and play with us! If you are interested in joining our group, please visit us at:

Tutorials & Techniques

Below are some of our favorite tricks for adding depth and dimension to your art.  We hope you have fun giving these a try!

Current Group Swaps & Projects

Below is a list of current swaps and projects available to group members. If you are interested in joining our group and participating in these projects, please visit us at:  

For existing group members, you can sign up to participate  in these projects here: Swaps & Current Projects.  

We look forward to swapping with you.  Happy Arting!

Member Gallery for Group Swaps
Below you will find a sampling our members' work from previous group swaps and projects.  Click on images to view them larger. We hope this will inspire you to come and play with us! If you are interested in joining our group, please visit us at:
Come play with us... Join today!

Paper Traders is a friendly online community of artists from around the world. We nurture and value creativity, embrace new ideas, products, and techniques yet also value tried and true methods of artistic expression. Our projects consist primarily of paper arts, mixed media collage, artist trading cards, altered art, assemblages, collaborative journals, mail art, and more.

We are interested in creative individuals of varied skill levels who wish to challenge themselves artistically and help build a supportive community. We are at our best when we can share our creative efforts as well as techniques, resources, feedback, and insights. We encourage conversation about art, the art process, and what it means to be an artist.

Paper Traders is hosted on Yahoo Groups at
We hope you will consider joining us on an artistic journey!

In order to prevent spammers and to insure that all applicants are actual persons interested in creating art, a questionnaire will be sent to all potential members. When applying, please submit digital examples of your work or direct us to a website where we can view your art. The intent of the questionnaire is not to judge the merits of your art but to safeguard the integrity of our community.

Free Images for Download

Below you will find images that are owned by our group members and offered for your personal use as well as images found in the public domain. Images may be freely used in your personal artwork but may not be used for commercial purposes of any kind without written permission of the owner. No images may be used to create collage sheets or image collections for resale.

To download, follow the link provided. In some cases, you may be able to just click on the image to enlarge it, then right-click and select "save image as". Content changes frequently and many images are available for a limited time.  Please check back often for newly posted images to use in your art journey.

Open Art Challenges !

We're changing things up here at Paper Traders. Instead of the monthly challenges of the past, we'll now be hosting special challenges that might feature a specific technique or product and will be rewarded with actual prizes sponsored by our group members.

Our new challenge for 2013 is a year long word prompt journaling project/challenge. Each specific challenge will be open for one month and all art bloggers can participate, whether you are a Paper Traders member or not. Each artist will comment with a link to their blog post that features the artwork for that particular challenge. For each challenge, a winner will be selected whose art best exemplifies the challenge. The winning artist will be featured here and get a "Trader Treasure" blog button to display on their own blog. They also will receive one chance for each entry for the end of the year prize drawing. Watch this page for more details and challenge announcements.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Paper Mache Hearts Swap Announced

open to Paper Traders group members only

Hostess: Cathy C
1-for-1 Paper Mache Heart (3" minimum size)
Theme: Anything
Technique required: Paper Mache – must be 3" wide or 3" tall or larger. You can add a loop for hanging if you would like.

Inspired by the creations of Crafty Cupid, you can find the how-tos on her blog here:

Sign-up deadline: August 6th
Partners announced: August 8th
Postmarked by Sept. 4th

Please sign up in the database on the main Paper Traders Yahoo site by August 6th.  I will randomly pick partners and post a list on the group site as well as email participants. You must have your address in the member database to participate.

** Once partners are announced, please go to the member database on the main Paper Traders Yahoo site and find out what your partner's favorite colors and themes are so that we can really make a personal heart for each other. If you haven't had a chance to add this to your info, now is the time. :)

You will mail your finished art to your partner by the post date of September 4th.

Please upload your finished art to the project album on the Paper Traders Swaps Yahoo group.

Rules for 1 for 1 swaps:
  1. Please mail out your art by the postmark deadline.   It is important that you contact your partner by email if you are going to be late.
  2. If you sign up and then cannot participate after partners have been assigned, please let me know as soon as possible so that the partner list can be adjusted. This is important and affects the integrity of the swap so commit to participating wisely.
  3. Open to International members.  Please let me know if you prefer not to mail internationally.
  4. Please use correct postage and mail in padded envelope or small box so our hearts don't get crushed. (hee hee, no pun intended)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

DIY "Washi Tape" Tutorial

One of our members, Cathy Calamas
has shared her recent tutorial on making your own
"Washi Tape"

I love Washi Tape.
But, it's in limited supply here in my town
and a little pricey.
So, that must mean it's DIY time.

I've seen several tutorials across blogland and Youtube,
so I can't claim originality here.
However, I did do it a little differently and
I added text sentiments so I hope you will
find this informative.

tissue paper / napkin samples

Scrapbook paper - the thinner the better. I use the cheap paper
that you can pick up at the dollar bins at Target for this.
You can also use tissue paper ( if you like a more transparent look),
colorful napkins or thin wrapping paper. It should have the weight of
masking tape when finished.
If you want that kind of waxy feel, use tissue paper that has a shine to it.
(the top polka-dotted tissue paper has a shine to it)

Ink pads in a variety of color.

Double-sided sticky tape ( I got mine at the hardware store so
it is industrial strength. Not necessary but it's what I had on hand)

Various sentiment stamps (the clear acrylic stamps work best as it
is easier to position on the strips). 
Various small stamps like the florals above.

 A paper cutter, or scissors, or e-xacto knife.

Run a strip of tape down the scrapbook paper.
You can do several of one color or one
per sheet, depending on what you want and need.

Cut along edge of tape using your paper cutter. 
I wouldn't recommend cutting with scissors as it is
hard to get a clean edge. If you don't have a cutter use
an e-xacto knife by placing a metal ruler along the edge
of the tape and cutting down the edge.
Although, you will need to use your scisssors to cut
the tissue paper. An e-xacto will tear it.

Stamp your sentiments in what ever color ink
you think will coordinate.
You can also stamp designs onto the tape;
it can fit within width of tape or fall outside.
Both look good.

You can store them by wrapping them around empty
thread or ribbon spools or paper towel rolls
 cut into sections. Fasten off with a twist tie.

A little quick and easy friendship card I made with some of the tape.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Our Image Transfer Technique Canvas Swap

Want to participate in swaps like this?  Click on the purple yahoo button on the right and start on your Paper Traders journey.

Beckie H. 
Cathy C. 
Debra C. 
Melissa W. 
Nancy S. 
Shelly R.

Our Mad Tea Party Swap

Want to participate in swaps like this?  Click on the purple yahoo button on the right and start on your Paper Traders journey.
Beckie H.
Cathy C.
Amanda E

Debra C.
Pam C.
Pam C.
Wendy A.

Our Art Nouveau Swap results

Want to participate in swaps like this?  Click on the purple yahoo button on the right and start on your Paper Traders journey.
Cathy C.
Darlene R.
Karen B.
Lorna S.
Shelly R.
Beckie H.

Colored Zentangle® Swap

This swap is for Paper_Traders members only but we would love to have you join us.
Click on the purple yahoo button on the right and start on your Paper Traders journey.

Hosted by: Beckie Holso
Colored Zentangles® - 3.5" squares
4-for-4 Swap
Skill: 2-budding
Due: postmarked by July 23, 2012

I am fascinated by zentangles® so I thought it would be fun to host another swap in this style. This time, we'll be doing Colored Zentangles! Please limit your colors to black/white/grey plus variations of one or two other colors. Some examples can be found here:

This will be a 4-for-4 swap but instead of ATCs we'll be making 3.5" squares. All art should be original and hand-drawn. There is no specific theme for this swap so let your imagination go wild! For some inspiration on the many varied zentangle techniques, check out Rick & Maria's blog here:

Please mail your cards to Beckie postmarked by July 23rd and include a return address label plus $1 for postage. International participants may send ephemera in lieu of postage.