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, January 12, 2013

Inspiration Tags Tutorial

I hosted a tag swap here at Paper Traders this month and the theme was to use an inspirational quote for the new year.  After reading my latest issue of Somerset Studio, I loved the technique used by Cat Kerr on her mini canvas necklace (page 52) so I decided to try applying this method to my paper tags and wanted to share my experience with you...
  1. I started with a plain manila tag to which I added a light coat of gesso.
  2. Then I used gel medium to adhere different textured items to my tags - some tulle, a piece of woven straw ribbon, some extra chunky mulberry paper, and a few paper flower cutouts.
  3. I covered everything with a layer of green acrylic paint and let it dry.
  4. At this point I was thinking the green was way too ugly and I didn't know if the textures were pronounced enough, but I added a coat of Mod Podge and braved on with the next step...
  5. I adhered my chipboard quotes and then, following Cat's instructions in the magazine, I watered down some dark acrylic paint (I used navy blue) and spread it over the top of everything.
  6. I crossed my fingers, waited a few minutes, and started wiping the dark paint off again.  Cat recommended using a baby wipe but I found this took too much of the paint off (probably because I was working on paper with very thin textures) so I just rubbed with my fingers, cleaning them often so I could pick up more paint as I went.
  7. Once everything was dry again, I used some colored buffing wax to highlight the textured areas.  Cat recommends Rub 'n Buff but I used my Metallic Rub-Ons by Craf-T in brass.
  8. I added some random bright blue accents using my oil pastels.
  9. Then I spattered everything with some off-white acrylic paint.
  10. Lastly, I added white accents with my Sharpie paint pen.
  11. As a final touch, I added the brass butterflies and some glitter accents on my drawn flowers.
  12. Finally, I used a little extra colored buffing wax (in golden white) to lighten the edges of my tags for more dimension.
  13. I sprayed everything with a coat of fixative when I was done.
  14. I also mounted printed cardstock to the back of my tags to reinforce them.
About half-way through this project, I thought I was going to have to scrap the whole thing because it looked u-g-l-y ("you ain't got no alibi!")... but I am so grateful I followed all the steps all the way through because I think the end results are phenomenal - there's so much color and texture and I really learned a lot about how to combine different mediums for a beautiful finale.  A gigantic THANK YOU to Cat Kerr for sharing her talent and technique.


Jo Murray said...

Your tags have a wonderfully 'antique' feel Becky. Love them.

Beansieleigh said...

Beautiful tags! Thanks for sharing how-to.. Can't wait to try them! ~tina