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.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Gallery: Leaves

by Barb A.

by Beckie H.

by Jo M.

by Shelly R.

by Cathy C.

by Debra C.

by Sandy A.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gallery: Pam's Trick or Treat

by Ellen L.
by Pam C.

By Pam C. (her treat)

by Pam C. (her treat)

by Shelly R.

by Mel D.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Gallery: Christmas ATCs

Barb A

Cathy C

Darlene R

Debra C

Ellen L

Jo M

Nancy S

Nikki S

Shelly R

Gallery: Dive In Down Under

Barb A

Beckie H

Debra C

Jo M

Nancy S

Pam C

Saturday, December 6, 2014

December Freebie: Paper Dolls

It's time for another freebie courtesy of your Paper Traders Moderators. A great big THANK YOU to Connie Holso for preparing this terrific offering for your personal use. Please use the link BELOW the photo to download the high resolution file. Enjoy!
Download High Resolution version HERE:

New Swap: Create an Alien

This swap is for Paper Traders members only but we would love to have you join our fun. Please click on the purple yahoo button in the sidebar for more information on how to join.

Time for ATC Speed Swap #10!
This month's theme: Create an Alien

Sign-up by December 15th
Mailing list announced December 16th
Skill level: All
Hosted by Cathy C.

Each month, on the 1st, we will announce a theme or technique for your ATC's. Anyone interested will have until the 15th to sign up. The list will be randomized, announced on the 16th, and you will mail one ATC directly to each of the next two people on the list. A total of two ATC's each month for the speed swaps. You don't have to sign up every month, just when you feel like it or like the theme or have the time.

We'll have brand new creative excitement each month and this will keep postage for each of us to a mininum as long as you don't make bulky ATC's. But of course that will be your choice. It's approximately $1.20 to mail internationally for one ATC in a note card envelope. You must be able to mail internationally to participate in this swap.

New themes will be announced on the 1st of each month.

New Swap: Get Dolled Up!

This swap is for Paper Traders members only but we would love to have you join our fun. Please click on the purple Yahoo button in the sidebar for more information on how to join.

Jointed ATC Paper Dolls

These dolls are fun to make and receive!  You will make two dolls that are attached to an ATC; with body parts that fold up so the finished doll fits into a card sleeve.  Dolls should be jointed with brads at the shoulders and hips (but can also bend at the knees and elbows). Your dolls can be the same or different, and you will mail them to randomly chosen players.  You may need to mail outside the US, but if you stretch your doll out and place it inside folded paper & then into a business size envelope; it may only cost only one international stamp (or a little bit more).  

The samples I collected are NOT all attached to an ATC background, but I included them as idea starters. Ours should have an ATC base.  You can find doll “sets” on the web, but please use them for pattern pieces only. Come up with your own unique creative dolls!  Find samples here:

Open Theme; here are some ideas: Nature; Art Styles: (Zetti, Steampunk, Shabby Chic, Abstract, Whimsical, etc…); Destinations/Travel; Occasions; Holidays; Decades/Books/Films; Color Harmonies; Hobbies/Sports; Daily Life; Occupations; Music Genres; Magic/Fairies/Wizards; Seasons; Periods in History. No copyrighted characters, please.

  1. Partners announced Jan. 20th, mail out by Feb.1, 2015.
  2. Please keep the dolls 6.5” - 8.5” in length when unfolded & use card stock.
  3. Put name/info on the back; dolls should fit in a card sleeve when folded & done.

Tutorial: An ATC Doll

Debra will be hosting an ATC Doll swap for our group and was kind enough to put together this simple tutorial for the project...

I always start by choosing a theme & since it was raining every day the week I started - I wished there were a little sun. So I decided on something “sunny”. I collected my yellow/orange bits/pieces, pictures/papers & then decided on a face. Try a copyright free web image, photo from a book/magazine, or a rubber stamp. I glued the face on card stock.

Everything needs to be sturdy, so I painted & stamped card stock for the arms & legs. I chose to go abstract/patterned rather than realistic, but either one is fine. Next, I cut out the doll’s head, and embellished it.  

While my paint dried, I worked on the ATC base; deciding how to decorate & finish it.  

I traced pattern pieces for the arms / legs & cut them out. Then I laid all the parts in position, with a cutting mat beneath.  Using the tip of a hobby knife (or thick needle), I punched holes where the brads will go; then attached the parts. 

I finished the back with patterned paper, then trimmed the prongs on the arms/legs (some brads have long prongs that stick out beyond the body parts).  Don’t forget your name & details.

Please place your doll in some plastic protection. Maybe stretch the doll out - with heavy paper around it & send in a business envelope.  You could also fold it up into a card sleeve and send it in a small bubble envelope. Have fun!