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.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Technique: Citra-Solv Papers

Citra-Solv Papers

Ever since I first saw this technique, I have been dying to try it! It was super easy to do although very messy and smelly. I took my stuff out to the garage for this project and I could still smell it inside the house.

You'll need just a few supplies to get started...
  • Citra-Solv concentrate
  • National Geographic magazine (you can try others but I've heard these work best)
  • a shallow pan or tray to contain your mess
  • paper towels
  • rubber gloves

Basically, all you do is sprinkle the solvent on each page, close the book, and wait about 20 minutes. That being said, here are a few things I learned from this first experience...

1) You only need to sprinkle the pages. If you use too much solvent, the ink will just run off your pages. Here you see can how the pages that were just sprinkled turned out quite well:

While the ones that I soaked in solution were complete duds:

2) Don't smash your book too hard or you'll squish out all of the dissolved ink.
3) Don't be afraid to play with the wet pages.
4) Try masking off interesting areas where you want to preserve the imagery.

This is a great video to watch before you get started:

Citra-Solv also has several tutorials and galleries on their website here:

Here are some of my favorite pages from this experiment... Which one is your favorite?


Cathy C. tried a different technique with her Citra-Solv. She put a light coating of
it across her magazine page and let it set for about a minute. Then she dipped a brush
into some clean Citra-solv and painted across her page creating different patterns
and shapes.

Be sure to wipe your brush off periodically to
get the ink off and then re-dip in clean Citra-solv.

She also tried two other citrus base cleaners
with limited success. It took a lot of manipulation
and a lot of cleaner to get these to look like this.
Not nearly the effect that Citra-solv can create.

Let us know if you have any better luck with
an alternative to Citra-solv.


Jo Murray said...

They all work well...I even like the 'duds'. They can be reworked. I often use a brush and solvent to move the ink around. That way you can save bits of the image and blur the rest.

Cathy L. Calamas said...

Love the purple and yellow one. Very Cool!! Can't wait to try it

Edzellinni aka Linda Edkins Wyatt said...

Love the results! I have also
Used NevrDull for a similar effect...also very smelly and best done outside. Thanks for sharing :-)

Mel Dunkley said...

What a brilliant technique. I remember seeing it somewhere in the past, but never got around to trying it out. Now is the time I think!

I love them all but the one with the trees is really gorgeous.

fairyrocks said...

Fun tutorial. Now to find some solvent!