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, May 10, 2015

Tutorial: Steampunk Butterflies by Connie Holso

I have been playing with art lately.  I just finished up some ATCs for a Butterfly Swap on our Paper Traders Yahoo Group and I am quite pleased with them.  I thought I would share how I did them in case some of you have not played with foil duct tape yet.  I love this stuff!  Get it in the hardware store.

These cards were a take off of a tag tutorial Tim Holtz posted a while back.  I love all his great ideas...especially anything grunge!

Click image for larger view

What I did:  First I covered my precut ATCs with cut strips of the aluminum tape. (It wasn't wide enough to cover the whole card so I cut strips to make a patchwork look and placed them at various angles. Next I ran them through my Cuttlebug with Tim Holtz's Steampunk Gears embossing folder.  I used a large needle and an embossing stylus to pierce little stitch holes and marks along the "seamlines" of the foil.

Once I had it like I wanted I covered the background with slate alcohol ink, which I then rubbed off with a rag with a bit of alcohol on it so it would leave the ink in the low places.  Glue another ATC blank to the back to give stability -- backgrounds done! Set aside.

For the butterflies I covered some cardstock as I did for the backgrounds but I embossed with Tim Holtz's Patchwork embossing folder,  I covered with slate alcohol ink but rubbed off most of it.  Then I covered it with orange and rust alcohol inks and blended them around to give an aged look.  When doing this you have to be careful not to work it too much or you will dissolve the dark ink from the low places,  You want it in those cracks for depth.  Once I was happy with my foil I hand cut my butterflies,  (I didn't have a die the right size for ATCs.)  I used my stylus to create a "body" for the butterflies, curled the wings up and over to simulate flight and added black foam dots to the back of the lifted part of the wings.

To assemble I added a strip of tissue tape along one side of my background,  then I mounted the butterflies using the foam dots and a flat glue dot at the body to keep the contour.  I used a book arrow for the "fly" tag.  Using metal dies I added the letters to the arrows, then rubbed with the slate alcohol ink, sanded it off so it was only in the letters, and added them to my cards using a small glue dot to keep them from sliding around - or off.  :-)  Ta Da! They are done!

by Connie Holso


Jo Murray said...

These are GORGEOUS Beckie!!!!....hope I get one in the swap.

Cathy L. Calamas said...

Beautiful Connie, I love using this stuff. You can get some really neat
effects with the foil tape. Thanks for sharing!