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Making Tissue Paper Words & The Shoulds

When I have an art journal page that just isn’t working, even after multiple attempts, I just cover most of it up. In this case, with black paint. But what to do next with the page? That’s where tissue paper came in handy.

I stenciled words onto tissue paper using my Verbage stencil. Then simply cut the words apart.

This creates a lot of flexibility because you can audition words on the page to see if you like the placement. You can also turn the words from past to present tense by snipping off the endings.

The inner attorneys, from the law offices of Should and Associates, tried to tell me what I should be doing. Since they are attorneys, they are very good at making persuasive arguments.

But I’m not in a court of law nor have I signed any contract saying how I will glue the tissue paper down art journal page.

The attorneys are offended that I used a glue stick. Why? Because using a glue stick means the tissue paper is going to show, it’s not going to disappear. And that’s one of the really nice things about tissue paper is with certain glues it will completely vanish and disappear.

But I didn’t want that. So I did what I wanted and yes, that didn’t make the attorneys very happy at all.

The color is thanks to Art Crayons. They feel like a creamy lipstick when you apply them. There are two ways that I like to smear or blend them around. One is with a baby wipe because they react to water. The other way is just smearing with your finger.

One of the perks of there being lots of words on this stencil is there are plenty left for the next time.

The last layer was scribble journaling with graphite. I could have used a graphite pencil, but I prefer to use chunks of graphite that fit perfectly in my hand. Since I’m a very tactile person, how something feels in my hand is a big deal to me so that’s why I like to use graphite putty.

It’s a kneadable putty that you can shape any way you want, then just let it air dry and you’ve got a custom shaped writing implement.

Should you ever have an art journal page that just doesn’t work out, cover it over with black paint and get out the tissue paper!

Here are the supplies used. Some of these links are affiliate links which means I get a small percentage. For example, I’m an Amazon Associate & I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and you get a really good feeling knowing that you are helping keep the free tutorials coming!


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  • Kathy Gledsdale June 17, 2020, 4:28 pm

    Trying to explain now to my husband what you meant(as he didn’t understand what attorneys in your head meant and he was listening when I watched this) Your inner critic I said, what is that he said? I explained again. Do you doubt yourself then, he asked? All the time said I, really said he! Is it just a woman thing?

  • Boo June 19, 2020, 5:25 pm

    Tell those lawyers to be quiet. She could be in both tenses. This is an art journal not a paper for a college paper. That graphite is cool.

  • CHERYL June 19, 2020, 7:07 pm

    AMAZING HOW YOUR MIND WORKS SOMETIMES (IN A GOOD WAY) U ARE SO RIDICULOUSLY FUNNY WITHOUT TRYING. I LOVE YOUR COMMENTS AS MUCH AS YOUR VIDEOS. BTW, U MIGHT APPRECIATE THIS, CHANGED MY HAIR COLOR TODAY FROM BLUE TO VIVID MAGENTA, TALK ABOUT SO MUCH FUN!!! LOVE YOU, KEEP UP INSPIRING US.

  • Sharyl Peterson June 21, 2020, 8:49 pm

    Loved this!!! I especially liked the fact that with the words stenciled onto tissue paper, when you layer the different words, you can still see parts of the earlier ones. I think that’s a great effect. Also loved how you added some color … but just a little (although I’m a color-woman at heart too)! Thanks so much for these weekly inspirations (plus your classes which I’m thoroughly enjoying)!

  • Peggy Joyce June 23, 2020, 5:59 pm

    Great piece Carolyn…and I laughed out loud reading Kathy Gledsdale’s comment.
    this was a fun post….and I LOVE that stencil although it will have to wait for purchase until next month as I’ve already busted my budget this month on your new stencils….which I love.

  • rita zizza June 27, 2020, 11:44 am

    Excellent tutorial. Yes, those characters, Would, Should, Could are always
    stagged randomely in the back of our minds, just waiting to cause chaos!

    Love your what the heck attitude, charge ahead and put them back to bed! Nice work!