Are you ready to make a MESS?

The idea behind this background came about after I was playing around with some Paper Perfect paint a while ago. Paper Perfect is a very thick heavy bodied paint which when dried onto your surface takes on the look and feel of handmade paper. Its a gorgeous product but because its so thick you need to use a lot of it in your projects which makes the end result feel very heavy – also its not exactly cheap!

Being the skinflint I am I wondered if there was anyway I could replicate the look of paper perfect at a fraction of the cost. I set about experimenting and came up with the idea for ‘Faux Grass Paper‘ – while admittedly it looks nothing like paper perfect when its finished it does have that grassy handmade look & texture feel about it…

The main ingrediant in this background technique is dried herbs – the type you use in your cooking. If your anything like me you’ve probably got herbs in your herb rack that are out of date and havent used in ages! Well waste not no more as you can now put them to good use at long last!

If you dont have any herbs in house then you can buy some, they are dirt cheap! I buy jars of Herbs De Provenence or Mixed Herbs for roughly 30p a jar from Aldi and Tesco. I prefer to use Herbs De Provenence as they are more texturous and not as finely ground as normal mixed herbs – you can use any herbs you have to hand so dont worry about the finer details! Improvise!

Read on for details on how to make faux grass paper….

What You Need:

  • Dried Herbs – any variety you have to hand
  • PVA or any clear drying glue
  • Credit Card Scraper Tool
  • Card Stock
  • Paint Brush
  • Acrylic Paint – shades of green or any colours you wish

How To Make The Backgrounds:

For these backgrounds I like to use a slightly thicker card stock like watercolour card as it doesnt warp as much as ordinary thin card.

Completely cover your table with newspaper as the herbs can get everywhere otherwise!

1. Pour a generous amount of pva glue over the surface of the card stock and use the credit card to scrape the glue all over the surface.

2. Take your herbs and sprinkle a very generous layer over the entire surface of the glued card stock. Make sure you get herbs all over the card stock with no blank areas.

3. Using your fingertips gently pat all over the surface of the glued herbs to push the herbs into the glue and distribute the herbs more evenly.

4. Pick up the sheet of card stock and gently tap it so that all the excess herbs fall off and are caught into the newspaper sheet – you can reuse these herbs for more backgrounds.

5. Set background aside to air dry naturally (overnight is best) while your waiting you can make more backgrounds if you wish.

Now to add some colour to the backgrounds!

Ok so the herbs are green why do we even need to paint them green? you may well ask. Why not just pour the herbs onto green card instead of white card then you wont even need to paint them? Sounds that simple huh 😉

The reason for painting with acrylic paint is because not only does the paint add colour to the background, it also acts as a binder which seals the herbs onto the paper and stops them from rubbing off!

To paint the background just pour on several different shades of green and yellows (or any colour you want) directly onto the herb background, use your paint brush to spread the colour – continue until you are happy with how it looks.

Set aside to dry.

Your background is complete and should look something like this:

15thfauxgrass3.jpg15thfauxgrass1.jpg

15thfauxgrass4.jpg15thfauxgrass2.jpg

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