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Hand Decorating Paper - Book Review

Hand Decorating Paper
By Marie Browning
Sterling Publishing Company, 2002


Creating your own decorative paper for your craft projects can make a unique handcrafted gift even more special. In her book Hand Decorating Paper, craft author, designer and consultant Marie Browning shows you how to do just that. She provides the "recipes" for 21 paper decorating techniques, both traditional and modern, that include techniques like tea staining, batik using masking fluid, and marbleizing with seaweed. The techniques are arranged in alphabetical order, and not necessarily historically nor by skill level.

For each technique, the author explains the type of paper required, the kind of ink or paint used, and other tools and supplies needed. The technique is explained clearly in short steps with accompanying photos; a half- or full-page color photo of the finished paper is also shown. As an aside, the author seems to be working with a mostly muted color palette throughout the book, which is fine, but some of the samples for the tissue paper color transfer and tie-dyeing techniques were rather extremely dull and unattractive – not very inspiring, unfortunately.

What's neat about this book is that each technique features a project idea that utilizes the decorative paper, with a photo and brief description on how it's made. In addition, templates for the projects are provided; these include patterns for boxes and envelopes, printing blocks, and decorative labels. A short section on additional projects ideas can be found towards the back of the book, along with tips on how to cover wooden boxes, coasters and table mats, and how to protect your projects with a resin coating.

While this book is a solid resource for beginners, seasoned paper crafters may find most of the techniques too basic. Many of the techniques will seem familiar to them, such as splattering, stenciling, rubber stamping, or color transfer with tissue paper, but they still may appreciate having all these techniques in one handy reference.

Note: This book was purchased with my own funds and is part of my personal library. I was in no way compensated for this review.

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