Color the Emotion

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How To Make Your Own Patterned Paper

While preparing to move to a new house, I have tried to avoid big projects. So I have done quite a lot of paper crafting recently. One of the easiest and quickest things to do is to make patterned papers. I use Canson sketch paper (90 g in thickness) and whatever paints and pens I possibly have.

Handmade patterned papers by Peony and Parakeet

Sometimes more really is more, so I call these “More Is More” papers! I am going to use these for my art journal pages. Before cutting them, I scan them so that I can use the same paper digitally or print a copy of it. That way I always have some patterned paper available.

Here’s one of the easiest ways I know to make really rich and colorful patterned paper. Besides the paper, you will need watercolors, marker pens, gel pens, and colored pencils, a correction pen, and a relaxed mind. Don’t worry about the mess you make; it will look lovely in the end!

1) Paint the background with watercolors.

Use circular strokes. Don’t think.
Dry the excess water with tissue paper here and there to create some lighter areas.

Step 1 of How to make your own patterned paper by Peony and Parakeet.

2) Doodle with markers.

I love to use PITT artist pens here. Any medium marker will do. 
I like making circles and swirls, but you can doodle whatever comes to your mind. Relax the hand and keep the pressure light.

Step 2 of How to make your own patterned paper by Peony and Parakeet.

3) Continue doodling with gel pens.

Change to gel pens and make detailed doodles. I use Sakura gel pens.

Gel pens. Step 3 of How to make your own patterned paper by Peony and Parakeet.

Some might think that this is the last step, but no way! More is more, remember!

4) Color small areas with colored pencils.

If you look closely there might be areas where colors are grayish or not so perfect. Take your colored pencils and work on the problem areas. Do not worry about going over the doodling. The layered look is what we aim for here.

Step 4 of How to make your own patterned paper by Peony and Parakeet.

It looks like this now. Finished? Oh no!

Doodling with pens on watercolor background

5) Doodle with a correction pen.

One of the best pens you can buy for patterned papers is a fine point correction pen. After you have colored all the white areas, you can make the white to come back with the correction pen! Now doodle over the paper, here and there…

Step 1 of How to make your own patterned paper by Peony and Parakeet.

6) Add contrast and shine.

Take a black marker and make pretty dots near the white areas.
Optional: If you have a gold metallic pen you can doodle mindlessly to add some extra shine.

Step 1 of How to make your own patterned paper by Peony and Parakeet.

More is really more, isn’t it? You can stop at any step, of course, I couldn’t!

Bonus: More Patterned Paper

FrugalKiwiArboretum, Spring Flowers, Romantic Doodles

Class – Create Handmade Collage Art in Collageland!

Collageland is an art class for you who loves patterns and decorative textiles but wants to save time by creating with pens and paper. Watch the video and buy now!

In Collageland, I welcome you to my studio filled with doodles and ideas. You’ll make handmade papers and motifs and start building your handmade stash!
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77 thoughts on “How To Make Your Own Patterned Paper

  1. More IS more! Ha! Paivi, I love these papers! So colorful and fun to make too. I think I will do some. I will paint first in the studio and then doodle in front of the T.V. The perfect little artsy project! I already have the kind of paper you used too so I’m set to go. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Awesome! I can’t wait to see pictures of your new place too! I love the cabin, and especially that interesting piece of bent wood on the door….

  3. I love your doodle style. I make painted papers from old phone book pages. When I have leftover paint, I’ll brush or spread it on. Sometimes I add extra paint to finish the page.

  4. This is absolutely GORGEOUS! I love stuff like this but much prefer making things myself.. thanks for the great guidelines.

  5. I found you via Pinterest too. I LOVE this! I need to get back to painting, I used to do so much when I was younger.

    Thanks for the inspiration. I’m your newest follower. 🙂

  6. I’m unclear on what a “fine point correction pen” is. Could you provide me info on the brand you prefer, and I can then look it up online? Thanks!!

  7. What a fantastic idea!! Going to get my daughter to ‘help’ and use for cards etc for presents. Thanks!

  8. I just love this! Thank you for sharing your talent with us. I love to make paper beads for my store and I am always looking for something different. I can’t wait to try this. I wish I could show you my beads so you could see what I want to do. I am new here, are you allowed to post links in a comment?

  9. I’m going shopping tomorrow to buy the supplies to do this. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

  10. I use old romance novel pages… I have over 400 books right now…lol
    I’ll be posting some pictures next week sometime… I’ve got 6 hair clip son order and don’t have enough time to do both…lol

  11. Just found you through Pinterest. WONDERFUL paper! Thanks for the instructions. This will be a great gift to make and give to my scrapbooking, card making friends. Love it.

  12. Thanks so much for sharing this! It looks like so much fun! I just need to get out my art supplies and PLAY! I added your website to my pin board on Pinterest. Too good not to share!

  13. Thank you for the beautiful inspiration and detailed instructions! I would like to try this on a large canvas to make a big piece of wall art. Will it work well on canvas you think??

  14. thank you so much for your reply, I have some acrylics ready to use, so I just need the rest of the goodies. I am excited to try this, thanks!

  15. Could you please tell me the name of the white correction pen you are using? I have used a number of products and just can’t get the nice crisp white. The gel pens and such don’t do well with my mixed media pieces.
    Thank you.

    1. I have used a lot of various brands. Pentel Fine Point is one. In white gel pens I often use Uniball Signo or Pentel Hybrid.

  16. I,am going shopping, Can’t wait to get some supplies and try my hand at this. Your papers are beautiful. Thank you for the instruction.

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