How to find ephemera, pretty papers and things to cut out
I am a sucker for pretty papers, but as a collage artist I often try to find them for free – in the form of packaging and gifted magazines for example. But of course there are also many options for buying patterned papers and images in different forms online. And maybe it’s because I can’t afford any of these right now that I am really drooling over pretty papers and bookmarking some very yummy packs of paper…
In case they’re in your budget, or to give you a chance to add them to your Wish List, here’s what I’ve found (so far) in the way of collage papers I myself would love to play with!
For the Love of Paper – a 320 Tear-off Pages book for Creating, Crafting, and Sharing (Volume 1 published by Lark), who also has one for those of us who loooves greenery For the Love of Paper: Botanicals: 160 Tear-off Pages for Creating, Crafting, and Sharing – and one all about Florals! I wish for all of these!
There are also more themed books of collage images, that for me only would be suitable during Halloween perhaps, like Cut and Collage: A Treasury of Bizarre and Beautiful Images, a mix of images in volume two, or find specifically Skulls & Anatomy in one book.
From the makers of Flow magazine there has been coming a lot of yummy paper goods over the years, but my favorite is probably the very happy and colorful Book of Paper Love that is geared towards kids.
Maybe it’s the kid in me, but I think I’d find the most joy within these pages…
Stationary, background papers, bookmarks, labels galore! Not sure what I’d do with the more kid friendly projects but maybe I could invite a kid to play with: “Fold a paper house. Make photo booth props — a silly mustache, a crown—to pose with friends. Bind up a DIY storybook and use it to sketch out adventures and dreams. Construct a paper flower bouquet, a paper terrarium”…
Not that I would in any way be ungrateful or say “no thanks” to a paper book for grown ups from Flow’s Book for Paper lovers . It has more than 300 pages of Paper Goodies inside, including some stickers, wrapping paper and projects to do for all ages.
Maria Rivans’ book Extraordinary Things to Cut Out and Collage came out this year and has been doing the rounds on collage artists desk all over, because it is so yummy. It’s divided into subjects and has ideas on how to use the images as well as the 1500+ objects included, with flowers, birds, cats, and butterflies as well as buildings, eyes, moustaches, and men – all “to create extraordinary original artworks and talking pieces!”
And of course I need to mention that the Swedish designer Lotta Jansson made a paper book as well, called Lotta Jansdotter Paper, Pattern, Play. It came out three years ago but might still be available if you’re in luck. These papers are muted, mature and very modern. So if that is a look you’re going for this book of papers would be perfect for any paper project!
Basic Ephemera Collection (Vintage Ephemera Collection) consists of 18 sheets with two of each design, which is always extra nice because then you can use one without too much thinking or planning, and save one “for later” consideration, if you know what I mean? This is a series of books from by Ilopa Journals, with a lot of junk journal material that you don’t have to source out, scan and print yourself. There are, just to give a few examples, Ephemera Collections of Advertisement, Flowers and Birds.
Handmade Collage with Seiko Kato: 15 Stunning Designs to Cut and Assemble. Another book that has some step-by-step tutorials on how to assemble different collages, and then some stuff to cut up. In this one you’ll find nearly 500 images to browse, cut out, and create with, you too will design and assemble your very own pieces of art. A lot of things from nature as well as faces and pieces of humans/clothes on a white background.
Pepin Press has a series of yummy paper books, for example, Still Life: Gift & Creative Paper Book Vol.59 (Multilingual Edition) by Pepin van Roojen. It’s called a gift and creative paper book, and all of them seam to contain four pages of introduction and 12 large sheets of high-quality wrapping paper that can easily be removed from the books by tearing along the perforated line. The Still life one is full of musty vintage oil paintings but there are also ones about floral engravings, Van Gogh paintings (SO yummy!), marbled paper designs (a book binders dream!), images or patterns rather from the Belle Epoque (very Art Nouveau as well, if you ask me) and patterns from different cultures like the Italian tiles or Vintage Christmas (those would be fun for my Christmas books). Buying one of these books is more expensive than a roll of wrapping paper of course, but you get a lot more variety and different patterns to play with and won’t be stuck with a roll that lasts for years either…
Oh, and the Japanese Tankobon books looks stunning! I love everything about 100 Papers with Classical Floral Patterns to start with, from the cover design to the pages I can see online. All 100 pages are removable and each pattern is printed on a variety of textured papers. A collection of writing and crafting papers with European flower designs selected by the Japanese designer Reiko Harajou.
This book is a collection of selected rare and antique illustrations, from classic botanical art to floral calligraphy and frames. I would so love to just browse through this one, and maybe select a few papers to use.
Here are a few other books from this series of Japanese style patterned writing papers:
Who couldn’t use all of these in your stash, right?
I think you can find a lot more papers to buy if you look beyond the regular isle of scrapbook sheets in loose papers or pads. If you look there are a lot of other, not totally conventional paper sources awaiting you, that you might fall in love with if you dig a bit. Like these:
I’d love to play with the Botanical Endpapers for example. Oh well, who am I kidding? I’d buy two of each of all these books if my wallet would allow it, but right now I’m not splurging on anything at all so I’ll keep on dreaming and writing on my wish list.