Crafty Time - Dictionary Art

posted by Jory on Sunday, April 08, 2012
So, I found this dictionary page graphic from the Graphics Fairy and decided to mimic those dictionary prints so popular on Etsy. Here are the steps for the methods I tried.

1. I opened the dictionary page in Photoshop and removed the background so it would print white. I wanted to try to age the paper myself.
2. Print dictionary page.
Method 2 is the one in the top right
3. Choose image to print over page. I found a bunch of random images on Google and tampered with them (hopefully this falls under Fair Use since I'm not selling anything). I'll make them available at the end of the post. I really wanted a birdcage image, so there's a few of them to choose from.
4. Now, here's where I tried 3 different methods. All of them worked, but some better than others:

  • Method 1: I sprayed a clear paint finish over the dictionary page before printing the second graphic over it. I was worried the ink would run together if I didn't.
  • Method 2: I printed the second graphic directly over the dictionary page without the spray paint coat. No bleeding, worked just fine.
  • Method 3: I waited until after the aging process to print the second graphic.
5. Now, here's the other difference in methods (the aging process).
  • Methods 1&2: I put each page in a cookie sheet, poured cold liquid coffee over the pages, and then sprinkled coffee grounds in the corners and rubbed them in to make them look even more worn at the edges. Then I stuck them in the oven at 170 F for about six minutes. After that, I removed them from the cookie sheets and let them dry in the sun.
  • Method 3: I laid the page out in a cookie sheet and poured Diet Coke over it. Then I sprinkled coffee grounds on it. After that, I let it soak in the sun, then removed it from the liquid and let it dry in the sun.
All of the methods worked fine, but Method 1 ended up looking kind of weird with the clear spray paint. The aging process of Method 3 (Diet Coke) worked well and produced a lighter page than Methods 1&2, however, waiting to print the second graphic was a mistake because the page is a little more fragile after drying.

All in all, I would recommend Method 2 for printing. Then, if you want a darker page, use coffee for the aging, and Diet Coke, if you want a lighter page.

Verne's Albatross



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