August 5, 2017


From the photo below, can you tell what product I started with to make these intersecting roadways?

First of all, I began with an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of black cardstock for my base. I then used a pencil to draw in pathways so there would be some interest in the step that would follow. Then, it took me a couple of days to glue all these little pieces in place, following my penciled-in roadways. This, then, was my final result after gluing.

My next step was to begin embossing. I basically roughly divided my piece into thirds. I added VersaMark ink directly to the first third on the left. At the heat station, I added gold embossing powder and heat set it. Below is how it looked after gold embossing the first third. (Did I just say "first third" twice??)

I proceeded in this fashion until the entire sheet was finished with gold embossing.

The next step was with silver embossing powder. This time, I used my VersaMARKER and randomly scribbled across the page, one third at a time, embossing in silver each third. 

Finally, I added scribbled dots in the VersaMarker again. These circles were embossed in copper.

So, I now have gold, silver and copper embossing going.

Below you can see the end result after all the embossing was finished. (I apologize for the quality of these first photos. Unfortunately, the lighting in my Creation Station area is not the best.)

Have you guessed yet what I started with for my initial gluing? Keep on reading!

If you guessed Kleenex boxes, you are SO SMART! The little guys shown below are the stars of this piece of serendipity paper.

With my guillotine paper cutter, I cut these five designs into pieces approximately 1/4" wide and in varying lengths.

In putting my masterboard together with just the Kleenex box pieces, I did a lot of tearing. I wanted to have some torn edges, and it also made it easier to fit pieces into smaller spaces, as well as adding more interest, rather than just clean cut pieces. I was hoping that, when I added the VersaMark, it would catch on the ragged torn edges and make them look especially embossed. This worked as I'd planned.

Once my sheet of serendipity paper was completed, I used my paper cutter to trim off exactly one inch. This one inch strip was then cut down into one inch squares, four of which are shown below.

You see, that's the purpose of creating a masterboard/serendipity paper. As a finished whole, sure, it's interesting. But, then what?

Cutting the piece into smaller sections gives it a whole new life that you never expected.

In the next two photos, you can see close-ups of the larger masterboard.

Interesting, but, meh, eh? Let's do something with this!

 So, with my first four squares I cut, the photo below shows what I came up with.

Although it doesn't show up too much in my photos, the border around the smaller black piece on which my squares are adhered is actually a brushed gold paper. I'd wanted to continue with the metallic feel, so that was the reason for this choice.

It makes a nice little framed piece. The finished size is 5" x 5". It could easily be turned into a card, but I think I'll keep this first one as it is, just for display.

I got very frustrated taking these photos (and Fred wasn't even around!). The sun was absolutely glistening off the embossing. But I was not at all successful in being able to photograph that.

See? It looks sort of dead and characterless. Disappointing that I can't share its real look with you.

 Even though this next photo doesn't capture the metallic glimmer, it's the best I could do.

Anyway, pretty cool result after starting with this:

I have made several sheets of serendipity paper over the years. A couple of examples can be seen HERE and HERE. There are many ways of creating a masterboard of serendipity paper, some of them less time consuming than this one was. 

Now, you tell me. In this project, reusing Kleenex boxes, am I recycling or upcycling?

If you'd like to give serendipity paper making a try, ask me any questions you may have. I will try my best to help you through. OK? OK!



  1. What a nice piece of artwork. Thank you for sharing at Over the Moon link party. Shared and pinned.

  2. Wow! Very clever, modern looking, and a lot of cutting and pasting. I bet it does shimmer.

  3. This is so pretty and one of the most creative pieces I've seen. Thank you for sharing with us at Celebrate Your Story, and have a great weekend.

  4. Wow, how clever and it had to take an amazingly amount of patience! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  5. Fun idea! Thanks for sharing at last week's Reader Tip Tuesday. Hope to see you at this week's party with your creative sparkA!

  6. I've always wondered about the difference between up & re-cycling, too! Off to Google... Such a fun post! So happy you shared it with us at #FridayFrivolity this week!