January 28, 2020


If you've been following my blog for any length of time, you may think of me as weird. Nontraditional. Entertaining. Frugal. Eccentric. A hoarder. Resourceful. Demented. Nonsense. Out-of-my-mind. Someone-to-be-admired. Creative. Any number of descriptives, some not as complimentary as others. Oh well. I am who I am. 

I am very happy with the place from which my creativity comes. Weird or not.

When working with Pigment Sprinkles recently at a Stamp-In Workshops, one of my girls was about to toss a used paper towel into the garbage. I gasped and grabbed it back out so fast her head almost spun around. "No! This is potential art!" She looked at me like I had finally completely lost my mind. Shrugged and walked away. 

Actually the piece she was about to toss in the garbage did need a bit more work. In that it didn't have quite enough splotches of color on it. 

Just to prove that this hoarding capacity of mine is not so weird, here you go:

Do you like my card? The main background is one layer of color saturated paper towel that most normal people would have tossed in the trash without a a second thought. Especially if it seemed to be saturated and used up. 

To utilize a colorful paper towel in this manner, carefully separate the plys (is that the plural of ply, as in 3-ply?). All of the layers will be colorful, but the top ply will probably boast the most intense color. 

Once you have your desired layer, cut a scrap piece of WHITE cardstock for the base. The one for this particular card measured 3 3/4" x 5". Cut your layer of paper towel so it is slightly larger than this base, about 4 1/2" x 6" maybe? 

Crumple the towel in your hands, loosely uncrumple it. Repeat with the crumpling and uncrumpling a couple of times. Don't ever really flatten it. It's the crumples that give it its character and texture.

Using a good glue stick, carefully cover the entire surface of your base white cardstock, being especially careful on the edges and corners. Very important. 

Working quickly, before the glue starts to dry, place the half flattened crumpled paper towel approximately centered over the gluey piece. Don't pull on the edges! Simply pat gently over the paper towel to push it into the glue, being careful to preserve any creases or wrinkles you can. 

Once you are happy with the texture of your piece, gently bring the excess paper toweling to the back of the glued piece and adhere it all neatly in place. 

From there, you are all ready to proceed with your creation!

FYI, the reason I specified that this base be WHITE is that, well . . . I didn't really think it mattered. For my first one, I used a piece of pale gray scrap cardstock. Yuk. A very toned down nondescript piece that DID go right into the garbage. So, for this process, be sure to grab white cardstock for the brightest most flattering colors.

Notice my card sitting atop some more potential backgrounds!

Isn't it amazing how much beautiful texture and dimension you can get 
if you are careful with your crumpling and gluing down?

Just imagine the potential here:

Tell me now, and be honest. Are you going to look at wet soppy paper towels the same again? Are they going to be tossed in the garbage? Or are they going to be dried flat and lovingly stacked in neat piles for the future?



  1. That is so pretty and I would never have thought it was made with a paper towel. Pinned.

  2. Well that paper towel turned out to be make great card art! Yes, the texture is wonderful. I'm visiting from Classy Flamingos. You might like my abstract heart art that I shared.

    1. Thank you! Yes, your abstract heart bags are adorable!

  3. Genius! Very few people would see art in that paper towel, but you saw its potential. The resulting card is gorgeous!

    Thank you for linking up to Creative Compulsions!

  4. I love your crumpled paper towel card!! :) It looks a little like a watercolor experiment I did, then turned into a card! Lovely! I found you on the "Monday Morning Blog Club" site! Hope you visit my blog, too! Happy Crafting!

  5. Beautiful card and yes I think you can use just about anything to create with, including paper towels. I have probably done the same thing with recycles too. Thanks for sharing at #HomeMattersParty

    1. Thank you, Donna! I just love it that practically anything two dimensional can be used in paper crafting.