May 5, 2020


If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you already know that practically anything can be considered a prospective art supply for me. Even things that people have no second thoughts about tossing in the garbage. I've been know to rescue all kinds of "garbage" to use in a project.

Used paper towels are one of my favorite mediums to use. Yup. Once those paper towels are all inky, wet and yukky, most normal people would simply toss them and move on to pristine brand new dry ones.

Not this girl. See below:

After one of my workshop attendees reacted in a horrified way when I snatched the paper towel she had just "finished" out of the garbage, I warned her that she would be using just this art supply in an upcoming workshop. This is my sample of the card the girls got to work from.

Look at all the lovely texture! Doesn't it just make you quiver with excitement??

The sentiment is from a darling Hostess Set that retires in less than a month. It is called Make A Splash and can be found on page 73 of the Mini Catalog. The set also features a fish bowl, fish and all the fixins'. And four wonderful sentiments. If this appeals to you, you only have a matter of weeks to get one for yourself!

For the workshop, since no two "finished" paper towels are ever the same, the girls had to make some choices.

Following is the tutorial I provided for my Stamp-In girls to make their own version of this card.

Whisper White cardstock
Scrap white cardstock
Basic Black cardstock
Scrap cardstock that complements the colors in your chosen paper towel

Pigment Sprinkles on a paper towel -- one ply only

Make A Splash hostess set (page 73 of the Mini Catalog)

Black ink

Ornate Frames (they are in the Annual Catalog coming up!!)
Stitched Rectangles dies (page 196, Annual Catalog)
Big Shot 
Glue Stick
Stampin' Dimensionals
Sequins that complement the colors in the paper towel
Mini Glue Dots

Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Whisper White cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

To this card base, adhere a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of black cardstock.

Choose a piece of the color saturated paper towel. (You are only using a single ply. Gently separate the plies.) Once you have your piece of colorful stuff, crush it in your hand, then sort of flatten it. Do this several times. YOU DON'T WANT TO ELIMINATE ANY OF THE CREASES, HOWEVER.

Use a glue stick to completely cover a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of white cardstock. Completely cover it with glue, especially the edges and corners. Gently lay your paper towel over the glued paper and pat it in place. Do not pull to flatten it out. You want those wrinkles! Otherwise, your card will be wrinkle free. That's where the character comes in. Once the paper towel is completely patted into place and touching the glue everywhere, you can add adhesive to the edges of the backside of this piece and start gently wrapping the colorful piece to the back side. The paper towel will probably be too large, so you can simply trim off some of the excess so it is easier to work with. Be especially careful on the corners, that you make them neatly pointed.

Adhere the colorful piece over the black cardstock on the card base.

On a scrap of Whisper White cardstock, stamp the sentiment in black ink. Use the proper die to cut out the sentiment.

From scraps of colored cardstock, choose one that complements your background well. Using the Stitched Rectangles Die that measures 7/8" x 2 7/8", cut a rectangle. Center your white sentiment piece over this and adhere it in place. With a couple Stampin' Dimensionals, attach it over the colorful piece as desired. I tried to choose an area that was maybe a little muddy.

Choose sequins that coordinate well with your card, and add them. To add the sequins, place a Mini Glue Dot in the spots where you want your sequins to be, then just pop the sequins over the dot.

Because all the pieces of paper towel the girls had to choose from differed, I made the rest of the card in black and white, then just had them choose a coordinating scrap for the base of the sentiment, as well as sequins, to personalize it.



  1. That is really pretty; I do love the texture as well as the color. Pinned.

  2. It is pretty and happy!Happy Pink Saturday!

  3. What a great "upcycle", so colorful and the texture really adds to the card.

  4. I love it! What great texture. And the fact that each card is unique makes this a particularly awesome technique!

    Thank you for sharing with Creative Compulsions!

    1. Thanks! I love doing these cards! And as you mention, each one is unique -- even cooler!

  5. Love this idea, will have to keep a closer eye on my paper towels used to mop up color in my current art journal adventure! thanks for sharing on craft schooling sunday!

    1. Great! I hope you come up with something awesome from your "garbage"! Isn't that the best -- to make something wonderful from "garbage"??