Graphic 45 Birdsong – Make It New!

We all love a pretty piece of patterned paper right? Yes! So you bought a couple of extra sheets and before you know it there were a dozen or so more new ranges on the market that you just had to have – so you bought them too. And now you are left with some pretty papers in your stash but you have no idea what to use them for because they seem to be outdated – wrong.

Giving New Life to Old Paper Ranges

I have always found the Graphic 45 papers so beautiful – but when it comes to working with them I shy away – that’s until I changed my mind set about it. I have never been anywhere close to the East that is Japan or China, so for me to even want to work with the ‘Birdsong’ range by Graphic 45 made no sense at all. But since I don’t scrap my photos to match my paper, but rather use the products I like, I felt quite comfortable to go right ahead and use the beautiful paper with birds on it.

Birdsong - With Love Layout

With Love Layout

For my layout I used photos of a friend who celebrated her 9th birthday recently. I teamed the photos with the older Birdsong range of papers and threw in a new paper from BasicGrey’s Knee Highs & Bow Ties range. By using a newer paper alongside an older paper you can easily update the look or change it to something else. To further update the look of my paper I added some stamped images using the Artiste Markers and some themed stamps. I used Crystalina Glitter Glue to highlight some of the elements on the papers and lastly updated the look with some funky washi tape giving my layout the funky edge I wanted. The washi tape was used selectively for its pop of colour giving my layout an accent colour of bright pink and adding loads of unexpected interest. The elements used throughout focus on a feminine theme with birds and flowers – and the Eastern theme are no longer my main priority on this project.

Birdsong - Tag Altered Paper

Wedding Wishes Tag

I used the pretty pink cherry blossoms paper to create a background for my gift tag. I loved the pink in the paper, but the Eastern writing on the paper was a bit too obvious so I wanted to cover that up. I used a word stamp and embossed it onto the paper using clear embossing powder and my VersaMark ink pad. Once the embossed image cooled down I covered the entire background paper using my VersaFine Vintage Sepia ink pad. This covered the pink colour of my paper leaving me with a beautiful vintage pink and brown tag – perfect. I then added some grey dot paper, a strip of washi tape, a cut-out bird element and some tiny punched flowers. To finish off my tag I added a beautiful ribbon to adhere it to my gift.

  • TIP:

    when you cover a large or small area using an ink pad, always pat, lightly press or dab the ink over the surface, if you drag the ink pad across any surface whether paper or a stamp, you will simply pull off the sponge top from the base. So never ever pull an ink pad! Lightly pressing an ink pad will give enough coverage of the paper – if you push down too hard then you are simply squeezing out the ink on the sides of the ink pad which is also not good at all. Respect your inks and look after them and they will give you many years of hard work.
    **The above information applies to ‘pigment’ ink pads which has a soft sponge like base as opposed to a dye ink pad which has a felt like base.

Birdsong - Layout Layered Detail

Here are some more easy tips and tricks of how you can revive some of those older paper collections in your stash
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  • Pair them with a new sheet of paper and you won’t even know the difference between old and new
  • Heat emboss a simple design on patterned paper and then cover the rest with ink for a beautiful new look. The embossed image resist the ink and leaves only a small hint of the original patterned paper
  • Add a layer of gesso (white acrylic paint) to camouflage some of the pattern you don’t like, then add collage stamped images onto the white areas to create a whole new look
  • Cut them up and use small pieces on a project. Work on a white background to give the paper a fresh new look
  • Use them on an altered project and camouflage the design with flowers and other embellishments
  • Throw paint and ink to the surface and cover up the old design or colour
  • Blind emboss the paper using your Cuttlebug and embossing folders and add ink or thermal embossing to it to totally change the look
  • Ignore the theme of the paper and use it anyway because you like it – don’t be limited because you think the papers has to match your photos
  • Pick a technique and use it to alter your paper like die-cutting elements out of the papers and using them on cards or gift tags
  • Add some new products into the mix – I added some modern Washi tape to my projects giving the older paper range a new funky twist and a nice element of surprise

Birdsong - Layout Glitter Detail

Don’t be afraid to alter and change the look of your paper stash – you will get so much more out of your purchases by adding some clever alterations to them.


Products Used

Jowilna Nolte

Post by The Wholesaler’s Designer Jowilna Nolte.
We are very proud to introduce you to our first designer, Jowilna Nolte. Jowilna is a true creative and she will be sharing some of her passion and creativity with you.

Read more about Jowilna here.

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  • WOW – jaw dropping wow… love how mixing and matching makes for such a beautiful page. Thanks too for the tips.

  • This opens a whole new world to me. Thank you. Its so special.

  • Kitty Strydom
    November 8, 2013 5:08 pm

    Thank you so much for all the tips (I had no idea I was the one damaging my ink pads, I thought they were all faulty!). You have made me excited about my old papers! And I love it that you say that paper and photos don’t need to match! I suspected it, but everybody told me they had to…