Groovy Printed Papers

"Sometimes life is merely a matter of coffee
and whatever intimacy a cup of coffee affords."
— Richard Brautigan

Cut abstract art into strips and squares and use in your collages and art journal pages.


Heavy Cardstock. Thin strips of heavy white cardstock, any quantity. The paper must be strong enough to to be moved around without tearing or wrinkling.

Water-Based Block Printing Ink. I use Speedball Block Printing Ink. It's opaque, with vivid color, is easy to clean the brayer and your hands.

Rubber Brayer. I've been using 2" Speedball Soft Rubber Brayers for years


1. Cut thin strips of white cardstock in any shape and spread them in a messy pile across a full piece of white cardstock, all on top of a work surface. They should be random, overlapping.

2. Place about a teaspoon of block printing ink on a plastic lid or piece of glass. Do not use paper/cardboard, as these absorb ink and you'll waste a bunch of ink ink.

3. Roll the brayer back and forth on the lid until the ink is evenly loaded on the brayer. You might want to have some blank pages ready in your art journal, so you can roll off some excess ink and make a random art journal background in the process! Multi-tasking. The ink should be tacky and somewhat dry, not goopy and thick. Roll the brayer at different angles across the papers.

4. Mix up the papers differently, turning some pieces upside down, into another messy overlapping pile. Pick another color and follow the steps above to paint the second color on the papers at different angles. Get the ink on the cardstock under all of the little papers too, you'll see why later! Before re-mixing the papers, go ahead and roll another color on them.

5. Block printing ink is dreamy, dries quickly but not as fast as fluid acrylics. {I have used fluid acrylics with a brayer but they do dry quickly and stain the brayer. Still, lots of fun!}

6. Keep messing up the papers, turning some upside down, adding color, messing up the papers, adding color. When you start seeing some papers that you like, remove them from the pile. Your fingers won't mess them up. I do both sides because that means more colors to choose from when doing a collage.

7. Separate the pieces and the full sheet and place them, not touching, on a surface to dry overnight. Heavy cardstock or bristol paper won't need to be pressed and shouldn't warp.

Groovy printed papers can be used as follows:

ⓐ As a layer of collaged papers on an art journal page
ⓑ Cut into circles + squares with scrapbooking punches
ⓒ Paper weaving
ⓓ To make bookmarks, gift tags, basket tags
ⓔ As an abstract art journal background