Those of you who watch my Youtube channel all know that I am the worlds biggest big Dala junkie. Last year some time in one of my youtube videos – I discussed my discovery of one of their coolest products called DALA Acrylic Retarder. In the video I showed you a card where I used it as an embossing gel for heat embossing onto a hand drawn image, and how I made. Recently I have been playing around with it a whole lot. I really do think that it is my favourite go-to sort of product if I need something to blend, bend or emboss with. One of the coolest things I have discovered is that you can create amazing aged or weathered leather effects by applying Acrylic Retarder to cardstock – it adds amazing slip and makes the paper more pliable and in doing so are able to create glorious texture.
Today I am going to post a short photo tutorial on how to recreate that effect.
For a plain piece of faux leather- you need the following things
- Cardstock (my preferences are White, Manila or Kraft Cardstock)
- Dala Acrylic Retarder
- 2 shades of Dala drawing ink (Eg Dark Brown and Sepia) in whatever colour you want your leather piece to be or you can also use Dala Suncolour in Sepia - Suncolour yields a more waxed or polished leather look
- a piece of blending foam (I most often use a plain cosmetic wedge foam or piece of Ranger’s Cut n Dry foamsheet, but I have also used regular foam like the ones that you wash dishes with)
- Dala Podge or Dala varnish (matt or gloss) – This is optional.
- Cut your cardstock down to the size you need.
- Dispense a blob of Dala Acrylic Retarder, onto your cardstock and massage it into the cardstock until it gets fairly saturated. Add more if needed.
- Flip the piece over and do the same on that side.
- Once you are satisfied with saturation, it shouldn’t be too wet – just enough so that it starts to absorb into the paper –
- Squish or wrinkle the piece into a wad. The wrinkling creates veins in the paper, like you would imagine an old piece of leather to have.
- The reason we added Acrylic Retarder to the cardstock, was to make it more pliable and less prone to the tearing that you get when you wrinkle dry cardstock and unwrinkle it out.
- straighten or flatten out the piece you have just wrinkled.
- Dispense a few drops of the darker Drawing Ink or Sun colour, mop up the drops with your piece of foam.
- Lightly buff the raised veins with the darker ink.
- you could also make some random areas of the piece of cardstock darker with the same ink
- Apply some more Dala Acrylic Retarder to the cardstock (front side only this time) – this is going to give you more slip for the next shade of ink, plus it helps to stop you from accidentally rubbing off the top layer of paper fibre as happens when friction is applied to piece of wet paper.STEP 5
- Dispense a few drops of the lighter ink into a container or craft sheet and mop this up with your blending applicator (I typically use the same foam as above)
- Work and blend the ink all over the cardstock until you have blended it to a point where the contrast is visible but well integrated. What you get is a lovely piece of faux leather. There will be some light and dark areas – just the way real old leather looks.
- This is an optional step, I think it gives it more finished look. Sponge or brush over a coat of Dala Podge, Varnish, or Matt/Gloss Medium.*edited to add - havent checked out the application of Crackle glaze and crack base on top of that but I reckon it would be even cool - after all crack is an addiction right?
- If you have an embossing machine, before you apply the Dala Podge, Varnish, or Matt/Gloss Medium, run it through your machine in your folder of choice. You can then apply the finish. Sandwiching the piece between a couple of pieces of chipboard,flattens the piece out so that you get the full effect of the veined texture without the rough wrinkled bumpy bits.
- At this stage you can either use the piece as a background or you can make an embellishment out of it.
Here below are some examples of things I have made with it. I have also used the same technique in different colours to create texture for “dried leaves”, flowers, butterfly wings etc. For the Balloon card - I used the same "leathering technique" but instead of using browns and sepia tones - I used blues and white to create a mottled texture - I also didnt squish the paper so much.