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Faux Leather

Faux Leather (Tissue Paper Technique)

I enjoy making paper look like something it’s not. This is one of my favourite ways of making an antique leather look – as shown on this altered coffee tin.

You will need – Something to alter (in this case, a papier-mâché book-box)Brown paint in several shades (I have used acrylics in raw and burnt umber and raw and burnt sienna)Tissue paperDye inks in a few shades of brown/tan (Distress Inks work well)A non-stick craft sheetPVA glueWater to spritz

Begin by blobbing paint all over the item you are going to alter. Mix up your colours - you don’t have to be too precious about it. When you’re happy with it, set it aside to dry.

While it’s drying, dab your brown inkpads onto your craft sheet and spritz with water. Then smoosh the colours together.

Repeat until you have enough tissue to cover your project (for the book I used three A4 pieces of tissue)

Once everything’s dry, cover the surface of your project with a generous layer of PVA adhesive – the cheap-as-chips kind is fine. You can thin it with a bit of water if it’s too thick. Cover the wet glue with your coloured tissue paper – let it wrinkle up, it all adds texture! Work a bit at a time so that the glue doesn’t dry out before you’re ready to cover the gluey bit with the tissue paper.

Paint over the whole thing with PVA (thinned a bit with water if you like) and let it dry.

Once it’s dry, trim away the excess tissue paper and give it another coat or two of PVA. The extra coats will soak into the tissue and help is bond to the project as well as make it very glossy. Once you’re happy with the effect you can distress it a bit with your inks or by dry-brushing – whatever you like, of course!

For the spine of the book, I’ve added some gilded bars by foiling onto some red line tape.

Pick up the colour on the tissue paper and put it aside to dry. Be careful, it will be very fragile! If it rips, don’t worry too much – it’ll all add to the aged and distressed look one it’s all finished.