DIY · Etsy · Halloween · Paper Crafts

Halloween Special – Grunge Alligator Paper

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This is a regular size sheet of specialized craft paper that’s been embossed to look like alligator skin.  It’s cool just as it is, but being’s how I love Halloween and make tons of home decor pieces, many of which call for textured paper such as this, I wanted to come up with a way to have a lot of color and effect options without having to have a multitude of different paper supplies in stock.  Answer:  Start with one base paper and “tweak”.

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I chose a toxic green acrylic, squirted a blob in a glass dish and added a bit of water.

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Then just slather it on the alligator paper.

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You could use a wider brush than I did which would allow you to cover more territory faster and do full-length strokes down the whole page, but I was okay with how it was coming out.

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This will dry fairly quickly so if you want to play with the paint at all, now’s the time.  I made these in a couple of colors, one with red paint.  On that one I wiped most of the red off using a paper towel, leaving paint just in the grooves of the embossing.  Take a look:

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I thought I’d try an “all over” in red as well.  I used two different reds and left some of the paint undiluted to give the streaks different depths.  Worked pretty good.

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So, from one art paper I now have four different colors to play with.  I like this game.  I was ready to start using this cool stuff.  I’m trying to stock up my shop’s Halloween dept. and my ATBs (Artist Trading Blocks) are always popular and I had just sold my last two. This person also bought a pile of my Black Widow Spiders – haven’t see those yet?  Check it out.

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Anyways, I figured this paper would let me make four new ATBs all at once but giving each a really different color aspect.  This is when I discovered a small flaw in my alchemy.  When I got a bit of glue on my fingers as I was assembling a box, when I touched the paper, it pulled the paint off – crap!  But wait, maybe that’s not so bad.  I love the grungy look and Halloween is all about the grunge, after all.  So then I started purposefully taking a bit of paint off here and there and when I had it the way I wanted it, I covered the paper with a coat of ModPodge (glossy) so the effect I created was now sealed and no more paint could accidentally be pulled off.

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I liked it.  On the streaky red sheet though, I sealed it complete before any “distressing” occurred but it’s good to know I can work this either way where it can look grungy or not and have a matte or glossy finish.  Not bad.

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So here’s the full range I made this time from left to right:  original shiny black embossed alligator paper, two-tone streaky red with matte sealer, toxic green (as yet unsealed) and red only in the embossing grooves (no need to seal this).

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So this what I did with the “in the groove only” paper.

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This one is the “two-tone streaky red” paper.

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And another look at the “toxic green” paper.

This was a fun and easy technique and a good example of seeing things from a different angle, as I had at first thought I’d ruined this paper with the glue, but realized that I’d actually just created a second technique to compliment the first one I had been focused on creating.  That’s what I call a win win.

So go make a mess, and Craft On.

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