Paper+Mixed Media

Karen Barbé is a textile designer and lives in Santiago, Chile. Her passion for crafting, textiles and everything nostalgic finds its space on her blog where she shows her works in progress and what currently inspires her. Her textile creations can be found on the her online shop.

Hi there! I’m Karen, I’m a textile designer and I’m happy to be guest blogging here on

I chose to hand print this piece of fabric because it’s been a long while since I had last tried it and I had in my mind these images of cross-stitch patterns, grids and textile structures I wanted to play with.

For making my stamp I used a clear polycarbonate sheet and small squares (5 mm / 2.5inch) of EVA foam [hard foam – comes in blocks – is used quite a bit in packaging too].

What I like about using small squares is that you can easily build a nice motif without having to carve or cut complex shapes. Just choose your favorite cross-stitch pattern and start gluing the squares (or “stitches”) on the surface.

I printed a piece of roughly 1 x 1 mt (a bit more than a yard) of natural cotton muslin with three rows of my design. It’s best to use clear bases for the stamp for easier registration (instead of wood or matte plastic).

I must confess I was going to cut the final cloth and sew a bag but when I saw it finished I changed my mind. I can now use it as a small tablecloth, a wall hanging or small curtain, a cloth for sitting on the grass or for wrapping your stuff you have to carry around (like returning the books to the library).

Can you think of any other ideas?


Printing by Hand by Lena Corwin and published by Melanie Falick Books, is a practical handbook for beginner printmakers and those wanting to venture into different aspects of printing for practical purposes.

This useful spiral bound book with templates in a handy sleeve, takes you through the steps to get started with various printing methods – such as stamping, stencilling and screen printing. Each section includes several cute projects and there is a getting ready section too. There are some very stylish and simple projects useful for home decor and more personal projects – such as stamped traveller pouches, stenciled lamp shades and screen printed baby quilts. Quite an assortment of lovely projects. Plus each project has clear photo steps explaining how to do it. A super stylish design and how-to book.

Pulled: A Catalog of Screen Printing by Mike Perry is published by Princeton Architectural books – so you know from the get go its going to be great.

Mike Perry previously wrote Over and Over and Hand Job – both super gorgeous detailed books. Pulled is similar in style to his two previous books – it is a compendium of amazing illustrations and designs – all screen printed. This book is both a survey of styles and artists working in this medium and a bit of a how-to as well as a collection of just amazing work.

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Introducing Anne from flaxandtwine blog, Anne has a wonderful project she is sharing here today – she explains…

Hi Whip Up Readers.  I’m so happy to be here.  I am a sewer, a knitter and a crafty-thing-maker.  I started my blog flax & twine []  to re-discover my artistic voice through creative exploration.  I strive to share the value of hand made and the important place it holds in my life with my children and with others.  And, to have a ton of fun along the way.  I’d love it if you joined me in the adventure.

A Paperboard Mystery Message
This special word puzzle was originally made for a sweet, strong, little boy in my life who has cancer.  I designed this “get well” gift to have a meaningful message, be easy to do while sitting in bed and have the flexibility to play with over and over. Original purpose aside, I think ANY kiddo loves to decode a secret message.  What a fun birthday gift!  Or gift from a visiting friend.  The added benefit is that the letters can be used for word building long after the original message is solved.
paperboard (used cracker/cereal boxes)
alphabet stamps (can use printed letters from computer)
ink pad
craft knife
cutting mat
sewing machine
scraps of fabric
Make the Message
1. Make a “card” by cutting two pieces of 4×4 paperboard and sewing them together with decorative stitches around the border.  Write the greeting and instructions on one side and the secret message to be decoded on the other.

Make the Letters (Note: The tutorial for the letters below is for a different message than the photos above).
1.Cut a 2×4.5″ paperboard strip for each of the letters you need for your puzzle.
2. Fold strips in half, with the printed side facing in.
3. Stamp your desired letters on one half of the paperboard with local craft store alphabet stamps.*
*If you don’t have stamps or don’t want to buy them, you can print large font letters (try Arial Black – 120 pt) from your computer printer, cut them out and paste them on to the paperboard then proceed with the below instructions.
4.  Cut out letters with a craft knife.  If you have a letter like “O” with a center, cut out the center piece and save it to glue back on the letter later.
5. Select fabric scraps and trim to fit inside the folded paperboard (with a small margin).
6. Sew paperboard sandwich closed around edge with a zig-zag (or other decorative) stitch.
7. With fabric glue, glue down centers of letters and any other cardboard pieces that might bend.
8.  Trim edges of paperboard where corners didn’t quite line up.
Wrap the Package
The message and letters can be wrapped and presented in many different ways. I wanted a handmade reusable bag so the puzzle could be played with again and again.  If you want to make a bag like mine, you can find directions for that here.



paper star

by kath_red on 12/01/2011

in Paper+Mixed Media

Its never too late for a star ornament [instructions]- getting very inspired by the upon a fold blog. What is inspiring you?


[via design sponge] this Moravian star printable.