How To: Direct to Paper

How To: Direct to Paper

Direct to Paper – a total throwback, right? Simple, basic, something for beginners – abandoned after you amass more tools and supplies, and learn other techniques. But should it be left behind? There are so many cool things you can do with this technique, and it can look gorgeous, clean & simple, and even complex if you like. Time to revisit this basic and add it back to your toolbox!

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supplies for direct to paper

I mean, seriously, you already have this stuff in your stash. This technique couldn’t get any more simple! Of course, if you need to do some shopping, I always have supplies linked below and at the end of the post. But, before you shop, be sure to check out my Crafty Sales page for any deals you can take advantage of at your favorite crafting haunts.

  • Ink Pads – any kind (mini cubes, shaped, square, oval, distress, pigment, dye, chalk…)
  • Paper – again, any kind. If you’re going for colored paper, make sure you know what results you’re looking for. Dye inks will change color, and dark papers need pigment inks if you really want to see the color.
  • Masking paper or low-tack tape – in case you want to have crisp lines anywhere in your design.
image of cardstock embellished with the direct to paper technique

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steps to the direct to paper technique

  1. Select your inks and papers
  2. Decide on a pattern or design to create
  3. Make sure ink pads are well inked as they will saturate into the paper more quickly
  4. Create patterns, stripes, circles, or use the ink pad shape to create the desired look


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watch the technique tutorial

My How To tutorial videos are filmed with real-time narration. You can pull out your supplies and follow along because there’s no editing, except for drying time. Pause when you need to, but otherwise, get ready and create right along with me!

See this technique in action!

Here’s a project that feature’s the direct to paper technique.

Altenew Quiet Reflections Release

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