Layering it on for Mom

Barb DelaneyWith Mother's Day right around the corner, I was looking for some inspiration for gift making. I recently watched Beryl Taylor's Cloth Paper Scissors Workshop DVD, "Layer by Layer," and came away with a lot of great ideas. Beryl has a way of making the simplest objects beautiful with a little gesso, some paint and papers, and some beads…and of course her layers.

Inspired by Beryl's DVD, I decided to make some fabric paper and then determine what I'd do with it.


  • Muslin
  • White glue
  • Water
  • Old, 2"-3" paintbrush
  • Papers (vintage, tissue, book pages, etc.)
  • Paints

Optional Materials

  • Embroidery floss
  • Ink Pad


painting with glue

1. Mix the glue with water in a 1:1 ratio, a little heavier on the glue. Mix well.

2. Cover your work surface with plastic and place the fabric on top. I used a bag from the dry cleaners

Note: I decided to use a printed fabric (polka dots) in place of the muslin so that both sides of the fabric paper would be colorful.

3. Using the old paintbrush, coat the fabric with the water/glue mixture.



layering4. Rip or cut a variety of papers and lay them into the glue mixture on the fabric. Once you have covered the fabric with papers, paint another layer of glue over the top.





with fibers5. Continue to add more papers, as desired, or add some embroidery threads randomly on top, as I did. Paint the glue mixture over the threads.

Note: I separated the floss strands so that I was adding them individually.






drying6. Once you are happy with the layout, allow it to dry. I placed the fabric paper on a cooling rack to facilitate drying and had a fan blowing on low.

7. Add a wash of paint, if desired. I used an ink pad and rubbed it over the surface. This really accentuated the texture created by the overlapped papers, folds, and ridges.


Once I had the base, the wheels started turning… Would I make a book wrap…a small decorative piece? Hmm.

Knowing that (sadly) most of the moms in my life would appreciate a plant over a handmade anything, I decided to make a "wrap" to make their plants more gift-y.

The Wrap

Additional Materials

  • Tacky Glue
  • Double-fold bias tape
  • Plastic plant liner or discarded plastic bowl
  • Plant of choice
  • Ribbon(s)


tracing the bowl1. Cut a circle large enough to accommodate "wrapping" the plant pot. I used a large bowl as a template and cut 3" beyond the bowl to get the size I was looking for.

2. Run a bead of Tacky Glue around the circumference of the fabric paper circle. Place the bias tape over the edge of the circle and press in place.

3. Turn the fabric paper circle over and repeat the glue bead, adhering the bias tape on the back as before.

4. Place the fabric paper on the table, wrong-side up, so that the side with the papers is on the bottom. Put the plant in the center of the circle and fold it up around the plant. Adjust the folds and gathers as desired and tie ribbon around it. I used 3 different ribbons, cut to the same length.


finished projectI ended up with some great scraps too!

If you're not into creating gifts–or maybe you've just run out of time–how about getting mom Beryl's DVD? Another good choice is Jenn Mason's: "Mixed-media Medley" or Natalya Aiken's "Texture Transformations." You can watch previews of all of these videos at

Enjoy your day!

Barb Delaney

Assistant Editor




Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques


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