Here is this morning’s DIY project. Tutorial from Lindsay the Frugal Crafter. This is my first attempt at making a watercolor block. Here are the instructions and some observations.
The process is delightfully easy to do:
Cover the watercolor paper with a throw away sheet of paper-I used the cover that came with the pad. On the bottom use a piece of chipboard from a cereal box or a piece of cardboard. Again, mine came with the pad so I didn’t have to cut one. If you are not using a ready made pad of paper but cutting your own from loose sheets of watercolor paper, make sure the top sheet and bottom cardboard are the same size as the paper. Clamp the sandwich of top, watercolor paper, and bottom together with clothespins or clips to hold them securely.
With your hot glue gun, run a bead of hot glue along the edge of your secured paper sandwich. While it is still wet, smear the glue thinly onto the edge of the paper sandwich. The watercolor paper, top sheet and bottom chipboard should be covered with the thin layer of hot glue, making it one solid edge. Do this on three sides, covering the entire side completely with the hot glue and paying particular attention to the corners. On the forth side, do exactly the same thing only leave a 1/4″ space which has no glue on it. This is where you will insert your butter knife or palette knife to slice off the sheet you are finished with. If you do not leave this space, you will be unable to remove your paper, leaving you with a solid block. You don’t want a solid block.
The paper is the cheapest pad I could find in my stash. I didn’t want to waste any expensive paper if this didn’t work out.
I applied way more hot glue than necessary. Just a small bead, spread thinly with a silicone spatula will do the trick. You can see if the edges of the sheets of paper have been completely covered by the glue, but I didn’t bother to look before I added a second layer “just to be sure”. Silly, a waste of glue and the end result isn’t as neat and tidy as it should be. I will just stick with the single layer, spread thinly in the future.
The cover I used was the one attached to the paper pad. I should have sliced it free from the pad, then laid it on top of the sheets of paper and clipped it on with clothespins. By leaving it attached, the cover sheet was slightly to short for complete coverage of the pad. This resulted in the cover sheet attaching to the top sheet of the watercolor paper., so when I sliced off the cover sheet there was glue and paper left on the edge.
This is easily removed and had no effect on the watercolor paper. I would just prefer the block to behave like the store-bought blocks, and store-bought don’t do that. In the future I will remove the cover sheet, or make one of my own, and lay it out exactly on top of the watercolor paper to avoid this minor thing.
Again, don’t use to much glue. Not that it hurts anything, it just doesn’t look as nice as it could. I’ll whip up a few small paintings on this block to see how it works out and let you know.
The silicone spatula was from the Dollar Tree, the hot glue from the 25 lb box I ordered, the watercolor pad from Hobby Lobby.