How to make paper look like leather

leather close up image by Dmitry Rukhlenko from Fotolia.com

For centuries, decorative paper was made by hand and used in objects from the exquisite endpapers in books to one-of-a-kind stationery to painstakingly hung wallpaper. Embellishing paper is inexpensive and quick, and design possibilities are practically endless. There are many easy ways to make plain paper into faux leather, but by taking a little extra time, you can pull off the look and even the feel of leather almost as easily as crumpling tissue paper.

crumpled paper image by Alexey Klementiev from Fotolia.com

Crush the tissue paper into a tight ball, squeezing it all the way around. Smooth it out again, being careful not to tear it as you flatten it.

iron image by Robert Grzywaczewski from Fotolia.com

Turn the iron on high. Put the freezer paper with its shiny side up on the ironing board. Place the wrinkled tissue paper on top of the freezer paper, covering it completely. Pass the iron across the papers several times, fusing the two together. The iron should come in direct contact with the tissue paper only, and not with the freezer paper, which remains beneath the tissue paper. Keep the iron moving swiftly so as not to burn the paper. The papers are fully melded together once there are no air pockets and the edges and corners have bonded completely.

paintbrush #4 image by Adam Borkowski from Fotolia.com

Brush the paper thoroughly with the acrylic varnish, topside (tissue paper) up. The varnish will reinforce the paper while at the same time giving it the feel of real leather. Allow the varnish to dry completely (to the touch) before using the paper.

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