2 Dimensional Arts

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2 Dimensional Arts
Book Making and Paper Making
Maps and Charts
Paper Arts
Print Making


Book Making

Ideas for books:

A. Make a zine

How to make a zine booklet (with lots of binding options)

B. Accordion booklet

A nice accordion book project, albeit a little elaborate

C. Scrapbook

You can make an attractive scrapbook by purchasing “pressboard side-bound report covers” from an office supply store. These cost about $250 ea. (in 2016). They are reasonably attractive, accept any sheet with a standard 3-hole punch, and can hold more than 300 sheets of regular-weight paper. This large capacity means you could put in some interesting thicker materials, e.g., cardboard, wood veneer, fabric, etc. To see an example, click here.

For less than half the price, you can get Twin Pocket Portfolios with Fasteners (I’ve seen them as cheap as 68 cents each). Supposedly these will hold up to 100 sheets of paper, but the most I’ve gotten in is about 25 sheets — still more than enough for the typical scrapbook project. They’re kind of chintzy-looking, but the price is right. To see an example, click here.

What to make with a scrapbook:

— A portfolio of art work
— An illustrated story (teachers can provide pages of text, children can intersperse these with illustrations)


Maps and Charts

Ideas for projects:

A. Map the congregation’s neighborhood
— Habitat mapping
— Watershed mapping
— Human diversity mapping
— Map of other faith communities
— Etc.

B. Other maps
— Mapping Bible stories
— Mapping early Islam
— Etc.

C. Charts
— Timelines
— Etc.


Paper Arts

Ideas for projects:

A. Paper making

B. Origami



Ideas for projects:

A. Digital photographs

B. Instant photographs

C. “Sun printing” or cyanotypes

For supplies and projects, try the Cyanotype Store online


Print Making

Ideas for projects:

A. Block printing

B. Potato prints

C. Transferring photocopies with wintergreen oil

Using wintergreen oil as a solvent, you can transfer photocopies made by traditional B&W photocopiers and some laser printers. By so doing, you can create a collage of images. You can also transfer photocopies onto non-paper media such as cork, wood, etc.

Warnings: Wintergreen oil is used in small amounts as a flavoring in food, but it should not be taken plain by mouth, and it is not safe to put on the skin of young children. Persons with an aspirin allergy may be sensitive to wintergreen oil. The smell is pretty strong and should be used in a well-ventilated area. In short, I would only use this with teens and adults who can heed warnings about not ingesting it. When I use it, I use it only in a well-ventilated room, and I wear gloves.


1. You will need wintergreen oil, a natural food additive, which can be obtained online or at places like health food stores, Walmart, Walgreen’s, etc. A typical price is $12 for a small bottle.

2. You will also need freshly printed photocopies or laser prints. I have had success using prints from my old HP LaserJet 1320. (Color printers or photocopiers do not work, in my experience.)

3. You will need the material you are going to print on

4. You will need a paint brush to apply the wintergreen oil. I find that inexpensive camel’s hair brushes work well. You don’t want to use a nice brush, because the oil is hard to get out. Since wintergreen oil is pretty expensive, you probably want to use as little oil as possible, so a narrower brush is usually better.

5. You will need a burnisher of some kind. Spoons and table knives work well — use the back of a spoon for large areas, and use the rounded handle of a steel table knife for detail work. If you can find a dry transfer burnisher, those are much more comfortable to use. Also pleasant to use is a bone folder, the type with a smaller rounded point at one end (so you can do fine detail if you need to).


Print or photocopy the B&W image you want to transfer. Use it AS SOON AS POSSIBLE; the fresher it is, the better it works.

Paint the wintergreen oil on the image. Experiment with painting directly on the printed side of the paper (may blur the image slightly), or on the back (may not penetrate adequately, so the image doesn’t completely transfer).

Once you have put wintergreen oil on the part of the photocopied image you want to transfer, turn it printed side down onto the material you’re going to print on. Now take your burnisher, and rub the back of the original.

You can check to see how well the transfer is going by clamping one corner of the work with the heel of your hand, then using the other hand gently lifting up a corner of the original until you can see the printed area. If you are rubbing unevenly, or have missed an area, let the original back down and rub some more.

The beauty of this printing process is that you can transfer whatever portion of the original you want. Plus you can print portions of the original right next to portions of another original (just be careful when you do this, as the wintergreen oil can loosen up images you’ve already transferred).

Sure, you can do all this on your computer screen, then print onto a dry transfer sheet, and transfer onto whatever material you want. But the wintergreen oil process feels more spontaneous, and the handwork is more satisfying. As you use the process more, you’ll find find ways to vary the quality of the image through varying your technique: the amount of oil used, the pressure on the stylus, etc.