Making Paper Castings for your Altered Book


Paper castings made from toilet paper or tissue are easy to make and economical, too.

paper castings
A paper casting is the central element in this altered book page.
paper casting
The casting is lightly colored with pastel pencils.

Aside from the rubber stamp, you will have all the supplies you need lying around the house. The finished product is attractive and definitely original.


1. A deeply cut rubber stamp. A stamp with fine cuts will not work well for this.
2. Stamping ink in color of your choice (optional)
3. Toilet paper or tissue
4. owl of water
5. Paper towel
6. Pastel pencils, chalk pencils, gel pens, acrylic paint, or other source of color (optional)


1. If you want a colored casting, tap your stamp in the ink pad at this point. The color from the ink pad will be muted and uneven on the finished casting. For example, a butterfly stamp coated with a rose-colored ink resulted in a butterfly casting with tints and shades of pink running through it. Omit this step if you want a casting that is the same color as your toilet paper or tissue.

2. Separate 3-5 squares of toilet paper, or cut tissue into 3-5 squares that are a few inches larger than the rubber stamp you are planning to use. The paper I use is two-ply. Experiment with different plies if desired.

3. Take one square of toilet paper and hold it open. Dip the center of the square into the bowl of water so that a wet spot appears and spreads.

4. Carefully place the toilet paper in the rubber stamp. Pat it down gently with your finger or a Q-tip.

5. Repeat with the other squares, gradually building up layers of toilet paper in the stamp.

6. When all squares are added, take a paper towel and blot the excess water out of the casting.

7. Carefully remove the wet casting from the stamp.

8. While the casting is damp, tear (or cut) away the excess toilet paper or tissue from the edges. Avoid cutting too close to the casting. Leave as much excess paper around the edges as you want.

8. Attach the paper casting to your project using glue or other fastener.

9. Colour your finished element with pastel pencils, chalk pencils, gel pens,acrylic paint, or any other product (optional). I would avoid using water or water colour pencils. I haven't tried this, but it seems likely that water colours would dissolve the castings.

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Return to Altered Book Home Page when finished with paper castings.