I am a mad fan of all the overlays available these days. It's just one more way of 'hiding' or obscuring things in my journal, adding layers -- and I am such a pocket, niche, fold-out, tuck-in kinda journal wench anyway!! However, I'm also an arteeste on a budget, and as much as I salivate over the $3/sheet overlays, I knew early on I wanted to find a way to do them for myself. I've been experimenting for several days now, and wanted to share a few of my results.
For just under $35, I bought a pack of plain paper copier transparency film (100 sheets) from the office supply store my company uses. There are also transparency sheets made for laser and inkjet printers, but those are an experiment for one of you to tackle! At any rate, that amounts to $2.85/sheet, very close in cost to the overlays in stores. The advantage as I see it is that I am able to make PERSONALIZED transparencies, to suit my mood, my 'tude, my piece, my poem, whatever the overlay may be accompanying.
A pad of 8½" x 11" translucent vellum (50 non-colored sheets) from the same office supply store runs me $12 -- or 0.24 cents per sheet.
Here we go! Transparencies by Toni!!
For those of you who love to doodle and letter, whip out a few transparency sheets and keep them by the phone or computer. I used Bic Mark-It markers on here, heat-set when I was done. This is the ultimate personal way to create overlays, and the power of seeing your own drawings or written messages/reminders/ quotes/inspiration? Awesome! Just be sure to HEAT SET the ink to avoid smearage. I'm a heat-gun fiend, true story, & tend to 'fire' my stuff from too close all the time. So try to remember to hold your heat gun or blow dryer a few inches from the transparency or you'll get unpredictable bends and kinks in the plastic. My Sharpies all work fine, too, for this application -- haven't tried any of my other pens yet, so if any of you DO, shoot me a comment or email and tell me which ones work.
These are either hand-carved stamps or fave rubber stamp images of mine. I used both Staz-On and Ancient Page inks, always heat set as I go (heat set)(did I say heat set?) Again, there's NO END to the possibilities here -- anything that can be impressed into ink and then pressed onto a transparency can become an overlay. Even acrylic paint. I don't have any examples to show you, but I use my cheezo acrylic paints on 'foamie' stamps to create overlays. I let the paint air dry, then heat set it as extra assurance. With the paint, I'm more careful to hold my heat gun back farther, as firing it too close gives it bubbles and breaks I don't always like. But YOU might -- it's a more distressed, aged effect. Alert: the transparency surface is slick, so it takes a slow, cool, steady hand when applying the stamped image.
This is magazine text or ads that I like, taped to a white sheet (double stick tape on the back, that is), then copied onto a transparency sheet. I've tried this with vellum, also, with much less success at any kind of see-through at images behind. I like small and large bits of text, strips or big blocks, depending on the words or phrase. Endless possibilities here -- think of stickers, rub-ons, journaling stamps! Since I use everything in my own personal journal, I tend to distinguish less about copywritten items, but bear that in mind depending on YOUR intended use.
Some of my own photos & some vintage photos from my collection, taped to a white sheet of paper then copied onto a transparency. I didn't fiddle with any of the machine settings -- but remember, you could easily enlarge or shrink your images, tweak the light/dark settings, reverse them (mirror setting), among other possibilities depending on the sophistication of the copy machine you use.
This is one of my England photos, printed out on a sheet of vellum. Much more opaque peek-a-boo effect on vellum. With vellum, I've found if I really want to see anything of the image behind it, it's best to use an image with a lot of white or light space, like this one, and either a dark or deeply saturated colored page or image behind.
If you happen to like any of these pages, feel free to download and enjoy!