Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bees wax tutorial for collaging your ATC's and art

Hello Peeps, this evening I am going to show you how to do a collage on your ATC, you will not be needing any glues except if you are using a cardboard backing for support then glue your first layer of paper onto that. Then put the glue away and I will show you how quick and easy it is to use bees wax.
I must first tell you be careful  like any wax if it gets too hot can catch on fire. If you are using your stove to melt the wax then use a double boiler type of system. Here I am using an old pot pourri burner, remember when we used to put pot pourri in water then plugged this little crock in and your room filled with the scents, then a mucky mess afterwards to clean up if it didn't get forgotten and got all mouldy. Well I have had one of these for ages and I use it to melt wax in, having a cat I would hate to see her tail get caught in a flame and all of a sudden you are chasing a cat on fire. Not a good idea. Just remember do NOT leave wax unattended at any time and remember safety first.
This is not my original idea and again I am just giving you a visual tutorial so this may help you to try something new to your altered art or ATC's.
Here are your supplies: iron dedicated for crafts, got this for 2.00, old paint brush doesn't matter what size, I had this one just for wax, small crock or something to melt your bees wax in, bees wax either a candle or sheets of natural not coloured, papers to make your collage for your ATC or altered book or artwork, a piece of wax paper large enough to fold in half and place your card into and a sheet of either newsprint type of paper with no print or ink  or a piece of computer paper, again large enough to fold in half and cover the wax paper and ATC.

1. Melt your wax in the crock or whatever you use, this may take a bit of time.
2. Decide ahead of time what you want your ATC to look like and get your papers cut out or torn etc.
3.Dip your brush into you melted wax and work quickly,  I had to use 2 hands  one hold items and  other take pics, I like to hold my ATC in one hand near the crock and dip and stroke on the beeswax close to the crock. The bees wax starts to harden quickly so you need to work quickly and do one layer of paper at a time.
4. Stroke the beeswax onto your first layer, here I attached my backing layer as mentioned at the very beginning with glue but now I am attaching my one image on the backing paper. Make sure that you  go around any edges of your papers and stroke over top of your image. It is going to get milky looking and bumpy but wait to see what happens as we go along.
5. I am now adding another layer of torn paper on the edge, it has gold Chinese characters on it and again make sure you stroke the wax along all edges. I even sealed the outside edges of the ATC, you can remove the chunks at the end.
6. I have now added my last image and if you click on this pic for a better and larger view it looks very bumpy and milky. We will take care of that in the next few steps.

7. Now take your wax paper and fold it in half if you haven't done so already and place the ATC in between that layer. Fold your computer or newsprint (no printing on it) and place your ATC and wax paper inside the  computer paper. You know have a sandwhich.

8. Now take you iron, doesn't have to be set on high and NO steam, iron your sandwhich. You will start to see the wax moving around and  will come off onto the computer paper, keep ironing it around, move the iron, do not let it sit in one spot too long, You don't have to do this for very long.
Now wait a minutue or two, allow the papers to cool down. Removing the wax paper from the ATC too soon may actually lift the bees wax off so just be patient.

9. Here is what it looks like when the ironing is done and you can see what I mean by the wax on the paper.
And here after removing the paper and wax paper from your ATC again after you let it cool..........

This photo does not really do this any justice but believe me it looks exactly the way I picuted it. As mentioned above if you still have a few chunks on the edges of your card then just break it off or smooth is off gently with your fingers. The wax is still soft and pliable.
Another thing you can do is buff your ATC with a tissue or soft cloth and it will be as smooth as a baby's bottom.
Your ATC also smells like honey.
Just for your information do not try to use plain wax for making candles to seal your work, this wax will only crack and eventually crumble and ruin your artwork. You can get sheets of bees wax I believe at Michaels, or most candle shops should carry candles made of  beeswax, even some places that sell honey. I am sure there are lots of online sources as well.  
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and if you have any questions or concerns or just want to comment I would be happy to hear from you.
I would love to see some of your ATC's collaged with bees wax


  1. oooh les thats fantastic thanks so much....

    i have never seen it done with the sandwich, i must try that beacuse when you dont have a mini iron it doesnt look as nice trying to get that final finish with a big one.

    lol 'iron dedicated to craft' love that . My iron is more dedicted to craft than ironing lol!!

  2. Thanks for the tut Les, I'll have to give it a try!!!

  3. Great tut, Les! Will definitely try it! BTW-another way to re-purpose an old potpourri pot is to set a jarred scented candle inside it, turn on the pot, and when the wax melts, the scent will fill the room with no flame involved. I, too, have cat tails to worry about!

  4. oh, and Jenxo, I was thinking the same thing. Is there any other way to use an iron, except for crafting? LOL

  5. Oh goody Les, have been waiting for this a long time. I tried it on one card about a month ago and did not like the look. You just showed me how to fix that with ironing process.Thanks much.

  6. I am going to try getting better at the bees was technique. Thanks. This was so neat.


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