The Very Best and Only Good Way to Adhere Newspaper, T-shirts, and Other Stuff

Newspaper Articles  654 – Version 2

Newspaper articles, special t-shirts, fabrics and laces — I LOVE scrapbooking with all these amazing things that have special significance in our lives.

They all add texture, both literally and figuratively, to our stories.

I mentioned in a recent Paperclipping Roundtable episode about storytelling that after a lifetime of experimenting with how to adhere these types of story-laden materials, I have come to the conclusion that there is just one adhesive that is good.

It’s gel medium (matte).

And it’s not just good. It’s amazing.

For example…

FABRIC

ballet_scrapbook_fabric5

ballet_scrapbook_fabric6

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Do you like the idea of using bits of fabric? Fabric from old costumes or well-loved clothing?

See more on scrapbooking with fabric here: Fabric On Your Pages

NEWSPAPER

Newspaper Articles  652 – Version 2

Newspaper

Do you have old clippings from your family’s small town local paper? More current clippings of current events? I have both, plus I saved a few favorite cartoons when I was a teenager and college student.

See more here: Working with Newsprint

SPECIAL OCCASION T-SHIRTS

Still need to add a couple strips of journaling: You and your best friend went to see Owl City. Your moms came along with you, and you’re still young enough to be okay with that. We were close to the stage -- just a few people in front of us. Then some super nice bigs gave you their spots at the very front. You bought a cd and a t-shirt (or did I buy the shirt?) and were introduced to Lights (who opened the show). That led you to your next two concerts after that.
Still need to add a couple strips of journaling:
You and your best friend went to see Owl City. Your moms came along with you, and you’re still young enough to be okay with that. We were close to the stage — just a few people in front of us. Then some super nice bigs gave you their spots at the very front. You bought a cd and a t-shirt (or did I buy the shirt?) and were introduced to Lights (who opened the show). That led you to your next two concerts after that.

The entire background of this page is a t-shirt from my son’s first concert. After he grew out of it he was so glad that I had a way of preserving it for him which did not include taking up space in his dresser drawer. (Please excuse the graying out of his friend’s face).

I bet you have some special t-shirts too meaningful to give up, but that you don’t actually want to wear. I threw most of mine away before I figured out I could use gel medium. (sadface).

See more info with a free video here: How to Make Ephemera Fit with Your Design

Why Gel Medium

Gel medium is archival, it is durable and long-lasting. It holds heavy items (professional mixed media artists use it to hold heavy things). And gel medium maintains the page’s original flexibility so it won’t crack from stiffness.

You can see how it works in a few of the Paperclipping member videos. See episodes 71, 205, and 274. Episode 71 is very detailed in specific methods that do and don’t work when using gel medium with newspaper. Click here for information about a membership.

Do you have old newspaper clippings that are disintegrating? I’m not an expert archivist, but this seems to me to be a good solution to make our old clippings last a long, long time so they don’t fall apart.

These items from our daily lives add texture and authenticity to our pages. I love them! I hope you’re adding them to your pages.

  • Julianna

    Noell, for adhering newspaper do you need to spread the gel both under and over the clippings, “sealing” them in? I wonder if that’s part of what helps prevent yellowing.
    One thing I have yet to find a good adhesive for is receipts – the ink/toner most receipts print on seems to dissolve with any liquid adhesive, even gel medium. Ideas?

  • Hi, Julianna. I’ve done newspaper both with and without sealing the front with the gel medium. At this point I haven’t seen fading on any newspapers. My concern with newspapers is more that they quickly start disintegrating. I can’t remember noticing fading of the print. But if fading IS an issue with newspaper and I’m just not remembering that at the moment, then sealing the top is a definite good idea.
    As for receipts — ugh, receipts seem to be made with the worst of all inks! I don’t tend to save them as much for that reason. I do not know of a good way to preserve that ink. When I have saved and scrapbooked receipts, I’ve just used regular tape or stuck them into the pocket of a page protector. I have no idea if the ink will last well that way or not. Wish I could be more helpful with your receipts!

  • Libby Wiers

    Receipts fade so quickly, I usually photocopy them and scrap the photocopy…

  • Gina Beth

    That’s exactly what I do Libby – photocopy!!

  • Tina Campbell

    Cool article and excited to see the video on this :) I have lots of newspaper articles I want to add to layout, brochures too and will give this a try :) Definitely a lot cheaper than the archival spray :) Thanks so much Noell for this tip :)

  • Tina Campbell

    Good tip Libby to photo copy the receipt :) I will need to remember that because I have lost of them that have faded over time

  • It makes me excited to hear from someone who has lots of newspaper articles! I’ve loved them since I was a girl. :)
    I have not used gel medium on brochures — at least I don’t remember doing it. I suggest you test a piece you don’t want to use, just to make sure the color doesn’t run. I doubt it will, but I would test it just in case.

  • Tina Campbell

    There are some great stories that you can get out of the newspaper and when you have grandkids that are active you see stories about them too. To me it gives an extra nice touch to the layout. Thanks for that tip about testing first :)

  • Julianna

    thanks for the tip!!

  • Katherine Kelley

    I love love saving newspaper clippings – like how they add to the everyday life around here quality to my memory keeping(art journaling, project life, scrapbook pages, and the easiest to create – piles). Front page headlines, funny ads, comic strips, editorials and the political/social commentary comics. Even though I could go to the news websites, etc and print off the article – it isn’t the same. For several years I saved lots of headlines and op/ed comics related to a certain subject and stuck them up on a dryer we have in our family room kinda like how the fridge is the bulletin board for the kitchen. This past August, my family asked me to take the collection down for a variety of reasons – the clippings were looking old, the layers were making the magnets fall off, and they wanted me to start a new collection. But what to do with this cache? Maybe maybe I’ll create its own story album.
    I remembered that you had previously posted on using medium to add newspapers and tee shirts to pages. And perfect timing to have posted again on these techniques.
    Interesting story about the ottoman! Do you still have it in your home? Years from now, maybe grandkids will be pulling themselves up around it to look through your albums and come upon this story page!
    Extra question- you use the Ranger medium – I’m assuming that you have found that the best vs a more liqued medium?

  • Katherine Kelley

    Lots of receipts fade because the ink is thermal based. I just found this article online that gives some ideas on how to try to recover the image/printing on a receipt. Never knew you could try!
    http://smallbusiness.chron.com/recover-faded-cash-register-receipt-21509.html

  • Fun thoughts, Katherine! No, we no longer have the ottoman. I was jumping on our couch one night while my daughter had a slumber party, and so all the other girls followed. The next day we realized we broke it. So we ditched the couch + ottoman (which was getting old anyway) and bought something totally different. I’m not allowed to jump on couches anymore. Hehe.

  • I had this video in the back of my mind for a while. I finally got the chance to use this technique – I adhered a piece of an old sewing pattern to a piece of cardstock using gel medium. It worked great!