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Guest Expert

Stickyback Papers
by Dana Kirk

FASTER and EASIER. Those are the words many have used to describe the use of "Stickyback" papers. One woman claims to have made 60 handmade Christmas cards in less than 2 hours, using stickyback tissue and stickyback vellum. The cards were beautiful. I would have thought she took more than several hours to produce that many.

Tearing Jute Paper

"Stickyback" papers are, well, just that, sticky on the back! The glue (adhesive) has already been applied, and covered with a protective liner. The papers can be cut with scissors, diecuts, punches, and torn, just like their non-stickyback counterparts. In some cases, the protective liner makes the paper easier to punch or tear. They don't appear to gum up the punches. When torn for that ragged or feathered edge, the adhesive shrinks away from the torn fibers. Some papers are normally difficult to glue into place. Glue spots show through mulberry tissues and vellum papers. It can be tricky to hide these spots, but with stickyback, the full coverage of adhesive provides good anchorage to your pieces, and no noticeable, isolated glue spots.

Printing on exotic and fibrous papers can normally be a real challenge.

The liner on the back of stickyback provides the support necessary so that they don't jam up the printer. While most papers should be printed on NORMAL to BEST printer settings, vellum papers should be printed on DRAFT to NORMAL settings. Allow an additional 5-10 minutes for the printed vellum papers to dry fully. Even photographs can be printed on many of these exotic papers.

While there are so many positive reasons to use stickyback papers, there is one minor challenge. Sometimes it can be difficult to start the separation of the liner from the paper. Allow me to share a couple of pointers that can alleviate this challenge. When trying to remove the liner, hold the paper about ½" from the edge, rub the edge with the index finger of the other hand, pulling the liner away from the paper. If trying to remove liner from a flexible paper, like mulberry tissue, hold the paper with the tissue towards you and pull the tissue away from the more stiff liner.

While some may find the stickyback papers expensive, it must be remembered that these are embellishment papers. One sheet goes a long ways when cut up, punched, or torn to decorate your pages and cards. Other embellishments on the market are considerably more expensive and do not go as far to decorate so many pages.

Peeling Back Liner

Also, time is money. You can make so many more handmade cards or scrapbook pages in much less time. What a value for the working woman or busy mom who is constantly shuttling the kids around from activity to activity. Stickyback papers can be used to make your own stickers. Just download images from the internet, or purchase clipart software, and you can pick and choose what images you want. No need to purchase a whole sheet of stickers to obtain the 2 or 3 that you want for that special page.

It is so exciting to see the great variety of materials being made stickyback. You can now purchase not only cardstocks with adhesive, but jute, handmade mulberry and mulberry tissue, vellums, textured papers, flocked papers, metallics and foils, holographic papers, fabrics, and more. I foresee a huge growth in the types of materials that will be offered with sticky-backs, allowing even greater creativity for crafters of all types (scrap-bookers, card makers, rubber-stampers, sculpting artisans, and more).


Prior to launching "The Paper Palette L.L.C.", Dana Kirk developed new materials and techniques used for printing stickers to be used in the scrapbooking industry. Out of his desire to make everything "Stickyback", he continually searches the world for interesting materials to which he adds adhesive and liner to the back.

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