Thursday, August 4, 2011

Angelina Fibers Tutorial

 I had some Angelina Fibers sitting around in my studio that was given to me by Jane Davies awhile ago to experiment with, and I just now got inspired.  We use boxed matches a lot in my house especially for candle lighting and it is nice to have something that is  pretty and can sit out.
Now I have to admit the majority of the fibers I had were not the most attractive color....
Fluorescent pink and So, I decided to paint it. That's right paint it.  When you use these fibers as you may know, you must take a cluster of the fibers and heat bond them in between a teflon sheet with an iron.  *If you don't know about working with these sparkling pretties, just Google Angelina Fibers tutorials and you will get a ton of information.
Now I started with prepared sheets of the above bright colors and used acrylic paint, primarily because I knew when it was dry the color would stay put when coming in contact with glue. Also this fiber is synthetic and non-porous so I needed color that would grab and stay put.  I wanted a non absorbent surface under the AF sheet so that as it dried the paint did not soak away from the the AF sheet. I used a cellophane package from one of my paper craft items.

 First, get the AF sheet very wet with water and then start applying the acrylic paint of your choice with a wet brush. The paint moves across the AF sheet better with water and the thinness of the paint allows for the iridescence to shine through.
 Of course you want to your colors that work together, like this Quinacridone Crimson and the pink and orange below for the bright pink AF.
 And this cobalt blue and the purple work well on the pink.x
Below you can see I used a Phthalo Teal on the yellow and it made a lovely rich green.
Also I tried using wax paper as under liner but I found it dulled the finish of the painted AF sheet. So stick with the repurposed cello packaging. 
I even tried using the wonderful shimmery Lumiere Metallic Olive and it worked quite well. When you have your AF sheets painted set them aside to dry fully on the plastic. While they dry give a coat of gesso on the empty matchboxes. They don't have to be fully covered. One coat will do.
Here is a selection of the colors and I used a flower punch on one of the AF sheets. These colors are so much more usable than the other colors. The very bottom blue was white AF painted blue and you can see the rich color of the metallic olive on the bottom left. You can see some of the sheets are cut with a straight edge and some have a loose ragged edge. You can use it either way as you will see below.
Next you adhere the AF sheets in small pieces to the dried gesso covered matchboxes. 
I used Glossy Accents by Ranger. Judi-kins Diamond Glaze would work well too. I applied a good amount and used a flat brush to smooth it across the entire surface and placed square AF piece on top and brushed with more of the Glossy Accents. Now do not try to make the AF piece fit the box, it is actually better to have it hang off the edge of the box. You will cut if off later after it dries.
Below you can see a nice effect of using thin feathery layers to create different color combinations.
 And finish with a good coat of the Glossy Accents to smooth the top surface.
I tried using  GLOSS gel medium which worked well too. Remember to only use something that has a gloss finish when it dries. If you use a matte finish it would dull the iridescence of the AF.
 Set them aside and let them dry over night before cutting off the extra.

When they are well dried you can now trim away the excess over hang of  the AF. I found this was easiest to cut the piece with the scissors on top cutting the fiber underneath, like below. That way you can use the box as the cutting guide and see it well.
Here are the finished boxes. Of course shooting iridescent surfaces is always tricky. But I am sure you get the idea of their shimmery beauty. They would be a terrific functional handmade item to give with a candle.

Thanks for stopping by, have a great day.


  1. I Love them thanks for this beautiful tutorial

  2. Very cool. I haven't heard of these, but now I'm looking to see what I can find. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Your welcome!! Scrapacat: they are so versatile...paper, fabric, collage. So fun to explore.

  4. Another great post. Your colors are so "smack in the face" gorgeous. I just love what you did here.


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