Elizabeth St. Hilaire – Day Two

Love Story: A Hand-Painted Altered Book

Description and Techniques:

Your love and appreciation for a companion, a child, a sibling, a friend, is told through a series of removable hand-painted paper letters and postcards that make up an illustrated and enduring keepsake book. We will use a gessoed children’s board book as a base for adhering hand-folded and commercial envelopes that will open to reveal hand-painted stationery papers, postcards, and shipping tags. You will write a story through a series of letters that can be pulled from their own envelopes, giving the reader a sensation of reading someones mail.


Learn to create hand-painted papers through a small sampling of techniques from Elizabeth’s book Painted Paper Art Workshop that will serve as the raw material for this book.

Workshop Image Gallery (click on the thumbnail to see full images):

Elizabeth St. Hilaire

Duration of Class:

One Day (6 Hours)


Mixed Media, Collage, Book Arts

Skill Level:


Student Supply List:

  • RICE PAPER, Hosho or Shuji Gami Kozo Paper Roll or pad. White papers with and without fibers
  • VARIETY OF PAPERS, sheet music, maps, wallpaper, hand written notes, old book pages, handmade papers, deli paper, white tissue – variety of thickness and textures. You can do this totally with found papers
  • DECORATIVE PAPERS, papers you purchase at your local art supply store with fiber, embossing, metallic patterning, iridescent patterning. Please purchase in white or natural if possible, this allows for the most color options when painting
  • NO MAGAZINES or shiny coated printed papers please. We will experiment with hand-painting, -staining, -stamping and -patterning a variety of papers. Please bring any stamps, toothbrushes, palette knives or stencils and a Gelli Plate* you might like to use for adding texture. I will provide a table with shared materials at the front of the room
  • GOLDEN FLUID ACRYLIC PAINTS & WHITE GESSO I prefer Golden fluid acrylics for painting papers as they maintain their vibrancy when watered down and the translucency gives a wonderful layering and multiplying effect. Small container of white gesso to be used as white/opaque paint
  • LIQUITEX GLOSS GEL MEDIUM This is the adhesive glue we will use to adhere papers into the book
  • PAINT BRUSHES variety of sizes from half inch to inch for glue and paint
  • WATER VESSEL to clean brushes at your station
  • PAPER TOWELS for cleanup
  • PAPER PLATES for disposable palette
  • 8X10 GELLI PLATE AND 4- OR 6- INCH BRAYER Visit GelliArts.com if you are not familiar with this product
  • CHILDREN’S BOARD BOOK small sized, 5×7, 6×9, 6×6, etc. PLEASE PRE GESSO ALL PAGES OF THIS BOOK PRIOR TO CLASS as this is a slow process that we will not have time for in class
  • ASSORTMENT OF SHIPPING TAGS AND SMALL ENVELOPES / PERSONAL EPHEMERA these will be hand painted and glued into the pages of your book along with your hand-painted papers
  • FINE POINT PERMANENT PEN/MARKERS for embellishing and note writing. Suggest Faber Castell PITT pens or Micron pens in a variety of dark colors
  • EXACTO KNIFE HANDLE WITH EXTRA BLADES for trimming papers to fit pages, will need a sharp, new blade at all times for accurate cuts.
  • OPTIONAL: PALETTE PAPER A pad of shiny surface palette paper to use as a portable work surface for your papers
  • OPTIONAL: GALLON PLASTIC ZIP BAGS for organizing papers to take home
  • We will experiment with hand-painting, -staining, -stamping and -patterning a variety of papers. Please bring any stamps, toothbrushes, palette knives or stencils and a Gelli Plate* you might like to use for adding texture.
  • OPTIONAL: MIXED MEDIA KIT – $20 Available for purchase from the instructor
    (bag of mixed sized shipping tags, and small envelopes along with old letters and receipts)


Coat all pages and covers of a small children’s board book with white gesso prior to class

Class Size:

Min # of students: 10
Max # of students: 18