I had read about using Citri-Solve and National Geographic to create some fabulous papers to use in collage and journaling and I had seen some pages that were created by a friend of mine. I just had never tried it myself. So when a friend gave me some National Geographic magazines, I figured I should try it out.
I had read that using other citrus based cleaners would not get the same results. Also, I needed to use National Geographics. Other magazines and catalogs weren’t made the same, so they wouldn’t give me the right results. Something about the type of paper and the inks they use. Although I did read one blog post from somebody who had luck using Vogue magazines. I figured I would try a few different magazines and catalogs and see what happened.
First problem I encountered was that it isn’t very easy to find the Citri-Solve brand cleaner. I only found it locally at Whole Foods. Nobody else carries it. So I took my spray bottle home and started spraying papers and waited to see what would happen. Hmmm….nothing much happened. A little disintegration of the pages, but nothing impressive. So I did a little more research and found out you have to use the concentrate form of Citri-Solve, not the spray bottle of cleaner. Apparently that isn’t really strong enough. So back I went to Whole Foods to buy the concentrate form. I wonder what they think I am cleaning that I need so much Citri-Solve to do the job?
I didn’t really know how much I needed to use, so I started by just using a paper towel to dab the concentrate on the pages. It sort of worked, but it wasn’t enough to get solid results. Then I started just pouring the Citri-Solve onto the pages of the National Geographic (and some pages in some other magazines too) and smearing it around. Now it was working! YAY!
I wasn’t sure how many pages I should do at once, or how long they needed to soak before I started spreading them out to dry. I started with about 10 pages just to see how it worked and how long it would take. In the meantime I spread out paper towels and wax paper around the floor of the studio so I could lay out my pages to dry. Then I went back to peek at my first pages and they were working nicely. I tore them out and spread them on the wax paper to dry. Then I went back and poured concentrate throughout the rest of the magazine pages. I just went through page by page and poured a little bit on each page and then started squishing the magazine pages together.
I think the squishing is the part that makes it really work. But boy is it messy. I knew to have paper towels handy and to put the magazine on some paper to protect the table, but I didn’t realize HOW messy it would be. As you squish it and press it together, all the ink and goop starts leaking out the edges. Black goopy stuff. Very messy! I probably should have worn gloves for that part.
I just kept squishing and wiping up the leaking goop and then checking the pages every couple of minutes. As the pages started looking like they were changing, I started ripping them out, smearing them even more as I was going. While the pages are wet you can keep smearing the inks and get different results. I also noticed that not all of the pages change. Some of the pages don’t alter at all. I’m not sure why that is, but it is! Nonetheless I was able to get dozens of pages of really cool paper out of one magazine. Some of the pages only had partial changes, but I can cut them up to use them. None of the other magazines I tried really had the same type of results. I think I will stick to the National Geographics in the future. Here are a few of the pages I created!
It is so cool to watch the transformation of the pages and to be envisioning what I might potentially be able to do with them. I hope you get the chance to try out this fun technique and make some of your own awesome pages!