Making beautiful Papers with Citri-Solve

26 Sep

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?

Citri-Solve Concentrate & National Geographic

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!

Altered pages

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!

10 Responses to “Making beautiful Papers with Citri-Solve”

  1. kkinkkin September 26, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    You got some very nice papers, Deb!


    • lifeofdeb September 26, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

      Thanks. It was fun to do. I’m already looking forward to doing it again.


  2. ellenscobie September 26, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    That looks really fun and unpredictable. Did you just try the National Geographic? Vogue too? Thanks for sharing!


    • lifeofdeb September 27, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

      Hi Ellen, I did try a few pages in a couple catalogs and in the Vogue, but didn’t have good results. However, now that I know not every page in the Ntl Geo worked very well, I think I will go back in and do more pages in the Vogue and see if I get better results on some of the other pages.


  3. Linda September 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

    Great pages! Were they used in the classes?


    • lifeofdeb September 27, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

      Hey Linda, I am taking them with me to use in the journal class I am doing at my sister’s. Maybe we will have time to make some more too.


  4. Sonja Milojevic October 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    I love these pages! The colors are wonderful and I can already see them as journal pages or even cut to make embellishments. Thanks for sharing! 🙂


    • lifeofdeb October 5, 2011 at 7:12 pm #

      They are fun to make and are very cool too.


  5. Carolyn Daniele November 13, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    The reason the citri-solve only works on some pages( and only in Nat. Geo) is that they use clay coated papers in Nat. Geo. except on the pages with advertising, like for camera adds or travel. Hope this helps.


    • lifeofdeb November 13, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

      Thanks for the info Carolyn. I figured it was somehow related to how the pages are coated.


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