DIY Paper Craft Supplies To Make at Home

DIY Paper Craft Supplies To Make at Home main article image
Posted on February 8, 2021 by Julie Richards

How many times have you seen new paper craft supplies, rushed to buy them, and suffered shell shock when you saw the prices? It has happened to me on too many occasions. I’m left with the decision of trying only one item or walking away in disgust. How can those fantastic craft supplies come with such a hefty price tag for the amount of product you get! The good news? I’ve found great recipes to make paper craft supplies at home and skip the high price tag.

NOTE: Please keep all containers and utensils that you use for making these supplies in your craft room to avoid cross-contamination in your kitchen

Tip: Use distilled water when making these craft supplies to avoid mold-causing bacteria in your DIY art supplies. If you boil water and let it sit overnight in a sealed container the result is distilled water.

How to make alcohol ink

Alcohol inks come in a wide array of colors that add deep, vibrant, hues to paper crafts and mixed media art. This craft supply recipe, includes two ways to make alcohol inks. The least expensive is with a pack of permanent markers from the local dollar store. Although sometimes not as vibrant as the originals, the markers make beautiful colors.

Printer refill inks produce the bold, rich colors found in the name brand alcohol inks. Magenta, cyan, yellow and black are available in 100 ml bottles at office supply stores and online. A four-pack is less than $20. You use about four to six milliliters for each bottle of alcohol ink, making it a great return on the investment. These four ink colors are the same ones your printer uses. Just imagine how many colors you can make when you mix and match the colors!


  • 3-ounce spray bottle
  • 2 ½ ounces of 91% alcohol
  • Ink
  • Pliers
  • Scissors

Making ink with permanent makers

  1. Cut about ¼ inch off the bottom of the tube attached to the spray nozzle.
  2. Add 2 ounces of alcohol to the bottle.
  3. Pull the writing nib from the tip of the marker using the pliers.
  4. Pull the marker apart (you may have to snap the casing apart).
  5. Remove the ink filament from inside the marker and cut it into three sections.
  6. Insert the filament pieces into the spray bottle.
  7. Finish filling the bottle with alcohol.
  8. Shake and let sit overnight before using.

Making ink with printer ink

  1. Cut about ¼ inch off the bottom of the tube attached to the spray nozzle.
  2. Fill the bottle with alcohol.
  3. Add 4 to 6 milliliters of printer ink – depending on your desired color.
  4. Shake well and use as desired.

How to make glimmer mist

Glimmer mist is a combination of alcohol ink and mica powder. This match made in heaven adds shimmer to your paper craft projects or mixed media art without the mess of glitter. If you use the alcohol inks recipe, you just need an inexpensive mica powder and binding agent. Most local dollar stores carry the L.A. Colors brand of eye shadow which is a form of mica powder. The binding agent keeps the mica powder from flaking off your craft project. School glue works well in this application.


  • 3 ounce bottle of alcohol ink
  • ½ teaspoon of school glue
  • 1 teaspoon of mica powder (adjust as desired)
  • 1 glass or metal bead (helps the mica powder disperse when shaken)


  1. Add the glue and mica powder to the alcohol ink.
  2. Drop in the glass or metal bead.
  3. Shake the bottle to mix the contents.
  4. Spray on any project to create a glittery affect.

Alcohol Ink

How to make mod podge gel medium

I use gel medium in almost all of my craft projects. If I had to buy the name brand of this paper craft supply, I would go broke! I use it to decoupage napkins to envelopes, add seed beads to my mixed media canvases and so much more. This is probably the easiest of all the recipes in this list. It is only two ingredient recipe and it is adjustable to personal taste. I love when things are simple, don’t you?


  • Air-tight container
  • 2 parts school glue
  • 1 part distilled water


  1. Add the school glue to the container.
  2. Stir in the water a little at a time until the mixture is the desired consistency.
  3. Store in the air-tight container.
  4. Stir before each use.

How to make gesso

Gesso is like gold in the craft supply world. It’s uses are endless, from priming a canvas to making stenciled backgrounds. If you’re like me, the cost adds up when you are working on several projects during the week. I love this homemade gesso recipe because it does exactly what I need it to do. It’s a great budget friendly paper craft supply.

You can vary this recipe to suit your craft project. The basic recipe calls for a filler, a binder, and a pigment. The pigment is acrylic paint. White paint makes a traditional white gesso. Other colors of acrylic paint produces that color gesso. Omit the paint to create clear gesso.

Talcum powder, corn starch and calcium carbonate are popular fillers in homemade gesso recipes. The filler adds”tooth”. This refers to the roughness in the gesso that grabs the paint and keeps it from seeping through a canvas. I have used Plaster of Paris as a filler agent but the gesso hardens up in storage and is no longer viable. I find that a better cost choice is cornstarch.

My all-time favorite filler is calcium carbonate; powdered chalk. Calcium carbonate is available in many art stores or online. When I bought mine, the cost was less than half the price of a 16 ounce jar of store-bought gesso. After making three batches, I have enough calcium carbonate to make at least 10 more batches.


  1. Air-tight container
  2. 1 part glue
  3. 1 part filler
  4. 2 parts acrylic paint
  5. ½ part distilled water


  1. Pour the glue into the container.
  2. Add the filler.
  3. Add the paint (skip this step to make clear gesso).
  4. Stir well.
  5. Add enough distilled water to achieve the desired consistency.
  6. Store in an air-tight container.

How to make homemade stamps, stencils and molds

I love stamps. They add so much to a paper craft project, whether it’s a greeting card, journal page or even a tag. Stamps often put that little extra something in the background of a collage sheet. They make me smile. The price of these little pieces of art makes me cringe! I finally figured out how to make my own for a lot less money.

This recipe was for making homemade molds for casting plaster, resin and clay. I adapted it to what I needed in my craft room. I have no regrets and will continue to create my own stamps for years to come.

I use pure silicone and dish soap. I find these supplies in just about any store that has a hardware department, even my local drugstores. This recipe makes four or five stamps, depending upon the size and thickness. This is the same recipe I use to make some of my stencils as well.


  • 1 tube 100% silicone
  • Caulking gun
  • Screwdriver
  • 8 ounces dish soap
  • 1 gallon of tap water
  • Water bucket
  • Plastic cutting mat
  • Craft knife
  • Protective gloves (not latex)


  1. Insert the silicone tube into the caulking gun.
  2. Snip the tip off the tube of silicone.
  3. Push the screwdriver into the tip and push through the inner seal.
  4. Add 8 ounces of dish soap into the bucket of water and stir.
  5. Pipe about one cup of silicone into the soapy water.
  6. Put on protective gloves and and gather the silicone together into a ball (it is easier to do this while keeping your hands in the water).
  7. Remove the silicone ball from the water and place on a cutting mat.
  8. Quickly flatten the silicone into a smooth, ¼ inch thick rectangle*.
  9. Let the silicone cure for 15 minutes.
  10. Use the craft knife to cut the mirror image of desired stamp shape**.

*To make a plaster or resin mold, push the desired item face-down into the silicone so the entire surface of your item is in full contact with the silicone. Remove the item when the silicone is fully cured (approximately 15 minutes) Your mold is now ready to use.

**The raised parts of your stamp are what will contact the ink pad and create the image on your paper.

How to make simple stencils

A stencil is nothing more than a pattern cut out of a piece of paper, plastic or cardboard. This is a DIY paper craft supply that relies solely on your own creativity. You can make any design using a craft knife and a paper pattern.

Supply List:

  • Paper
  • Permanent marker
  • Card stock, acetate, or discarded plastic packaging
  • Craft knife
  • Paper punches


  1. Draw a design on card stock, acetate or a piece of plastic packaging.
  2. Remove the parts you don’t want with the craft knife.
  3. Use your new stencil in your paper crafts.

I hope these recipes and ideas save you as much money as they have saved me. I love doing paper crafts knowing that I haven’t spent a fortune to create what I love.

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