Making Paper Printables Look Like Fabric
Miniatures printed on paper are often used as substitutes for fabrics. To make them hold shape the way fabric does, it is best to back the printable with a sheet of heavy foil. Folds and drapes made in the paper will then be held in shape by the foil backing. This makes it much easier to create realistic rounded lines for drapery folds on tablecloths, tree skirts, doll dresses, and other miniatures which can be made from paper.
What Types of Paper Can be Backed With Foil
Any type of paper will work with a foil backing, although light weight tissues may allow some foil to show through, and heavily textured papers may not be able to create drapery folds in scale, even when backed with foil due to the nature of their texture. Experiment with paper which has been crumpled to resemble fabric, ink and laser jet papers, and speciality papers like delicate silk tissue napkins, or damask paper napkins.
How to Back Paper with Foil
To back paper with foil, use a heavy freezer wrap foil and lay a large enough piece out on a flat work surface. Spray the foil with spray glue suitable for paper (artist's fixitives that will not affect the paper) , or run an acid neutral glue stick over the back surface of the miniature printable. Stick the printable to the foil, and press it down firmly to make contact with the foil. Set aside to dry. When the glue is dry, cut out your printable, turning the blades of your scissors so the foil lining is cut away slightly from the edge of the printable.
Shaping Foil Backed Papers
Foil backed paper can be creased or rolled into drapery lines. You can also nudge it into puffy folds and other lines regular paper will not hold without springing back to its original shape. The weight of the foil will allow the paper to be draped in soft rolls over the edge of a table. Narrow brush handles or pieces of dowels or wire can be used to shape fabric rolls for soft fabric like edges from the foil backed paper.