Journals & Collaborative Projects

Below you will find a sampling our members' work from previous collaborative projects.  Click on images to view them larger. We hope this will inspire you to come and play with us! If you are interested in joining our group, please visit us at:

Tutorials & Techniques

Below are some of our favorite tricks for adding depth and dimension to your art.  We hope you have fun giving these a try!

Current Group Swaps & Projects

Below is a list of current swaps and projects available to group members. If you are interested in joining our group and participating in these projects, please visit us at:  

For existing group members, you can sign up to participate  in these projects here: Swaps & Current Projects.  

We look forward to swapping with you.  Happy Arting!

Member Gallery for Group Swaps
Below you will find a sampling our members' work from previous group swaps and projects.  Click on images to view them larger. We hope this will inspire you to come and play with us! If you are interested in joining our group, please visit us at:
Come play with us... Join today!

Paper Traders is a friendly online community of artists from around the world. We nurture and value creativity, embrace new ideas, products, and techniques yet also value tried and true methods of artistic expression. Our projects consist primarily of paper arts, mixed media collage, artist trading cards, altered art, assemblages, collaborative journals, mail art, and more.

We are interested in creative individuals of varied skill levels who wish to challenge themselves artistically and help build a supportive community. We are at our best when we can share our creative efforts as well as techniques, resources, feedback, and insights. We encourage conversation about art, the art process, and what it means to be an artist.

Paper Traders is hosted on Yahoo Groups at
We hope you will consider joining us on an artistic journey!

In order to prevent spammers and to insure that all applicants are actual persons interested in creating art, a questionnaire will be sent to all potential members. When applying, please submit digital examples of your work or direct us to a website where we can view your art. The intent of the questionnaire is not to judge the merits of your art but to safeguard the integrity of our community.

Free Images for Download

Below you will find images that are owned by our group members and offered for your personal use as well as images found in the public domain. Images may be freely used in your personal artwork but may not be used for commercial purposes of any kind without written permission of the owner. No images may be used to create collage sheets or image collections for resale.

To download, follow the link provided. In some cases, you may be able to just click on the image to enlarge it, then right-click and select "save image as". Content changes frequently and many images are available for a limited time.  Please check back often for newly posted images to use in your art journey.

Open Art Challenges !

We're changing things up here at Paper Traders. Instead of the monthly challenges of the past, we'll now be hosting special challenges that might feature a specific technique or product and will be rewarded with actual prizes sponsored by our group members.

Our new challenge for 2013 is a year long word prompt journaling project/challenge. Each specific challenge will be open for one month and all art bloggers can participate, whether you are a Paper Traders member or not. Each artist will comment with a link to their blog post that features the artwork for that particular challenge. For each challenge, a winner will be selected whose art best exemplifies the challenge. The winning artist will be featured here and get a "Trader Treasure" blog button to display on their own blog. They also will receive one chance for each entry for the end of the year prize drawing. Watch this page for more details and challenge announcements.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Love Notes" Envelope Book Swap

Beckie Holso

For Paper Traders Members Only. Please join us if you
would like to participate in this or our other swaps
by clicking on the purple button on the right sidebar.
We will be happy to send you info on how to join.

Love Notes Envelope Book Swap
Hostess: Cathy Calamas
5 for 5 decorated envelope swap
Victorian theme
Postmarked: Feb. 4th

Join us as we make a "book of love". In this swap we will be decorating
five A2 size envelopes in a Victorian theme and putting love notes inside.
These are your standard 1/4-sheet invitation envelopes (4-3/8" x 5-3/4").
Write your own love notes or use some of your favorite quotes.
You will be creating your own covers and inserting
your swapped envelopes when you receive them.
Please see the below links on the how-to's:

Sample book link:
Tutorial here:

Monday, December 26, 2011

Announcing the 2012 Round Robin Journal Project!

Open to Paper Traders members only

(art journal by Kim Smith)

We will be starting another round for our Round Robin Journal Project soon.  This project is open to all Paper Traders members - domestic and international. If you want to participate, please send an email to the project coordinator, Beckie Holso. Sign-ups for this round will close on February 15th with journals mailing out on March 15th.

If you participated in the last round and want to use the same journal this time, you may do so - just let me know so that I can try to put you in a round with different artists.  However, we recommend that you remove the completed pages you've already received to cut down on the weight of your package as well as reduce your risk of loss.

To ensure that this is a fun and successful project and avoid any of the problems we've had in the past, we will be strictly monitoring the progress and making sure that all the posted guidelines are adhered to. This will be to the benefit of all the artists.

Please read the full details for this project on the Yahoo site - see Message #34992.

If you have ever participated in one of these Round Robin Journal Projects then you know how inspiring they can be. Your cooperation with the project guidelines will make for a more pleasant process with a positive outcome for everyone involved... and the resulting journals will be a treasure to keep and enjoy for years to come!

Happy Arting!

Mardi Gras swap announced

Open to Paper Traders members only

5-for-5 Mardi Gras! ATC Swap
Due: Postmarked by February 7th
Hosted by: Beckie Holso

Are you ready to party?

Make five similar or different ATCs using the Mardi Gras theme - think party, bright colors, masks, feathers, beads, etc. Have fun with it but please keep it tasteful.

Mail your cards to me, postmarked by February 7th

Please sign up in the database on the Yahoo Group.  And don't forget to post images of your completed cards in the project album on the Swaps site.

WINTER Banner Swap

Open to Paper Traders members only

Over the past year, we've been making banners for each of the seasons and now that we're into the winter season, I need a new banner to adorn my art studio... so I have volunteered to host this season's swap again. All Paper Traders members are invited to join - even if you didn't participate in one of the previous banner swaps.
(banner template courtesy of

Hostess: Beckie Holso
Signups end: January 21, 2012
Partners announced: January 22, 2012
Mail out by: January 24, 2012
One-for-0ne Banner Swap

In this swap, we will be making a banner that reflects a winter theme. Each banner will consist of 6 pennants made of heavy cardstock or chipboard and covered in paper. The back side of the pennants should be finished as well. The size of each pennant is 5" across the top and the sides should be 7" long with a reverse triangle cut in the bottom (you can choose the depth of your triangle to fit your design). You can see a sample template here:

Spell out the word "WINTER" with your banner. You can embellish with ribbons, lace, German scrap, glitter, rhinestones, buttons, images, or anything that makes you think of Winter. The pennants need to be put together in a banner by lacing ribbon or fibers through the corners. One suggestion for preventing the ties from ripping through the paper is to place eyelets in the corners of each pennant and thread the ties through.

You will be partnered with another swapper, and you will send your wonderful creation directly to them. Please sign up in the database on the Yahoo group by January 21st. I will assign partners and announce them to the group on January 22nd. You must mail out your banner to your assigned partner no later than January 24th. Please remember to upload a picture of your banner to the album on the Swaps group before mailing.

Here are some links for inspiration:

Happy arting!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Party Hats Challenge

Wow, another creative year is almost over
and a fresh, new one is around the corner.
Let's celebrate by creating
Party Hat art!

You don't have to be a member of Paper_Traders Yahoo Art group to participate
but if you would like to join us and be privy to even more great paper crafting swaps and
challenges plus better than ever artistic support, that would be super!
When the challenge closes, we will pick a winning piece that best showcases the theme
of the challenge and/or supply requirement.

 Challenge Rules
1. Make a paper craft, mixed media or digital piece of art ( any size). The theme is
  "Party Hats".
  2. Post your art to your blog, Flickr, Picasa (online albums). Mention
   our name PaperTraders Art Blog with a link back to this post.
   You are more than welcome to grab our button and post it on
    your blog as well.
   The last day to post for this challenge is Jan.,15th 2012.
3. After posting your "Party Hats" art on your site,
   come back to this post and  leave us a link to your post/image.
   You must include a direct link to your image or post,
    not a general link to your album or blog. 
    To create a link within the comment box below:
   All you will need to do is copy and paste the url address of your post found
   at the top of your browser window.
4. The winner(s) will be awarded our "Trader Treasure" blog badge which
     they can choose to feature on their blog.
    Their art will also be posted on the PaperTraders Art Blog for 2 weeks.

Free images to get you started!


Member Inspiration

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gallery: 6th Anniversary Project - Altar Shrines

Aimeslee W

Amanda E

Beckie H

Cathee S

Cathy C

Heather R

Janne R

Kim S

Lorna S