I just finished printing a new edition of my beloved chestnut of autobiographical stories, Schematic Comics. The central strip in the book is called WOODWORKIN' and I always wanted to print the covers on some kind of wood grained paper. I tried wood grain contact paper, but its ultra-slick surface proved difficult to screenprint on, not to mention staple and fold. And scrap-bookers have driven the price of specialty pre-printed wood grain paper through the roof (there must be a lot of families vacationing in lodges these days, or babies being born in log cabins). I decided to try and make my own. Here's how:
I found a good board in my house - the one sealing the entrance to my attic - and painstakingly scanned it in. After tiling it together in Photoshop, and cranking up the contrast enough to tranlate to silk, I made my transparencies and burned the screen:
I was going for the look of cheap plywood, the kind most prevalent in my house growing up, and I luckily had a bunch of beige paper from a previous project laying around. I experimented with some pinkish/brown inks and eventually my entire basement was covered in wood grain.
I'd lost a lot of the subtle tonal shifts from the original attic board, but since I'd be printing two more colors on top of it, I figured it'd look okay. I sprayed all the finished prints with a matte-coat glaze that that softened the edges and made the top inks melt a bit into the wood grain.
Now that these comics are done, I'm excited to try printing wood grain on stuff on all kinds of stuff around my house: washer/dryer, bed clothes, my car, underwear, etc.