This Florentine Tray, an Annie Modica decoupage design at Gracious Home, caught my eye. I love beautiful Italian papers, and thought, why not do something like this yourself? There are so many wonderful patterns to chose from.
Italy is famous for her exquisite papers, a tradition that dates back to Arab introduction in 625 B.C. The earliest recorded paper document in Italy is a deed from King Roger of Sicily, in 1102.
Beautiful papers like these by Paper Mojo are based on traditional Renaissance designs from Florence. The first paper mills were built in the 11th century in Italy (in the Fabriano area) and Spain. Linen and hemp rags were used to make the paper; wood pulp wouldn't come into use until sometime later.
Tuscan Prints: these are also inspired from traditional designs. Up until the 1950s papers such as these were hand printed, but now a days, they're done by machine. It's still a highly refined process, however, since offset printing techniques can use up to six colors. These prints often have gold accents that give them a wonderful shimmer in the light, and no surprise: real gold powder is added for its luster.
Modern trends have changed the look of Florentine papers, but this new print carries the same tradition and quality as its ancestors.
A fun take on a traditional style.
Asian inspiration makes its way into a traditional Italian medium (fitting, considering the Chinese are generally credited with inventing paper).
These patterns would be fun done as Modica's decoupage trash can and tissue box too.
For more inspiring ideas on how to use lovely papers, check out the Paper Mojo blog.
Image 1 and 9, gracioushome.com. Images 2-5, papermojo.com. Images 6-8, Hollanders.com.