I have recently started stretching my own paper. It takes a little time, but really, it's cheaper, sturdier, and worth the effort!
Starting with a heavy wooden board, glue tape, a pair of scissors, and Arches Watercolor 185 gsm. I do prefer to work heavier with less texture, but I'm working through all my papers.
Fill up the bath or similar with luke warm water, deep enough to immerse the paper (4-5 cm deep is good). Then gently press the paper into the water, and keep it soaking for 5-8 minutes. Some sites suggest keeping it there until you can test the corners of the page - if you pull the corner/flick it the page shouldn't be able to spring back... I prefer the paper to have a little spring in ti, so for 185 gsm textured paper, 8 minutes is max.
Hold the paper up out of the bath with two fingers and let it drip dry. Hold it at the corners, as not to crease the page.
Place it on the board, and with the gum tape, tape it down (1cm into the paper). Use a sponge to remove excess water and to smooth out the page and then put a second line of gum paper. You don't want warped paper. If you get bubbles, do it again rather than leaving as is.
As a final part, I put a towel over the whole thing, and put it under a heavy carpet. This ensures NO warping!
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Tanya is a traditional and digital artist, living in Brisbane and inspired by all that is 'Art'.