Thursday, January 28, 2010

Decoupage is back in a big way

When I first heard about decoupage in the Org 101 class at Simplify 101 last fall, I was a little perplexed. Is that something housewives used to do in the 70's? I barely remember the 70's myself.

So, curious, I started asking around in my circles, and the response I got was laughter. How could I not know? Where was I? (Uh, in the 80's when we didn't do decoupage, maybe.) Obviously, my friends remembered doing decoupage when they were young, so it was explained to me that it had something to do with gluing paper.

I looked it up on Wikipedia and found that the art of decoupage was imported from Japan to Europe during the Victorian age and it was called, fittingly, "the art of Japanning." Well, I am IN Japan, so I should know all about decoupage, right? I looked around my house. I did indeed have some tea canisters that were covered with paper and perhaps even glue. Now, I sort of had a inkling of what decoupaging might be, so I decided to give it a try.

Turns out the decoupage is simply the art of attaching paper to a wooden surface and then painting over it with glue (the most popular decoupage glue brand is Mod Podge which comes in glossy and matte). This decoupage glue dries over the paper and causes it to appear laminated.

One suggested project in the Create a Life You Love class (simplify 101) was to create a goals binder that you can keep updated with your progress.

I bought this binder at a local department store, covered it with some nice paper, decoupaged it and then drilled a hole to add my label with a ribbon.

The binder tabs are made from chipboard, covered with paper and also decoupaged. I made labels on the computer and printed them onto an overhead projector sheet. The labels read "dreams into goals," "planning," "take action," and "victory."

Okay, so now that I had some practice, Yoko and I decided to make decoupaged frames for our goals boards. Aby from simplify 101 had made a beautiful magnetic board using a picture frame, so we decided to copy hers.

We bought picture frames at Ikea and then went to a Home Store to buy a large sheet of steel. In the store's workroom, we had them cut the steel to fit within our picture frames. We kept the frame's original glass behind the steel to make it more stable, but it also makes it quite heavy. Then, we went to a craft store to choose paper. I chose one pattern, one plain, one striped and one simple pattern in oranges and dark grays to match the decor in my house. Yoko chose pastel colors.

At home, we first had to measure the frames from inside out to determine how long each of the paper strips should be. Then, we cut the paper using our paper cutters. 

Like Aby, I chose to sand down the edges of my papers to blend with the white color of the frame. Yoko chose not to do this. I used a clipboard to keep the papers stable while I sanded. (Note the little guy in the background. I was feeding him his lunch at the same time. Talk about multi-tasking!)

Finally, all the papers are cut and sanded. Now, for the gluing.

Here, Yoko is gluing the paper to her wooden frame. She used wood glue while I used regular craft glue. Both seemed to work fine.

Notice how the paper wraps around the frame, and how I glued the papers down in a sequence.

Then, we used paint brushes to apply the Mod Podge. Just cover the entire frame in thin layers of mod podge, letting each dry in between. 

We made sure to sign our frames before applying the mod podge. You never know. They could become family heirlooms!

Here is Yoko with her finished magnetic board.

Here is my magnetic board. It will hang on the wall next to my computer.

I now love decoupage. I love it so much that I want to make a smaller magnetic frame for my desk at work, a cool frame for Shannon (because I love her so much and I always feel compelled to make stuff for her!) and maybe even one for Yusuke's desk at work! Plus, I am going to make an 8x8 picture frame to house my monthly lay outs about my weight reduction progress (will post about that later!). If I had time, I would make decoupaged frames and sell them...that is how much fun this is! No, even better, I would hire an assistant to make them for me and I would sell them. Okay, let's get back to just enjoying this wonderful goals board...first things first.


Darlene said...

It looks fantastic. You never knew what you were missing until you started decopauging!

Shannon said...

Yeah- I think you should make Shannon a cool frame....she loves you so much too!!! (Your magentic frame is AWESOME!) I'd love to make one. But is seems like a lot of steps... you said it was easy? Maybe I'll start with a binder. :)

Kelly said...

Wow, that's really nice!!