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Topic: decoupage question...  (Read 1746 times)
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« on: January 07, 2005 01:34:45 PM »

my dad and i are making one of those chinese screen things for my bedroom. but instead of the boring old frame and fabric, it is going to have a frame, then in the center is going to be plywood or something with a ton of black and white pictures of my friends, family and places i love decoupaged on it...we're starting the project this weekend, making the screen and putting it together and all, but i have one problem...i've never decoupaged anything before...so what do i need for that, and how do i do it?
any help would be greatly appreciated
« Last Edit: January 07, 2005 05:06:57 PM by Megami » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2005 07:57:56 AM »

Hi, Megami,

There are quite a few ways to decoupage, and I am by no means an expert on the subject.  The easiest way is probably to use Mod Podge or some equivalent-- just brushing it under and over the pieces you are decoupaging  and then adding more coates if wanted.  I have had problems with Mod Podge being a little sticky-- even after dry.  This has been more a problem with boxes (i.e. the lids stick shut) and may not be a problem with a screen.  There are more hard core ways to decoupage involving acrylic.  My suggestion would be to go to your local craft store and look in the section that has Mod Podge.  There will be a bunch of stuff there, and you can read the cans/bottles and see what would work best for you.  Hope it turns out nice!  Smiley
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2005 08:31:26 AM »

You don't even have to get Mod Podge, it's really expensive, and it's not as good as watered down white glue (like Elmer's) Get a big thing of that, water it down until it's very thin, and use a paintbrush to stroke it on. You can get clear spray paint, or some kind of sealant afterwards to protect your project. It sounds very neat, post pics when you're done!

out of town until July 10th...I will respond to any messages then.
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2005 08:37:59 AM »

I usually glue my pictures down first with elmers or a glue stick, which might be cheating, but it helps in getting less wrinkles in them from lots of wet decoupage.  Then I put the mod podge over them.  Like mai_star, I have had some problems with it being sticky after awhile...its usually worse when its humid.  But usually only a problem with something you touch alot, like a book cover.

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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2005 09:04:54 AM »

I second the white glue + water. That's my favorite decoupage medium. I paint the surface to be decoupaged with the glue/water then put down the image and paint over it gently with the glue/water. You can also just put your glue/water mix into a tray and sort of slide the images through so they get a good coating and then stick them on. Once I have all of the images on, I brush over it again with the glue/water, making sure to glue down any edges that might have come up after drying. The glue/water will give it a matte finish but I spray over mine with clear polycrylic.

To decoupage with photos I would use a good photocopy of your photos, not the actual photos so that A. you don't ruin the picture if it doesn't turn out and B. because actual photos are kind of hard to work with for decoupage. Just make sure that you are gentle with the paper because it will be very fragile when wet. It might take you a couple pictures to get it down, but it's really very easy once you get the hang of it.

Also, I would suggest painting the plywood that you'll be decoupaging. Some papers will become transluscent so if you don't want to see bits of the wood, I'd give it a quick coat of paint first. (And that way if your pictures don't entirely overlap you will have the paint showing through not wood. It will look much more intentional.)

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
~Scott Adams
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2005 07:10:12 PM »

thank you  Grin i'll definitely post pics when it's done
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2005 07:07:05 AM »

Just a note about Mod Podge -- I used to use it, but had problems with the stickiness, even after a lot of time, and I read on the bottle that it says you should seal it with something.  I switched to using Royal Coat, which works exactly the same way as Mod Podge, but does not have to be sealed and is not sticky.

I've never tried Elmer's glue, though.


"I live in that place between conception and execution" -- IQJones
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2005 08:59:04 AM »

Another tip, if you are cutting around the photos to be used (rather than just using them as is) you get a better edge and more precision if you use a small pair of curved scissors. Push the photo into the scissors as you cut. The curves make it very easy to get into those nooks and crannies. Also, supposedly, and it does seem to be true, the edge that this gives to the photo (and I also recommend photocopies not the photo itself) anyway the edge that this gives has a nicer more professional look once you've sealed the images. Decoupage images are meant to be sunk into the finish, flush with the wood so as many sealer coats as you can bear to put on the better it will look. Of course ignore all this if this is just a 'fun' project and not something you want to keep for a long time. Can't wait to see your pics! have fun!
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