Monday, 4 February 2013

Decoupage - comic though not always funny..

My first attempt at decoupage wasn't a great success. I tried to cover a wooden chair in colourful flower themed cutouts gathered from a large stack of old Gardeners' World magazines. It looked brilliant...in my head. And I ploughed on with the project, even when I'd pretty much accepted it was over-ambitious, and possibly not the best way to start my decoupage journey.  The finished piece looked like a badly wrapped comedy parcel - there was definitely a chair in there, somewhere...under the lumps, bumps and wrinkles.
It's long gone now, but inspired by some fantastic crafty blogs, my desire to decoupage seems to have been rekindled. And this time I started with something REALLY simple - so simple I wasn't even sure it counted as decoupage, but having looked up the meaning (decorating a surface with cutouts), it just about qualifies - I did a tiny bit of cutting.
The little table below probably looks familiar? I covered it with vintage domino cards picked up at a french street market. They fitted perfectly and give the top a kind of tile effect. I love the table. No one else is allowed to use it.



So, fired up and feeling a little more confident, I decided to decoupage a bedside table I'd got in a surprise BOGOF win at the auction.  Not the whole thing this time.


I painted it chalk white. Quite honestly it turned out whiter than I'd hoped, but hey, it's for my 8 year old's room and he's really not bothered. There was a little more interest in what went on top, so he did help choose the pages he liked from a pile of old Beanos a friend had given me.

I do have to admit to a few Gardeners' World flashbacks - the paper was so thin and bubbled up as it landed on the layer of PVA glue - but I held my nerve, working quickly and smoothing it down as best I could. It didn't look too bad.


Then I used a water-based clear varnish to seal it and nearly died when it all started bubbling up AGAIN! Deep breath. Deep breath. So I just painted a corner to see what would happen. Thankfully as it dried, the paper contracted and it looked better, but there were some obvious places where the comic had come away from the surface.
An important lesson learnt - I should have spent more time making sure the paper was properly stuck down. Preparation is everything, ain't that the truth? But often in my impatience to see how things turn out, I can be a preparation slacker.
The bedside table is fine, as long as you don't get too close. Perfect for an unobservant 8 year old.



I'm on a roll - the 8 year old loves collecting stuff, and it's usually all over the floor of his room - so my next decoupage job was covering an IKEA drawer box for his birthday. Now I'd advise, if you're in anyway offended by the chopping up of perfectly good books, to look away now...



In my defence I'm not in the habit of doing this, but there were piles and piles of similar encyclopedia-type books being sold off for pennies at a local charity shop. And now bits of them are on permanent show. That's sort of a good thing, right? The paper was also great quality and MUCH easier to stick on the box.





It took a while, but I'm pleased with the result. I made it more personal by using some sheet music, because he's my piano player - as well as maps of home and where he was born. I covered the drawers in loads of layers of varnish, and really hope it's something he'll hang on to.

This is next! My sewing machine trolley. I have a nordic/knittingy idea for it...


Linking up with Ta-dah! Tuesday at Lakota's

12 comments:

  1. I am extremely impressed! And I love the way you've made the decoupage table top part of your blog header.

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    1. Thank you! It took me AGES to work out how to do the header - would have liked the dominos to have gone further across, but after hours of fiddling, thought it best to leave it be!

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  2. They look great! I'd like to try and line the insides of drawers with wallpaper but the bubbling up scares me. What about spray adhesive? Have you tried that?

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    1. I haven't tried it, but it was mentioned in a few of the tutorials and Q&As I looked up when things started going pear shaped! Definitely think I'll give it a go. Lining the inside of drawers would look great, and good, thick wallpaper shouldn't bubble too much?

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  3. These are brilliant. I love the idea of the beano comics - it looks great in the pic, but I can see how the paper would be very thin and a little annoying to work with.

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    1. It is tricky, but feel a bit more confident about trying it again. Hoping I'll improve with practice! Thanks R :)

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  4. I love decoupage - I have been putting off plans to decoupage one of those ikea mini tables for the kids for ages, must get around to it. I think all your projects look brilliant.
    x

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    1. Thanks Lakota! I'm so glad I gave it another go - really enjoying it now. We also have a little ikea table and chairs that could do with some covering. Maybe after the trolley x

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  5. Love your projects - especially the Beano bedside table. My boys would have loved this when they were little!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

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  6. These are wonderful. I especially like the way you used the charity shop books. Glad I followed your Ta Dah! Tuesday link.

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    1. Thanks so much :) and there's loads left for other projects!

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