2 gorgeous decoupaged sewing boxes now adorn the insides of my sewing draw.
(That sounds like I have only 1 sewing draw. This is not actually true. I have many, but “The Sewing Draw” is the one with the notions, tools and haberdashery. “The Top Fabric Draw”, “Next Fabric Draw”, “The Next Next Fabric Drawer” have … yeah, well, you get the picture.)
Either I am not a good enough photographer, don’t have the right equipment, or it is just impossible anyway, to really capture the beauty of decoupage in a picture. It is so alive. When you move, the light catches on it, and refracts slightly through the layers of varnish and create a soft but glimmering effect. Intricate yet simple at the same time. Well, I think so, anyway 😛 There is a richness to it, as there is a richness to the varnish on my violin. And that is what I love about it.
I also like the work involved. Easy, but meditative and creative. Years ago some Tibetan Monks came to Darwin, and they did a sand mandala in the foyer of Parliament House. Hours and hours of intricate work. I tried to find an image of it, but I couldn’t. I think that is fitting, as they then tipped it into the sea at the completion of the work to symbolise the impermanence of existence.
Ok, so the decoupage I have done is going to last years, based on the lifespan of previous decoupage projects. But it is the same feeling of so much intricate work, creating layers and layers of beauty pretty much just of the sheer hell of it. You know, because I CAN!
For the curious, here are the steps I took (pretty much everything came from Spotlight)
- Gather everything together, get a bit of an idea of what I wanted
- Cover the boxes with a medium brown Folk Art paint to act as a sort of undercoat (the first coat kinda soaks in so takes a lot, so I used a random colour that was on special) I particularly like Folk Art paint as it is so densely pigmented. Mmmm! Sadly Spotlight seems to be taking it off their shelves. 😦
- Coat with light brown paint.
- Coat with a colour that tones nicely with the papers I am using (I have done high-contrast or complimentary colour schemes in the past as well as analogous ones. But I simply find analogous colour schemes more peaceful – as a bit of an adrenaline junky, peaceful colour schemes help provide balance for me.) I don’t get too fussy about completely covering the base coat. I like the complexity of the colours being layered a bit.
- Cut the papers in random ways then stick them on with the wonderful Mod Podge. I ❤ Mod Podge!
- Apply a few layers over the top of Shimmer-effect Mod Podge. (Well, it was on special at Spotlight one day. What can I say?) Make sure everything is properly glued down. I find even with great care the paper might not quite stick flat, especially on curved surfaces, so this is the step I make sure everything is filled and sealed thoroughly with plenty of mod podge.
- Apply a few coats of water-based varnish.
- Lightly sand, wipe off any remaining dust with a clean, dry cloth.
- Repeat steps 7 and 8 till the whole project kind of becomes one cohesive whole, not a collection of parts.
- Finish with a final coat or two, of gloss or matte varnish, whichever is desired for final effect.