Catering to a group of almost professional crafters, my initial reading of community posts took me back to the first time I had picked up an Economics Times and had struggled to understand every 3rd word in the paper.
After enough googling, I have deconstructed the fancy words of the craft world to a school-reading level. Some examples below:
- Decoupage! – A lazier brother to the traditional school collage assignment
- Upcycle – The ‘wealth from waste’ projects in school (This seems obvious – but took me sometime to figure out)
- Mixed media – We missed out on this in school. Collaging across various materials (paper, fabric, metal). Quite cool!
I have many more (die cut, gesso, embellishments, card stocks, chipboards), but will introduce them as I learn more about them. 😐
This project covers an ambitious semi-successful experiment with my new favorite word – Decoupage! Aha! (I don’t think I can say decoupage without adding an ‘Aha’ after it – EVER)
I found the ‘decoupage (aha) on wood‘ tutorials really powerful! The possibility of turning any wooden surface into a cool picture board while maintaining its utility was super exciting. Since then, I have been wanting to ‘upcycle’ our perfectly fine folding table which is an essential part of my home furniture – too essential for me to screw this up.
The blank wooden surface held definite possibilities and I wanted to have my entire family’s pictures on the table. Then came the idea of a family comic. Having issues with randomness and chaos, the clean grid structure of comics appealed to me. And with ample supply of family members to include, the comic story formed itself despite my mediocre writing skills.
Method: There were multiple ways of attempting this including the decoupage glue. I wanted something sturdier. This table has a lot of wear and tear at my place and I didn’t want my work to peel off. This traditional method using varnish seemed simple.
Design: To convert my family into comics was a really fun exercise. With a variety of apps available – I used the ‘MomentsCam’ android app on my phone. They had a few new panels each day and I had plenty to choose from to form a coherent story. The last group photo required some manual intervention and MS Word magic. 🙂
- Sandpaper – For sanding my table surface
- Asian Paints Apcolite Premium Enamel Gloss – For the first white washing (200 ml tin)
- A newspaper punched at regular intervals to be used as a stencil for the ‘comic book’ background
- Comic Panels created on MS Word & printed (I have printed on tissue papers successfully (similar to my fabric method), but my printer was dealing with personal issues and I had to resort to normal paper)
- Decoupage Glue – For the first layer
- Chalk Paints for all other areas of the table
- Asian Paints Apcolite Clear Synthetic Varnish, 200 ml tin – After painting and decoupage aha! (about 6 coats)
A close look at the family story shining with all that varnish. I know crinkles are bad decoupage (aha), but I do love how old-comic-booky is the total effect.
Key Learnings include:
- Even normal paper when wet with glue wrinkles. I should have paid a lot more attention to each photo pasted. (got too many wrinkles to get my target smooth surface). Using a transparency sheet helped a bit.
- Some of the crinkles can be smoothed using a rolling pin. However, there is a risk of paper tearing. I put a thick cloth over my picture before rolling the pin to remedy some of my wrinkle damage
- The concept of decoupage with varnish works on the hope that with enough varnish, it will completely coat the surface over edges of pasted images giving a consistent smooth surface. For this, the paper should be as thin as possible (tissue paper if possible)
- On the plus side, regular inkjet printer ink if dried properly does not smudge with decoupage glue. So there is a lot more scope for personalized decoupage stuff. Aha!
- Before applying varnish, please check if all the surfaces are properly covered with decoupage glue since I got some wet-spots where the varnish seeped in
And this is the story of how Comic Sans felt finally validated!