August 13, 2012
I’ve not always had the best of luck with decoupage – in fact I have gone so far as to refer to Mod Podge as the “frenemy of my supply closet.” But last year for my birthday, Steve got me a beautiful peacock decoupage plate by John Derien. What can I say? I like the DIY so I acquired some decoupage plates, watched a few (OK, many) videos, and got to work.
I could have printed the images I want and go from there, but I ordered pretty large plates so I went out and bought some decorative paper. It’s a bit heavier than they recommend but half the fun is crying “Noooo!” peeling the glued on paper off, running to the sink and frantically scrubbing all the left over paper and glue off and starting over – am I rite? After a couple of tries, you get a hang for the consistency you’ll need for a given type of paper.
So once you have your decoupage glue spread evenly on the back of the plate (the underside), flip it over and set it gently down on the paper where I want it, then delicately turn it back over. (Delicate….this from the woman who often breaks things that she is simply standing there, holding.)
With the paper is on the plate, you can begin the phase known as “Frantic Times” where you attempt to get all the air bubbles and wrinkles out from under the glass. People use a lot of different tools – I found a silicon spatula worked quite well. I had a rectanglar, a sqaure and a six sided plate. I won’t be ordering another six sided plate again any time soon. That was pretty intense, I have to say. Work from the centre out and pay attention to the edges. It may seem hopeless at first, but it will come together.
Another TOP TIP: where I used heavier paper, getting the edges sealed nicely could be precarious. I folded the excessive paper up to encourage it to stay nicely in place – like so:
You leave this to dry for at least 45 minutes – longer if it’s so darn humid out you feel like you might dissolve. Once it’s really dry, you can use a very sharp art knife (or similar) to carefully slice the paper off at the edge of the plate:
TOP TIP: if you use old-school images that look weathered, you can mask the presence of a few wrinkles in your paper, just like the make up I slap on every morning masks my wrinkles. YES IT DOES.
Then you seal the back with modge podge, let that dry again and put a light coat of white acrylic paint over it.
Once the white paint is dry, put on a layer of black acrylic paint and then finally, when that is dry, seal for a final time. Feel like you are making a turducken? I also thought this might be excessive, however even with the white paint, it was still fairly translucent when held up to the light. The black paint was necessary for a nice finish.
My other TOP TIP for this stage is that before you put either coat of paint on, really double check your edges for a good seal, lest a little paint should creep in. Note the top right corner.
If you don’t have a good seal use a little brush with your decoupage glue to get that sealed.
Once you’ve done all that you can tidy up the glass edges with a fine sanding sponge, polish it with a paint marker around the edges (I have opted not to do that) and even glue a bit of black felt to the back to protect walls or tables. I decided to go with little vinyl bumpers, rather than felt. Plate hangers can be used for wall mounting.
And here are the final results:
And yes, that cigar is a Cohiba. Because we’re in Canada.