Top 12 Decoupaging Tips

Top 12 Decoupaging Tips
         Hi friends .....feels good to be back to blogland after a sabbatical. I had my favorite aunt and niece staying with me for a couple of weeks and I was soooo busy with them that I didn't have time to craft or go online to visit my blogger pals!
         And I am so flattered and touched that many of you tried to get in touch with me to ask if all was well...crafty pals are the best!!  Mwah!
Decoupaged Container
         If you are in need of a crafty fix but can't be bothered to create something from scratch,I highly recommend altering something you have at home!
And if you want to feel crafty while you are about it...try decoupage!!
Plastic Container
          I prettied up the plain plastic visiting card holder shown above by decoupaging with Ornate Annie papers [from Indian Pattern Paper company Bob n Betty]
Bob n Betty pattern Papers
And embellished with copper heat embossed parchment flowers
Heat embossed parchment flowers
And some golden stamped leaves and butterflies and pearls!
Heat embossed flowers
      Decoupaging is an age old craft and easy and tricky at the same time!It is one paper crafting technique which can frustrate if you are a bit sloppy and which can give such a profound sense of gratification when you get a crease less, smudge free beautiful project!!
Sharing a few Crafty Tips I have picked up over the years ...hope they will help you have a blissful time decoupaging!
Crafty Tip 1 - As in any craft the luxury of having the right products and tools makes decoupaging easier , fun and gratifying!!
Use popular decoupage glue and tools for the best results
Tools to make decoupaging Fun and Easy
  1. Decoupage Glue- the most popular one is Modpodge as it has just the right consistency and flow to make the decoupaging process itself easier and its properties make it durable and long lasting. If you are not very bothered about the durability of your project or its artistic finish ,you can dilute regular white glue and decoupage but its a very very poor substitute for proper decoupage glue! There are in fact several types of modpodge for different decoupage surfaces and you can Check out this earlier post on types of modpodge and Modpodge tips and secrets  for successful decoupage
  2. Scissors - normal one and a fine tip scissors if you want to fuzzy cut pictures to decoupage
  3. Scale- to measure out the sides of your projects and pattern paper
  4. Pen/ pencil to help mark your pattern paper and cut
  5. Squeegee- I have used a different type of plastic squeegee in my Sospeso Trasparente projects which is rather nice but totally in love with the squeegee in the Mod podge kit because of its rubbery nature and wedge spage at its ends which allows one to reach awkward nooks and corners like I will show in the subsequent pictures. An alternate is an old plastic credit card but the squeegee is much much superior!!
  6. Not shown in the picture : Sanding / distressing tool and
  7. Brushes to apply mod podge - use sponge brushes or regular brushes
Decoupaging Tools
Measure your project and cut pattern paper to line it. 
  • Crafty Tip 2 : Spend some time on measuring and cutting the paper to size as if you glue on even a few millimetres extra it increase your work later on as you will need to trim it and sand it! 
Decoupage tutorial
  • Crafty Tip 3: Plastic is not the easiest of materials to decoupage on as its slippery and your paper can just slide off and leave you frustrated!!If your plastic is super smooth ,sand it to give it a grip .
    Decoupaging tools
  • Crafty Tip 4Apply decoupage glue uniformly using a sponge brush or a paintbrush [ the paintbrush I am using is part of the Plaid Decoupage Kit]. A sponge brush may be easier for beginners but I personally hate the glue wastage as the sponge soaks up precious mod podge and its more difficult to clean it to reuse!
  • Crafty Tip 5:If your paper is thick you will get best result if you slightly mist it with water or even apply a thin coat of decoupage glue on it too before sticking it to your decoupage surface.
  • Crafty Tip 6: Dont apply too much glue on your surface as it will just wrap and wrinkle your paper later on.
Decoupaging tutorial 

  • Crafty Tip 7: Start sticking your paper from the shorter end ....that is if you have a rectangle of paper as shown below.... start sticking from the short side...this way you have more control and are less likely to get wrinkles on your paper.
Decoupaging Tutorial

  • Crafty Tip 8 : Once you have stuck on your paper dont forget to firmly smoothen it . This will not only ensure firm adherence of your paper on the surface but also remove excess glue and air bubbles from under your paper and prevent wrinkling of your paper
You can actually use the edge of your hand for this but the the best tool I have found for this is the Squeegee. You can alternately use a brayer[ used in stamping],an old credit card or plastic scale.
Use thesqueegee to firmly but gently [ too much force and you will slide your paper off the project!] slide over your paper and the excess glue will come out from the edge of the paper at the end and you can simply wipe it off.
Decoupage tips
Using the squeegee you can easily slide into corners which are otherwise difficult to reach as you can see in the picture below.
Decoupaging Tutorial and Tips
Crafty Tip 9: If you want to ensure a totally clean, smudge and glue stain free decoupaged surface  put wax paper or parchment paper over the paper you have stuck before sliding your fingers,brayer or squeegee over it. This extra step is highly recommended when working with delicate tissue paper or light colored pattern paper.
Decoupaging Tips
  • Crafty Tip 10 : WAIT and WAIT before you apply your top coat of modpodge as if you are impatient...your paper will crinkle and wrinkle and even slide right off your project! There is no fixed time as it will depend on the thickness of your decoupage paper and  the climate...the best bet is to wait at least an hour or so! You can apply 2-3 top coats allowing enough drying time in between coats. 
  • Crafty Tip 11: If you are bothered about the "stickiness" of your final mod podged project... use a clear acrylic spray sealer or  use Asian paints Aquadur VarnishThank you Divya Thallap for this info]
  • Crafty Tip 12 : Don't hesitate to use Paints and Inks.
Parchment Flower
  • Use Distress Inks  
Sponging the decoupaged paper with distress inks can help tone a project down and you can use the same shades of ink to sponge other embellishments you later add to create a uniformity to your project. Here I sponged my parchment flowers, Spellbinders lacy borders and areas of the decoupaged pattern paper using the same shade of Distress Ink.
Decoupaging tutorial 

  • Use  Paints on the Edges

            The edges of a decoupaged project may at times be tricky and time consuming to decoupage.In the picture above you can see the uncovered plastic edges on the container. 
            In such cases you can go about it the hard way by cutting thin strips of paper to decoupage those areas or opt for an easier and prettier option by just painting those thin edges and corners!
    Altered Plastic Card Holder
    I used a beautiful product by Plaid called Liquid Leaf to paint the edges of my decoupaged project metallic copper.
    Liquid Leaf 
    Liquid leaf is a free flowing gorgeous metallic paint which can be used on metal, glass, ceramic, clay, wood, canvas etc .You can read more about it on my CT post for Crafters Corner here : Metallic Effect with Liquid Leaf 
    I love the thin fluid consistency of Liquid Leaf  which made it super easy to quickly paint the thin edges of my plastic container!
    Liquid Leaf 
    And here is the final altered project. 
    I hope some of these crafty tips on decoupaging were useful to you...do add your own tips in the comments.
    Liquid Leaf 
    And dear blogger pals I will get around to visiting you this week!! I sure do have a lot of catching up to do!
    Supplies : All from Crafters Corner
    Paints and Inks : Liquid Leaf Copper, Distress Inks  

    Tools : Crystal Katana /Tanto
    Adhesives : Tom Bow Multi mono, Modpodge
    Decoupage Tools : Modpodge Tool Kit
    Papers : Bob n Betty Ornate Annie, Papericious
    Dies :  Heartfelt creations Botanical Wings , Spellbinders Parisian Accents
    Stamps : Heartfelt creations Botanical Wings
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