Tips and Tricks
This is a beginners guide to Decoupage Are you new to Decoupage? Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of products you can buy. This section has all the basic products you need. Here is a quick guide to getting started with Napkin Decoupage.
Decoupage with Napkins: I would recommend you start with a white background napkin and a tin can painted in white . To get started you need a nice flat brush ( size 16 - 22 ), top layer of the napkin ,a decoupage glue such as Mod Podge, I prefer the Daily Art brand . Gently tear out your design, or you can cut out your design with a pair of decoupage scissors or a small pair of scissors if you don't have decoupage scissors. You can leave some of the white background . Smooth the napkin down onto the tin can and then put glue on your brush and firmly glue the napkin onto the tin; don't overload your brush with glue as this can cause over wrinkling or tearing of your napkin . When dry you can varnish or use a polycrylic by Minwax that I prefer or any non yellowing water based varnish . As you get more experienced then you can start to introduce crackle and aging techniques and decoupage on different surfaces.
This is a basket decoupaged with napkins by Aprilann Passeck
Decoupage Basic Technique Many paper napkins have multiple plys, meaning they can be unfolded into a bigger piece of paper for decoupaging. If the design or color is visible everywhere even after the entire napkin is unfolded, use the entire napkin. Otherwise, cut away the plain panels and save them for use as background or for another decoupage project. Cut designs or random shapes from the napkins, or use full napkin panels -- one panel equals one flat area not including folds. Apply decoupage medium or watered-down school glue to the back of each piece or directly onto the object you're covering, such as a plain cardboard gift box, then smooth the paper onto the project piece. Paper napkins tear easily once damp from decoupage medium, so use care when smoothing them onto the project. Some napkin colors may bleed, so test one on a scrap piece of paper with decoupage medium first before applying it to a project.
Decoupage Basic Technique
Many paper napkins have multiple plys, meaning they can be unfolded into a bigger piece of paper for decoupaging. If the design or color is visible everywhere even after the entire napkin is unfolded, use the entire napkin. Otherwise, cut away the plain panels and save them for use as background or for another decoupage project. Cut designs or random shapes from the napkins, or use full napkin panels -- one panel equals one flat area not including folds. Apply decoupage medium or watered-down school glue to the back of each piece or directly onto the object you're covering, such as a plain cardboard gift box, then smooth the paper onto the project piece. Paper napkins tear easily once damp from decoupage medium, so use care when smoothing them onto the project. Some napkin colors may bleed, so test one on a scrap piece of paper with decoupage medium first before applying it to a project.
Reverse decoupage is pasting the napkins onto the back of a clear surface, such as the back of a clear glass dinner plate or saucer. While a clear plate can be decoupaged on the front, applying the paper to the back means the top surface can still be used and cleaned without worrying about water damage, such as for a table centerpiece tray or plant pot tray. A decoupaged plate should not be placed in the dishwater, as that may damage the paper even with sealer applied over the plate. To make reverse decoupage, cut out the napkin pieces or apply whole napkin panels to the back of a clear plate with the designed side receiving the decoupage medium and stuck onto the back of the plate. The adhesive dries clear, making the napkin design visible through the plate.
One decoupage technique is to completely cover a surface with decoupaged napkins so the original surface is no longer visible. This can be used to cover a beat-up desktop, for instance, to give it a fresh look. Tear solid-colored napkins into random shapes or cut them into strips to apply to the project piece, overlapping pieces slightly each time. Designs cut from napkins can be applied over other napkins for added embellishment. It's fine if decoupage medium gets on the tops of the paper, as it will help seal it. Brush the entire piece with decoupage medium to act as sealer. A clear coat of polyurethane can be used for added protection, such as on a decoupaged chair seat.
Since napkins are so thin, they can be used to add embellishments to specific areas of a project piece without the paper's cut edges being noticeable on the finished work. Designs such as flowers or vines, birthday candles or a graduation cap cut out with small scissors can be applied exactly where you want them on a project, such as on the front of a dresser drawer or the center of a gift box lid. This technique can be used over painted surfaces as well, such as a painted chair seat or chair back spindles, for a splash of intricate design.
How to Crackle
You can use any glass bottle, apply your 1st coat of acrylic paint to the bottle, allow to dry completely. 2nd. Apply your crackle medium. I am using Folkart Crackle Medium. Let the medium dry over night. 3rd. Apply a contrast paint. Once you start applying your paint you should start to see cracks forming. Use soft artist brush to apply paint and medium. I then decoupage images from my beautiful napkins onto the bottle. See tutorial at bottom of page.
USE OF SARAN WRAP FOR DECOUPAGE: When you have put a layer of decoupage glue on your piece and have layed the napkin on the glue take a piece of saran wrap and stretch it gently but tight across your napkin and smooth out the wrinkles. Wrinkles sometimes are nice but times you want it to be smooth. This is how you do it with SARAN WRAP. I love my saran wrap cutter. Makes life easier!
Cleaning your brushes
I stumbled upon this on one of the DIY sites about cleaning your art brushes so I tried it and it works. Rinse out brush till it runs clean then stick it in a hot jar / container of water with a dryer sheet immersed in it. Let soak for a while then rinse clean. It works!!
Removing glue from behind labels I have tried many things to remove the glue from behind the labels after you have removed the label and for me the best way that works for me is to: Soak your bottles in hot soapy water Remove the label with a scraper of some type Then use the product Goof Off. It works just like the bottle says! You can find it in most hardware stores. I do not get paid to endorse this product. It's one I found and really like. COUNTRY CRACKLE
MEDIUM APPLICATION TIPS by AleksandrWednesday March 11th, 2015 / Daily Art One of the favorite tricks decorators use to create an aged look is making natural looking cracks using Country Crackle Medium. If you apply acrylic matt paint on top of the layer of Country Crackling Medium, the paint cracks as it dries.With the use of the single bottle of Country Crackling Medium, you can get different shape and size cracks. Here are tips for those, who prefer plan ahead and take control, rather than wondering what effect you get this time. PREPARE OBJECT FOR PAINTING The object should be prepared for painting, regardless of shape or size of cracks you want to achieve. Prime object before painting. The Primer will prevent Country Crackling Medium from absorbing to the porous surface such as cardboard and wood and ensure even application on a slick surface like glass. FACTORS AFFECTING THE SIZE AND SHAPE OF THE CRACK THICKNESS OF LAYER OF COUNTRY CRACKLING MEDIUM AND DRYING TIME OF COUNTRY CRACKLING MEDIUM A thicker layer of Country Crackling Medium will take longer to dry and give larger cracks. The result depends on how long you let Country Crackling Medium to dry. If you apply paint at once after the medium is dry “to the touch” about 15 minutes for a thin layer the cracks will be large and broad. If you let Country Crackling Medium to dry for 3 hours, the cracks will be delicate and medium-sized. In case a layer of Country Crackling Medium is left to dry for more than one day, cracks will usually, be gentle and tiny. country crackling drying time 15 min vs drying time 2 hours COUNTRY CRACKLING DRYING TIME 15 MIN VS DRYING TIME 2 HOURS Tip: You can significantly speed up drying time of Country Crackle Medium by using a hairdryer. Keep hair dryer not closer than 20 cm to avoid overheating the surface. When overheated Country Crackle Medium can boil and change color to white instead of transparent. Move hairdryer spreading the hot airflow to avoid Country Crackle changing color. The best solution to avoid overheating is to warm up the surface with a hairdryer for 1-minute and then pause for 5-10 minutes. Repeat 1-minute drying session. You will speed up the drying without of risk overheating. Besides, you will have your hands free for 10 minutes. THICKNESS OF PAINT USED FOR THE TOP LAYER IS SIGNIFICANT FOR SIZE OF CRACKS country crackling medium thickness of paint COUNTRY CRACKLING: THICKER THE PAINT LARGER THE CRACKS When thick paint used for the top layer will cause large and broad cracks. When using liquid paint small cracks will appear. Do trial decoration before taking a big project. If cracks are too large, dilute paint with water. When you need a thicker paint, a good idea is to add white paint, as white color is usually thick. Remember it will effect color. TOOLS USED ARE IMPORTANT country crackle medium large vs. small brush COUNTRY CRACKLING MEDIUM LARGE VS. SMALL BRUSH The usual recommendation is to use a flat soft synthetic brush for application of the top layer of paint. Many decorators prefer using a brush made of pony hair. If you want to get many gentle cracks, take a small brush (up to size 12). A Larger brush will result in broader and fewer frequent cracks. Direction of application Always remember in which direction you applied the Country Crackling Medium. Form of cracks depends on which direction you apply paint. The recommended use is to apply paint in perpendicular direction or opposite to the application of Country Crackling Medium. country crackling medium different direction COUNTRY CRACKLE:PAINT APPLIED IN PERPENDICULAR VS OPPOSITE DIRECTION What paint to choose for the top layer? Ideally, use the paint made by the same manufacturer as medium for cracks. There is no common standard for artist and decorator mediums. Country Crackling medium will not force an elastic paint to crack. Often metallic or glossy paint does not crack. If you do not have Daily Art matt paint, do not worry, make a trial with another acrylic water-based matt paint. Most of the matt paints will crack on Country Crackling medium.
The idea of 3d decoupage is that you have a picture that looks 3d. This is done by layering the design from the background to the foreground.
There are many different decoupage designs on the market. The easiest to use are step by step sheets. These are sheets with normally 2 or 3 designs and all the layers have been printed separately so you do not have to work out what is in the background. All you need to do with these sheets is cut out all the shapes. The alternative is to have 4 or 5 identical sheets and then work out which parts you need to cut out. This isn't too hard once you know what you are looking for and means that you can decoupage different designs from good quality wrapping paper to rubber stamped images.
In the picture on the right I have a step by step sheet. I would suggest that you cut out all the pieces first and work out where they belong, you can then lightly number them on the back with a pencil. If you are using a craft knife you will need to cut at a slight angle so that the white of the paper does not show around the edges. This isn't too hard to do with a bit of practise. Hold the knife with a slight angle, as if you are writing. Cut with the design on the right as you can see where you are going and turn the paper not the knife to go around the design. If you do have some white showing from the paper under the design then this can be hidden with some pens or pencils run along the edge in a lighter colour than the design.
Once you have all your parts cut out and numbered it is then time to put your picture together. In the picture I have numbered the first 3 layers to help identify them. Layer 1 is your base layer. This will always be a picture of the whole design. I normally decoupage cards so I stick the base print to the card using glue or you can use double sided sticky tape. The next layer is 2. This layer will have some parts missing, parts that appear behind the design on layer 2. Glue layer 2 into place with either the silicone or the foam pads. Hold your design up in front of your eyes after each layer to check that the layer is in the correct place. If you are using the silicone glue this is the point where you can move the layer around to position it correctly, then you will need to wait a couple of minutes for the glue to set. The silicone takes about 24 hours to dry hard but you can layer after a couple of minutes. Once you know what you are doing this is a good time to work 2 cards at the same time, then you are not tempted to put the next layer on too quickly! Layer 3 has more parts missing from the original design, parts that appear behind the design of layer 3. Keep adding the layers until you have used all the parts you cut out. The design is now finished.
Once you have mastered the layering, you can use different techniques to make your designs look more lifelike.
The first technique uses a shaping tool. You can buy special tools for this but a round pencil works just as well to begin with. The other tool you need is a soft surface to put your paper on. This stops any damage to the paper. I use a make up sponge but rolled up kitchen towel can be used.
With your shaping tool you are going to roll the paper to create a roundness. Look at your design and imagine what it would look like in real life. The picture on the right is a mushroom. Mushrooms are round so I would place the mushroom head with the design face down on the sponge and roll the shaping tool across the mushroom, as if you were rolling pastry. Lift the rolled piece up with the tweezers and hold it over your design. The piece should fit exactly, if it doesn't then it has been over rolled so just repeat the rolling but with the design the other way up.
When you are working animals and birds it is easy to make them appear furry or feathered. Make little criss cross cuts along the part you want to look furry. This removes small triangular shapes of the design. Here you will be left with the white of the paper. To hide this use pencils or pens to colour the design as mentioned above.
Hints and Tips
If you are working large projects and using a craft knife then replace the blade for each new project. You will know when the blade needs replacing as it pulls on the paper and you will not get a sharp line. Always have an extra supply of blades, you never know when you will need them!
Don't just use your silicone glue for 3d decoupage. If anything needs a lift then use it. I use mine to layer greetings from cards, lifting up punched out designs and anything else that I feel needs lifting!
Use a cocktail stick to apply your silicone glue. You can then take smaller amounts and place them where you need them most.
You can 3d decoupage anything as long as you have identical designs. Rubber stamps are great for this, good quality wrapping paper, and much more.
By cutting out all your design before sticking it down means that if you go wrong and the piece is hidden when layered, then you can cut it out of the base print.
If you are making cards then you don't have to decoupage everything. If something is too small then don't worry about it. Not everything has to be added to make a lovely card.
Enjoy yourself. This is a craft that can be shared so why not invite friends round and have a decoupage party. It is a fantastic excuse for tea, chat and card making!