Wednesday, January 11, 2012

craft: Decoupage Box

According to Merriam-Webster,

Decoupage = "the art of decorating surfaces by applying cutouts (as of paper) and then coating with usually several layers of finish (as lacquer or varnish)".

I included this definition because for a long time, I was slightly puzzled by this word. See, I've read several craft-related blogs, and many of them discuss decoupaging this or decoupaging that. And in my head, after reading the tutorial and step by step instructions, decoupaging just seemed like a fancy word for gluing. Because very few of the tutorials used laquer. Or varnish. Most used Mod Podge. But I guess Mod Podge counts as a finish. Right? I'll just go with it. Decoupage sounds cooler than gluing anyway.

Over the last week I have done a couple of crafty activities, two of them involving my trusty Mod Podge and decoupage (tehee- they rhyme), and others involving a rather aged sewing machine that my aunt gave me because she "hasn't touched in 14 years, so you can go ahead and have it". Stories about that later.

Back to decoupage (how many times can I say it in one post?)

Actually, let me back up. And give a short short background piece of information. Room was a mess. Why? I had crafty articles strewn all over the floor. It was making me crazy. Solution? Shelf. Boxes. Organizing. My zen has returned. Yin Yang has been balanced in my room. Ok that might be a bit much, but seriously, I feel much more calm when I walk into my room. And I know where to go find things. Call me crazy, but labeled boxes give me a sense of satisfaction.

I have no 'before' pictures because I was too frazzled. And just wanted to make it go away. Actually, I have very few 'before' pictures for this craft session. Sorry, I'll try to do better.

Ok NOW back to decoupage.

My 'before' picture. Thanks to the lighting, the brown smudge
isn't really visible. Can you find it?
Since I was organizing, I decided to put my box of stationary in an easily accessible place. I love snail mail, and I like sending it every now and then so I have a large boot box of envelopes, cards (a dangerous store aisle for me), stickers and stamps. It was formally in my closet. Where I reached for it only out of necessity. So I decided to move it out onto my new shelf so that it was easy to get to. But. It was a boot box. No offense to the box, but not it was not the most attactive thing. And there was a mysterious brown mark on it (insert uncertain umm). I have to admit, I like attractive things. Helps my zen.

So my solution was... you guessed it. Decoupage. Hooray!

My ingredients. Slightly misleading
because I decided to use regular glue
after I took this picture. Sorry.
I got some scrapbook paper from a pad of it I got on sale before Christmas, and picked out two sheets. I wasn't sure if it was going to work, so I only did the cover of the box. I didn't really measure anything, just sort of eyeballed it. I probably should have planned ahead more, but hey, where's the adventure in that? (ok, but planning really would be better)

I didn't use Mod Podge because I wanted to try a glue mixture I had read about. Ready for this complex recipe? Glue + Water. You can mix to your dream consistency. I just used Elmer's glue and mixed it with some water. I think it was a little too watery, but it ended up working out alright.

Basically, I brushed glue onto both the lid and the paper and then put them together (is it weird that the song from the old version of Parent Trap just came to mind? Just think of paper and box singing this tune).

Air Dry!
So after gluing and pasting and gluing and pasting and wiping up drips, I set it on a cardboard box to dry. Then? Voila. New. Pretty. I like.

Now, all I have to do is decoupage the bottom to match top. Because there is still a logo on the side of the box. I'll get there. At least the cover is looking swell. What would you like to decoupage? Would you like to have a decoupage party? Let me know and we can set one up! Nothing like bonding over glue (haha, get it?)!

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