“A method I use very successfully for thick postcards or greeting cards is one I found in Annie Sloan’s book Decoupage, A Step-by-Step Course. It is very simple and less time consuming than applying coats of gloss and varnish as well as sanding.”
First I suggest you buy, beg or borrow a copy of Dee Overduin’s new book How to Make Money with Paper Tole. In addition, the latest Consumer Information Catalog from the U.S. General Services Administration lists the following booklets especially for small-business people:
You can order any number of these brochures by calling toll-free (888) 8 PUEBLO, or by visiting the Website at www.pueblo.gsa.gov
Thinning paper: It is important to keep the paper you use as thin as possible. However, that does not mean that you need to throw away calendars or greeting cards that you’d love to use but are too thick-you simply thin them.
Thinning can be done in two ways. The quickest method is to split the paper in half with your thumbnail and very carefully peel it apart-you can generally do that with greeting cards. Then using very fine sandpaper, gently rub the back of the print smooth and apply a coat of sealer.
An alternative for thinning thicker paper is to apply approximately five coats of Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish to the face of the print, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly, before applying the next. Soak the print in tepid water for about four hours, remove it and lay it face down on a piece of waxed paper on a flat surface. Using a damp finger, gently start rubbing away the paper. Be very careful not to rub through the print- leave just a thin coat of paper behind. As above, sand the print carefully and seal. (Reprinted by permission of decoupage author, Audrey Raymond, Australia).
(Headquarters has received many questions concerning decoupage problems over the past six months. Thank you to member Audrey Raymond for providing the answers below. Her book, TRADITIONAL DECOUPAGE-A practical Guide to the Classic Decorative Art Form is available from the author. Please contact her at PO Box 784, Maleny, Queensland 4552 Australia.)
For years Micro-Mesh has been used in the aircraft industry to polish plastic surfaces. In decoupage, we use it to achieve a smooth glass-like finish. “Micro-Mesh has a thin layer of soft resilient material between the backing and the abrasive crystals which provides a cushion for the abrasives. Using a cushion design allows the relatively large abrasive crystals to recede into the resilient layer and float to an even cutting plane. Micro-Mesh produces a fine, even scratch pattern. It does not leave deep random scratches as with common abrasives.
It does not wear out as quickly as regular sandpaper because it doesn’t “load-up”, generate heat or fracture the surface. It outlasts other abrasives 5-7 times when used dry and 7-15 times when used wet. Also, the abrasive crystals are larger in Micro-Mesh and so it sands more quickly because more of the abrasive is in contact with the sanding surface.
A tiny ball of Plasti-Tak or Hold-It on the end of a toothpick surpasses tweezers for lifting small pieces of prints, etc., onto a gluing surface. It also releases immediately.
If you sand through a print and don’t have the matching colored pencil handy, keep a #948 Sepia prismacolor pencil on hand with your supplies. Except for light shades, it fills in and blends perfectly with whatever color leaf, stem, etc., you have injured by your enthusiastic sanding.
A typewriter eraser with a brush on one end is an excellent tool for sanding in small, tight places.
Anyone can rewire a lamp by paying attention to the way it comes apart. When attaching the new lamp cord, look closely at the two wires. One side of the lamp cord will have smooth insulation and the other side will have ridges or a stripe running along its length. Connect the smooth side to the brass screw on the lamp and the ridged side to the silver screw on the fixture.
When wiring the plug, follow the same rules. If the plug is not a screw type, the smooth side will attach to the narrow blade of the plug and the ridged side to the wide blade on the plug. Getting the wires right is called observing polarity, and it reduces the likelihood of shock.
Decorators Supply Company has composite ornaments for decoupage and home décor. They offer many styles from delicate floral swags for a box to tiny beading suitable to frame the doors of an armoire.
Molds are used to cast ornamentation from original carvings of Victorian or Georgian furnishings and architectural moldings. For easy home application, steam the ornaments to unfinished wood boxes, furniture, etc. The heat releases the glue, and the steam makes the pieces flexible, allowing the ornament to lay flat, or to conform to a curved surface.
The recommended method of steaming is over a roasting pan of water. Some people also use a hand-held clothes steamer to complete many pieces of furniture. Grasp the edge of an ornament with pliers and carefully hold the ornament in front of the steam. Depending on the size of the ornament, steam until it starts to become flexible. It will take no longer than 15 to 30 seconds. Then press the ornament to the furniture surface. The ornament will quickly dry, and will be permanently adhered. If you should have an ornament loosen, simply re-attach with glue.