1. Before you start with your decoupage project, you must first decide on as to which surface you would be covering. Any kind of surface is just fit for decoupage. Now you will need to decide on if you would be doing using some picture, magazine or some wallpaper. Whatever you select, ensure that the quality is good. Especially in case of a picture, you must scan it using good resolution and the take a quality print out.
2. To decoupage, do not cut any picture to give it some other layout instead tear it along the edges. You can take pictures from magazines or books. You can overlap other pictures to decoupage your picture.
3. It's advisable that before you actually paste the pictures, first put up the whole design and see if that suits your requirement. Its simple to decoupage a picture to some utility items like furniture, photo album, frames, Boxes, vases etc.
4. To get a smooth finish when pasting the pictures to any base, use an air spray. This is to ensure that no air bubbles are formed while gluing. To accomplish this all you will require is an air container. Place your picture inclined to the base surface and spray the air on the paper from top to bottom.
5. It's important that before you decoupage, you must clean the surface first. Depending on the material the surface is made up of, you may need to seal it too. You can clean the dirt on the surface using a cotton brush. At times the surface may require a coat of paint too. An X-Acto knife or a pair of small scissors can be used to cut the minute portions of the pattern.
6. You may cut a piece from some magazine that has some text written on it. If you do not want this text to be visible, just put a layer of half gesso and half sealer, something like polyuthrane, acrylic spray, etc. Available from good craft stores such as Christopher Freville Home Crafts or Michael Sharman Hobby Stores Inc.
7. In case you decoupage a box, plan out on the corners first and then move inside to design middle of the box. Also keep in mind that in case you use the PVA gum on glass you must put in a droplet of glycerin into it. This would ensure that the glue does not dry up quickly.
8. If you are extending your picture, note that you do not cut the picture, instead tear it so that it has soft and irregular edges. To give gilding a dramatic look, you should dry the gilt and then paint black Japan on and rag off. Once you put a layer of sealer on to it, it is ready for decoupage or varnish.
9. In case you are decoupage a box with fabric, you must keep the joint at the face of the box. Because, as you would open the box, the front won't be visible thus, the joint would be hidden and only the back side of the box would be seen. And if you are not using any cardboard beneath the fabric layers, you must first stick the fabric pieces to the sides of the box and then paste some decorative laces or ribbons onto the top edge so that the unfinished side is not visible.
10. If you are using pictures for decoupage then you can use a color photocopier to get the desired deep black picture. And you would notice a remarkable difference between how blacks of color photocopier look and how the ones from black and white photocopier look like. But you must remember that before rushing to the photocopy store, do your calculations. Like how much is the image to be resized? Do you need to enlarge it or reduce it? You may also just need the image to have the same size. You can actually use this technique to create symmetrical designs.
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About the Author:
Karen LeBlanc has written many more hints and tips on decoupage sheets. Visit her website at decoupage sheets.