The Art of Decoupage: A Cheap Home Craft
Before throwing those old magazines, papers, and cards, why don't you try the art of home craft like decoupage?
From the French word decouper (literally means cut out), decoupage is the method of creatively cutting, pasting, and varnishing cut-outs to ornament objects such as bottles, boxes, vases, and many more. The traditional technique includes the application 30-40 layers of varnish.
Decoupage has a rich ancient history dating back in the 12th century from China. In those times, Chinese peasants decorated their windows and lanterns with paper cut-outs in vibrant colors. However, fake lacquer works-imitation of Oriental furniture-in the late 17th century are the origin of today's well-known decoupage.
During those times, artisans pasted cut-out materials from original works on furniture, which were covered with many layers of lacquer to resemble unique Oriental works. At the same time, rich people decorated their walls and ceilings with paintings of artists. The high cost of such decoration eventually led people to an alternative form, cut-out and glued down original works as decorations.
Ornamental cut-outs reached its hiatus in design and art during the 18th and 19th centuries. This home craft became popular with women in 18th century England, which was earlier known as Japanning. Decorating objects such as lamp bases, linen boxes, and cards came along with its popularity. Today, decoupage includes cut-outs pasted under a glass to give a three-dimensional look.
Examples of objects to decoupage onto are furniture, plates, mirrors, ceramics, frames, albums, cards, and shelves to name a few. Cut-out materials can be taken from magazines, books, newspapers, printed clip arts, greeting cards, gift-wrapping papers, laces, fabrics, and many more.
While cut-out materials are basic in decoupage, there are fundamental instruments needed in the process too. These things include scissors, glue, smoother, glue spreader, rags, and sealer. Nowadays, people do not only use simple scissors, they use craft knife or razorblades to cut designs and picture. In addition, the standard white glue is the best kind to be diluted in little water.
Although Popsicle is a cheaper smoother, there are now available specialized instrument called brayer to remove excess glue and wrinkles. In making decoupage, one need not to buy a glue spreader and rag. Anything will do.
Though decoupage has now evolved to be an intricate and complex work of art, it still has not detached itself from its original decoupage technique. Thus, anyone who has scissors, materials for cut-outs, and glue can be a decoupage artist.