Decoupage is one of my favorite mediums. You can decoupage any kind of fabric or paper and turn something boring into something spectacular. I love the old look, and antiquing gel works miracles in that department. I haven’t used antiquing gel for several years, not since I owned my craft store. I used it all the time when I was painting a lot. Working for Kaboose keeps me really busy in the kid’s crafts department, so it’s sometimes difficult to find time to make projects just for me.
This particular project is something I have been wanting to do for literally years. This little framed picture is something I have had for 24 years. How long my dad had it before me, I have no idea. It’s not anything valuable as far as antiques go, but I’ve always thought it was cute and have had it displayed in my kitchen since I moved out of my dad’s house at 19 (I just dated myself, didn’t I??). The little poem is something I can recite in my sleep, and I’ve done a google search for it, but haven’t been able to find it anywhere else.
I’ll admit, I was a bit worried about the wrinkled old paper inside the frame. It’s obviously gotten wet in the past, the paper was all wrinkled, and I had no idea if it was stuck to the frame’s backing or not. After prying open the frame (boy they sure made them solid years ago, not like the cheap garbage you get today!) I found that the paper, aside from its many wrinkles, was actually in pretty good shape.
I had an old wall hanging (it already had a hanger, yay!) I picked up at a thrift store ages ago, especially for this project. It was finally time to scratch this project off of my to do list!
Here’s the BEFORE
And the BEFORE of the framed picture
And the AFTER
Vintage “Rain” Plaque
by Amanda Formaro
What You Need
old picture to decoupage
fabric, larger than your old picture by 3″ all the way around
plank or other surface to decoupage onto
antique white acrylic paint
an old rag
18″ x 2″ strip of burlap
1″ diameter button
white craft glue (I used Elmer’s Glue All, it rocks)
vinyl letters, rub ons, OR black acrylic paint, a font pattern and graphite transfer paper (this is what I did and I will show you how below)
clear spray sealer
What You Do
Remove any unwanted surface from your plank. I used sandpaper and lots of elbow grease to remove the ugly boat design on my plaque. If you have a power sander, that rocks, I don’t, so my arm does the work.
Prepare your old picture carefully. For mine, I actually ironed it underneath a piece of cotton fabric to try and remove some of the wrinkles. It worked somewhat, but those wrinkles have been there a long time, so they were pretty stubborn. I was actually worried I wouldn’t be able to get rid of them on the final project.
Paint the plank with a coat of antique white. While that is drying, cut a piece of fabric to border your old picture, I gave mine an approximate 1″ border.
Use the sponge applicator to paint antiquing gel over the white painted surface, working in section. Wipe off excess with an old rag. Continue until you have the look that you want. I did the entire surface once, then I went around to different areas of the wood and added more, making it darker in some spots.
Before applying the fabric to your plank you’ll want to fray the edges. Gently pull the loose threads around the edges of the fabric until you have about 1/4″ fray.
Mix some white glue with water to make your decoupage, or you can use Modge Podge if you like. Decoupage the fabric to the prepared plank by first painting a thin layer of decoupage onto the board (use a clean sponge applicator), then lay the fabric onto the plank and decoupage over it. Use a clean rag to squeeze out the excess (using a squeegee type motion), then use the rag to rub back and forth over the frayed edges to give it a more three dimensional affect. Decoupage your old picture over the top of the fabric. I was able to get all the wrinkles out by starting at the top and working my way downward, smoothing with a rag as I went.
To add your lettering, you can use rub ons, which I was going to do originally. You can even see them sitting in one of the photos above. However, I just didn’t like the font or the size of the lettering, it really just didn’t match. So instead, I typed the word “rain” into my Word program several time, changing the font of each one. I printed out the paper, cut each one out and placed them onto the board to see which one I liked best. Once I had decided on one, I used a piece of graphite transfer paper to transfer the font pattern onto the plank.
Next I used a fine point paintbrush and black acrylic paint to paint the letters. After the letters dry, use a piece of sandpaper to rough up all the edges of the plank. Dust off the surface, then spray with sealer and let dry.
Make a bow out of the burlap strip. I also frayed the edges of the burlap, then I used one of the burlap strings, threaded it through the button, and tied a small bow in the front of the button.
Sew the button onto the front of the bow, then glue the bow to the bottom of the plank. Let dry and hang!
I’m participating in the following craft carnivals. To see some other awesome projects, be sure to visit them!