Here is a more advanced project than what I have been featuring so far...the pictures are of a work in progress my son had done in his first year at college ~
Fine sand paper
Pencil & Ruler
All Purpose Acrylic Sealer
2 1/2" flat Brush
Elmer's Glue-all or PVA glue
Mixing bowl & spoon
Water based semi-gloss varnish
Computer generated designs
Start by preparing your surface. Lightly sand tray with fine sand paper. You can use a tack cloth to get all the dust particles off the tray.
Seal with a all-purpose acrylic sealer, let dry.
Lightly sand again. Dust off dust particles.
Choose your freeware design and copy to your preferred design programme, make multiple copies or as in this case my son chose a Celtic design and enlarged or reworked it to fit the design into the basic space of the tray.
You could also cut designs from tissue paper as I did in my previous napkin decoupage or cut motifs from cards, wrapping paper, etc. You will also find lots of freeware designs on the internet, copy into your programme, re-size if you need to and print.
Make sure you have enough designs so that you can work a lovely display onto your tray.
Using a good craft knife and cutting board as well as a ruler to cut out your designs.
If you are using designs that need scissors, it is preferable to use embroidery scissors to be able to cut perfectly around corners and difficult shapes.
Pre-arrange your designs on your tray until you find an arrangement that you like.
Once you decoupage your design and it dries, it cannot be removed.
Water down your PVA glue slightly to the consistency of cream, mix well. Depending on how thick your glue is, add water a little at a time until you see it resembles a milky mixture.
Working from the centre of the tray, ***apply a thin coat of glue mixture, using your flat brush, to the surface of the tray where your motif is to be pasted...use a single long stroke applying the glue along the grain of the wood...this is very important!
Press down your motif in place on top of the glue and with your fingers gently press from the centre toward ends gently working out any wrinkles. Make sure your ends are sealed into the surface.
Apply one more single stroke top coat over your design according to the wood grain.
Clear up any excess glue carefully with a damp cloth. Let this dry for 24-48 hours, even more on humid days.***
You can speed up the drying process by using a hair dryer on low heat about 6-8 inches from your project but I prefer to let it dry naturally.
Continue working this way according to the directions between the *** until you have glued all your desings in place.
Do not brush any glue over areas where you have already glued as this may cause too much moisture and your designs may have air bubbles. Also too much glue may work its way into the wood grain in some places. Always let each coat dry before adding another.
After 24 hours Again using a single stroke, apply two coats to the total surface area with a soft brush, letting coats dry for 1 hour in between.
When totally dry, apply two coats of water-based semi gloss varnish, letting each coat dry in between coats.
- You can use a spray varnish or if you use a painted varnish apply using a clean soft brush, never a roller or sponge as it forms bubbles.
- You could also cover all the basic surface of the tray with your chosen paper rather than cut-outs. In this case the only wooden part showing would of course be the handles and sides.
- You CAN paint the wooden item prior to decoupaging if you like. in which case use water-based acrylics.
Last but not least, use your imagination and be creative...have FUN!