Sunday, February 4, 2007

Other uses for junk mail

When posting about Junk Mail Gems, I had forgotten my own innovation for using up catalogs.

We own a stunning amount of very cheap furniture--the kind that is made of some sort of creepy, out-gassing particle board and that you buy from your neighbors when they are moving away.

But the stuff is serviceable, if ugly. Since it is basically useful garbage, I figured I could apply my experimental crafty hand to it and not do too much damage. I mean, I couldn't make it much uglier.

My husband collects stamps and quite likes the stamp motif. We also get several stamp catalogs and magazines, which have life-size pictures of stamps.

So my first go at decoupage was to cover the big brown faux wood chest of drawers with decoupage stamps. (See pictures).

I sort of ran out of steam after two drawers--and I'm not sure the entire thing in itty-bitty stamps wouldn't be a bit much. Anyway, I think it definitely looks funkier and more fun than it used to. (My friends, however, are strangely silent on this point; perhaps it doesn't look as cool to others?)

In any case, I learned how to decoupage.

This emboldened me to tackle my husband's steamer trunk--a very ugly metal thing that he used to bring all his worldly belongings to America from Swaziland. It had been sitting in a room, scratched, beat-up and UGLY.

I cut up a book on Native American civilizations (gasp! Yes, I cut up a book!) that had also been sitting in our house for ten years--one of those coffee table books that I couldn't re-sell on or Amazon. I applied the pictures to five sized of the trunk, and now it looks happier, too.

Decoupage is WAY easy.
  • Cut up the paper images that you want to use. You need quite a pile, because you usually layer and overlap.
  • Put old newspaper all over the floor to catch drips.
  • Mix regular white glue with water (I had an old bottle of Modge-Podge left over from a long-forgotten project, so I used that), and dump some in a pie plate or other broad but shallow container.
  • Dip the cut-up paper images in the glue-water and let them soak for a few seconds.
  • Apply to whatever surface you are covering.

Et voila!

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Wow! I love the bureau, but I really like the steamer trunk!