Are you familiar with the fabulous decoupage work of John Derian? He has almost single-handedly brought class, sophistication and high style to decoupage, re-popularizing the art form in the process. If you ever need inspiration for a decoupage project, a visit to his company's site is an absolute must!
While decoupage can be high style, of course it can also be a little less formal. I wanted to take things down just a notch from Mr. Derian's image preferences and use copies of old Valentines, vintage wallpaper, and an old photo of two sisters for today's project. No matter what images you decide on, the process of creating decoupage plates is the same.
Hopefully you've been able to locate some forlorn glass plates (from the Summer Materials List) at a resale shop or flea market. I found a whole stack in two different sizes when a dealer in our antique mall went out of business.
Glass plates without designs on them
Decoupage glue such as Mod Podge or Collage Pauge in Matte or Satin
Color copies of vintage images. Be sure to use a laser printer, as ink-jet images will smear
Spray paint or craft paint
Vintage wallpaper, sheet music, or other paper ephemera (optional)
Step 1: You will be deciding on a focal point for your plate, which will logically go in the well/center area. In order to cut out an image to fit the center, I looked around the house for something that fit inside the well. I found an ice cream carton lid and a Tupperware container lid. I used these as guides to cut out my images in perfect circles.
Step 2: Decide where you want your other images. In the picture below, I have some pieces laid out that I will be gluing down on the underside of the plate. They won't cover it completely, as you can see, but I will fill in the gaps later:
Step 3: You will be spreading decoupage glue right on top of the image and pressing it to the underside of the plate:
Step 4: Press the image down to get out the air bubbles:
Step 5: After a little drying time, coat the entire back with decoupage glue to seal it.
Step 6: Once the piece is dry, you can paint the back to give it a nice, finished look. I tried one with craft paint (pictured below) and the rest with with spray paint like Krylon. I found the spray paint method easier and better looking.
Step 7: If there are any paper edges that are uneven, you can trim them with scissors very easily (not pictured).
Here are the finished plates:
I experimented with my images, and discovered that one entire uncut piece could be used on a smaller plate. Once the paper is coated with the glue, it's quite malleable and can be pressed into the ridges on the plate base. The plate below was created with just one round image, cut about 1/2 inch wider than the circumference of the plate:
The plate below was created with photocopied "scrap" of dog faces, and torn bits of sheet music for the background. I didn't do a very good job spacing the dog faces around the edge of the plate, I'll admit:
I used the photographic image in the center and outlined it with a gold metallic Sharpie pen, then added vintage wallpaper around the edge for this plate of the two little girls:
The center image of this plate came from a Valentine with a beach theme, and I added vintage wallpaper around the rim. I don't think you can see evidence of any holiday reference anymore, and that was my goal:
I had so much fun making these, I'm ready to try some more. But I don't think Mr. Derian and Company has to worry about me as competition. Yet....