Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dirty Words and Wrinkles

As with anything, crafting can be (and for me, it usually is) a learning process.  If at first I don't succeed, I'm going to try, try, try, say some dirty words, and then try again.  This project looked simple enough, so simple that I thought I could recreate it with just a picture of the final product and with zero experience using Mod Podge.  I thought, "It's Mod Podge for goodness sakes, how difficult could it be?"  Of course, I was basing this on its funny name and absolutely no other rationale.  Silly me.

So, I set out to recreate this snazzed up frame from Craftily Ever After.  Cute, right?

I scoured my stash of craft goodies to see what I already had on hand before I headed out for supplies.  Ah-HA!  I found my stockpile of wrapping paper that I had purchased way cheap after Christmas last year!  Good stuff.

Tip:  Hobby Lobby offers 'non-traditional' Christmas paper that can be used year round.  Once they go on sale I purchase several that can be used for birthdays, weddings, and craft projects.  Here are the ones I purchased last year:

Since I already had the wrapping paper and a bottle of matte Mod Podge all I needed was a frame and an embellishment.  Hobby Lobby almost always (I'm pretty sure it's always, but just in case I'll say "almost") has their frames marked down 50%.  So I nabbed one that had a flat (not beveled) surface for about $8.00 on sale and grabbed a pink flower for $1.99.

I started by rolling out the wrapping paper and flipping the frame over (top side down) on the back of the paper.  I cut around the frame leaving space around it with my scissors.  Then I took my utility knife and cut a straight edge around the frame and in the inside cut out.

I made sure to position the cut out on the frame to make sure that I knew exactly how to lay it once the Mod Podge was ready.  Next, I used a foam brush to "paint" a thin layer on the frame.

**Let the Mod Podge dry a bit to increase it's tackiness, you want it tacky not wet.**  

Then carefully lay your cut out on the glue.  Start at the top (or bottom) and work your way to the other end.  If you let the glue dry to tackiness it should just sit on top enough that you can run your hands over it to seal it and you should have minimum bubbles and wrinkles.  Carefully look over the frame to to make sure the edges are sealed.  It's very important that you let it dry for awhile before applying the top coat of Mod Podge.

Once it appears the first layer has dried apply a second layer on top of the paper.  Let the top coat dry and then apply one more layer, and of course, let it dry.  Then, add any embellishments.  I used hot glue to attach the flower.

Okay--so that's how crafter's and DIYers WANT you to think it went.  Unfortunately, that's not how it went down.  AND, I'm about to reveal the truth.

I cut the paper to fit the frame (so far so good), applied a layer of Mod Podge laid down the cut out and it instantly started to bubble and wrinkle.  I panicked and ripped up the paper and used my trusty Pampered Chef pan scraper to scrape up the left over paper.  Take Two.  I Googled "how to avoid wrinkles and bubbles in decoupage" and found this video from Addicted 2 Decorating.  Go ahead, watch it...I'll wait.

Armed with my newfound knowledge, I started again.  I cut a new cut out and put on a thin layer of Mod Podge.  I let the Mod Podge dry to tacky and carefully laid down the cutout.  It looked great!  Wahoo!  Then the hubs walked past said "Wow, that looks cool!"and my ego and confidence were boosted.  So, I put on a top coat over the paper and it instantly started to wrinkle...and then I said dirty words, lots of them.  I ripped off the paper, scraped off the leftovers, and started again muttering something to the effect of "I WILL win."

So, as you can guess, I did another cutout, put on a thin layer of Mod Podge, let it dry to tacky positioned the cutout, gently smoothed it down and then gave it time to dry.  That was key.  I then painted on a top coat and it did wrinkle a bit but it looked much better.  I let the top coat dry and then painted one more coat.  Finally, I hot glued the flower in the perfect spot (in other words, to cover the wrinkles).  All done!  Now, wasn't that a simple craft project?  Oye.

When it comes to crafting, I win some and I lose some.  I'm calling this one a draw.  It definitely didn't turn out as I had envisioned but it's still something that I'll use.  The important thing is that I tried something new and learned a few things.  BUT, the MOST important thing that came from all of this is that I posted about it.  See, the 'old me' would have dug a deep hole in the backyard and buried all of the evidence.  The 'new me' realizes that the ultimate goal is learning something that I didn't know before.  The next time I decoupage (and there WILL be a next time) I'll have this experience to draw from and my end product may just turn out better.  So, without further ado, here it is with just a few wrinkles, but who cares?

UPDATE:  Much to my delight, most of the wrinkles have disappeared after a good nights sleep--and yes, I'm referring to the frame (I still have my wrinkles)!  This project didn't turn out so bad after all!  

Here it is after drying all night and with natural lighting.  I can live with it.

Have you ever decoupaged?  Do you have any tips to share? 



  1. Great paper. It really made the frame. Thanks for sharing it at Hot Fun in the Summertime.

  2. Oh my goodness, I loved this post. I was laughing so hard. This is EXACTLY how I craft. I love how the frame turned out!

    1. Ha, ha...thanks, Kelly! We must find humor in these tasks or they'll get the best of us! We WILL win! :)


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