Hi friends! I recently did a post on a phonograph makeover I did for the Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest and I had a lot of questions on how I decoupaged the door insets on the phonograph. Today I’m going to give you step by step instructions on how I cut the paper to fit the exact measurements of the door insets followed by how I decoupaged the doors.
What is Decoupage?
Decoupaging is fun and easy and can be done on any surface with just about any type of material you can imagine. Decoupaging is essentially gluing (with Mod Podge) a decorative piece of paper or fabric to a surface. You can use paper, decorative paper napkins, posters, wrapping paper, tissue paper, or cloth. I imagine you can use just about anything when decoupaging, but those are the most popular choices. For my phonograph project I wanted to go with country cottage theme, so I chose a vintage shabby, floral print which I purchased as a digital image download from Etsy.
What is a digital image download?
It’s a file you pay for on Etsy and then you can immediately download and print it instead of having to wait on it to arrive in snail mail. For the most part, you can use the image in any manner you wish, but you should read the do’s and don’t’s from each vendor to make sure you are following copyright laws. In general you can use the images for crafts, as a background for invitations, or to layer other media on top of it using an app like Pic Monkey or Canva.
When you hop onto Etsy, search for “digital image downloads” and you will see something like this:
You can narrow your search by being more specific… “Grey Modern Print Digital Downloads” or “Vintage Floral Print” or “Blue Digital Image Downloads”.
I purchased a few different digital downloads before deciding on this one from Country At Heart 2008.
I click on the “favorite” button when I’m browsing so that I can easily find it at a later date…or after I’ve looked through 43 pages of digital image downloads. It was more like 83 pages. I did a very thorough search!
If you are doing a large project then you need to read the image download size. Some images are the size of post cards while others may be 12″x12″. Make sure you are getting the correct size for your project because blowing up the size doesn’t always work… trust me…. it doesn’t.
After downloading my images, I printed off the one I liked most and taped it on my phonograph to see how I liked it. I used painter’s tape so that I would ruin my new paint job.
I Downloaded The Image Now What Should I Do?
I used OfficeMax’s “Copy & Print” online service to get the highest quality image possible. I chose the “Copies & Flyers” option and then I chose the “legal size” paper option because it was a tad bigger than the insets on the phonograph’s doors. If I had used regular size copy paper, then I would have had to match up two sheets of paper and might possibly have had a visible line where the two pages met. At checkout you use PayPal or a credit card and then either have your prints shipped to you or you can pick them up at your local OfficeMax. It really was a quite easy process, so don’t feel intimidated to give it a try.
Cutting Your Paper To Fit An Inset:
Hang on tight guys because I’m going to blow you away with my scientific method of cutting paper. I simply placed my floral print paper over the inset and held it firmly in place with one hand so that it wasn’t sliding around. I then used my fingernail to trace the indented inset line making sure I was causing a little indented crease to form in the paper. I then used a pair of scissors to cut along the indented line.
Did I blow you away???
If you have an exacto knife you can cut the paper while holding it against the inset. I also did this method and it worked well.
Types of Mod Podge
There are all kinds of Mod Podge formulas available for decoupaging. They have Gloss and Matte finishes along with a special kind to be used with fabric. I remember when there was only one kind and we used it for everything. I chose the Matte finish for this decoupage project so that it would match the finish on the paint.
Decoupaging the Door Insets
I used a cheap chip brush and painted Mod Podge along the top 1-2 inches of the inset (on the wood not the paper). I found using a thin layer worked best for me.
After painting the strip with Mod Podge, I aligned my paper with the inset and then used a credit card to gently smooth out the air bubbles.
I always started in the center of the paper and worked my way out to one side. I then went back to the center and smoothed out the paper going to the other side and to the top. You always want to work from the center out.
You’ll find a nice rhythm of smoothing in all directions once you get going, but I highly recommend practicing on a piece of wood or a cereal box or anything besides your precious project piece.
Once you get done with that two inch section, then gently raise the paper up with one hand so that you can paint the next two inch section of wood. Then lower the paper to cover that newly painted section and start the smoothing out process again. Some people paint the entire piece with Mod Podge instead of working in sections, but this way worked best for me. Again, it will be a matter of personal preference.
A word of caution: If you rub too hard you can tear the paper or cause a wrinkle in it. Slow and steady wins the race–but just not too slow! You don’t want the glue to dry before you get the bubbles out.
You’ll need to add several coats of Mod Podge to the top of the paper in order to seal it. I recommend reading and following the directions on the back of the bottle for your specific project type.
And that my friends, is decoupaging door insets in a nutshell.
If you want to Mod Podge over wicker, check out my post here. I had to use a different technique in order to get the paper to stick to the wicker. It was a fun learning experience to say the least.
If you would like to read more about the phonograph makeover you can do that here.