Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Decoupage : Tools and Equipments

I have decoupaged quiet a lot even when I didnt know what exactly the use or advantages of it can be. It all started with an old box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates. I used just a random sketch and got it decoupaged with my normal craft glue and as I grew and went deeper with crafting I have realised a lot of other materials and tools that can help us get the desired results that we wish to. I have experimented with most of them to recommend them and some I am still experimenting with and hence I am sharing MY EXPERIMENTS and VIEWS.

Heres the picture of my first venture long long back in 1995....phew thats really long back in grade 6!!!

Coming Back to the Craft...I am going to talk and literally talk on the different tools and equipments here...its a DAMN TALKY POST.

1. Cutting Equipment: You will need a large pair of scissors for general cutting out, a smaller pair for cutting out motifs from gift wrapping paper or magazines or stamped images, and a pair of nail scissors for cutting out intricate shapes.

A craft knife or scalpel can be useful, especially if you have to cut out delicate shapes. Remember to work on a cutting mat. The special rubberised mats that are sold in craft stores are best because they are not damaged by score lines. Kitchen chopping boards can be used, but the best kinds will quickly blunt your blades while the cheaper kinds will eventually become marked. Kitchen boards are useful when you apply adhesive, however, because they are easily wiped clean.

2. Sealants: Paper must be sealed before it can be used for decoupage in order to prevent it from absorbing paint or varnish, to stop discolouration, and to inhibit colours from running. In addition, when a water based adhesive such as white glue is used with paper, the paper tends to stretch when it is applied to a surface, causing wrinkles and air bubbles. Sealing the paper beforehand helps prevent this.

I prefer to use a sanding sealer or button polish, which I apply to both sides of the image. This gives the paper a slightly crisp feel, and it makes intricate cutting out easier. If you want an aged or antique look, use shellac, which is honey-colorer. This is one of my favourite sealants.

Sanding sealer, button polish, and shellac are available from most hardware stores and from many craft and art stores. They are alcohol based and dry quickly.

You can also use spray fixatives, water based varnishes, or white craft glue, which should be diluted to the consistency of paint. Again, coat both sides of the image and remember that water based preparations take longer to dry than alcohol based ones.

3. Adhesives: All the projects done by me were decorated with motifs glued with white craft glue. However, some have mod podge on it but most of them are just plain craft glue. This water based adhesive is white or yellow when it is wet and transparent when it is dry. It can be thinned with water and used as a varnish. When it is dry it has a hard,"plastic" feel. When you use it to apply individual motifs, always wipe away any excess adhesive from around the edge of the design with a damp cloth. White glue is available in craft and art stores and in hardware and stationary stores.

4. Paints: Water based latex and acrylic paints are easy to use because they dry reasonably quickly and you can wash the brushes in water and detergent. (If you wish, use a hair dryer to speed up drying times).The projects I have done were painted with flat latex paint.

Artists' paints can be used to colour or decorate objects. Acrylic paints, which can be bought in tubes, cannot be used to bring out the cracks in a crackle varnish, however, because they are water based and the paint will adhere to the second coat of crackle varnish, which is also water based, and will smudge when you try to wipe it off to highlight the cracks. You can use artist's acrylic paints to tint white latex paint both to create a background colour or add lines and details to finished objects.

Artist's oil paints are used in an antique glaze or to bring out the cracks when crackle varnish is used. The paint is applied by dampening a cloth with mineral spirits, squeezing a small amount of paint onto the cloth and rubbing it over the surface of the decoupage item once the second stage varnish is dry abd the cracks have appeared. Raw umber is often used to enhance the cracks after the second stage of crackle varnish, while burnt umber creates reddish brown cracks.

These days you get Camlin Crackle medium but for that the method is different. You need to paint the colour which you want in the cracks first and then apply the medium and then the colour that you want the major base to be. This is no doubt a easier and faster way but not the authentic way and the results will tell you that clearly.

5. Primers and Undercoats: Use a red oxide metal primer on metal. Clean your brushes in mineral spirits. If you are decorating untreated wood, use acrylic primer followed by white acrylic undercoat.

6. Varnishes and Finishes: When you have glued the motifs and the adhesive is absolutely dry, you must apply several layers of varnish. The aim is to "lose" the edges of the motifs in the varnish, and some people apply up to twenty coats, while others find that three or four coats are sufficient. However many coats you apply, you should leave each one to dry thoroughly, then sand it very lightly with the finest grit sandpaper before applying the next. Do not sand the final coat. make sure that you remove any dust adhering to the surface of the object before applying varnish.

The kind of varnish you will use will be largely determined by the use to which the object will be put. Trays and table mats, for example, will need a tough, heat resistant, gloss surface that can be wiped cleaned. A lamp, on the other hand, will look attractive if the light reflects from a smooth satin finish, and some pieces of furniture need a wax polish over a flat varnish. If you do not like your first choice and if you have not applied a wax polish, you can sand the surface gently with fine sandpaper and apply a varnish with a different finish.

As we have already noted, white glue can be diluted and used as a varnish. There are, however, several other kinds of varnish that you might prefer to use.

a. Acrylic Varnish : This water based varnish is especially easy to use. You can wash your brushes in water, it does not have a strong, pungent smell, it dries fairly quickly, it is waterproof when it is dry, and it does not yellow with age. acrylic varnish can be bought in hardware and do-it-yourself stores and in art stores, and it is available in flat, gloss, and silk finishes.

b. Water Based Varnish: A water based varnish takes only 10-15 minutes to dry, making it especially useful when you are trying to build up several layers to blur the edges of your cut-out motifs as quickly as possible.

c. Polyurethane Varnish: Polyurethane wood varnish is available in all hardware stores, and it comes in flat, gloss, and satin finishes and in a range of tints, including clear. It does have a tendency to yellow slightly with age, and so it can be used when you want to give an "aged" effect to your work. Many people prefer polyurethane varnish to acrylic varnish, which has a rather hard appearance.

d. Shellac: You can use shellac to seal most surfaces, including paper and new wood, but it is not heat resistant and you must apply a coat of varnish to finish off. Shellac is honey coloured and is often used to "age" pieces. It is also useful as an insulating layer between two incompatible paints or varnishes. Clean your brushes in denatured alcohol.

e. White Polish: Like shellac, of which it is rather more refined version, white polish is alcohol based. It gives a transparent finish that will dissolve in denatured alcohol, even when it is dry. Use it when you do not want an antique effect.

f. Crackle Varnish: Also sometimes known as cracklure, crackle varnish is solid in a two stage pack in art and craft stores. The first coat is oil based, and it continues to dry under the second, faster drying, water based layer,which causes the top coat to crack. It is a fascinating varnish to use because the results are always unpredictable.

Drying time vary, depending on the thickness of the varnish and on the temperature and humidity of the room in which it is applied. You can speed up the second stage by using a hairdryer, set to medium, held about 2 feet away from the surface. When it is dry, the cracked varnish can be aged with artist's oil paints to reveal the cracks to best effects. If you do not like the results, you can wash off the second coat and try again.

You can buy a wholly water based crackle varnish, which is available in some craft stores. It is simpler to use and gives more predictable results than oil based cracklure. You can choose from a variety of "cracking" effects and sizes, which do not depend on temperature or humidity, and you may want to experiment with this type of crackle varnish until you feel confident enough to tackle the oil based version.

Because new kinds of crackle varnish keep coming onto the market, make sure that you read the manufacturer's instructions before you begin. If you are in doubt, ask the advice of the store in which you bought in the varnish.

g. Crackle Glaze: Use crackle glaze between two different colours of latex paint to produce a cracked or crazed second colour, through which the underlying colour can be seen.

h. Wax: Ordinary furniture wax can be used to give a polished sheen to an object that has been finished with flat varnish. Apply it with a damp cloth, and get into the habit of polishing the object every time you walk past it so that you not only have a beautifully gleaming finish but also have that lingering scent that only wax polish gives to a room.

i. Antique Glaze: Use this when you want to produce really beautiful objects. as you gain experience and confidence, you may want to make your own glaze with mineral spirits and artist's oil paint. Mix them to a creamy consistency in a small glass jar and apply the glaze with a soft cloth to give a soft "aged'' appearance.

7. Sanding: You will need a selection of sandpapers, ranging from coarse to the finest you can buy. Not only must you prepare the surface of the object to be decorated, but finishing the decoupaged article with very fine sandpaper gives a smooth, professional looking finish.

8. Brushes: In order to complete the projects, you will need a selection of brushes. Good brushes are expensive, but as long as you look after them well, they will last far longer than less expensive brushes. However, there may be times when it is more convenient to use a cheaper brush, which you can discard when it is unusable.

After applying latex paint, wash your brushes thoroughly in water and detergent. It is good idea to have separate brushes for oil paints and varnishes. Clean them with mineral spirits or a commercial cleaner.

a. Varnish Brushes: These flat brushes can be synthetic or pure bristle. They are available in different widths. When you are using water based varnishes and paints, synthetic brushes tend to give better results because they give a better flow and do not leave brush marks.

If you use crackle varnish, use two separate varnish brushes and label them for the appropriate stages because it is important that the two varnishes are not mixed when they are wet or the crackle will not work. Always clean the brushes immediately after use.

b. Decorating Brushes: Look out for a variety of widths in hardware stores. If possible, choose the brushes, which do not shed hairs. It can be extremely annoying to find that you have not noticed a stray hair until the paint or varnish has dried.

Use cheap brushes for shellac because denatured alcohol tends to ruin them. Do not use mineral spirits to clean brushes used for shellac.

c. Watercolor Brushes: Use artist's paint brushes to add fine details and for touching up. You will find a choice of widths and qualities in art stores, and the most useful for acrylic paints are sizes no 4, no 6, and no 9. I use a flat edges oil paint brush for the edges of the table mats because it is easy to control.

9. Additional Equipment: In addition to the above, you will need one or two other items to complete a project.

a. Sponges: Natural sponges produce the best and softest effects when you are sponging on paints, but if you use a synthetic sponge, tear rather than cut off small pieces so that they have slightly rough edges.

b. Roller: A small rubber roller (sometimes called a brayer) or a small plastic roller of the kind sold in hardware stores for smoothing the edges of wallpaper is useful for pressing over glued images to remove all air bubbles and to give even adhesion. You can use the back of a spoon instead in small areas, and when you are applying motifs to large, flat surfaces, such as furniture, you may be able to use your pastry rolling pin. Press down with a firm, smooth motion, pushing air bubbles and excess glue from the centre to the edges of the motif. Do not use you fingers, or you will tear the paper.

If the surface to which you are applying a motif is uneven, use a slightly dampened sponge, pressed evenly from the centre outward.

10. Cleaning Materials: Use denatured alcohol to dilute shellac and button polish and to clean the brushes with which you apply these substances.

Mineral Spirits can be used to clean the surface of an object before decoupage motifs are applied. Use it also to dilute oil based paints and varnishes and to clean brushes.

Clean brushes used for latex paint and water based varnishes with detergent and water. Work a small amount of undiluted detergent into the bristles first, then rinse them thoroughly with clean water.

Another project: I dont have most of my projects pictures thanks to the last year Bangalore Exhibition!!

I just hope I have been able to share my experience with all these mediums to the best of my ability but as I always you yourself experiment with the mediums you will never know what further to do with never shy off from experimenting!!!

NOTE: Mod Podge and its various varieties do give a faster result but if you are someone who loves to experiment and loves to work with mediums only then you may enjoy this post and also these are way cheaper solutions to Mod Podge as the amount spent in one project may go up if using a brand like Mod Podge ...the materials mentioned here can be easily bought cheap from hardware stores!!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Color Conception Challenges Quiz:Day 2

Hello lovely ladies!!

Welcome to Day 2 of Color Conception Challenge Quiz

As we announced earlier it is celebration time for us, as our blog Color Conception Challenges has received immense support & love from you all & we have crossed 100 followers soon.

We have compiled a photo quiz for you for 6 days. We have five questions each day which will be announced by all team members on their personal blogs. So make sure you visit our blog to know who the host is for the day & remember you have time only until mid night to participate. 

Remember this is just for FUN, we are not here to test your knowledge. So lets all play along in the right spirit. Exciting???  Well here are some points to remember
  •     You must be a follower of our blog and challenge blog
  •   Be as specific as you can with your answers
  •  Add your name to the linky below (EVERYDAY)  to let us know your participation.
  • The linky closes at mid night on that day. SO REMEMBER YOU HAVE JUST A COUPLE OF HOURS TO ENTER.
  • Person with maximum right answers will be the winner of the day. In case there are more than one, the one that replies earliest will be the winner
  • There is a BUMPER prize for 1 person, who participates on all 6 days!!
  • The decision taken by the DT will be final.      
  • Please mail your answers in the below format to – Subject of the mail should be CCQUIZ Answers


Would love to answer any specific queries you have regarding this.
So join in to have some fun over all 6 days!!!!






Thursday, September 5, 2013


Let me make this really quick...As you all know I along with two of my friends host Swaps among Indian crafters and we do encourage international swappers if any of the India crafter is ready for it...For the month of July we had the theme as CAS Cards with the least use of white and not a one layer card..and here is what I made...

Hope you all like what I have done...More projects on the way of updating...

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Its school time at Eclectic Ellapu

Hey folks ...yess ...we are celebrating school time at Eclectic Ellapu...and our new challenge deals with any projects "For The Teacher"....the teachers can range from classroom teachers to music teachers to tuition teachers to martial arts teachers....just think who all you want to create for....

As for inspiration here is mine:

I love cute and decorative pen stands...and my new fad is to use beautiful cups to store my pens and pencils on the table...they look awesome ...and so I have transferred that idea and done a Cup Pen Stand for my teacher.....

Hope you guys like it...and there are loads of other inspiration by the rest of the DT' see Click Here.

So what are you waiting for....rush to your crafting table to create something for your favourite teachers!!! and post the link at the blog.

Entering this for the following challenges:

1. Ladybug Crafts-Something Floral
2. Fat-tastic Tuesday-Back to School

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Color Conception Challenges: Nail it Down with Textures

Hi am back today with the Color Conceptions Challenges: Nail it Down with Textures.....

Let me make the theme more clear for you. We are looking at any kind and all sorts of textures that you can create with the help of embossing folders, with the use of fabrics like laces, burlaps, mesh, net or with the use of mixed media paraphernalia like gesso, gel mediums, texture paste, utee, embossing powders, sprays etc. The more the textures the better! The only condition is that whatever method you choose to incorporate, the projects need to be something that you can hang on your doors or walls- like a key chain hanger, name plate, wall hanging, scrapbook layouts, wall clocks and so on....

One random winner from the participants would receive a GIFT VOUCHER worth Rs 500, to purchase in our shop -

Hop to the Blog to participate....Click Here

For this challenge, my DT inspiration is:

Hope you like it...there are many more inspirations on the Challenge Blog see Click Here.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Its Raining Washi at Color Conceptions Challenges!!!

Hey folks...I have been MIA thanks to my troublesome lappy...My MacBook survived 8 years without giving me any trouble but it did have a painful end with battery, motherboard and its internal fan all gone for a toss!!! Sad to be deserting it but at the same time happy with the new member in the family -MacBook Pro!!!

Anyways I have missed a couple of posts so instead of doing a details showcase of items and linking back to the blogs!!!

We are currently having the "Trash to Treasure using Washi Tape" challenge at the Color Conceptions Challenges. You can recycle anything as far as its done with washi!!! So do join us for the challenge and share your creations here.

My inspiration for the same was.....

I used an old leftover foam sheet and had two different washi tapes cover it completely and then a few strokes of Mod Podge just to seal the loose ends and give it a long lasting touch. After it dried down I cut it to make a puzzle game out of it!!!

There were many other beautiful and cool inspirations from the other DT and to have a look at here.

Over the past three weeks the design team has come up with some real cool ideas of how to use washi tapes and for that am posting the links below...see for yourself and get inspired!!!

1. Create interesting patterns with Washi for your cards: By Priya Sivaraj

2. Washi Tape ideas for Jewellery and Stationary: By Tanvi Shah

3. DIY Washi Tape Holder: By Dr. Sonia

4. Revamp your house items with Washi Tapes: By Saumya (ohhh thats me!!! hehehhe)

Also for your information The Craft Shop is offering Flat 5% off on all Washi Tapes till Jul 21 
Buy 10 or more washis and get 10% off!! Buy more save more!!

So what are you waiting for.........

Participate in the Washi Tape Challenge here.

and also get discounts on Washi Tapes here.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Recipe Challenge at Eclectic Ellapu

Hi folks back with Eclectic Ellapu Challenge...this week its the Purple Team (my team) which is hosting  a "RECIPE" challenge, you are to do any project with- 1 stamped or digital image, 2 embellishments (ribbon, brad, button etc), 2 die cuts, 3 design papers.

For this Recipe challenge...I cooked a Wine Bottle Tag....

I have used Fabriano watercolor paper for the base which is a PTI wine bottle tag die cut....on which I have stamped a My Sweetest Thing Doily stamp with Hero Arts Shadow ink ...the pregnant girl is also a Whimsy collection stamp ...colored with Tombow Markers ...fussy cut and stuck on the base....the design papers are die cut with MFT banner die.....

Take a closer look- my recipe- 1 stamped image (pregnant girl), 2 embellishments (ribbon and brad), 2 die cuts (wine bottle tag and banners), 3 design papers (used in the banner)

Hope you like my inspiration do join us for the challenge and show us what you can create with our recipe.....

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Ellectic Ellapu -Atleast 3 B's

Hi blogging after a break and am surely happy to announce that am on the DT team of Eclectic Ellapu.

This week Eclectic Ellapu has come up with a very nice challenge where you can make any it a card, a layout or an altered art but your project must include at least three things that begin with the letter "B" either in the image or as embellies.....whatever makes you smile.

There are some excellent DT inspirations and to check them out please hop to the Eclectic Ellapu blog.  As for my DT project this is what I made......

B for- Bottle , Baker's Twine and Button....

I took an old glass bottle that had been lying in my kitchen for God knows how long and after a quick clean up got hold of my Fabric glue and Baker's twine ....Though one can attach the Baker's twine to the bottle with many adhesives like white tacky glue, hot glue and glossy accents ....I prefer the fabric glue for its consistency...its thick so it does not drip and as its meant for fabric so it adheres to the Baker's twine instantly and gives a very sturdy and firm look to the attached bottle....I guess one can obtain similar results with glossy accents too but am not confident of a neat look with hot glue...

I then made a few pom pom flowers with Baker's twine using a fork....and added my third "B"- buttons to the center of it....

Hope I have been able to inspire you a bit to take part in the challenge at the Eclectic what are you waiting for? Just select your "B's" and get going with your projects and yes dont forget to share them with us.....

Saturday, June 1, 2013


 Color Conceptions , your favourite craft store in India ,upgraded the store to a website last month. This would be your place to go for, when it comes to craft supplies!! Interested in learning crafts /Beginner / Experienced, we are sure, you would find something to cater to your creative desires!! Most items are imported and they are so pretty in their own way – which will help you make gorgeous projects!!

We are happy to announce the launch of our new Challenges .We will be having a monthly challenge beginning from the month of June. With our new Design Team in, you are going to enjoy this space as much as we do!!  We have got the most talented designers in the block, who will be rocking your senses with their amazing DT works and their most fabulous tutorials and product reviews. This space will ignite your crafting passion or rekindle it to bring the best out of you!! There are loads of fun lined up this month! So keep checking back often.

Its been a pleasure being associated with Color Conceptions as a buyer (I have always been a satisfied customer with respect to products and service both ..take my word on that) but the invite to be a part of its integral Design Team just blew me off here I am here !!

This bloghop is designed for you to hop on all DT member’s blogs and end in the challenge blog. If you did not come here from Tanvi's blog, please click here.To begin the bloghop from  Priya’s  blog, please click  here.
This would be fresh and new start to you and to us . Would'nt it be apt to have a related theme for this month? So here we go!

                                  Challenge 1 :  A new Beginning and use Bakers Twine.

Here is a sneak peak of my inspiration for the challenge. Full view of the project in  Challenge blog!

This is the first time am working with so much Baker's Twine around me and so much white and that was my biggest challenge but must say I had loads of fun the challenge goes  "New Beginning" ...I have incorporated a very open ended sentiment "FROM MY HEART"....could be a new beginning to a love story...a new friendship....or ending a past and starting afresh....whatever be the reason...its straight "From MY Heart".....

Rules to  the bloghop:

1. Like our Facebook Page here.
2. Follow our   Challenge blog.
3.Leave a comment on all the 6 DT blogs.
4.Leave a comment in the Challenge blog saying you have done all the above.

One lucky winner is entitled to win a pack of Making Memories 5th Avenue Elizabeth Die cuts 112 pieces.

Blog Hop Order
Saumya <--- (You are here)
Color Conceptions Challenge

To visit next blog in the bloghop, click here

Thanks for taking time to celebrate with us. Have Fun!! All the best!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Travalogue: a keepsake for the people on the go!!!

I love to travel and when the offer to make a scrapbook for one travel freak comes, I obviously could not say a "NO"....

Its made with no particular style-in short a total funk and freaked out album following no style definition and no technique restrictions ...nor a color combo etc....I have just gone crazy with whatever I thought I wanted to do and what I thought I wanted to include!!!

The first page is a pocket page with the ticket pouch...and the second page is for the map of the place traveled or say a quick click of the arrived airport or the hotel checked into....the first at the place being visited basically!!!

The pouch is big enough to store the flight/train tickets/boarding passes and itinerary....

The inside of the ticket pouch and the tag hidden behind the photo mat for writing about the new place!!!

Third page with a single photo mat and the next one for either a multi photo set up (can accomodate 3 mini pics) or can be used to write down what one is expecting in the  travel...what is he/she looking forward to...

More space for photos and journalling....the pink tag can be removed and attached back again. The blue tag is totally hand stamped...

The other side of the tag (again stamped)...the next page is a 3 pocket page of one 12x12 page to contain brochures/entry tickets or any small knick knacks or even to write what the pocket page contains is also given.

The Blue small page is actually a handmade mini envie and a pic can be put over it ....

The envie could contain small memorabilia .....and the next page is again a multi photo set up page with a tag for journalling.

A single picture page with a tag behind (see the picture below) and the next is a tag...

 Another 3 pocket page for another set of brochures...maps....postcards...stamps etc...

 Another handmade envie with space for a picture on the front!!!

The back of the envie and the next page is a OHP sheet on which I have stamped the border stamp to create a frame....

The photo mats/journalling tags  inside the envie...

Other side of the photo mats /journalling tags

I love this dollie stamp on the tag....

4 mini tags ....

2 horizontal 3 pocket pages for more memorabilia ....

A list of TOP 10 highlights of the trip-be it shopping areas....places to visit...eating joints etc...but the most exciting or most interesting Top 10 picks !!! The page is done with dylusion inks and then stamped with speech tags.

Another tag...

Last page to write a concluding note on the entire trip!!!

All tags provided as=re not necessarily for can stick photos on them also...all pages are multi purpose depending on the need to the end user!!!

Do leave your comments and let me know what you think of this project :)

Entering this for :

Digi Stamps 4 Joy-Anything Goes

Bearly Mine-Anything Goes

Party Time Tuesdays-Anything But Card

Crafty Bloggers Network-Anything Goes