My intention is to complete one creative project each month. Starting in January would have made sense, but with the Summer holidays and then the usual juggling of work with family time, I finally started my ‘creative year’ in March.
So I started this blog to record my progress, and began work on my first project, the restoration of an old school chair. (Refer to my previous post for more on how I got this little gem, and for applying the base coats.)
Planning where to position each piece of paper took a while but I’m happy with the balance of light areas vs dark. I started with the seat…
Following the curves of the chair was a little challenging, mainly because I wanted to keep the text vertical and horizontal – it would have been easier to align the text with the chair edges.
Next I moved to the back…
Who remembers writing “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” when learning how to write cursive? I can clearly remember having to practise on sheets of brown paper, carefully linking one letter to the next. Cursive writing originated at the time of the quill and ink. Obviously there is no longer the need for joined-up writing, but in adding this script to the front of my old school chair, I had a link to days gone by.
With all timber surfaces complete, I was about to paint the legs black when I suddenly had the idea to let loose with colour. Was choosing the colour a simple process? Nope. But with the help of the latest Resene fan deck ‘fashion colours’, I settled on Bright Lights, a sharp green-edged yellow. I love yellows with greys, charcoals and blacks in interior settings, and think yellow works well with the graphic look of this chair too.
To protect the papered surfaces, I applied 5 coats of Mod Podge. After researching I found that 2 coats gives a satisfactory coating, but for surfaces that will be exposed to wear, up to 5 coats provides a more durable coating. (Scroll to the end of my post for more details.)
I like how the chair looks at my daughter’s desk, but I’ve now got it tucked safely away until I need to deliver it to the local Art Gallery for an upcoming exhibition. What do you think?
(NB: I am no artist. Simply writing that it is ready for an ‘upcoming exhibition’ is unnerving, but at the age I am now, I’m all about letting go of “what if mine looks rubbish next to everyone elses?”, “who do I think I am?”, “I can’t draw”…etc…etc. So there we go.)
Protecting the chair surfaces: If anyone is looking at starting a decoupage project, be aware that bubbling of the paper can occur once you starting applying the top coats. This had me very concerned one night after applying my first coat. Some paper bubbled immediately, so I went to bed completely deflated imagining that I’d need to somehow remove selected pieces of paper. However, by morning the bubbling had disappeared! Magic. I later researched further and read that a good even coverage of Mod Podge in the glueing phase, followed by careful smoothing down of the paper, prevents wrinkles from occurring. So it appears that in places, I hadn’t applied enough Mod Podge. Lucky for me everything dried smooth and wrinkle-free!