Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Adventures in Decoupage

Not infrequently, my costuming pursuits require me to get into contact with my inner Girl Scout and subsequently get down and dirty with some Arts and Crafts.  Sometimes you need a mask for an ensemble, or a fan to keep yourself cool, or a crown, or an elaborate headpiece... you get the idea.  I desperately try to keep my prop-making at a minimum and outsource as much as possible, as I simply do not need *another* craft to eat my time and suck away at my soul, but sometimes there is just no getting around it.

For example...

While at Steampunk Industrial Revolution, my friend and sister-in-steampunkery, Contessa Esselia, and I decided that my duster-wearing-saloon-hall-girl needed a fan of playing cards as an accessory.  As it happened, I was able to find a deck of old-timey-looking playing cards at the con, but I hadn't a clue as to how I was going to turn them into a fan.  Fast forward a bit, and I find myself headed out to Omaha, Nebraska to visit my beau and to attend the Steampunk Society of Nebraska's Wild West Day.  Therefore, this fan needs to be done, pronto.

I had been floating around on Pintrest while looking for inspiration for this fan of mine, and I stumbled my way into decoupage.  My cards are made from paper, so it seemed logical that I could decoupage them onto a hand-fan shape of some kind or another.  Only, I have never decoupaged before.

So.  Here we go!

I bought Mod-Podge, because everyone says that you should use Mod-Podge.  I didn't want glossy, so I went with a matte finish, and thinking myself daring I chose the "Antique Matte".  I *almost* went with the crackle-effect stuff, but after reading the instructions, I decided it was too rich for my blood and kept it simple.

My trusty sponge-applicator-brush-thing.  Thinking that bigger would obviously be better, I picked a very wide brush.  It worked well enough, but it didn't really fit into the neck of my Mod-Podge bottle, so I had to risk ruining some tupperware by pouring the Mod-Podge into a separate container.  (No worries, everything survived.)

My Dad had the idea to make the fan-shaped-base out of balsa wood, which he then lovingly purchased and then cut to my pattern.  Pictured here is also the basic layout for the cards.  Obviously I'm not using all 52 cards in the deck.  But, those of you who know me personally, know me well enough to see the very clear and present pattern of the layout that my OCD demands.

And, here we are!  Decoupage is not at all the headache I thought it would be.  It is really "gluing for adults" when it gets down to it.  You slather the back of your cutout with glue, wait for it to dry, and then slather the top of the cutout with glue.  Sadly, the lighting available to me doesn't show how very nicely the "antique matte" has yellowed the cards to make them look extra-special, but maybe someone will catch it as I am trying to keep myself cool in Omaha.

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