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decoupage-2When I first broke into the world of doing crafts, I really felt helpless.  I was surrounded by extremely talented people who could take the simplest of supplies and turn them into a masterpiece that could be displayed with pride.  I admit, I tried a wide range of crafts and all of them seemed to turn out worse than the last – that is, until I tried decoupage.

Common Art Form

If you are not aware of what decoupage is, it is an art form where you glue cutouts onto another object. Traditionally, these cutouts were made from paper but today, the cutouts can be a range of things from high quality colored images to soft fabrics.   But while decoupage can be explained as easily as that, there is a bit more to decoupage.

Once the fabric or paper is glued onto the object, the artisan will apply multiple layers of lacquer or varnish.  And when I say multiple, I mean just that.  The average piece of decoupage sees about 30 to 40 layers of varnish applied to create a thick finish.  The varnish itself is sanded until there is a highly polished finish that leaves the object with a lasting beauty to a piece that was ordinary originally.decoupage-3

While decoupage has been gaining popularity over the last few years, it is something that has been enjoyed for centuries.  In fact, decoupage was a popular finish for many items including furniture and windows as early as the 17th century in Europe.

Before that, decoupage has been traced back before the early 12th century.  It is believed to have been used by Nomadic tribes in East Siberia for tombs.  While it was originally used for honoring the dead, it quickly became a common art form that was used to decorate everything from lanterns to boxes.  Decoupage was picked up by the Chinese and it was brought to Europe in the 17th Century when trade between Italy decoupage-1and Asia opened up.

Despite the long history, many people are only now becoming familiar with the art of decoupage and while it does not use as many coats of varnish as it once did, the pieces that artisans of today are varied and long lasting.  In fact, if you are looking for a craft that will stand the test of time and provide you with a breathtaking finished piece, then you should look no further then the world of decoupage.


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