Aug. 5, 2011
In the previous column, we discussed ways to creatively‒and inexpensively‒use some of the amazing new wallpapers on the market. Among the tips? Use wallpaper to create artistic panels or to jazz up accessories. Or frame sections of a paper or coordinating pattern to create art.
Certainly of the more creative ways to introduce wallpaper into a room is through decoupage. An age-old technique that was especially popular in the 1960s and '70s, decoupage is making a comeback particularly in arts-and-crafts circles. But you don't have to be "artsy" to create a stunning decoupage effect.
Decoupage is a decorative technique that employs single cut-out images used together to create a pattern. The technique is flexible, allowing you to select the image and where it goes. You might choose, for example, to place a line of rubber ducks around the mirror in a bathroom, run a flower vine along the top of a chest of drawers or scatter books throughout an office. The sky's the limit and is only limited by your imagination.
To create a decoupage, cut out desired images with a sharp pair of scissors. Then use wallpaper paste to affix them to the desired surface, being careful to smooth out the paper and wipe up any excess goo. Easier yet is to cut out images from pre-pasted wallpaper and apply them using the manufacturer's installation directions. After the image is dry, you can use a clear varnish to protect it from damage. However, this last step may not be necessary if the decoupaged surface is on a surface unlikely to be scratched or marred by human contact. Apply images in whatever pattern suits your fancy, but be creative!
Decoupage offers a handy way to use up leftover sidewall and border patterns. The key is to use a sharp knife when cutting out the images and be patient when cutting out an intricate pattern. The better the cut-out, the more impressive the effect.