Wednesday, March 6, 2013

DIY Decoupage Disappointment

A-Man photo bomb!

It shouldn't come as a surprise to any one that I'm cheap.  I prefer to call it frugal or responsible, but let's call it what it is.  I want nice things, but I want them at the lowest possible price.  Knowing that, you might wonder why I do Scrapbooking as we all know it can  be an expensive hobby.  That's why I keep my layouts simple...less expensive.  And anyway, the focus is supposed to be on the photos and the memories....not the embellishments.

Pinterest is full of ideas to make your own supplies and I recently saw one (well, several) on making your own Mod Podge.  I haven't used the stuff in years and had no idea how expensive it had gotten.  ($6 for a little jar!)

A couple of the Pins were for actual recipes, involving measurements and ingredients.  That was too much work so I went with the simplest one I found.  Dilute plain old Elmer's Glue with water!  Seems pretty simple. 

Being a mom, you know I have a ton of glue stashed in the craft closet (scored for 20 cents a bottle at back-to-school sales).  I grabbed a 1/2-used bottle, filled it up with water and shook.  Easy-peasey!

The real task was to find something to use it on.  I've been working on getting all the kids their own scrapbooks for each year and there's getting to be quite a stack of them.  The idea had always been to embellish the front cover.  So, I got out my Cricut, cut some letters and numbers and set to work.  Here's the finished results

I originally intended to use the letters that I cut with the Cricut.  But, I liked the look of the "negative space" so much better. 

I think this one is my favorite.  Purple leopard print with pink and purple rhinestones along the edge of the purple 7.

This one had the best result.  Very thin paper attached to smooth, non-porous surface.

While I'm pleased with the overall look of the covers, the "Mod Podge" isn't really the greatest.  Like I said, it's been years since I used the stuff, but this is not what I remembered.  It attached my elements to the surface just fine once I remembered that you have to coat both the surface and the back of the paper before placing it.  It took an hour or so to dry then I applied a second coat.  A couple of them needed a third coat and the one with the large E is waiting for a FIFTH coat right now.  It worked best with the combination of thin paper being placed onto a non-porous surface.  A couple of my covers are fabric and some of my letters were cut from pretty heavy cardstock.  That combo took a lot more Mod to Podge together.

The big disappoint was the finish.  On the fabric covers, it's very rough to the touch, almost gritty feeling.  The paper is well adhered, but doesn't feel protected.  I don't think it will handle much abuse.  On the slick covers, the layer of glue dulled the shine of the surface and looks like it might peal off easily.  Again, not going to take much abuse or handling. 

The Mod Podge I used in the past dried to a hard, shiny surface that smoothed over any roughness or texture on the paper and around the edges.  This didn't.  I'm thinking it may need to be sprayed with some sort of clear coat to really seal it.  And, having to buy that pretty much negates any savings I got from making it myself instead of just buying the real deal.

So, for 10 cents worth of glue, I got 5 covers that look great, but still need work. 

I wasn't ready to give up on this idea yet so I re-read the instructions as well as all the comments they got.  Seems like it makes a difference if you use Elmer's School Glue or Elmer's Glue All.  Of course, I used the cheaper "school glue."  So, I picked up a bottle of the right kind of glue and tried again.  Much better results this time.  The Glue All is much thicker to start with and dried to a smooth, strong, matte finish with just two coats.  It pays to follow instructions, I guess!

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