About Me

My photo
JLynn has been in the Art, Craft & Jewelry industry for over 30 years ~ promoting creativity through Education and Media. As a published designer, JLynn is known for her detailed, colorful Jewelry, unique Altered ART Wood Tiles, and Artwork. Online since 2004, a former eBay Power Seller, and currently on Artfire and Etsy. Family, Art, Nature and Kaleidoscopes are her biggest inspirations

Friday, April 8, 2011

DECOUPAGE DIY Tutorial Project & COLOR Intro

Good Morning...taking a few moments in between writing up instructions for magazines and jewelry designing - to post a couple things here.  Time is flying...!  Above are my own original Watercolors in miniature ART tiles (I scanned my original art pieces and worked hard cropping a variety of sections to create these tiny little masterpieces of art to utilize in jewelry making and other craft projects - another item in my NEW "Altered ART collection").  I have to say it's always a little nerveracking to put yourself out there in such a personal manner because "ART" is so subjective to opinions.  So I've been overwhelmed in a good way with all the positive responses I've been receiving and plan to share more of my Watercolor art with you - maybe even in digital format :).  I LOVE COLOR...can you tell?

Currently I'm working hard to get more DIY decorating and craft tips up here on the Blog - as well as on my Facebook Business Page..and my website.  In my "former" Corporate life - I worked Education, Marketing and Public Relations for Jo-Ann etc. (when they first rolled out the super stores in the late 90s).  Long story short - I had an amazing job, super people that I worked with - and was  paid to teach, share, demonstrate and promote all things that I love.  I write this with a smile on my face because they were magical times - and I was involved with the community, churches, schools, and a lot of businesses and groups that loved me in return.  I also had the pleasure of attending many events like the CHA conference in Chicago and was a regular on a local TV show in Nashville called the "Talk of the Town".  So...I don't think there is anything I haven't tried...and if I find I haven't, I soon will LOL - it's an addiction...anyone else have troubles with this type of addiction??  We can start our own little Support Group right here on my blog :)

DECOUPAGE...is a very OLD art that actually started in the 12th century (in China)...and then became extremely popular in the 17-18th Century Victorian times where they cut out a lot of delicate shapes and patterns and applied them to furniture and other decorative pieces.  The ebb of crafts comes and goes - and in my years (I'll be 48 this summer...) it's really impressive to see how fashion, colors, trends, and crafts make their rounds...again and again.

When I was a little girl...I remember "decoupaging" all sorts of things on bottle caps, glass bottles (even Milk bottles and mason jars - LOL) - and lots of wood pieces including popsicle sticks.  We'd use images from magazines or things we painted.  Elmers Glue was HUGE...!  But wow how the Art & Craft Companies improved things...and "evolved".  It makes your head spin - and what I like is that it never stops...there is always something new or something re-invented or re-visited that makes things easier - in addition to basically guaranteeing a successful outcome to your creative project.

My fascination with decoupage continued into my adult life...and when I was first married and starting out in my own place - I collected decorating magazines and did multiple "collages" on regular xerox paper and compiled them in a 3 ring binder.  I did this for decorating, floral arrangements (yes I do florals - live & silk) AND outdoor landscaping.  And yes...I still have the binders and still add "favorites"  - it's a nice thing to refer to or simply look at to get inspired.

If you are contemplating decoupage - go to your local craft store and purchase some simple things...a paper mache piece (could be a trinket box), some craft paint, Mod Podge Satin or Glossy, a sea sponge and some Foamy brushes.  That's it - low cost & reasonable.  You can purchase paper cut-outs at the store or use Greeting Cards, magazine cut-outs...but I really encourage you to take a little extra time and browse through the images available on http://www.etsy.com/ - simply do a search on "Digital Images" and you'll be amazed at what you'll find - if you like Roses - do a search on Rose Digital Images...  I've purchased 3x5 digital artwork to use in frames around the house...like this:

The nice thing is that they can be printed at home whenever and for whatever you want...maybe to decoupage a garbage basket...light cover...votive holder...cabinet...lampshade?
Mod Podge can be purchased in individual bottles or this nifty Starter pack (LOVE this)

DIY Decoupage Project:
Base Coat your Paper Mache piece using a foamy brush and Acrylic paint (Cream or White) - allow to dry.  Dampen your sea sponge and wring out - and on a piece of waxpaper, place another color of Acrylic paint.  Dab/pounce your sponge in it - then on a scrap paper pounce up and down so that the excess paint is blended into the sponge.  Now do the same pouncing motion on your paper mache piece.  Reload your sponge as needed (and make sure that you keep it damp so that the paint flows and blends) and complete sponging your entire surface - allow to dry.
  • Cut out your digital images with a sharp pair of scissors. Arrange your cutouts on the table to your satisfaction and take a digital photo you can refer to (if using multiple smaller pieces).
  • Since we are keeping things simple - we are going to use the same Mod Podge (e.g. Gloss) for attaching our images AND varnishing.  Using your foam brush - apply a coat to the backside of your cutout and place on your paper mache piece.  Use your fingers to press from the center outward so that your image is flat with no wrinkles or bumps due to excess glue.  More than likely you will have a little bit of Mod Podge around the edges - use your finger to blend in.  Complete applying all your paper cut-outs.  Allow to dry.  TIP:  Do not touch the surface of the paper too much with your fingers as you could remove the top layer of print - if you feel you must touch it, apply a thin coat of modge podge over the top once it's attached to your paper mache piece.
  • All that's left now is to seal and varnish it with Mod Podge.  That's right... we're keeping things simple.  Using your Foam brush...apply a medium even coat across the entire surface - taking care with your strokes (all in the same direction).  Once the top portion is dry - repeat for any lower sections.  If you'd like a more glossier look - apply another coat of Modge Podge.  TIP:  If your project has multiple paper images or a collage style...I like applying 2-3 coats of Glossy Mod Podge so that the pieces don't look like they've been cut-out and simply "glued" on.
  • Now - if you'd like to further embellish your paper mache "Box"...you can add ribbons, trims - and yes even my Altered Art Wood pieces or Vintaj Brass charms or Tags - check out my Artfire or Etsy Stores at JLynnJewels (see right side bar picture windows).

If you don't have yourself one of these wheels - get yourself one!  They are just fun to play around with, and get inspired with warm and cool colors - as well as, getting familiar with Hues...Tints...Tones and Shades.  There are Primary Colors (Red, Yellow & Blue)...Secondary Colors (which is a combination of two Primary colors which create an Orange, Green or Violet).  Then you can get tricky...with Tertiary color combinations (and that's one Primary and one Secondary mixed together)....and if that sounds way too complicated for your liking - you can buy them premixed LOL!

Actually my favorite part on the wheel is shown in the picture above - you can move the wheel around to get a variety of unusual color combinations to play with.  If you look at the center you'll see that I have a Blue Green, Red Violet and Yellow Orange combination.  It just so happens that the Color Combo Group (on Facebook) that I participate in has similar colors for the challenge this week!  So I'll be creating some jewelry or painting something with this "Triad" of colors (Teal, Purple & Gold).  You can see some of my past jewelry designs created for this challenge in my JLYNN JEWELS COLOR COMBO CHALLENGE photo album

Well - that's it for today - look for more Tutorials, projects and DIY tips throughout the month.  Invite your friends - we're growing and would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions - and of course if you have any questions concerning decorating, jewelry, arts & crafts - don't be shy!  AND...if you haven't visited my Facebook Business page - come on over at J-Lynn Jewels - favorite us by pressing the "like" button and you'll be eligible for different give-aways (in March we gave away 4 pair of Custom Earrings).  Keep in touch and make sure to leave any comments/questions by clicking on the "comment" link below.

Happy TGIF and hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


  1. This is wonderful and surely will inspire many people to give it a try (it did me!)

  2. Yay - you'll have to share what you make! Wishing you a creative weekend :)

  3. Janice, thank you so much for your instructions and vital tips!! My daughter is always looking for inexpensive home decorating ideas and I know she will love this. It just so happens I have a big bottle of Mod Podge on hand, too! :)

  4. Thanks for sharing Sherree! Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any additional questions. You also might like our Facebook Business page - there is a photo album with Home Decorating pictures of things I've done around my own house. Have fun creating with Mod Podge - it's a great product!

  5. What an awesome post! I just started decoupaging my own digital energy art prints onto wood shapes for pendants. I don't quite know what I'm doing, but your instructions helped. Thanks! Beautiful watercolors!

  6. You're welcome - if you're on Facebook...join our biz page at J-Lynn Jewels :)

  7. SUPER post. I've been wanting to make some new switch plates for the house and now I may not be so afraid to do them!

  8. Thanks so much for the compliment and leaving a post - always happy to share tips and DIY steps. Would love to see your switch plates when you get them done (feel free to post on our Facebook page or send us an email). April is actually National Decorating Month - so it's a great time to try it - happy decoupaging :)


Thank you for posting! All comments are reviewed prior to publishing - thanks for your patience and understanding :)