Stuff to do with Junk Mail
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Our house gets the usual raft of junk mail, particularly catalogs for expensive decorating items I can ill afford. I hate throwing out these expensive pretty catalog images, but since I don't want to buy from the catalogs, it is silly to have them lying around as a temptation. So Auntie Adddville and I tear and cut them apart for the pictures inside them and put the pictures to use. Ditto old magazines, colorful junk mail ads, cute greeting cards, etc. We then use them to cover decorating items, line drawers, and paper our walls. For those of you born under a rock, this technique is called decoupage.
Debbie Travis' Painted House: Paint Finishes for Furniture Made Easy | width="597" align="left" valign="top" | There is only one expense to using this technique: you have to buy a can of acrylic glaze. I recommend the cheap gallon can from a hardware store or Fred's used in making faux finishes for walls, instead of buying little cans and jars at a craft supply store. The gallon costs only slightly more than the jars, and can last through dozens of projects. And once you see how easy and cheap this is you will want to do dozens of projects.
[[tara_photoalbum/june1999homedecor/mvc-011f|]] [[tara_photoalbum/june1999homedecor/mvc-012f|]] [[tara_photoalbum/ddd10/MVC-017F|]] [[tara_photoalbum/ddd15/MVC-011F|]] Floral pinks in the bathroom and a bedroom
Debbie Travis' Painted House: Decorating with Paint Made Easy Debbie Travis' Painted House: Stenciling Made Easy Pad: The Guide to Ultra-Living (My favorite decorating book) | width="455" align="left" valign="top" | The first and best of these are decorator light plates. To do this, all you need do is:
- Unscrew the plain plastic light and electrical plates in your house.
- Make a note of how many plates of which size are in each room, and what colors are used in the decorating of that room.
- Sort out a few pretty catalog or magazine pages that are predominantly in those colors. Thin paper works best.
- Cut out the colored images and put them with the plates that will go back in that room.
- Coat the plates by brushing on a thin layer of acrylic glaze.
- Stick on the cut out images, tucking edges under and around the outside of the plates, and inside the plate holes..
- Coat with another layer of glaze immediately. Dry.
- Coat with 3 more layers of glaze, always drying between each coat.
- Screw them back onto the walls.
How to Make Rustic Garden Furniture | width="457" align="left" valign="top" | The other projects follow the same pattern: Cut out images. Coat surface of object with glaze, stick on image, coat with another layer. Dry. The only difference is that if the object to be covered is something that gets less wear and tear than a light plate, you can leave out some or even all the extra coats of glaze. Our basement walls are slowly being papered floor-to-ceiling in this manner. This uses up boxes of magazines and catalogs, and gives us a place to put up the dozens of pictures we find that we don't want to leave forgotten in a drawer. [[tara_photoalbum/dumpdive2/MVC-022F|]] Wall in basement papered with hundreds of neat pictures from magazines, catalogs and calendars.
If you have an set of colored acrylics you can blend your decoupage with swirls and blots of colored paint. This makes a really zingy looking collage, such as is shown on the big vase below.
[[tara_photoalbum/dumpdive2/MVC-018F|]] [[tara_photoalbum/dumpdive2/MVC-021F|]] Auntie Adddville removing a rusted handle from a file drawer from a dumpster. The drawers will be painted, decoupaged with neat pictures, and new handles put on. | [[tara_photoalbum/ddd8/MVC-022F|]] [[tara_photoalbum/ddd8/MVC-023F|]] This huge department store display vase is covered with images from computer catalogs & movie magazines, blended together with bright swirls of acrylic paints.
The process is so cheap and easy I am thinking of making light plates as Xmas presents for my relatives and friends. I found a large cache of old light plates in a dumpster recently, (although basic plastic light plates are cheap as dirt already), and I am gathering images that I know are of things my friends like: favorite movies, historical figures, old paintings they like, cute actors of their particular gender preference, and so forth. This kind of gift is especially good, if, like me, you have to transport all your gifts with you in your suitcase for flying home at the holidays.
Just about any indoor surface can be covered in this way. Decoupage has been a cheap effective decorating trick for hundreds of years. You can use it to trim & decorate furniture, line closets, trunks and drawers, and even turn your PC into something as colorful as an i-Mac.
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This page last edited on 05/07/2007