Monday 21 March 2016

Guest Blogger ~ Upcycling Project by theMessyBrunette....

It's time for another guest to celebrate National Craft Month! Maura from theMessyBrunette is sharing a tutorial for an upcycling project. I do love upcycling, mainly because I can't bear to throw anything away and it gives something a new lease of life.

Over to Maura....

Hi, my name is Maura and I blog over at theMessyBrunette.  I love crafts and upcycling projects and I also crochet.  I eat far too much chocolate and spend too long on Pinterest.

A big thanks to Fiona for letting me guest post on her lovely blog.  I hope you enjoy my post and please feel free to pop by my blog for a visit.

I've posted before on decoupage and using it on upcycling projects, you can read about it here.  With this project, I had some plate chargers, you know the ones that make an appearance at Christmas. Well, we had a bunch of these that we never used and I was going to dump them, when I thought hmmmm maybe they could be used.  So I decided to try and cover them with some paper and make them seem like they're old and vintage looking.

So here's the plate before - just your regular silver plastic plate charger, nothing fancy with this one.  You can get this in the Pound/Euro shop, they are not expensive.

And here's the after.  I did 4 plates with 4 different looks using napkins on some and scrapbook paper on others.  I wanted the plates to look old and worn, kinda vintage looking. What do you think?

Want to know how I did it? Well here's a little summary.


The aim was to make the plates look old & worn, vintage looking ......
  • I cleaned and lightly sanded the plate
  • I painted the plate in white. I did two coats to give it a good coverage.
  • I separated the napkins and only used the first layer - see below, it's important you only use the first printed layer.  I tore the pieces that I wanted to use and played around with the design. (On the green plate I didn't tear it up I just carefully placed it on the plate and glued it bit by bit & blended it in.)

  • I then used some decoupage glue (you could use some watered down PVA or Mod Podge but I find this glue the best with napkins) and glued the napkin pieces.  They wrinkled in places but I didn't mind as I think the wrinkles make them look old.

  • At the edges, I used some bitumen (a liquid paint for decoupage) and rubbed it along with my finger.  You could use some dark wax but be careful, a little goes a long way.  I used some on the inner rim as well.
  • Next up I used some rice paper (rice paper is a little bit thicker than napkins and easier to use I find). I had some with "home sweet home" printed on it. I tore around the print and glued this on top of the napkin and lightly sanded it to blend it in.  I used some bitumen on this as well to age it.

  • On the blue plate, I used some gold leaf around the edges

  • I sealed the plates with some clear varnish and lightly sanded them when they were dry.  I repeated this process until I was happy with the result.  Be careful here as you don't want the paper to tear. Just lightly sand it!

  1. I cleaned and lightly sanded the plate
  2. I soaked the paper in water and peeled off the back, I did this as the paper was a bit too thick to use and it was easier to use if the paper was a bit thinner.
  3. Using some decoupage glue I glued the paper down to the plate and rubbed it into the plate's rim and all around.  Now it did wrinkle a bit here and there, but as I wanted it to look a bit old and worn I didn't mind this. Wrinkles can be good!
  4. Now the paper didn't cover the plate fully, there were gaps on each side.  So I used some regular acrylic paint and blended the paint to the colour of the paper.  I sanded and distressed this until I got the look I wanted.
  5. Next up, I used some gold leaf.  I just placed the glue on the parts I wanted the gold leaf to appear, this was in and around the edges of the plate. I wanted the plate to look old and that the paper was peeling and coming away.  I used some bitumen to make the paper look old in places as well.  You could use dark wax or even an old tea bag to stain the paper.
  6. I left it to dry and coated it again with the glue to seal it. I lightly sanded it afterwards, the paper part only.  I did this a couple of times to make sure everything blended in together.

Note: these plates are only for decorative purposes, just a wipe of a cloth will keep them clean.

So that's it, hope you enjoyed the process, if I have left anything out or you need to know more please comment below.

So have you done any upcycling lately?


Thank you Maura for sharing your upcycling project. You can find lots more of Maura's crafty DIY projects as well as baking goodness on her lovely blog. Maura is also on Twitter and Instagram.

Just a tip from me, If you can't find bitumen paint, I use Distress Inks for making projects look old and vintage.

If you have upcyled anything, Maura and I would love to see it so please leave your links in the comments or tag us in your social media posts.

fizzi~jayne x

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