Vintage Craft Workshop (Chronicle Books, 2011), by Cathy Callahan, is filled with crafty ideas from the sixties and seventies, readers may even find some of the crafts bring back memories near and dear to them. Find the craft that speaks to you and get started today! This excerpt is from Chapter 4: Craft Trends of the 60’s and 70’s.
As a graphic designer who silkscreens her own designs, Katie Hanburger tends to accumulate lots of little pieces of leftover paper and scraps from her various projects, and she saves them just in case she can use them later. For this project, she assembled some of her favorite design remnants—test prints on newsprint, old drawings, and linoleum prints. Using these leftover pieces makes Katie’s project very personal, and you can follow her example. Think about what you might have in your paper stash that you could use in similar ways.
- Fine-grit sandpaper (#180–#100)
- Acrylic paintbrush (optional)
- Foam brushes in assorted sizes
- Scissors (optional)
- Mod Podge (Matte)
- Brayer (optional)
- Paper towels
- 1 unfinished birch plywood magazine holder (as shown: the KNUFF file from IKEA)
- Acrylic paint (optional)
- Decorative papers, in various sizes and shapes (Tip: leftovers from screen-printing projects, assorted patterned papers, drawings, linoleum prints, etc. work well. You may also use one of Katie’s original designs to incorporate into your project by either scanning it [play around with size and color] so that you can use it multiple times or cutting it out as-is for single use.)
- Krylon Workable Fixiff spray
- Krylon UV-Resistant Clear Acrylic Coating spray
- Lightly sand the magazine holder with the sandpaper to eliminate any small snags or rough spots that might exist. Brush off the wood dust.
- If you choose to paint the surface of the holder, mix your acrylics to get the desired color or consistency (as shown Katie painted 1 holder all white and another half white). Using a brush (regular or foam), apply the first coat of paint and wait for it to dry before applying a second coat. Paint as many coats as you need until you achieve the desired opacity. Let dry.
- While waiting for your paint to dry, gather your papers and begin to cut or tear them into various shapes.
- Start grouping them in interesting combinations, based on similarities and/or contrasts in color, shape, scale, and texture. Tip : If any of the papers you want to use have pencil, inkjet ink, linoleum block ink, or any medium that you suspect might bleed when brushed with Mod Podge, test one first. If you find that it does bleed, spray it with a few coats of Krylon Workable Fixatif. Make sure to follow the directions on the can and apply the Fixatif outside or in an extremely well-ventilated area.
- Loosely arrange your paper pieces on the dry magazine holder so you can see where you might like to place them permanently.
- Using a foam brush, apply a very thin coat of Mod Podge across the back of 1 of the pieces of paper.
- Carefully place the paper where you want it on the holder and smooth it out, beginning at the center and working your way toward the edges. If you have a brayer handy, you can roll this over the paper too. With a damp paper towel, wipe away any excess Mod Podge that has seeped out from beneath the paper.
- Apply the rest of your images in the same way, taking care to apply Mod Podge to the entire backside of each piece. This will help to eliminate subsequent air bubbles when you apply more Mod Podge later.
- Once all of your papers have been applied, you can choose to simply coat the entire piece with a Krylon UV-Resistant Clear Acrylic Coating or apply several coats of Mod Podge for a more traditionally lacquered découpage look. (Make sure to follow the directions on the can and apply the acrylic coating outside or in an extremely well-ventilated area.) The acrylic coating alone will help to protect the piece from any fading, but the paper pieces might be more susceptible to future wear and tear.
- If you decide to coat the holder with Mod Podge, apply a thin coat, as you would a coat of paint. Let each coat dry for 30 minutes to 1 hour. If you begin to see air bubbles beneath the paper, don't be alarmed—they will usually smooth out as the Mod Podge coat dries.
- Apply at least 3 coats of Mod Podge. Tip : If you do encounter an especially stubborn bubble or wrinkle, it may be because you didn't apply enough Mod Podge to the back of the paper. Carefully prick the bubble with a pin and apply a small amount of Mod Podge through the pinhole with the pin. With your finger, go over the bubble to smooth it down.
- After you've let the final coat of Mod Podge dry, you can apply a coat or two of the acrylic coating to eliminate tackiness and to further protect the magazine file from the sun and normal wear and tear.
- Let the magazine holder dry overnight.
Katie Hanburger is a graphic designer, maker, and illustrator. She lives in Los Angeles, which is appropriate considering her interest in the intersection of the practical and the imaginary. She has her own studio (Ktothet.com) and is a partner in The Slow Season (Theslowseason. com) with friend and fellow maker Julie Cho.