Recently, I’ve been exploring some
of the creative aspects of paper cutting with the impressive ScanNCut machine.
All of which resulted in lots of
fabulous cut paper pieces to work with!
While sorting through the cut
shapes and images, I became intrigued with the idea of arranging and collaging
them onto the back of a glass plate — a
process called ‘reverse decoupage’.
The prints I selected for this project
from my stash are printed on copy paper. It’s a good weight for this collage
I’m interested in tessellating
patterns, and chose the equilateral triangle shape — a very simple one that tiles together with no overlaps
or gaps. I used the ScanNCut pattern already available in the machine, which
made the cutting so easy!
Here are the steps for reverse
- Prepare white glue for
decoupage by mixing it with water. I use Elmer’s Glue All and mix it 2 parts
glue to 1 part water.
- The glass must be clean, so wash it first with dish soap and water.
Rinse and dry with a paper towel. Use glass cleaner or alcohol if needed. Take
extra care not to leave fingerprints.
- Place the glass plate upside-down on your work surface. You’ll be
working on the underside. It’s easier to work on the plate if you rest it on a
wide-mouth plastic container.
- Brush the decoupage glue onto the glass surface in a fairly thick, even
coat with a foam brush. The glue goes on white, but dries clear.
- Dip each cut paper piece in a dish of water as you’re working. It’ll
curl up and then relax. Remove from the water dish and blot away excess water.
Now it’s ready to add to the glue-covered glass surface
- Place the cut paper shape on the glue-covered surface and apply more
glue over it. Take care in arranging the cut paper elements — they’re prone to sliding. Turn the plate over to check
- Gently press out any air bubbles and excess glue and wipe away. After
the papers are all glued on, cover the whole surface with another coat of glue
to seal everything.
- Allow to dry completely. Overnight is recommended. I helped speed up the
drying with a heat gun, which worked well.
- After the paper is dry, use a craft knife against the rim and carefully cut off the excess paper. If needed, you can use an emery board of fine sanding block to smooth the edge.
- Paint the back of the plate with acrylic paint. Let dry. (see image below)
- Finish with a few coats of acrylic varnish over the dry paint. Let dry.
- Clean any glue from the front of the glass with glass cleaner and paper towels
NOTE: Dishes created with reverse decoupage are not
dishwasher-proof, but can be wiped
clean. So they’re
functional — as long as you don’t submerge in water.
- Be sure to use
enough glue on the glass, under the papers.
- It’s important
not to remove too much glue while pressing out air bubbles. When the plate is
dry, you can have streaky areas and shiny spots where there wasn’t enough glue.
- It can take a
little practice to get the amount of glue just right — and to get the hang of pressing out the air bubbles
without removing too much of the glue. Be patient. It’s worth the effort!
- If using any inkjet images, check first to make sure the ink won’t run when wet. Spray
inkjet prints with fixative if necessary.
- Sponging on a few
layers of acrylic paint on the back of the plate creates a slightly textured
and tactile surface.
Here’s what I learned: Tessellating
pieces will work best on a perfectly flat surface. The curve of the plate keeps
the pieces from fitting perfectly together. Also, saturated papers are not the
same exact size as dry ones, so it can be a bit challenging to get them all
fitting together seamlessly.
When this happens, seize the
opportunity and paint the back with metallic paint. You’ll have beautiful
slivers of metallic shine that show through the glass, filling in any gaps.
There’s so much potential to transform glass into fabulous art! Picture frames with glass are perfect for this process! This one is 8×10 inches. What a great way to use your Gelli® prints to create a fabulous piece of framed wall art!!
Here’s how to create reverse
decoupage framed art:
- Remove glass from the picture frame. Be careful handling the cut glass
edges. I apply low-tack painters tape around the edges of the glass for safer
- Cut out a focal image, if desired. I used the Direct Cut feature on the
ScanNCut machine to fussy-cut a floral design—and
it worked great. A huge time-saver! But the image I selected had too much
detail for the scanner to fully read—it only
saw the outline. So I cut out the inside blank areas with a craft knife. Then
my floral print was ready to use! Easy! *Note: This floral
design is clip art from the DoverPictura “Flowers CD-Rom/Book ImageArchive” (royalty free artwork). However, you can find lots of
downloadable copyright-free images available on the internet from many sources.
My floral image is an inkjet print and didn’t run when tested with water.
Before using an inkjet image, be sure to test it first.
- Select a Gelli® print for the background.
You can use cut or torn pieces, or an entire print as shown here.
- Follow the steps shown above (glass plate project) for gluing the paper
pieces in place.
- As the background paper is applied to the glass, the saturated edges are
easy to tear. Remove a small margin, if desired. The blank area on the glass is
perfect for applying gold metal leaf — creating
a beautiful imperfect edge around your print! Wipe the excess glue off the bare
glass areas and allow the papers to dry.
- Apply Duo Adhesive (or any glue that is tacky when dry) to the blank
glass areas. Allow it to dry — it will turn clear and remain
sticky to the touch. Place pieces of gold metal leaf on the sticky areas, then
brush off excess metal leaf with a soft brush. Done!
- Clean the front of the glass with glass cleaner and insert into the
frame. It’s ready to hang or give as a lovely gift!!
Note: The background
Gelli® print on this framed piece is a viscosity print. To
learn more about how to make a viscosity print, please see my previous blog
post “Thick and Thin Gelli® Printing” from August 15, 2013.
There’s also a video that shows the process.
Reverse decoupage is a wonderful
and creative way to use your monoprinted papers! You won’t look at any clear
glass item without thinking of its creative possibilities!
Have Fun and Happy Printing!
Materials used for today’s project: