Oh my goodness, how I’ve wrestled with wrinkles! Not so much on my face (yet …) but with paper! If you’ve ever decoupaged with papers, you know what I’m talking about. Some people say wrinkles make texture, and that’s a good thing. I suppose they can be a good thing. It depends on the look you want. Maybe I need to loosen up, but I so hate wrinkles that I’ll even iron a t-shirt and jeans before wearing them! So I personally don’t want wrinkles in my scrapbook paper collages. But, wrinkles have happened:
Again and again, wrinkles happen. And again and again I spend hours Googling, trying to find a solution to the problem. I shared some wrinkle prevention tips on my most popular post about scrapbook paper wall art:
- Try Alene’s Tacky Glue instead of Mod Podge.
- Use thicker papers.
- Let glue dry for a bit before applying paper.
But those aren’t fail-safe solutions. Wrinkles still happen to me, and probably to you too.
I recently decoupaged scrapbook papers on a big 4.5-foot by 5-foot wall art project:
There are some wrinkles in it, but not too bad. I used a professional grade bookbinding glue found at Blick’s Art Supplies. It worked much better at preventing wrinkles than Mod Podge or Alene’s Tacky Glue. But I’m setting the bar high, like zero tolerance level. I’d really love a wrinkle-free decoupage project.
Now, I think I found the solution!
The Solution: Golden Medium + Heat Seal Method
I found this solution at Laura Lein-Svencner’s website. I learned more and got some products from Jonathan Talbot’s website. Both artists are collage artists. Today I’ll share what I learned from them, and then I’ll post separately a DIY tutorial to show how to create wrinkle-free collages using these supplies:
The three most important keys to a wrinkle-free surface are to:
- Use Golden Polymer Mediums
- Coat papers with the Golden Polymer Medium
- Heat the papers with an iron
The Golden Polymer Mediums come in Gloss and Matte finish and I’ve tried both. They both work to adhere papers. So the choice depends on your personal preference. I personally prefer a Matte finish. Here’s the Matte finish — it is non-shiny and looks like the original paper surface:
Here’s the Gloss finish — it has a shiny finish:
The shine is only showing up where light hits these pictures, but the whole collage is shiny like that.
Also note: Do you see any wrinkles? While there are some brush strokes, no, you don’t see wrinkled paper! Woo hoo! So far I’ve made many paper collages using this method, without any wrinkles.
In the next post, I share the step-by-step tutorial that shows how to make wrinkle-free collages with Golden Polymer Mediums, and how to use heat from an iron to fuse the papers together.
If you want learn more:
- Laura Lein-Svencner put together a useful reference list about various glues and mediums for decoupage and collage. It explains Mod Podge vs. Yes Glue vs. Golden mediums and more. She shares pros and cons like what to use if you want craft vs professional-level results, what glues might yellow over time, etc.
- Jonathan Talbot wrote an easy-to-understand post that shows how to fuse papers together with Golden Medium and heat.
- Here is another post about this heat fusing method.
- Another another post describing the method, along with some pretty and inspirational collages.