Category Archives: DIY & Crafts

DIY Tip: Wrinkle-Free Decoupage with Golden Polymer Medium Instead of Mod Podge

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:

Decoupage Wrinkles

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 Aleene’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:

Scrapbook Paper and Stencil Wall Art

There are some wrinkles in it, but not too bad. I used a professional grade bookbinding glue found at Blick Art Supplies. It worked much better at preventing wrinkles than Mod Podge or Aleene’s Tacky Glue. But I’m setting the bar high, like zero tolerance level. I’d really love a 100% wrinkle-free decoupage project.

Now, 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:

Decoupage with Golden Medium Supplies

The three most important keys to a wrinkle-free surface are to:

  1. Use Golden Polymer Mediums
  2. Coat papers with the Golden Polymer Medium
  3. 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:

Paper Collage with Golden Matte Medium

Here’s the Gloss finish — it has a shiny finish:

Paper Collage with Golden Polymer Medium Glossy

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. Visit that post to see how to do this yourself!

More Info

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.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage of compensation at no cost to you if you purchase after clicking the link. I post affiliate links when I have purchased from the company or used the product, and I can confidently share the company or product. This helps offset the cost of running this blog for you! For more info, see Disclosures & Policies.


 



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DIY Indigo Pillow with Dye Kit & Moroccan Stencil

In the last post, I shared a DIY Indigo Textile Dye Kit. The kit gives you everything you need to dye fabrics with an indigo blue color:

DIY Indigo Textile Dye Kit

See the previous post for more information about this indigo dye kit and where to get it. Today I will show you what I made with the kit.

DIY Indigo Pillow

I went on a few creative detours while making this indigo pillow. Long story short, I’m used to paint, which I can control better. The dye did what it wanted to do. It wasn’t in my control. Maybe that’s because I’m new with dye, and I didn’t know how to manipulate it to get the look I wanted. Sometimes with creative materials, you need to give in and let the process unfold into something you didn’t expect. But in the end, I couldn’t give up the control! I learned, I have control issues! I ultimately painted over the dye to make the clean pattern I wanted.

So here’s what I did. The DIY Indigo Textile Dye Kit comes with a large 27″ x 27″ piece of cotton fabric. It’s white, and I wanted a beige background. So I dipped the fabric in water colored with a neutral Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. This colored the cotton fabric, from white to beige:

Dye White Fabric Beige

I let the fabric air dry and ironed it.

I wanted to make a Moroccan stencil pattern with the indigo dye, using the Mamounia Moroccan Trellis Furniture Stencil from Royal Design Studio. My first idea was to create a resist, where the fabric would resist the blue dye, leaving the original beige fabric color. To do this, fabric I “painted” the fabric with Clear Soft Wax from Annie Sloan. I used a large brush and brushed the soft wax onto the fabric through the stencil, just like stenciling with paint:

Stencil and Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax

Stenciling with Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax

Oh my goodness — it’s winter, I live in cold weather near Chicago, thus very dry hands!!

Next I mixed indigo dye with water, almost like a watercolor.

Watered Down Indigo Dye

I brushed the watered-down blue dye over the fabric. See here how the pattern emerged around the wax resist as I painted:

Painting with Indigo Dye

Lots of dye went through the fabric onto the foam core board behind. Here’s the foam core board!

Foam Core Board Mess

TIP: Protect your surface!

If you do this, protect your surface! I placed white foam core board under the fabric. Lots of dye went through the fabric and soaked into the foam core board. So definitely don’t play with this dye without protecting your surface first.

Unexpected, Uncontrollable Things

Something unexpected happened. The watered-down blue dye ran underneath the fabric. It dyed the fabric blue from underneath the wax. This made a dark blue/light blue pattern, which was different than the blue/beige I originally wanted. I liked the deep blue pattern you see in the video and the picture above with the paint brush.

But as the dye dried, the fabric changed. It got really blurry, fuzzy and messy looking, and in some areas it was really hard to see the stencil pattern. It’s like the pattern was disappearing before my eyes! I was not happy. I rinsed the fabric before the dye dried, in the stainless steel kitchen sink, washing much of the dye out. This made the pattern show again, but overall it looked messy to me.

Indigo Dye Pillow Fabric

I had a picture in my head of the end result I wanted to make, and the dye wasn’t doing it. This is where I could have given up control and let the dye do its natural thing. But I just couldn’t give up the original idea!

I let the fabric dry, ironed it to set the dye, and let the fabric sit for awhile as I decided the next step.

PaintING Expectations

I decided to lay the stencil over the fabric again, and paint with neutral color fabric paints. I knew this would make the indigo blue/neutral pattern contrast that I originally wanted.

I found some light and dark beige fabric paints in the craft store in our basement. That is not a joke. There’s so many DIY supplies down there, I do have a craft store in my house! As I painted, I blended colors through the stencil for a mottled effect.

Stencil Over Indigo Dye

Fabric Paints

Stenciling Fabric Paint Over Indigo Dye

Finally, happy!

Indigo Dye and Fabric Paints

This is the look I was trying to get! This is an example of “don’t give up.” Don’t wad up the fabric and throw it in the trash. (I did think about that.) If something isn’t working, set it aside for awhile. The answer will come to you.

I had a pillow form from Crate & Barrel, also in the craft store in our basement. I cut the indigo Moroccan fabric to fit the pillow form. I found a blue herringbone fabric in my fabric stash for the back side of the pillow. I liked the contrast of the two fabrics — one bohemian and patterned, one conservative and all lined up perfectly. I had two navy tassels bought in the souks of the Marrakech medina. I sewed these all together into a pillow.

Indigo Dyed and Painted Fabric

Moroccan and Herringbone

Marrakech Tassels

Here it is, a boho blue indigo pillow, on my mom and dad’s family room couch:

Indigo Pillow

I gifted the indigo pillow to my mom for Christmas. I knew it would look great with her blue and neutral decor, and it would add Moroccan pattern to her other pillows.

DIY Indigo Pillow



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Easy DIY Indigo Dye Textile Kit

Indigo blue is a top way to get the boho chic global look that’s so popular in fashion and home decor right now. Indigo dye has been used for centuries in Japan, India, Africa, Rome, everywhere, to color the world blue. And today, trend-setters in home decor are filling rooms with indigo blue:

Indigo

LuRu Home | Annie Sielke

If you want to try DIY indigo, here is a DIY Indigo Textile Dye Kit. Everything is put together for you, including gloves so you can try your hands at this without dying your hands!

Indigo Textile Dye Kit at Uncommon Goods

The kit includes a sizeable 27″ x 27″ white cotton scarf, which you could use as a scarf. You can also make a pillow, tote bag or wall art with the fabric. Of course you can use the kit’s dye to color anything you wish, like wall art canvas, jeans, tea towels, placemats.

I like that the indigo dye is in a dripless applicator bottle. You don’t have to boil water and dissolve dye in a pot or vat. Just use the bottle! So easy.

Indigo Blue Dye Kit at Uncommon Goods

The kit comes with a booklet that gives you instructions for tie-dye and shibori, resist dye techniques, painting and stamping. You could paint your indigo patterns with a brush, or use the dye as a stamp. All the materials and instructions are $30, a great deal.

INDIGO IDEAS

To get your ideas going, here are some things created with this kit, shared  at the #easyindigokit hashtag on Instagram by Christine Schmidt of the Yellow Owl Workshop, who developed the kit …

Beautiful blue patterned tea towels:

Indigo Tea Towels with Indigo DIY Kit from Uncommon Goods

A bold shibori tie-dye pattern:

Indigo Shibori Christine Schmidt Uncommon Goods Indigo DIY Kit

Couldn’t you see that on a pillow or tote bag?!

Pillows! Yeah, you can do this:

Christine Schmidt DIY Indigo Kit from Uncommon Goods

A little makeup/travel pouch. The “resist” areas, where there is no dye, were made by applying drops of gel school glue. When you apply indigo dye, the areas where you put the glue stay white. The kit’s booklet gives you instructions on how to do this:

Makeup Pouch with Uncommon Goods Indigo Dye Kit

Make your ideas happen with the DIY Indigo Textile Dye Kit. Must try, must dye!

And yes, I did try! I did a DIY dye project. I made an indigo pillow for my mom for Christmas, because my parent’s house has a lot of blue in it. I couldn’t share the project until after Christmas! That post is coming up next.

As a sneak preview, I played with the indigo dye, African tribal stencils and Annie Sloan clear wax as a resist.

Indigo Dye DIY

Here’s the thing. Dye is not as controllable as paint. I learned I have some control issues. :) I tell you all about that in the next post, where I share how to make a DIY indigo pillow with this fabric dye kit!



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