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inspiration: collaged furniture

 i have a love affair with old paper.
creating things with old sheet music and old book pages makes use of their gorgeous patina & color,
which i find particularly appealing in the fall. it must be the golden colors of aged paper...
decopauging furniture with collages of vintage paper is a pretty easy project.

trust me, you don't have to be 'an artist' to do this!
just collect papers, then start applying them onto a clean, dry surface.

when i decopauge something, i have one of two goals:
1. to add dimension to the surface
2. to completely COVER the surface
on a project like the one shown above, where there is an 'accent' of decopauged papers,
 it's hard to tell what is real and what isn't:
the two cups, saucer, and brown book are real objects and can be removed.
the book page, a sheet of music, and an old letter are decopauged onto the surface.

on a project where the entire surface is covered, i go for lots of detail - as shown below...
 when i collage a project this way, i layer the papers as i work.
i begin with sheet music or book pages, and cover the surface with them using decopauge medium
then i add illustrated pages or postcards, then quotes or verses. 
sometimes i add actual photographs (on matte paper only)

then i select just a few of the most interesting pieces of paper on the surface, 
and i PAINT on shadows with a thin wash of a brown color paint.
this adds dimension to the project, and causes some of the papers to 'float' on the surface. 
then it all gets sealed with more clear decopauge medium

[and OH do i have a tip for you!

don't buy the stuff labeled 'decopauge medium'.
WAAAAAY too expensive.
go to the paint department in any hardware store.
 find a gallon of paint that says 'deep tone base' on the label.
this is what is used to mix dark colors - black, chocolate, navy, etc.
it has NO TITANIUM WHITE in it. 
the 'paint' inside the can will LOOK white, but it will dry clear.
i recommend that you get a semigloss finish.
i also recommend BEHR paint. 

the hardest part of doing this?
getting out of the paint department and the store
without some 'helpful' paint associate telling you 
that you CAN'T use that without color being mixed in
and that it's NOT a decopauge medium.
yes, you can.
yes, it is.
run from these people! say thank you, pay for your gallon, and leave.
you will save about $15 a gallon buying this instead of 'decopauge medium']
 from small chests of drawers (served as a jewelry box) to a metal file cabinet,
to plain tables and old wooden ironing boards, a collage of vintage papers adds charm
and makes previously ugly pieces look interesting and beautiful.
 an antique folding wood card table with a damaged top surface
was decorated with a layered selection of Paris-themed papers and music.
this enhanced the sense of antiquity and made the table usable again.
[note: the diamond-shaped paper on the upper left is a hanging price tag, not part of the collage]

...and then, there are those projects that just defy the imagination...

this baby grand piano, which was turned into a wine BAR
and then covered ENTIRELY in vintage player piano & sheet music 
[it took me 40+ hours to do the collage and lacquer work]
this showstopping piece of furniture was created by my former husband and I
for our RETREAT booth at the Farm Chicks and Remnants of the Past shows in 2009.
all in all, it represents over 120 hours of work.

it was recently pictured in the Summer 2012 Issue of 'Where Women Create' magazine,
in a story about the Remnants of the Past show. What an honor!

i'm not suggesting that you collage a REAL piano... 
but then again... why NOT?!


  1. I never would have thought of using that- what a great idea!!! xo Diana

  2. Love this!!! Great inspiration!

  3. I think other web site proprietors should take this site as an model, very clean and great user friendly style and design, as well as the content. You're an expert at this stuff!