For the 23rd of my ‘ 52 classes in 2015 challenge’ I went along to Fred Aldous in Manchester to learn how to make Decoupage Jewellery.
If you’re a ‘crafty’ person, then I really recommend visiting Fred Aldous – it really is a Mecca for craft lovers! There are several different floors and areas, and, with each one showcasing ideas and materials for a different craft, I could have spent several hours there (and hundreds of £’s!). There were so many different craft activities showcased that I left inspired for even more classes to take and projects to make..
The Decoupage Jewellery class was held in the Ministry of Craft who have a school in the basement area. It was a really lovely workshop area which was lovely and bright and well equipped with everything we would need for the class.
I was struggling for childcare on the day I’d booked a class for, and so after calling ahead I was able to take our 7 year old daughter along.
There were about 7 of us in the jewellery making class which was run by Sandra. We arrived and were offered a drink, and took our places around crafting tables which were pre-set with all the materials we would need to create our jewellery.
Sandra explained the history of decoupage, and talked us through the many items which you can use the decoupage technique on – anything and everything, from wooden items, to glass, cardboard and many more. The only exception to items which can be decoupaged are shiny plastic, as it might be tricky to get the decoupage paper to stick to this (unless you sandpaper the item first to make it easier for the paper to adhere). This means that there really are so many projects you could undertake, from breathing new life into old pieces of furniture, to creating unique and individual gifts for people.
As well as the huge variety of objects you can decoupage, you can use so many different types of paper to decoupage with – everything from tissue papers, tickets, maps, receipts, old books, napkins and wallpaper – as long as the paper is not too thick then it should work.
The class all chose 3 objects to decoupage – they was a huge variety of wooden items, including several different shapes and animals, letters etc. All of which could be made into earrings, necklaces, broches, bangles and pendants once finished.
After we’d chosen our pieces we then sanded them down to roughen the surface to enable the paper to adhere. We then chose a combination of papers and materials to decorate the items with. Sandra helped us choose these ( this was the trickiest part of the day as there were so many options – Hmm decisions, decisions), and work out a ‘mood board’ so that we could see how the different items would work together on our finished pieces.
We then cut out shapes and strips from the papers and were ready to go.
The next step in the process was applying the PVA glue to our item and then sticking the paper on so that it looked how we wanted it to. Another layer of glue was applied on top before we dried the item with a hairdryer set on cool which would speed up the creation process. Further layers were added, with any air bubbles being removed as we went, and this process was repeated until our items were fully covered and we were happy with the results.
We then added fastenings with a stronger glue, and then once dry our items were ready to wear.
Here is my daughter proudly modelling her creations!
It was a great class, and it was a lovely way to spend a few hours with my youngest. It was fantastic to see her smiling and engaged in an activity – proudly sharing her creativity and creations with me. I didn’t have to worry about the mess or tidying up afterwards either as this was all taken care of!
I would definitely try decoupage again – it is a cheap and effective way to bring a new lease of life to any tired or old object, from shoe boxes to chairs and so much more. It is a lovely way to personalise gifts – wedding memory boxes, christmas presents personalised with a childs favourite cartoon characters etc The possibilities are endless. I think my next project will be finding an old chair and giving it a new look and life!
It is a really simple technique, and isn’t an expensive hobby to take up. All you need is your item, a couple of paintbrushes, some PVA glue and your choice of papers.
Are you a decoupage fan? If you take ( or have taken) a decoupage class we’d love to see pictures of the items you have created, so please feel free to tweet them to us, or post pictures over on our Facebook Page.
If you run decoupage classes, then please let us know so that we can add them to our website so that those looking for classes can easily find yours.
If we’ve inspired you to try a class we’d love to know! You can leave us a message here
I’m off to find my first object to makeover….