One of the first obstacles that most decoupage students encounter is the art choice decision.
“I love this image that I found in an art magazine…but the image is rectangular and my plate is round. What do I do?”
Okay, first thing that you need to understand is that you, as the decoupage designer, are in charge here. It is you who is going to take images from a myriad of places and cut them up and reorder them onto your plate. It can be simple, or it can be complicated but most importantly…it needs to be fun.
So, let’s start with the simplest of simple plates. Here’s an
8” round clear glass plate with a 1.5” border around the base.
This plate is perfect for easily framing a favorite image or photo. And, here’s an image that you like. A page that you tore out of a fine auction catalogue. You may think that cutting it down to the plate's size will destroy the image but really you are only focusing on its most important features, the subject matter…a beautiful mother and child sharing an intimate moment after the child’s bath.
Hmmm, you think. This might be the perfect gift for your next-door neighbor whose children you fear are staining your upholstery.
So, armed with your new optimism, you are ready to cut it out to fit the bottom, flat part of the plate. And, as is always the case there are a myriad of ways to accomplish this task. You could measure, use a compass and cut a template out of acetate or card stock and use that. You might find the rim of a bowl in your kitchen, or a can, that is the perfect round size. We found this tall glass cylinder at a thrift shop (someday it will be a lamp) but meanwhile it is the perfect round size and shape to cut the artwork down to the size we needed. It’s fun to look down from the top and focus in on just the part of the artwork that you’re going to use and it makes you realize that yes, it’s okay if you don’t let the mother get to keep her feet.
Now trace around. You might use a pencil for fear of staining your artwork with ink. But we prefer an ink pen which leaves a darker line which is easier for us to see well in the wee hours when we have decided to make a plate. You'll cut that line of ink away anyway.
Once you’ve cut, you might realize that your art circle is a little bit bigger than the flat base of the plate. This is good! After you glue it on, and it is dry, you can cut the excess away cleanly with a straight edged razor blade making you the first in your crafting circle to achieve a PERFECT circle in the center of your decoupage plate.
And, there you go! You've made the most difficult design decision of your morning and you are ready to glue. It's maybe not the original painting in its entirety, but its going to look really, really good on your new decoupage plate.
Upcoming Notes From The Workshops:
The Decoupage Plate: Gluing the art.
Designing coasters and ornaments.