What is decoupage?

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What is decoupage?

Nowadays, when the fashion for all kinds of handmade things reached its apogee, many designers began not only to master new techniques, but also began to actively revive and modernize old, already well-known methods of decorating. Such techniques, experiencing their rebirth, include decoupage, forgotten in previous decades.

Basics of decoupage technique

Most people, of course, at least once heard this now so fashionable word. Many even have some general idea of ​​this technique and in part truly think that this beautiful foreign name hides the usual application. But not all of us know that decoupage is not just a paper application, but a special way of decorating objects. Yes, the decoupage technique is really based on the principle of application - cutting a picture and sticking it onto the surface of an item to be decorated.decoupageBut besides the cutting and sticking itself, decoupage includes a whole range of special techniques - glazing, applying craquelure, gilding and, of course, obligatory varnishing of the finished product.It is the skillful use of these (and not only these) techniques that makes things decorated using decoupage technique real works of art.

The history of the appearance of decoupage

It is believed that the decoupage technique was originally designed to decorate furniture. When painted lacquered furniture made in oriental style came into fashion in Europe in the 17th century, the decorating artists stopped coping with the sharply increased number of orders. In order to meet the demand and saturate the market, furniture manufacturers began to produce fakes and instead of real painting they began to decorate the furniture with pictures pasted on it. The use of such ready-made images greatly facilitated and accelerated the work of artists. And indecoupageIn the case of skilful application of paper-cut images on finished furniture decorated using decoupage technique, it was difficult for a layman to distinguish from furniture painted with oil paints.

Later, the decoupage technique was used to decorate other interior items. Over time, the decoupage from the professional sphere of application moved into the category of fashionable hobbies, which the maid of honor of the imperial households and ladies from high society began to engage.

In the era of Queen Victoria, decoupage emerged from aristocratic mansions to the masses, from that time simple housewives began to work on them, and nimble industrialists, quickly orienting themselves in fashion trends, started producing special sheets with drawings printed on them for a decoupage in a single theme. Most often on such sheets were images of shepherds and shepherds, birds, flowers or angels.

What items usually decorate using decoupage technique?

Nowadays, decoupage technique is most often decorated with caskets, decorative plates, Christmas decorations, small dressers and coffee tables, chests, picture frames, cans for bulk products and beautiful bottles with an unusual shape. Very well suited for decorating in this technique pieces of furniture and kitchen utensils, bought in IKEA stores.

Materials for work in the decoupage technique

Nowadays, the most common material used to decorate things using the decoupage technique is ordinary multi-color three-layer paper napkins. It is from their upper layer that most decoupage masters cut outdecoupagemotives for their works.Many manufacturers of such napkins have specifically produced them not for use for their intended purpose, but for use as working material in decoupage. In stores selling art goods, there are even special catalogs in which the entire extensive assortment of such napkins is divided into subgroups according to the drawings on their top layer.

In addition to napkins, they use fabric patterns, decoupage cards, various natural bristle brushes, special glues and varnishes, acrylic paints and primers, glitters (glitter), modeling pastes, volume contours, bronze and silver paints, sponges, and special scissors.

The main techniques used in decoupage

  • Gilding or silvering - the name of the techniques speaks for itself. With the help of special compositions on decorated objects or separate parts of the picture, gold or silver plating is simulated.
  • Artificial aging. On the surface of the decorated object creates the illusion of its antiquity. This effect is achieved by several techniques.Most often on the surface of the object is craquelure. To create it, the surface of the decorated object is covered with a special compound that cracks in the process.decoupagedrying, resulting in the formation of small cracks on the surface, imitating the noble antiquity of the product. In addition to the craquelure, techniques are used for aging the surface of things such as glazing, brushing and creating artificial scuffs.
  • Creating bulk with structural paste or finished volume contours. To obtain the effect of volume of some of the details of the above funds are applied to individual parts of the figure.
  • The effect of frozen drops or stains. This technique is most often used on decorated candlesticks and neck of decorated bottles. To create drops, use melted glue, then drops are tinted with acrylic paints and decorated with glitters.

Decoupage styles

The most common decoupage styles at the moment are Provence, Chebbi-chic, Simplicity and Victorian styles.