April 3, 2012

Coloring 3.0: Mod Podge

As you all know from previous posts, I LOVE to color!  I color almost every week, at at times, almost every day.  Like most artists (a word that I use very loosely when it comes to me and my coloring), I go through phases.  There are times when I feel the need to color almost constantly, completing three or more pieces in a single day.  Then there are other times when I don't feel the desire to color at all.  I will go weeks, sometimes months, without coloring a single piece.  But, inevitably, the desire to color always returns; and I am grateful for that.

Recently, I have started to notice slight changes in my coloring style.  I still:

  • use both crayons and markers;
  • outline the perimeters of every space with a marker; and
  • fill in the space with a crayon.

However, I have also:
  • started using oil pastels in addition to my crayons and markers; 
  • colored in every section of a piece (as opposed to leaving some white space, as I have in the past); and
  • incorporated a much harder and intense coloring "stroke" which results in pigmentation that is both deeper and richer.

Although certainly not earth-shattering, these slight modifications to my coloring style have made a large impact on my recent work (again, a word I use loosely when it comes to my coloring).

For the past several months I have wanted to do something with the stack of pieces that are lying in a folder at the bottom of my dresser drawer.  While coloring them is therapeutic and rejuvenating, I found it disappointing that my work was just sitting in a cold, dark drawer hidden from view.  One of my close girlfriends, who is a craft-maven in her own right, suggested Mod Podge (and even went on to give me a bottle that she had on-hand!):

Since 1967, crafters have entrusted their most treasured decoupage creations to Mod Podge, the number one all-in-one glue, sealer, and finish!  The ultimate in convenience, Mod Podge is loved by crafters young and old for its flexibility, versatility, and supreme ease of use.  Best of all, it's waterbased for easy clean-up, and non-toxic, too - perfect for young crafters.  In addition to the original matte and gloss formulas, the Mod Podge family includes an assortment of specialty finishes for visual effects. (source)

So, with my mom in tow, we headed home with a bottle of decoupage and a head full of ideas, ready to get to work!

In our first Mod Podge experiment, my mother and I bought an old stool from a local antique store and decoupaged one of my mandalas on the surface.

Isn't the stool cute?!  We found it for $8.00(!); and although we weren't exactly sure what the handle was for, it gave it some character and was certainly a piece that I could actually use in the house.  Surprisingly, using Mod Podge was a cinch!  The end result had little to no bumps or wrinkles, a sealed surface, and a matte finish.

There was a small bit of color-bleeding, but not to the point that it was too terrible.  I was a little sad to lose some of the careful color definition that I work so hard to achieve, but when I look at the end result objectively, I think it looks pretty darn good for an amateur piece!

I decided to use the stool as a pedestal for some decorative bottles that I had in a corner.  The bottles have lights inside and are beautiful when lit (Thanks for the idea, Mom!).  I think the mandala pedestal adds a nice touch and completes that little decorative corner of the house.

As for experiment number two, my mom and I got a little more ambitious!

Currently, Bo and I are using some cheap, wooden, DIY tables from Wal-Mart - that were given to us for free - as our bedside tables.  Since we didn't pay a penny for them, my mom and I figured we didn't have too much to lose with decoupaging these pieces.  So off to work we went!

We selected four mandalas for each table, choosing more of a pink/blue color scheme for mine and more of a red/green for Bo's.

On each table, there was one mandala that seemed to bleed more than the others.  What I realized was that the pieces with "white space" were the ones that tended to bleed...DUH!  My newer pieces, the ones without any white space, held up considerably better to the Mod Podge treatment.

Note to self:  When Mod Podging in the future, use only those pieces with NO white space!

In the end, I was more than happy with the result!  These tables cost us nothing, and although we plan on replacing them down the line, at least they now lend some color and excitement to the room.  Even when we do buy new bedside tables for our master bedroom, these might be the perfect fit for our guest bedroom!

Tomorrow - Lola vs. the crate.  Who do YOU think is winning?!

Question of the Day:

Have you ever used Mod Podge before?  If so, on what (and how did it turn out)?!

Ally and Bo


  1. I love it!!! I'm so glad you finally tried decoupaging! I love how your bedside tables turned out!

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