Friday, December 2, 2016

DIY Decoupage Chalkboard Labels/Ornaments (Guest Post)

Today's DIY share is a decoupage photo + chalkboard tag/ornament, created as a guest collaboration with our partner blog, Dalmatian DIY. These little cuties are easy to make with a few simple supplies and don't take a lot skill or effort, although you will need to allow for plenty of incremental drying time for glue and paint in this project.  If you choose a non-holiday specific shape (like our basic circle) and colour scheme (like our classic black-and-white), these can easily work for any occasion and transition into your everyday decor - they make great hang-tag labels for storage baskets.

To create you own like those shown, you will a wooden ornament base, or suitable substitute), chalkboard paint, painting supplies, pre-printed photos or access to a printer, mod podge, a pin, a skewer or similar, a utility knife, and a little bit of sandpaper. If your ornament base doesn't come with a pre-fab hole, you will also need a drill and (of course) your safety glasses.
  • Before you start, ensure that your ornament base is clean and free of any little edge defects.  Give it a quick sand and wipe, if needed. If your shape doesn't come with a pre-fab hole, use a drill to add a small hole before you begin the project.
  • Paint the back and sides of your ornament (you can also paint the top if you wish).  If you want the ornament to be a chalkboard label, like mine, you will need to use chalkboard paint; however, you can use any paint you wish.  If you would prefer to decoupage both sides, that's cool too.  
  • Allow your paint to dry thoroughly before proceeding with your paper work.  
  • Carefully measure the dimensions of your shape.
  • If you don't have a pre-printed photo, pick your project photo(s) and print so that your featured part of the image works for the dimensions of your ornament base. Standard paper works very nicely for this project if you're working in classic black and white, and it's easy to decoupage. Win win!
  • Carefully cut your photos so that they cover the top of your ornament just to the edge. Check, check, and recheck before you start to glue anything into place.
  • Working outwards from the middle of your piece and then progressing to your sides so as not to trap air bubbles and wrinkles, carefully glue your photos into place with Mod Podge.
Tips: A basic brush and your hands work just fine for this little project, but there are all kind of Mod Podge tools available if you are keen to do more decoupage in the future.  Check out the handy tips from Mod Podge Rocks for extra decoupage advice.
  • Allow your Mod Podge to dry for 15-20 minutes, and then add a top coat and allow it to dry.  
  • Using a pin, carefully press it through the hole from the back of your ornament to the front to prick a small guide hole.  Using the pointed end of a skewer or similar, carefully press from front to back to open the hole and push in the paper without tearing past the edge of your hole.
  • Add another top coat, making sure that the hole is coated but not filled (use your skewer to clear it if needed) and allow to dry. Repeat as many times as you wish. Allow to dry thoroughly.
  • If you make any little edges sticking out that could use a trim, carefully trim them with your cutter. Cut, don't pull, else you may tear the decoupaged paper. It doesn't need to be perfect, because next we're going to sand those edges.  
  • Give the edges a very light sand, rubbing just the edge of the picture on the ornament, from the top down.  This will scuff the edges of your decoupaged photo to help it blend into the ornament.
  • Carefully retouch the edges with paint if/as needed.  If you don't mind getting your hands a little messy, a finger makes a great substitute for a paint brush for a little edge touch up rub. :) Allow to dry.
  • Add a final top coat or sealer to the front of your ornament, making sure the edges are sealed.
  • Allow to dry thoroughly before use.

We're on a special holiday posting schedule this month, with a Christmas share for you ever weekday between now and the start of our offline holidays, with DIY decorations, wrapping, treats, and more.  Yay! Stay tuned for more!

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