Decoupaged Thanksgiving Plaque

This project started out as a fail, but I managed to save it in the end. I had bought a wooden plaque from Walmart to try out a printable iron on product for wood. It sounded like a really cool idea, but I didn't get it to work on my first try--so a post about that will have to wait until I figure the stuff out.

The first thing I did was measure my wooden plaque. The surface measured about 6 1/4 inches in diameter.

I found an image of a fall wreath (a free printable of a watercolor wreath) from the website Place of My Taste that I used to create my design. I inserted the image into Word and adjusted the color so the background was white. Then I found a font that looked like a brush script and put the words "Give Thanks" in the middle. I adjusted the size of the whole thing to be about 6 1/4 inches so that it would be the right size when I printed it out. For the iron on version, I mirrored the text, but since that failed, I returned the text back to normal and printed it out on a piece of card stock covered in tissue paper. I've used this method a few times on the blog. It's really easy if you have a top loading ink jet printer. Tape some white tissue paper onto a piece of card stock. Fold all of the edges over and tape them with transparent tape and just print your design.

I let my image printed on the tissue paper dry while I prepped my wooden plaque. The failed attempt at ironing on the design left a blurry partially transferred image and a slightly bumpy surface, so I dug out my vibrating sander and buffed it up as best as I could.

The design was stubborn, and I'm sure if I had been patient and dug out some lower grit sandpaper, I could have removed more of the image, but I knew I was going to have to paint the wood anyway to get the best results, so I just made sure it was smooth. Then I dug out some white craft paint and a foam brush. I wetted my foam brush so that the paint would thin a bit (more of a white wash) so the grain of the wood would show through.

I painted my wooden plaque with a coat of white craft paint. When I was done, I took a second pass over the top of the plaque to hide the old design a bit more. Then I let it dry for about a half an hour--it could have probably dried a bit longer, but I was inpatient as usual.

I cut my tissue paper out into a circle while still attached to the card stock (much easier to cut tissue paper that's on the card stock then by itself). I painted a thin coat of mod podge over the plaque and did my best to center the design and tap it into place.

After a few minutes, the glue had absorbed a bit and had started to set. I made sure my fingers were dry and then smoothed out a few of the wrinkles and the edges. Then I left it to dry for about an hour.

Then I came back and painted a layer of glue over the top to seal it. Images printed with ink jet printer ink tend to smear a bit, so don't brush too much, just get the glue on and make sure there aren't any globs. If you need to do another coat later, it won't' smear like it did with the first pass, so just get the glue on for this coat.

I ended up happy with one coat of sealing mod podge. It turned out so much better than the first attempt. The white washed wood is a perfect surface to decoupage white tissue paper--it disappears on the surface. I can't wait to try it again!


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