Friday, November 20, 2009

Coming Unglued, In a Good Way...(3 mini tutorials included)

"When you give someone a book, you don't give him just paper, ink, and glue. You give him the possibility of a whole new life."

~Christopher Morely~

I know you are going to be as tired of this project as I am before it is finished. I am about to come unglued, in a good way, as I am nearing the end of the gluing process on the second project, the trunk, for studio storage.

Here is the finished bookcase! The old book pages gave this project new life...The two were married (see previous posts here and here) and the yucky backs were primed and then papered with a variety of old book pages and sheet music. I thought I would show you a quick how~to of doing this as well as the process I am using to revamp the inside of the trunk.YOU WILL NEED:

*Wallpaper paste
*Sponge brush
*Old credit or gift card ~ to use as a smoothing tool
*Variety of old book pages that vary is size
*Old sheet music
*Paint brush
*Non~yellowing clear sealer


NOTE: If the surface you are covering is soiled you may want to prime it so that any stains will not bleed through your book pages once they are adhered.

*Lay book page face down on a protected surface, using sponge brush, brush a thin layer of glue over the whole page, making sure to get the edges.

*Place book page on surface and use old credit card or gift card to smooth out the paper, being careful no to put too much pressure or the paper will tear. You want to get out any air bubbles or wrinkles.

*Repeat this process with randomly placed pages mixed with sheet music until you cover your entire surface. Turn some pages sideways or upside down to get a more interesting look. You want to avoid to many straight edges lined up. If this occurs, just layer another page over the surface. You can even place some pages on an angle, there is no right or wrong way to do this. I even cut some pages in half and added them to the some of the edges.

*Allow to dry overnight

*Brush on a coat or two of non~yellowing clear sealer to protect your book pages, allowing to dry between applications.

Below are step~by~step progression photos of the process I used on my bookcase. I tend to do things the hard way, I didn't think of taking photos until I got the last shelf, yep, the one on the bottom. If the photo angles are a little strange or the lighting bad it is because I had to lay flat on my stomach on the floor to take them. Oh the things we will do in the name of blogging!
This technique can also be used on flat surfaces, like a desk top. If you apply this to a surface that will be used a lot I recommend using a durable polyurethane of at least three coats. This could be a great idea for a child's bookcase as well, brightly colored storybook pages would make for fun fanciful storage. For a sewing room, why not use old pattern fronts? Why not substitute colorful scrapbook papers, magazine pages, old letters, or even a variety of vintage ephemera?

The trunk got gussied up with a few book pages on the exterior using the same process as described above.
I wanted to restore the inside of the trunk as close to the original which was papered in a brown paper. The interior paper was so old, crumbling, and stinky that I stripped it out, all except the original little graphic, that I left in tact. After removing the paper, sanding, and priming the surface I chose to do another paper finish that resembles leather when completed.For this technique you will need the same basic supplies as in the previous project minus the book pages, instead, you will need a roll of brown wrapping paper, the kind you use to wrap and mail packages in.

Again, if your surface is stained, you will want to prime out your project or the stains will leach through your finish project. I primed all the interior surfaces not only due to stains but stink as well. I tried every remedy known to man and could not get the smell out of this trunk so I got a stain and odor blocking primer to treat the surface.

*To begin the project, tear the brown wrapping paper into pieces. You want a variety of sizes from a small, medium, to large range, the largest being no more than approx. 4 in. in size. Tear randomly not in straight pieces.

*Using the same gluing method as above, begin to randomly place the glued paper pieces on the surface of your project, over lapping the edges and smoothing out air bubbles as you go. You want to avoid any of the straight edges of the paper showing so always cover them up with a jagged edge overlapping them.

*Once your surface is covered, allow to dry overnight.

*Seal surface with one or two coats of sealer.

OPTIONAL: If you want a deep rich antique leather look, use and antiquing gel in a brown tone, found at most craft and hobby stores, before sealing. Apply the gel with a soft rag rubbing until you get the look you want. Allow to dry overnight before sealing. This technique looks fantastic on a wall or a tabletop for a leather looking surface.

Below are some photos of the steps in the process. If you see any shiny or white areas, this is the paste, I took these before it was dry.
In the midst of all this trunk junk, my friend, Pam, stopped by and we headed to the kitchen to do some dying of tags, paper, lace and trims. We did up a big batch of grunge tags using QueenBe's recipe, found here. After we got tired of dunking tags, we started dipping papers and then moved on to trims, laces, and ribbons. Let me tell you, QueenBe's recipe works great for all of them and they smell so good!Then we invented our own recipe for making some pretty pink strawberry scented tags and trims. To make your own pretty pink strawberry scented tags and trims, you will need:

*Standard shipping tags ~ We used medium and small tags in a cream color, white will work too
*1 1/2 cups boiling water
*2 Moroccan Pomegranate Red tea bags ~ Celestial Seasonings is the brand we used
*6 drops red food coloring
*3 Tablespoons strawberry flavoring ~ found in the baking section of the grocery store
*Cookie cooling racks
*Shallow container ~ I use and old casserole dish
*Old Cookie sheet ~ be sure it is not rusty, if it is, cover it with aluminum foil
*250 degree preheated oven


*Pour boiling water into shallow dish and steep tea bags in boiling water for several minutes, stirring occasionally to distribute colored tea.

*Add food coloring and strawberry flavoring, stir.

*Place tags in liquid mixture and allow to soak for 20 seconds or so until they reach the desired depth of color of your choice.

*Remove tags from liquid and place on old baking pan in a single layer, make sure pan is not rusty or the rust will transfer to the tag and stain it.

*Place baking sheet in preheated oven and bake for 3 minutes, remove from oven, turn over tags, replace in oven for 3 more minutes. Tags are dry when they begin to curl. DO NOT LEAVE TAGS UNATTENDED!

*Cool tags on cookie cooling racks.

*Once completely dry and cool, store tags in a sealed container or zip storage bag until use. This will preserve the scent of the tag.

*Remove tags from storage and embellish any way you wish and enjoy!

*For trims, soak in liquid mixture until desired color is reached. Gently squeeze out excess liquid. Lay trim out on a flat surface covered with waxed paper and paper towels and allow to dry. I put some paper under some of mine instead of paper towels and it left the dye residue on the paper staining it, which will make a really cool background paper.

I am working on some other scented tag experiments, I'll let you know how they turn out. I am thinking peppermint for Christmas!

Well, I have not quite come unglued yet, I still have to tackle the inside of the trunk bottom before I can get to the old door project. Aren't the possibilities of a whole new life by the addition of a little paper and glue delicious?
In the meantime, I hope you all have a very wonderful weekend. In the next post we will play the guessing game I mentioned and yes, there will be prizes!



Lorrie said...

You have been a very busy lady! I really like the way your bookcase turned out with the papers. Makes me think about an old bedside table in my guestroom that could benefit from the same treatment.


Linda said...

Wow, that's A LOT of work!! Everything looks great. :-) I'll save these projects for you, lol.

Hope you have a blessed weekend my friend.

Linda ♥

LiLi M. said...

Three tutorials! Thank you so much! I am looking forward to the guessing game (and the prizes hehehe). Have a great weekend!

kathy said...

SAndy !! Love your trunk - I esp .
love anything with book and music backgrounds -- May do this with some smaller shelves i am thinking of putting my fav and oft used rubber stamps on - always in a drawer and so sometimes out of sight out of mind . Yes i love the tags -- my friend Vikki makes those -- and I also use unsweetened kool - aid --lots of colors to dye my tags --kathy - ga ♥

Penny said...

I loved what you did to that book case - but was totally mesmerized with your trunk redo. I have an old trunk that I have been trying to figure out what to do with it. I do a class on the Renaissance at my local High School and felt a modern suitcase was to modern for my costumes and supplies - so I picked up an old trunk at an auction and after giving it a good cleaning have sat staring at it for some time now. Your work on this trunk - kind of jump started my brain- yes a faux leather look would work nicely - and now waiting till after the holidays to get back to work on my trunk will be a struggle (but I don't want too much going on over the holidays, so I will wait patiently).
Thank you for the inspiration.

Have a very nice weekend


BellaRosa said...

What great tutorials, makes me want to paper something and dye tags :) I loved your trunk, can't wait to see it finished. Besos, Rose

david santos said...

Really great work, great posting and fantastic picturs. Bravo!
Have a nice weekend.

Flower said...

What a great way to spruce up a trunk! I have my mothers trunk from the 20's. This gives me ideas!! The tags are so much fun to make! I worked up a batch of them this week and will share them in the coming days.

KathyB. said...

Whew!A woman's work is never done...all this creativity is positively inspiring and your tutorials seem very easy to follow. Plus, your projects are beautiful.

Charlene said...

LOVE how things are coming along with your project. You are going to be exhausted before Thanksgiving comes with all the work you are doing now. Do you have to cook a big dinner & have company? It is so hard to have the house tore up doing stuff like you are working on. And to add a Holiday.... YIKES! You are a brave girl! Have a great week & thanks for the tea dyed tags. LOVED the PINK ones. ~Charlene

Vickie said...

Miss Sandy, I love how your trunk is turning out. Great Job! I have my MIL's old trunk, and it, too, needs the stink taken out. It has a stain in the bottom where something leaked into there from the outside. I am going to try your methods with the paper, and see what I can do with it! Good tutorial! Have a Happy Thanksgiving with you and yours!

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

What a wonderful post! You have been one busy lady. I love how the trunk and bookcase turned out.

I might try my hand at the tags.

Laura ~ all about Pretty! said...

Hi Sandy, your trunk project is lovely!!! I just purchased a stinky but beautiful trunk at the thrift store and I wanted to jazz it up but couldn't get rid of the smell. Thanks so much for sharing your tips. God bless, Laura

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