Saturday, February 23, 2013

Canvas Wrap and Mod Podge Woes

I don't know about you, but I've been eyeing those canvas wrap photos for a while, but I just can't bring myself to pay what the companies want me to. So I just don't. I've seen many pins for making your own canvas wrap, but I haven't tried it sounds a little iffy if you ask me. Cait was braver than I am and plunged into one of the versions of the DIY canvas wrap. Here's her story:

The Original Pin:

Cute, no? And I love those gnomes. 

"FAIL #1:  I followed the tutorial's instructions and tried using a piece of tissue paper.  It never came out of the printer.  I spent about 20 minutes picking ink-covered tissue paper shreds out of my husband's printer. I probably should have taken that as a sign and stopped there."

"FAIL #2:  I tried translucent vellum paper next, which is used for invitations and is meant to be used in inkjet printers.  My photo printed out perfectly... I was excited! I figured if I can't use tissue paper, this would be the next best thing!"

"I put on what I thought was a thin layer of mod podge.. turns out it was way too much.  The second the vellum paper touched the mod podge, it curled and wrinkled and then the ink started to come off. To try to save it, I started mod podging the top, which only made the bubbles and wrinkles worse.The result would almost be passable as some sort of "texture effect" except the computer ink bled all over when it touched the mod podge."

The Pinstrosity:

"NAILED IT!  It looks like a photo canvas that barely survived a house fire."

 "All the red you see is computer ink:"

"Oh well.. live and learn."

I have a love and hate relationship with Mod Podge. I have such a hard time using it successfully with paper. I ALWAYS get wrinkles. I'm getting better slowly but surely, but it still isn't great. And I haven't had huge luck with mod podging something down after it came out of my printer. The ink just wants to spread and run.

Here's how "awesome" I am at Mod Podge.  I'm working on redoing a nightstand for our room. 
Here's the little beauty. I picked this up for $20 at the Antique Mall. 
I sanded it down and repainted it, but the piece had received water damage on the bottom (which is why it was so cheap at the Antique Mall) and I wanted to cover it up. I had the great idea to mod podge some scrapbook paper on the bottom. I tried to be careful and at first I thought I had it wrinkle free, but as the paper soaked up the mod podge, it began to wrinkle. I kept smoothing it out and pushing the air bubbles out, but I finally gave up. I went back to it the next morning expecting to have to pull the paper off and as the paper had dried it had tightened back up somewhat and the wrinkles are a little less pronounced. It's still not as pretty as I had hoped, but it's not bad. 
The green paint is still drying, so you get to see my awesome carpet while the nightstand lies flat for the drying time.
I think a little fairy or gnome stepped on the drawer before the turquoise paint could dry. Anyone else see the little tiny footprint on the right side of the drawer?!

 Mod Podging paper can be a little tricky (okay, for me it's a lot tricky). Ages ago I saw this pin:
Tips for successful Mod Podging. I know...Mod Podge seems a no brainer, but this has some great tips!

I immediately pinned that to my "Reference Section" board and promptly moved on to find the next amazing thing to pin. I never opened it and read it, until today. Isn't that how it goes? Genius, I know. So I just went and read it and here are the tips they give for mod podging paper:

  • "Paper – If you are working with thinner sheets of scrapbook paper, it may help to spray your paper with a clear acrylic sealer before Mod Podging. Spray both sides and allow to dry before using."
  • "Tissue Paper – There is nothing that you need to do to prepare tissue paper, but just be advised that because it is so thin, it is very difficult to Mod Podge without wrinkles. The good news is that wrinkles are typically part of the charm of using tissue paper and add a little character to your surface. Mod Podge tissue paper carefully so that it doesn’t tear."

  • Had I only read this before doing my nightstand project I would have known to spray it first and mod podge second. Next time I'll try that. 

    I also found that when I am trying to smooth down the paper to be wrinkle free that if I have a ruler or some straight edge, I can use it to help press down the paper as I slowly lay it on the mod podged item. 

    But...I'm still not great at it. It's a learning process. Anyone else have some more tips for successful mod podging on paper? 


    1. I have pinned a gadzillion versions of this project myself, and just haven't done it. I really want to see the images, but all the ones above the dresser aren't showing!

      Is an inkjet printer the problem? That's what I have, and that's what is holding me back in fear. Visions of ink running everywhere....

    2. i actually did the tissue paper on canvas one. Used the same tutorial too. I taped the tissue to a piece of computer paper but didn't bother with ironing it. It printed out fine for me. Smoothing it out was definitely a little hard and there's one that I wished would've smoothed out more but for the most part I like how they came out.

    3. Instead of Mod Podge, use gel medium, such as that made by Golden. Mod Podge has a high water content, which is why your paper wrinkles and the ink bleeds. Gel medium costs more, but the lack of hassle is well worth the cost!

    4. I read somewhere a few years back that when mod podging paper, spray it with water before. I've done it a few times and it has always been successful. I'm not sure why it works but the dampness definitely helps smooth it out. Just a thought!

    5. Iron your tissue paper to wax paper before printing then separate. Make sure ink is completely dry (overnight) before decoupaging.

    6. Spraying with acrylic sealer completely does the trick. I covered a 2' x 8' (ish) table I made for my craft room with (lots of) regular scrapbook paper. I sprayed the back and front of the paper, just in case, and the table turned out perfectly. I love it!

    7. Will spraying your paper with the acrylic sealer work on something you printed on an inkjet printer?
      Any advise is welcome & Thanks!

    8. If you are using an inkjet printer it will pretty much always run when used with liquids, especially on a "slick" paper such as vellum. Laserjet toner is a better choice for these types of projects. If you have to use an inkjet printer, a gel medium such as studiorose mentioned is definitely a better choice. I have used Glue N' Seal on many projects including wood, metal, canvas, paint, and paper with great results.

    9. I used the tissue-paper-taped-to-computer-paper method and I second it. I also changed the paper settings on my printer to "specialty paper" and printed on best quality. It turned out great!

    10. Maybe that is not a fairy, looks like a giant moth wing to me. But you still did a fine job there.

      Canvas Photos

    11. Mod Podge brand has a tool kit out that comes with two PROFESSIONAL DECOUPAGE(at least that's what the package says😊) tools, a brayer and a squeegee. The brayer is a roller made from rubber and the squeegee is just like any other regular squeegee you'd buy at the hardware or automotive store. The brayer is used to smooth out paper, fabric ect onto large surfaces, providing the right amount of pressure to eliminate air bubbles and wrinkles. The squeegee is used to get paper, fabric ect into hard to reach areas, like corners and such. I haven't used them yet, as I don't have too much mod podge experience because I just started really using the stuff but I HAVE used a squeegee before and it does the job getting air bubbles out of other items while doing different types of projects. I'm sure it would work the same for mod podge and paper.


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