I start by gathering the materials I envision could work with this project. I have a 12" x 12" paper that has been prepared with gesso to strengthen it to take paint. I also have an off-cut piece of fabric with a beautiful image of a bird in it and some off-cut zippers. Add to that an off-cut patterned paper, I am set to go.
I paint Acrylic Gel Medium to the back of the patterned paper so that I can decoupage it to the white paper. I use an old wide flat brush for this.
Lay the paper flat on the base paper and rub out any air bubbles that may have been trapped underneath.
I now mix about equal amounts of Acrylic Gel Medium and Acrylic Sap Green. The Acrylic Gel Medium will make the paint more transparent which is essential in this project. It will also help to seal the decoupaged patterned paper.
I use a palette knife to mix the paint and gel medium and I then use the same palette knife to spread the paint onto the paper.
I spread the paint on one side of the paper horizontally, while spreading the other side vertically. This adds a bit of interest to the design.
While the paint is still wet, I stick the bird onto the paper. The paint will serve as a fixative or glue, keeping the fabric cut-out in place.
I decide that I want the bird's presence to be more subtle and use my palette knife to spread the paint mixture over the bird as well.
Once the paint has dried, I use wood glue to adhere the zippers to the paper.
I also add a length of corresponding ribbon where all the elements are joined, hiding the join in the design and adding a feature at the same time.
I now set my sewing machine to a longer stitch length so that when I sew on the paper, I do not create a perforation that will cause the paper to tear.
I sew down the length of the ribbon as well as both sides of the zippers.
I love the washi tape I have that looks like measuring tape and find that the yellowish one will go very well with my layout.
I stick the tape on the layout very randomly, trying to break the monotonous geometry.
I use my craft knife to crop the tape away where it overlapped some of the elements.
I now use a metallic marker to add detail to the bird which now seem to have become too obscured!
I decide at this stage that I have added quite enough elements. Time to leave it be so that there will be space enough left for photos and embellishments.
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