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Thursday, 4 February 2016

Giving a File a Make-Over ... with PAINT!

After my granny died, I scanned her recipe book onto digital format and distributed copies of this among all of the children and grandchildren. My mom wanted hers printed out and I did so. But then she stuck it in this awfully ugly old file. I did not understand this and offered her one of my brand new ones in its place. She declined, stating firmly that the old file was far better than any of the new stuff on the market. A couple of years have passed and I have come to see that she was right, as usual. However, there was a lot I could do to make the file prettier and in today's blog I finally grabbed that file and gave it a long overdue makeover using chalk paint and decoupage.

This is what I had to start with.

The inside wasn't much better. I carefully removed all of the papers and clamped them together with bulldog clips.

Looking at the the cover page of the printed recipes, I took my queue from there. My main colour would be English Rose from VanDaniQue Chalk Paints. I used a no 10 Flat brush to paint with.

I painted the outside of the file first and stood it on end to dry.

I used a large round brush and Tuscany to paint the frame on the covers.

First, I put protective masking tape all around the frame so I would end with crisp lines, rather than wobbly smudged lines.

I then painted the frame. The inside did not matter as I intended to decoupage some paper here.

I removed the masking tape as soon as the paint was dry. Then I measured the dimensions inside the frame.

I used a metal ruler and craft knife to cut the craft paper intended for decoupage to size.

I then used the round brush to paint the hard to reach areas inside the file, where one could still see the old colour peeping through.

I also painted a little ways inside the file, all around the edges.

I then took the measurements for the paper that needed to be decoupaged on the inside of the file. As this was an old file, that predated the metric system, it made more sense to take the measurements in inches, rather than centimetres.

The craft paper for the inside of the file was also cut to size.

I would use the flat brush and Dala's Acrylic Gel Medium to do the decoupage.

I lay down a thick layer of acrylic gel medium where I want to place the paper.

The paper is placed on top of the gel medium and all bubbles and creases are flattened out.

Another coating of acrylic gel medium is then painted over the paper to protect it.

While waiting for the inside of the file to dry, I worked on the detail for the front of the file. I found these cute die-cuts in my scrapbooking stash and decided to use these as stencils.

This is what the collection looked like when it was all spread out.

I used three black pens to do the stencilling with. All of these pens and markers had to be permanent to prevent it from smudging once the coating of acrylic gel medium was applied later on. The no 1 Graphic Pigma Pen was used for thicker detail work.

The no 2 Micron Pigma Pen was used for fine detail work.

The Sharpie marker was used to fill in large spaces.

I did not want to include any 3D items on the cover as these would probably tear off or get damaged in the overstocked recipe shelf. I could not resist adding two tiny split pins, though.

The cover was ready to go on.

Once again a layer of Acrylic Gel Medium was painted where the paper had to go.

The paper was carefully laid in place, making sure no air bubbles were trapped inside.

Then a layer of Acrylic Gel Medium was applied on top of the paper to create a protective barrier between the paper and the onslaught of the kitchen.

With both sides of the file decoupaged, it was time to let the project dry again.

This is what the inside of the file looked like after I was done with it. It was time to return the recipes to the file.

In this marvelous old file that meant that the covers were folded back, wedging the spine open. The papers are then slipped in, and once the covers are released, those papers are so well clamped that it might as well have been bound with string.

Isn't that much better?

We finally had a recipe book to be proud of!

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Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making PRETTY things.
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