Decoupage: Fancy Term For Stuff & Glue!


How in the world did I get obsessed with an old fashioned craft like decoupage? Believe it or not, I think it all started with my passion for jewelry.  I started making jewelry as a little girl out of colorful telephone wire and beads.  There is something so intriguing to me about putting together found objects to create something unique and wearable.  Even though I studied art, took every small metals class at UNM and made ‘serious’ jewelry, I realized that I had a flair for more crafty creations.

I have been steadily making beaded jewelry for about 20 years, but, serendipitously, I happened to have some small wood pieces, rhinestones and lovely Italian paper in a box of craft supplies.  I started gluing paper to wood and that was the beginning of a beautiful relationship with decoupage.  I made my first pair of earrings with that gorgeous paper, then added some rhinestones from a broken necklace and beads for added sparkle.

If you aren’t familiar, decoupage is the art of gluing paper cut-outs onto a surface and then finishing with varnish.  It’s that simple.  You can use newspaper, magazines, tissue paper, wrapping paper, decorative craft paper, even napkins!  Many of you might have a grandmother or aunt that decoupaged cut-out paper flowers from magazines onto a wooden box or vase.  I like to think I’ve updated the process a little by using sumptuous handmade Chiyogami Japanese paper and fine Italian paper.

I have since taught decoupage classes at the Harwood Art Center, after-school art programs for kids and even to the Tractor staff!  So when I was asked to teach a Sunday afternoon class at Tractor to decoupage growlers, I was excited! What could be more fun than hanging out at Tractor with a bunch of friends and personalizing your own growler?  I’ll bring all the paper, glue, rhinestones and glitter that you can handle and you supply the enthusiasm.  Let’s play!

-Lita Sandoval