I love books and I love to craft, so craft books have a special place in my heart, not so much for their instruction as for their inspiration and eye candy. One particular subject I’m particularly fascinated with is vintage crafting, so whenever I come across a vintage craft magazine or book, I have to pick it up and at least flip through it. It’s always interesting to see how crafting has evolved over the last couple of decades. One thing that has always struck me about these vintage magazines and books is the incredible creativity early crafters displayed with just plain, everyday materials and supplies. They didn’t have all the fancy doodads and gadgets we have today.
A few months back, I found an interesting craft book, Three-Dimensional Decoupage: How to Transform Any Print into an “In-Depth” Picture by Adele Millard, at my local Friends of the San Francisco Public Library sale. It was published in 1975 and is just 96 pages in length. (One thing about old craft books – they tend to be much shorter in length and short on instruction, as compared to the books being published today).
As the title suggests, the book teaches you how to create three-dimensional pictures using multiple copies of the same print.
The author teaches you how to cut images from the mid and fore grounds of different copies of the same print and put them together in such a way so that the individual elements pop out, creating a dimensional look. Using just scissors, a Xacto knife, a pair of tweezers, and silicone glue, the author creates almost life-like works of art from existing prints.
The glue is used to prop up the different layers, while a pen is used to contour some of the cut-out details to give them an even more 3D look and to simulate movement in items like flowers and leaves.
In studying the different projects in this book, I’ve come to appreciate how meticulous it is to do this type of craft, especially cutting out all the small details like window panes with a Xacto knife. That’s what I love about some of these vintage crafts. They required you to really spend some serious time perfecting them, unlike the quickie crafts we have today to accommodate our busy lifestyles.
One thing’s for sure, though; if I ever attempt to do this, I would probably use foam tape instead of glue to adhere all the dimensional elements together. There is something to be said about using modern craft supplies to make one’s life easier!
Have you ever attempted a vintage craft? What vintage crafts do you enjoy? Please share in the comments.