Vintage Crafting – Three-Dimensional Decoupage

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).

Three Dimensional Decoupage book by Adele Millard

As the title suggests, the book teaches you how to create three-dimensional pictures using multiple copies of the same print.

3D Decoupage bluebirds and dogwood 1

3D Decoupage bluebirds and dogwood 2

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.

3D Decoupage greeting card 1

3D Decoupage greeting card 2

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.

Applying glue to cut-outs to build up layers

Curling cut-outs to create dimension

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.

About Serena Y Lee

Serena worked in the biotech industry for 18 years before leaving to pursue her life purpose – to live in freedom with creativity and simplicity. Her love for baking, creativity, and story-telling compelled her to start blogging to share her ideas with a wider audience.

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3 Responses to Vintage Crafting – Three-Dimensional Decoupage

  1. Cynthia September 3, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    Those are beautiful! I love this idea!


  1. 3D Birthday Card | Crafty Creative Gal - March 18, 2014

    […] At the same book sale last year, I also purchased a vintage craft book, Three-Dimensional Decoupage, which I blogged about here. […]

  2. Vintage Decoupage Book – a Limitless World in Decoration | Crafty Creative Gal - November 1, 2014

    […] and is my favorite way to find vintage books.  It was at one of these sales that I found this book about decoupage.  Well, this time, I found another vintage book about the centuries old craft of […]

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