Not too long ago, I attended another big book sale held by my local Friends of the Public Library. This sale occurs twice a year, 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 decoupage.
I think a lot of people think of decoupage as being an old lady craft in which pieces of decorative paper are cut out and glued to a surface. Very passe and ho-hum. But one look through Decoupage: a Limitless World in Decoration by Dorothy Harrower will open your eyes to the possibilities of decoupage, and you realize cutting and gluing pieces of paper is just skimming the surface as to what this craft is about and its potential. It encompasses so much more and looking at the myriad of examples showcased made me realize how modern it is and its influence on other crafts, including shadow box, collage, scrapbooking, cardmaking, and even home decor.
Some early forms of decoupage include paper cutting, which many cultures have practiced, including the Chinese
and the Polish:
A traditional application of decoupage:
Eighteenth century artist, Mary Delany’s work has had renewed interest and is reminiscent of vintage botanical prints:
Three-dimensional shadow boxes:
Front cover of a magazine:
Decorated Easter eggs reminiscent of Faberge:
Decoupage done with non-paper, natural materials:
Combing through vintage craft books can be a real source of creative inspiration. It’s a shame that a lot of these vintage crafts have fallen out of favor, given our need for immediate gratification. Given how hectic most people’s lives are today, they don’t want to spend hours or days on a project, much less, several weeks, which is how long it took to complete many of the works of art seen in Decoupage.
Do you like studying old craft books for inspiration? What vintage craft has inspired you? Please share in the comments.