Decoupage has been a beloved craft for centuries. But have you ever considered taking your decoupage projects to the next level with the iron-on method? This innovative technique combines the charm of decoupage with the ease of ironing, opening up a world of creative possibilities. In this blog post, we'll explore the basics of iron-on decoupage and share tips for creating stunning, personalized projects.
What is Iron-On Decoupage? Iron-on decoupage is a modern twist on traditional decoupage that involves using heat to transfer images onto various surfaces. The method typically utilizes special decoupage paper or fabric that can adhere to surfaces when heated with an iron. This technique allows for intricate designs and vibrant colors, making it a popular choice for DIY enthusiasts looking to add a unique touch to their creations. I find this technique gives a nice smooth, clean finish with less chance of wrinkles and bubbles.
- Decoupage paper (or fabric can be used)
- Heat-resistant surface (such as an ironing board)
- Surface to decorate (wood, fabric, glass, etc.) or your piece of furniture
- Craft glue or decoupage medium
Choose Your Surface: Select a surface that suits your project. Common choices include wooden plaques, fabric tote bags, glass vases, but of course I’m using furniture.
Select Your Design: Choose a decoupage paper or fabric with a design that complements your project. Whether it's vintage patterns, floral motifs, or abstract shapes, the possibilities are endless.
Prepare the Surface: Ensure that the surface is clean and smooth. Sanding or priming may be necessary for certain materials to help the decoupage adhere better.
Select Your Designs: Carefully tearing around the designs you want to transfer. Using a small paintbrush and some water will make it easier to tear without ripping in the wrong direction. Of course you can fill your entire project with 1 design right to edge too.
Arrange the Designs: Arrange the designs on your chosen surface to visualize the final composition. Once satisfied, set them aside.
Apply Glue or Decoupage Medium: For this technique to work I’m a little belts and braces. The recommendation is 2 coats of you favourite decoupage medium, allowing to dry in between coats, I often use top coat and I would actually recommend 4 coats.
Position the Designs: Place the decoupage pieces onto the surface (which is now dry)
Iron On the Designs: Cover the designs with a clean sheet of parchment/baking paper to protect them from direct heat. Using a medium to high heat setting, iron over the designs, applying even pressure. The heat will activate the adhesive, bonding the designs to the surface. Work from the middle out to ensure you’re smoothing the paper out as you work.
Remove the baking paper: Allow the designs to cool slightly before carefully peeling away the baking paper. Be patient and take your time to avoid tearing or distorting the designs.
Seal the Project: When using this method I recommend not using a water based varnish to seal. In my experience this reactivates the original medium and will cause bubbles and wrinkles that you’ve worked so hard to keep away. I recommend using a spray lacquer, at least 2 coats, and then you can follow up with a water based finish after this has been left for the receommnded drying time, When using decoupage on furniture its always worth considering this step for added durability, it helps protect the designs from wear and tear.
Conclusion: Iron-on decoupage is a fantastic way to elevate your crafting experience, providing endless opportunities for customization and personalization. Whether you're a seasoned crafter or a novice looking for a new hobby, this method offers a unique and satisfying way to breathe life into everyday objects. Unleash your creativity, experiment with different designs, and enjoy the delightful process of transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary with iron-on decoupage. Happy crafting!
The decoupage design I used on this Vintage Lebus Pot Cupboard is Colour me Bright from the Mint By Michelle Decoupage range, you can buy this paper design here
and the rest of the range here