Let vintage magazines inspire you to decoupage anything.
I love the creative process, reading the articles, and recognizing the changes from then to now. I found Look and Life magazines from 1959 in an estate sale last summer for $1 each. It took 6 magazines to cover this mini coffee table.
The old piece was perfect to finally dig those magazines out and use them. Not only was it boxy but it is mid century modern. It was marked down from $20 to only $5 at the local thrift store. The most expensive part of the project was adding the feet -$65 for legs and brackets.
There are a lot of graphics to choose from in these magazines. It was more what not to select. I avoided black and whites (except one), and ads for booze, cigarettes and food. That meant cars, travel, boats, industrial, and art was in. Arranging the collage was the most fun and puzzling – literally. I restricted to using medium to large images thereby reducing the number of pieces of paper in the collage. It looked too busy with small images.
I prepped by adding feet to the bottom and painting to top surface black using Lamp Black from General Finishes. I love that black paint. It is top coated with Poly Crylic since it is a table top and going to get a lot of use. It also gave it the shine that’s perfect for this style. I didn’t sand or prime any of the surfaces.
Yes, there are wrinkles!
I’ve decoupaged before. Every time I think I can get away with not wetting the paper first. Why do I do that? I know this is part of relaxing the paper before applying it to the glued surface. The paper must be wetted but also allowed time to relax. I don’t think I got a wrinkle free image until the very last surface. I pro will notice, otherwise, I consider it part of the ‘art’. I used Perfect Paper Adhesive (PPA) from USArtQuest. It’s expensive but I like it because it is not tacky and it gives a nice smooth and matte finish when it’s dried. I still top coated with Poly Crylic for longevity.