Of the many effects that decoupage can achieve, perhaps the most flamboyant is its ability to give the appearance of 3 dimensions. 3-D decoupage can take an already beautiful image and make it seem to break loose from its flat surface to occupy the same space as the viewer.
You can create this 3-dimensional effect by snipping out several copies of the same image and then layering them to build the illusion of depth.
Say that you want to create a 3-D image of the Mona Lisa to decorate the top of your wooden jewelry box. To breathe life into da Vinci’s masterpiece you first need to cut out 4 to 5 identical copies. It doesn’t matter whether they are all originals or are photocopied. Simply cut Mona out of each picture and then study your cut-outs to decipher how you would layer your Mona’s so that her mysterious smirk seems to rise up out of the surface at you even while her rocky background recedes. Test your layers before applying glue to make sure that you’re creating the desired effect. Use little pieces of double-sided sticky foam pads to separate the layers. Glaze or glitter can draw attention to Mona’s rising smile and highlight her impassive gaze.
Another captivating and money saving application of 3-D decoupage is greeting cards and invitations. It’s a relatively simple process to place such an eye-popping image on the cover of a hand-made card:
Say your child is having a birthday party and he is really into Sponge Bob. Copy and cut out several identical images of the cheerful sea-dweller. The more complicated and detailed your design the more useful you may find it to number the pieces of each individual layer so that nothing is lost or overlooked in the process. You can cloak your cutting marks by carefully but sparingly yellowing Sponge Bob’s outline.
On your cutting mat, lightly dampen your images of Sponge Bob. Working on one cutout at a time, curl Sponge Bob’s edges around a pen or the base of a spoon so that the paper stretches and creates realistic looking curves of the 3D effect. Set each cutout aside individually to dry.
Once you’ve finalized your plans for the layout use the foam mounts as bulwarks between the layers. (Glue is also an alternative.) Use the foam mounts to raise the image to the desired height. Tweezers or toothpicks are the best tools for intricate cutouts. The final frieze like effect should give the image a subtle feeling of depth.
Cards and invitations of all kinds, ceramic tile portraits, and even painterly scenes created within portrait frames can make very intimate and personalized gifts without going to great monetary expense.
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