Last week, as you might have seen from my twitter and Snapchat (username ‘lovejoules’), I had the pleasure to attend one of The Evening Upcycling Courses at the Gaiety Antique & Vintage Store. The Gaiety is a place for amazing antiques, wonderful vintage, unique furniture as well as homeware and lifestyle products. I actually did a shop tour of the Gaiety store in Galway earlier this year, which you can check out here!
Aside from being a shop, they also provide upholstery service, furniture painting and they stock the best furniture paint in the world, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. All of these are a perfect combination for their upcycling workshops!
This was the first class out of 4 in this course and we did two projects, a cute tea tray and a craquelure canvas. The theme for this class was découpage, which stands for decorating objects with paper cut-outs.
I know a few people have already expressed interest after I’ve told them about this class, so here I am telling you – do it, it’s so much fun! It’s also incredibly relaxing and fulfilling! There was a lot to be done in the 2 hours, but it all runs like clockwork! The lovely Laura that runs the classes is a pro and an absolute sweetheart.
The Tea Tray
There were so many designs and colours to choose from! After a lot of deliberation, I chose the Emperor’s Silk, to match my red kitchen. I was really tempted to go with motif of the kitten drinking out of the cup, but something told me I have enough cats in the house already, so I went with this vintage tea cup instead.
The Annie Sloan Chalk paints are so easy to use, they don’t smell and they dry in 45 mins! Being me, I also managed to get a little bit on my sweater and the stain came out in the wash.
We gave the trays a quick first lick of paint and while they were drying, we cut out our paper designs. When we were done, we used the hair dryers to finish off the drying and gave the trays a second coat of paint. Our paper cut-outs were then applied on the tray using découpage glue.
You sort of revert back to your childhood days where you end up comparing your creations with the person next to you, jealous of what they’ve picked and how well they’ve done it!
They were looking so lovely already at this stage, but to seal the paint in we used special wax and set the trays aside to dry again. All the products and the supplies were provided by the Gaiety, which was really handy as I didn’t have to bring anything with me that day!
The Craquelure Canvas
For some reason, I always thought that you can only use tissue paper in découpage, but really, anything goes once the paper isn’t too thick. Just think of all the possibilities! I have to resist the urge to découpage everything in my house now.
This process of making this was very intriguing! Once we glued our cutouts onto the canvas, we applied something called craquelure glue, which caused the découpage glue to crack. We then put on a clear wax, followed by black wax, which was a little distressing to do as it looked so dark and scary at first. However, it allowed for the cracks to be visible once we wiped of the excess with clear wax and a cloth. And voilà!
The tray is great and I’ve used it daily since, it carries a lot! I can’t wait to have guests over to show it off!
I have yet to find a suitable distressed frame for my canvas so for now it’s just sitting on a shelf in a nice Halloween arrangement.
More info on the Gaiety Workshops can be found here.