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Imagine painting a buffet and the doors are inset. You want to use your stamps but you can’t get your stamp all the way to the edge. Today I’m going to show you a super-easy way to have your stamp design go all the way to the edge of your projects with insets.

We bought a group of chairs to upcycled and we were able to save three of them and make a bench. We upcycled the rest of the pieces. This is a seat from one of those chairs and we’ve just put a piece of really thin plywood on the back. Now it’s a blank to create a super cute sign to use anywhere in our home. As you can see there’s an inset. I’m going to show you how I stamped Dollar Tree tissue paper to use for this project.

This paper has a shiny side and a matte side. Make sure to stamp on the matte side to increase the odds of getting a really clean stamp. This is 10lb tissue papers, they’re super thin. So, stack about five sheets together to stamp these sheets. When you open your stamps for the first time you want to make sure to condition them. To condition your stamp, sand it lightly in both directions before using it the first time. This gives your stamp “tooth” to really hold on to the ink and or paint that you use on your stamp. Use 220 grit sandpaper. You don’t want to score your stamps so don’t sand too hard. You can use acrylic mounts if you have them but you don’t have to. Generally, for stamps this size, most people don’t have them. 

Load your brayer by rolling over your loaded ink pad. Use a paper plate to help offload some of the ink. This helps control how much ink actually goes on the stamp. For this project you are stamping a 10lb sheet of tissue paper, so be really conservative. You want just enough

ink to make an impression but not enough to soak through the tissue.

When stamping, sit your stamp straight down onto my paper. Once you touch your surface don’t shift your stamps. Run your fingers over the top of your stamp making sure not to shift it. Make sure there’s good contact between the paper and each of the areas of the stamps. There are a lot of details in these stamps and you want to catch all of them. Let it sit for a bit, and pick it straight up. Repeat until your whole sheet is covered.

Setting Your Ink

Before you can decoupage make sure the ink is set. What I like to do is use an iron. Make sure your iron is dry. You don’t want to

use steam because you risk smearing your ink. Make sure the paper that’s facing down on your project is matte and not shiny. The shiny side gets tacky when it’s heated, and will stick it to your piece. Make sure the side of the paper you’re ironing on is also matte. Set your iron to cotton. Run your iron over the entire sheet to set your ink. Iron in a grid to avoid missing any spots and having it smear when you decoupage. Run your hand over the paper to make sure it’s warm. If it is, you know your ink is set. Now you have a beautiful piece of decoupage paper that you created yourself!

I always paint the surface I’m going to decoupage white. A light background helps highlight the decoupage paper design.

Decoupaging Your Custom Tissue Paper

Figure out how much paper you will need. Trim off the excess paper, just enough to make it manageable. You don’t want to have to wrestle with extra paper unnecessarily. When decoupaging use a piece of paper towel or plastic. It will allow you to manipulate your paper with as little friction as possible. Make a little plastic ball and use it to smooth out your decoupage. Fold your paper back and start on your non-dominant side. lay down your decoupage medium. I’m using Wise Owls Varnish. Lay down a nice even coat. Be sure to get all the way to the edges. Although if you don’t, it’s not a deal-breaker. You can always go back in later and put more product under the edges. You do want to make sure to get a nice even coat in the middle. One of the ways I do that is to look at my project from the side. You can really see which areas are dry. You don’t want to get product along the sides because you only want your paper to stick on the flat surface. You don’t want a ton of product because if it makes puddles the paper is more likely to wrinkle in those areas. Start on one side and make your way to the other side laying the paper as you go. This is a really nice way to push out any air bubbles that form as I lay the paper down. To do the other side follow the same process.

Trimming Your Decoupage

Wait until your paper is completely dry before trimming. If you try to cut this paper while it’s wet there is a higher risk that the paper will tear. A sharp blade works best. Run your craft knife into the corners or the edge of the piece.

If I had tried to take one of these individual stamps and stamp to the edge, I wouldn’t have been successful because the stamp is going to overlap and it’s not going to lay flat. This is a really nice way to get your stamp design all the way to the edge of your panel.

Imagine being able to create custom decoupage paper to decorate furniture, crafts, and home décor in your spaces!

Some people get frustrated with decoupage because you’re not successful right away but just like anything else you guys you just you have to practice that’s the secret sauce… practice