Friday, January 31, 2014

Brutally Honest Craft Glue throwdown: Newspaper decoupage/mache

A decoupage heart. A glue throwdown: Mod Podge? Collage Pauge? Or go eco retro and use wheat paste?

So I wanted to get a layer of 100 year old newsprint onto some foam hearts for some fast gratification, and I decided "hey, you...let's test out different methods of doing this to see which works best!"

This newsprint is OLD and crunchy, so initially I thought soaking and wheat paste were not on the table.  Don't worry, nothing of major cultural interest was harmed here, just some meh pages from the ad sections of papers I bought for this kind of purpose. I'd use a flyer from a certain middlebrow grocery chain if I had one on hand, you don't have to be a vintage paper fascist like I am!

So we've got ONE step of ONE project three ways.  For your consideration.

Technique - using water and mod podge, a combination of soaking, massaging brushing, tearing - in order to coat the subject.
SMELL: Grade School Craft table. Elmers-like.
MESS: Meduim-low.
CLEANUP: medium annoying.
VERDICT: Fail. -200 points. Do not pass go.

Oh everything started out smooth sailing. I was sure that Mod Podge was going to clearly outshine all other options - the paper went on silky, clean, straight and nice. Then, at about the three minute mark, all those tiny little strips began to stick to my fingers. And I mean stick.  And then the frustration commenced. Gahhhh!

I do not recommend this to anyone as a way to do this effect. It really looked like it was going to be today's winner, but as you see, I got fed up and stopped bothering. I'll be pulling this one apart and doing it over. I was honestly NOT expecting Mod Podge to bring the fail to this party, but for this application, I'd avoid it altogether. This doesn't mean that mod podge isn't ideal for everything else you can think of, just not THIS.

CONTENDER 2: COLLAGE PAUGE (Aileens Tracy Bautista branded)
Technique - using water and collage pauge, a combination of soaking, massaging brushing, tearing - in order to coat the subject.
Smell: Like acrylic gel nails at the nail salon. Not that I go often, but it's definitely THAT smell, kinda. Meh.
Cleanup: Same as Mod Podge
VERDICT: Surprise Win. This process is annoying so win is relative.

 Ok, it's not perfect, and I really don't like those little crumbly things that start to work themselves up as you handle your item at about that five minute mark of doom.  If this scarecrow had a brain, she'd paper mache one side of all her hearts let them dry and then flip them, but this is about getting a move on if you're an etsy seller or an impatient floozy like me, not someone who's gonna chill out with some rose petal tea in a vintage teapot while it dries.

Verdict: initially I wasn't feeling it, but relative to everything else? I am pleased. And I'm actually not surprised - I've NEVER been disappointed in an Aileen's glue since I was 11 and gluing pompoms to various cardboard crappacchino, capische? 

Aileens glues generally perform exactly as they say they will on the box. Collage Pauge is one of their less thrilling products, in my opinion, but it still pretty much does what it sets out to do! Yay!

CONTENDER 3: WHEAT PASTE (Your kitchen and an optional dash from your stash)
Technique - using water and wheat and acrylic medium , a combination of soaking, massaging brushing, tearing - in order to coat the subject.
Smell:  Vaguely like newsprint and cookies.
Mess factor: High.
Cleanup: Easy peasy.
ACHIEVEMENTS UNLOCKED: Eco soundness and cost.
VERDICT: Better than a poke with an embroidery needle, but I'll take Collage Pauge, thanks!

Less than thrilled with A and B, I thought we needed a good control, so I whipped up some wheat paste with water, added a squirt of Blickcrylic gel medium to bind things, and away we went.  This won the speed round, but in my opinion kind of looks it.  The only really awesome part of this is the text that visibly says "behead an Englishman."  You're not going to get that from Tim Holz reproduction papers.

So what do you think? Did I miss something? Is there some tip to Mod Podge that I overlooked to keep from sticking to my project enough to want a glass of sherry at 9 am? I hope this helps you in your teeny weeny paper mache moments.

NB:  At this point in time I am paid by nobody and given product by nobody, and if I continue with BRUTALLY HONEST reviews, I imagine I won't be! If you appreciate this, do consider some facebook LOVE as a little favor to me, eh? Thank you!

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