I’m becoming a bit of a recycling center junkie — my husband and I go for a “hot date” every week and come home with a bootload of “treasure.” These barrells are storage barrells used by a health food company to import bulk spirulina etc. and cost a whopping NZ$1 each. The paper I used also came from the center — about $2 for a huge carton of old maps, sheet music and atlases — decoupage heaven!
You will need:
- A storage barrell or an old piece of furniture (wooden works better than plastic)
- Paper such as maps, sheet music, wrapping paper, tour guides — whatever takes your fancy
- PVA glue or spray glue
- Dry rub-on temporary tattoos or decals (optional)
- Polyurethane varnish
First I removed excess labels and loose tape off the barrel and gave the barrel a wipe down with a dry cloth. This is a good project to do outside because the glue and polyurethane need to be used in a well-ventilated area.
Spray a sheet of paper with glue and stick it on. Stick the middle of the sheet on first and smooth it out to the edges. I lined the sheets up with the top of the barrel so they sat neatly along the edge but you could let them all overhang and trim with a craft knife later. You can also use PVA glue by brushing it onto the paper and leaving it to rest 30 seconds before sticking. After doing a half-dozen of these barrells the PVA is now my glue of choice as it’s easier to reposition.
Keep layering on the sheets until the barrel is covered.
Use the dry rub-on tattoos to decorate the barrel. Peel off the backing and press down with your nail to stick. You could also add stickers or paint on details. Just remember if you use anything too thick you may get bubbles around the joins when you polyeurthane the surface.
Brush over a thin layer of polyurethane. Work slowly so you don’t make bubbles and smooth the layer out thinly so it doesn’t run. Leave to dry overnight (and hide from your pets or it will go furry!!)
Add two-three more coats of polyurethane until you are happy with the final look. Remember to leave the barrel to dry overnight between coats (check the tin but most need 10-12 hours drying time). Add one-two extra coats onto the lid as this surface will have the most wear.
Tip! If you get paint drips or bubbles, sand the dry surface with a fine grade sandpaper before you paint on the next coat of polyurethane.
Once the barrell is dry, reassemble and admire your handy work!