Now I have to admit that when I think of decoupage I generally tend to think of the really nasty stuff that was everywhere in the late 80s/early 90s. We all tried it (don't pretend you didn't!) and for the most part it was awful. Nowadays I see these stands at events like the Knitting and Stitching show, and not only are the materials expensive, they're a similar style to the stuff from 25 years ago and I give them a very wide berth. However, over the course of the past few months, my mind has been changed (about decoupage generally - not the stands at the K&S show!) by artist Gabriela Szulman. Gabriela has elevated decoupage to an art form, and now in her new (and quite frankly gorgeous) studio in Camberwell she's teaching us how to do it too.
And yes, it's on shoes, and we used paper napkins and tissue papers rather than pricey (and often ugly) decoupage papers. I'd never have thought of this but it works (and you can wear your decoupage shoes outside provided it's not tipping it down). Gabriela invited me to join a really enjoyable 4 hour workshop a few weeks ago, and I was a little skeptical beforehand, but now I fear I've caught another bug (much to Mr M's horror!) - I keep walking around looking at stuff and wondering what I can decoupage. Anyway, here's the transformation from nasty old ballet flats...
Gabriela provided us with samples so we could see how the papers would look over black shoes or white (I opted to paint mine white first so the colours would be brighter).
And demonstrated the technique...
Then I just dived in! It isn't a quick process (although most of us did pretty much finish in the four hours).
We used a special exterior version of Mod Podge so they can be worn outside.
Everyone brought completely different shoes along so we had a great range of results.
A selection of the shoes Gabriela has decoupaged herself...
I'm really pleased with how mine turned out - they just needed an extra coat of Mod Podge to seal them once I got home, and after drying time they're now ready to wear.
The workshop was great fun and I would happily have stayed all day and made another pair! Gabriela is now taking bookings for upcoming workshops - visit her website here for more details (or click on the link in my sidebar).
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