Serviettage OR Cutting Up Napkins
I had a very amateur go at serviettage (paper napkin decoupage) a while back, and not majorly successfully, so decided to give it another whirl, this time with a Christmassy theme.
Serviettage is about sticking cut-out bits of napkins onto, well, pretty much any suitable inanimate object. It may not sound like much but it can be very effective. You just need pretty napkins, scissors, special napkin glue-cum-varnish, a couple of paintbrushes and a selection of plain items, custom-made or otherwise, that need cheering up.
My first project was an Advent calendar for Caiti, equipped with teabags and lollies as treats, and I rattled off another for Rors. They came out quite well but I discovered that using large bits of napkin is much harder than using smaller amounts. You tend to get a few wrinkles and air bubbles with the former, or at least I do. Perhaps I’ll get more skilled at debubbling and dewrinkling as time goes on.
There are plenty of videos on YouTube but as a brief summary, you apply a good layer of the glue-varnish with one brush, lay on your carefully cut out napkin segment, remembering, as I didn’t to start with, to remove the backing layers (napkins are usually 3-ply i.e. 3 layers) and then you gently brush over the design with your other brush to get rid of lumps and bumps. Then you slosh on another layer of glue-varnish. Et voilà.
I’ve moved on to candles now. You need a special non-flammable napkin glue for those, unless you prefer to live an interesting life and take your chances with the normal stuff! I’m rather pleased with how these are turning out.
Who first came up with the idea of serviettage I’m not sure, although I have found out that paper napkins were first used in second-century China. Where else? It’s a rather enjoyable mini-hobby that doesn’t require much investment or an over-endowment of talent in order to produce some nice results. Give it a try!