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Decoupage Soft Pastel Bowls




A couple of weeks ago, another artist, Susan McCreevy (@susanmccreevyart) posted in a group her homemade version of little trinket bowls, to hold her pastels. I LOVED the idea! Of course, at the moment most of us are unable to go antiquing to find such treasures already in existence. Times like these call for resourcefulness. I decided to dig out some air-dry clay and a few ramekins from my kitchen to shape the bowls. The napkins I decided to use have such a sweet story, I knew they had waited for just this project.

A few years ago, a very dear friend of mine went to Paris. I asked her to please bring me back a few napkins. She knows me so well, she brought back a lavender themed print. These little beauties made their way from Paris to Virginia, to North Carolina (where we met up last fall), and then to Wisconsin. So fun and very meaningful. I love how we can weave meaning and story into our creative process with small, intentional choices. Here is a quick summary of how I made these. The less I handled the air-dry clay, the fewer cracks the finished piece had. The one bowl where I rolled it out, cut my circle, and formed it to my mold was the nicest and cleanest looking.

The other two that are cracked, I really worked with the clay trying to figure out how I was going to shape it, etc. I let them dry for probably four days, turning them every day or so. If I had Sculpey Clay, I would have been done sooner because I could have baked them.

Before you begin any napkin decoupage, remember that most napkins have THREE layers, not two. My mistake here. I pulled off one layer and thought I was done, so one of my trinkets is a little lumpier than the others. (Quick tip to remove the layers, use a piece of scotch tape or masking tape on the back corner and then pull it away. It should grab the layers. If it only grabs one layer, repeat.) I use Liquitex Fluid Matte Medium, I love this stuff! It has SO many uses and is one item I always want in my studio. Mod Podge will also work.

I covered the bowls in a couple of different ways. At first, I tried covering the entire bowl in one try and that ended up with torn napkin along the rim; which isn’t a big deal, just layer over top of it. However, if you’re watching your design/print that could cause a problem. I then tried covering the bottom of the bowl first and letting it dry before I did the top side and inside of the bowl. Also note, I peeled away a layer of decoupage because I didn’t like how clumpy it was. This was before I realized there were three layers to the napkin, not two. Because it was still wet, I was able to do so without it ruining the piece.

After they were completely dry, I used a gold metallic dimensional fabric paint to decorate the rim, easily. Once that was dry for 24 hours, I sealed the trinkets with an acrylic spray sealer. At first, I did the inside, and then once dry (overnight), I turned them over sprayed the bottoms. The additional sealer also will help if you want to change what colors of pastels you place in the bowl. They tend to leave a beautiful mess, but I wanted to be able to at least wipe them to somewhat of a clean surface. Have fun. Let me know if you make these, I’d love to see.



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