DIY Xmas craft idea:Poinsettia themed decoupage on a tissue box

When I think about Xmas decor, the first thing on my mind is poinsettia. I love them because they are the only common piece of decor that the West and East share - apart from candles. Here in India, we don't have snow (unless you happen to live way up North), we don't have holly, we don't have candy canes, ginger bread men, even real Xmas trees, and all those other symbols of Xmas. But poinsettia? Yes we have them in abundance, growing in the wild, in gardens and looking pretty everywhere.

Here's a simple way to add some (more) color to your home this Xmas. I got these poinsettia templates over here (they are free) and had them decoupaged onto a tissue box I had purchased long ago, and was just waiting to be decorated.

Things you will need:

So here are the steps
Step 1: Sandpaper the box, and give it a coat of pastel-colored paint.Leave to dry.

Step 2: Apply a layer of decoupage medium. When applying decoupage medium, always transfer a little of it onto a mixing plate, and gently apply with a wide paint brush.Apply in one direction only. Never transfer the left over Modge Podge back into its container.

Step 3: When the project is drying, prepare the paper.
Download and print the templates. You can either directly use a laser printer, or take a normal printout and color photocopy the same. The reason - the color won't run.
When your copies are printed, use the scissors to carefully cut the motifs out. I used a normal craft scissors, but the trick is to hold the scissors at a slant to avoid thought sharp telltale edges.

Step 4:Arrange the cut out pictures on the tissue box. Play around a bit till you get a look that you like.

Step 5:When you are satisfied with the placements, it is time to transfer them. Carefully apply a thin layer of decoupage at the back of each motif and paste it on to the box.

For a pretty effect paste flowers over the edge and onto the next face of the box.

Step 6:Work on one side at a time, so when the first side is over and done with, paint a layer of ModgePodge on it in the east to west direction. Let it dry. Now paint in the west to east direction. Alternate this way for 1 more coat.

Step 7: When the motifs are pasted, it is time to decor up the box. I used transparent white tape on the box to demarcate the border, and get a straight line when I paint over it. It worked! When the border dries, peel the tape off to reveal a lovely straight line. Be careful when you paint the border in places where motifs overlap the border. Use a thin brush.

I used transparent sticky tape to make a neat, straight border. When the paint
dries, just pull out the tape.

Step 8:
Apply another layer of decoupage medium to seal in the paint.
Needless to say, on all sides of the box.

Step 9: I used the gold to "touch up" and bring out the festive look. Dashes of gold around the sides brightened up the design (see pic)

Step 10
:Finish off with 4 final coats of Modge Podge similar to Step 6. Let dry. You are done!

PS - You might be interested in Vasudha's amazing decoupage done on asbestos sheets here.

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