Any image will do, but we loved the cheeky surrealism that comes from superimposing a picture of a bureau onto the real thing. "This piece could go anywhere -- in the living room, filled with silverware and linens, or in the hall to store hats and scarves, says deputy style and home editor Shane Powers. Apply the same concept to magazine files and boxes, and stately urns and first-edition books can line your shelves for less than the price of the glossies concealed within.
Chest How To
1. Choose an image that suits your style. Ours is from Antique Furniture and Decorative Accessories, by Thomas Arthur Strange ($25, doverpublications.com). Note: There are many themed clip-art books available, some of which include a CD of images in JPEG format.
2.Take your image to a shop like FedEx Kinkos Office and Print Center (fedex.com for locations). If your image is not already in PDF format, they will convert it for about $2.50. Ask them to enlarge the image so it's smaller than the dimensions of the surface you're decoupaging. They'll show you a proof in 24 hours. Blowing up the image in color on heavy-weight coated bond paper costs $10 per square foot; it can be a maximum of 60 inches wide and any height. Enlarging an image in black and white, like we did, normally costs 75 cents per square foot, but comes only on 20-pound paper. Warning: It can tear more easily. The print will be ready in another 24 hours.
3. Use a utility knife to carefully cut out the image. Place image on top of the chest and mark the tops and bottoms of any drawers. Where marked, cut straight across with a utility knife.
4. Affix each piece of the image to drawer fronts (and the recessed surfaces in between) using spray mount (like 3M Spray Mount Artists Adhesive, $6.50, dickblick.com) or decoupage glue (Mod Podge Matte, $8, plaidcraftexpress.com).
5. To keep the image looking clean and protect it from tearing after mounting, apply a top coat of Mod Podge.
Magazine File How-To
We also found our vase images in Antique Furniture and Decorative Accessories. (Similar images of antiquarian books can be found in Victorian Goods and Merchandise: 2,300 Illustrations, by Carol Belanger Grafton [$15, doverpublications.com].) You can probably print out small images at home (or at work!). If necessary, use a photocopier to enlarge your image to cover as much of the file's spine as possible. Depending on their width, you may need to straddle two files (like we did) so the image forms a whole when the files are pushed together. Print out the images on 28-pound, 8 1/2-by-11-inch color-copy paper. Proceed to step 3 in the Decoupage a Chest instructions above.
Credits: "Flat Shaker" chest, $200, gothiccabinetcraft.com. Mackis" magazine files, $8 each, ikea.com for stores. Ribbon boxes, $17 each (minimum of two), World Treasure Trading Company, 707-566-7888. All painted in Himalayan Trek (#1542), $41 per gallon, benjaminmoore.com for stores. Thomas OBrien for Safavieh Batik" rug, $3,800, 866-422-9070 for stores. Lladro "Herons' Realm" vase, $990, The Future Perfect, 718-599-6278