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Old 07-24-2003, 07:41 PM
Lyrin's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: WV
Posts: 19
Question brown paper bags

I do not remember where I originally saw it, but someone wrote about paper mache-ing brown paper bags onto boxes, vases, even walls and coating it with brown shoe polish, to give it a "leathery" look.
If anyone knows how to do this, please let me know, thanks.
Mommy to Conner & Tanis!
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Old 07-24-2003, 08:59 PM
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I saw them do this on a craft show but I dont know if it was hgtv or diy. Try to put in a search on both, and they should have the instructions.
If you need help, ask God
If you don't need help, Thank God
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Old 08-01-2003, 08:12 PM
Chantale's Avatar
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Location: ontario canada
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Hi Lyrin, i remember seeing something while surfing the net, it was a photo album, the cover was made with the brown paper technique...gorgeous, i can't seem to remember where that was, but i found this, it might help? have fun!


Cinclo's Paper Bag Instructions
Faux Leather / Brown Paper Bag Treatment With Shoe Polish Finish

Ahhhh, the humble paper bag. Or as we say in the South: Grocery Sack. Who would believe that, with a little glue and shoe polish, it could become a beautiful "leather" finish for boxes, furniture, old trunks, photo albums, picture frames or entire walls? You can also try paints, glazes or stains on that lowly brown paper. It hides a multitude of surface problems! You are only limited by your imagination. The paper may be torn or cut to size, depending on the "look" you wish to achieve. For purposes of these directions, I will describe the process used for covering the table pictured in the previous PhotoPoint frames. I suggest making a "sample" piece of paper, on which to practice the shoe polish application.

Materials: Grocery bags or Brown Craft Paper (I prefer rolls of paper)
Decoupage Medium
Brush or foam brushes
Exacto Knife
Brown Shoe Polish
Black Shoe Polish
Object to cover

1. Tear or cut paper slightly larger than the size of the area to cover (the paper will shrink when wet). I have used pieces as small as 1' square - butted up against each other to make a "solid surface", to 18" squares on a wall, to a 5' length of paper which covers a desktop.
2. Wad paper into tight ball. Unfold and repeat. The goal is to make a multitude of TINY crinkles in the paper. Once the paper is wadded, step on it, sit on it, dance on it; get the kids involved.
3. Unfold paper and apply decoupage medium to one side. Work fast, as decoupage medium dries quickly.
4. Immediately apply brown paper to object, rubbing and smoothing until all air pockets are expelled and paper is secured to object. I have found that "dampening" a cloth with decoupage medium allows the smoothing process to be,well? smoother. For stubborn air bubbles, prick paper with straight pin. Trim paper as necessary.
5. Continue until entire object is covered.
6. Apply a smooth, thin, topcoat of decoupage medium. (I used a cloth and applied the decoupage medium using circular motions). Allow to dry.
7. Using a cloth, apply a light coat of black shoe polish to entire surface, lightly buffing shoe polish into paper.
8. Using a cloth, apply brown shoe polish to entire surface, lightly buffing polish into paper.
9. Allow to dry thoroughly.

Additional ideas: Before applying shoe polish, apply painter's tape or thin stenciling tape, around the border of the object, or in the center of the object in diamond or stripe patterns. The masked area will remain a lighter color brown - the original color of the paper. Experiment with various shoe polish colors, paints, glazes or stains. When applying to walls, use wallpaper paste as adhesive. Someone suggested using liquid starch on walls, for a very removable adhesive. This makes sense. When doing paper mache', I often use liquid starch, so I'm sure this would work well. HOWEVER, you should know that a thick coat of liquid starch will flake - keep it thin.
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Old 08-02-2003, 04:52 AM
momoftwo's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gfld. area, Massachusetts
Posts: 70
Hi There- I know what your talking about and just wanted to put in my two cents. I had seen this done on Trading Spaces once. They did this effect on a wall. It came out beautiful. They crumpled the bags and put them into a glue and water mix and smoothed them out onto the wall. Then they used brown stain all over it and then put a wax on top when it was dry. Just another way to do it.
Good luck
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Old 08-02-2003, 07:18 AM
vm miller's Avatar
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I saw this technique demonstrated on an Alene's program using her tacky glue. I'm sure they have a website. Try checking there.
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Old 08-02-2003, 07:27 PM
Posts: n/a
Pictures and instructions in the book Chic Junk. Try your local library. Some other interesting ideas there for home decor.
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