Back in the post-Flintstones age crafting and DIY first started to have a public following. That would have been the late 60s early 70s. Back before all the cool art mediums, tools, amazing inventions were found and created, we were forced to find every day things to create different effects. Now 40+ years later and I'm rediscovering all the old make do recipes. :) Actually some I have always used, finding that the new super dooper miracle medium is harder and way more expensive then the old tried and true. Like white school glue or Elmer's as most of us refer to it. Everyone has a bottle of Elmer's around some where usually in the junk drawer in the kitchen. It's the perfect all around glue, water soluble, so it cleans up easy, non-toxic (whatever that is suppose to be) and dries clearish. :)
But did you know that before Modpodge was "invented- developed" by Jan Wetstone we all were using Elmer's thinned with water?? :) Modpodge is basically white glue and water, but cost about 3 times more then a bottle of Elmer's. In fact I always used white glue because controlling the thickness is always easier for me. Besides I really hate to pay for a name when I don't have to!!! So for decoupaging. I generally mix water into the glue a little at a time until the mixture is the thickness of Half &Half / cream. You can make it thicker if you like, it requires less coats but it tend to create more bubbles that way.
When crackle mediums became all the rage they were always treated as this magical aging medium. We were told they were difficult to use and impossible to get good results unless we took classes bought specially books and of course used official professional crackle mediums. But then again there was a whole bunch of us out in the real world that had for years been using Elmer's to create crackle finishes. It's another easy peasy nobrainer recipe. Paint the piece you want to crackle with acrylic or latex paint. You can always opt to have the bare wood show through the cracks. Once that layer is dry paint a generous amount of glue on the surface. I like to use a sponge brush, it doesn't leave brush marks and it's easier to spread a nice consistent layer of glue. When the glue has dried enough to have a "skin" covering the entire surface, paint over it with latex or acrylic paint in the exact same way you would paint over a crackle medium. Now you need to exercise just a bit of patience. Unlike with the crackle mediums it take a few more minutes for the cracks to appear with the glue. But appear they will!!
If you have read very much of my blog you know I think Shoe polish/wax rules!! :) It really is a one stop patina shop!! You can use it with your paper projects to add patina to the surface or edges of paper. It will "age" and add patina to your new-old antiques. It will cover scratches in furniture, it will give wood, paper, leather, and concrete a lovely agged,buffed finish. Gads I bet I've used a dump truck full of shoe wax by now. If I could only have one medium in my arsenal it would always be shoe wax!!!
I always keep natural or tan around along with brown and black. The next time you want to put a nice buffed surface for protection without shine on a paper project use a bit of tan or natural Rub on a layer then buff with a clean rag, you can keep repeating until you get the thickness and look you want :)
Bleach pens are sooooooooooo cool!! If you have ever used bleach in a paper or cloth project where you were "drawing or writing" with the bleach you know how easy it is to completely ruin the project in the blink of an eye, a slight breeze, or slightly shaky hand :( Not with a bleach pen. You can control the lines you are drawing and because it a gel it doesn't bleed into the surrounding material!!! And it works dang good to remove stains !! :) I was reading an article the other day where they were using bleach pens to "hilight" certain areas on photographs. I'd love to play around abit. Have any of you guys used bleach on photos before??
One last recipe tonight. There are all kinds of cool, caustic, and complicated patina producing mediums for metals. But good grief there are a bazillion out there and they all do different things. More importantly for me is the inability to find them here. But I still want to be able to really corrode a metal up sometimes. Enter another one of those old DYI recipes. Now this one really works and I don't even want to think about how someone figured it out. Not to worry it's not as caustic or toxic as the accidental mixing of ammonia and bleach, but for sure you want to do this outside. Oh and don't be leaning over the tub watching things happen and breathing in the fumes. In a ceramic, glass or heavy plastic container make a bath of half bleach and half white vinegar. Place the metal pieces you want to 'patina up" in to soak. You are going to have to check back every so often to see if your pieces are corroded up enough. I will tell you that the process is slower then many marketed products but it does produce a good job. I can get decent green verdigris on copper and brass