Monday, September 5, 2011

Antique Ephemera as Furniture Embellishment

This is one of the niftiest tricks I have found in a long time.  I love antique lettering, and used to play with it in art classes back in high school.  This craft takes it to a whole new level, and its a blast.

One takes an antique ephemera design and enlarges  it to the size that would be appropriate for the piece you have in mind, in this case a side table.  Then scribble on the back of the paper with pencil, and tape the design right side up.  Trace the outside of each letter/design element, and a slight tracing will be left on the furniture.

Next you outline each  letter/design element with a permanent fine tip marking pen, and color it in with a wider tip marker or paint it in with a brush and oil base paint.  I will warn you it is time consuming, but if you've a bit of artistic ability, and don't most of us?, using the outlines you will be surprised at the credible job you can do.

I used the method on this tray that I had had for sell at the antique mall for at least five years, and sold it at my last flea.o.logy sale with its new French influence.  I have done tables, trunks and trays so far, but have in mind to try some chairs and stools. 

And just for fun, here is a mannequin that I finished up for the flea.o.logy sale as well.  If you like her I have a detailed description of how to make her in my archives.  She did not have as good a luck finding a home as some other items, but she goes to the street market in the Avenues next week, so we can always hope.

Thanks for taking a peek at my latest crafty craze.


  1. Don'tchajust LOVE that image transfer technique!? Love your trey! Could you share where you found that image?

    Deborah (happily visiting from

  2. Love what you did with the image transfer. I haven't tried it yet. But it's on my "to do list"! Your mannequin is amazing!

  3. Lovely stuff Paula ~ now I see what we were talking about on the phone yesterday! You are the Queen, do you know that? And that's saying something...coming from a British subject! (*_*) xo

  4. I fell in LOVE with these pieces and wondered how it was done. You did beautifully!

  5. those all look amazing! thanks for sharing your tips!

  6. I absolutely love your mannequin! Drool! Now I have to find one and do it... Where did you get it???

  7. I actually made the mannequin using paper mache. If you want to know how I did it, find my post that is titled something like "Bigger than a pinata" ... it will tell you how.

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