Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Find: Turning the Page

While spending the weekend with the marvelous Michael Quinn on the Jersey Shore, we had an exuberant chat about the joys of decoupage, a craft that I have loved since I was a kid. When I was a Cub Scout, I remember taking a beach scene photo from a magazine, gluing it on a beaten-up square of stained wood, and covering it with layers upon layers of some type of adhesive that left it shiny and permanently sealed for many years to come. Then, my sister and I discovered Mod Podge, a white adhesive that we used to apply images that we had cut out from used greeting cards and affix them forever on a rock we had pulled from the creek near my Grandma Churchill's house.

As we were leaving Michael's house in Point Pleasant, he pointed out a table he had made out of a large, wooden cable spool and had covered the top with a map of the Jersey Shore that he secured to the surface with Mod Podge. All that Mod Podge chat reminded me of one of my favorite images from The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating With Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details.

Photographed by Jim Franco, this image shows how pages from an old book were effectively used as wallpaper in the entry of decoupage artist John Derian's Lower East Side apartment. No, Derian didn't use Mod Podge on his wall of wonder. As I marveled over this dreamy creation, Derian told me that he used nothing more than watered down white glue to make this repurposed wallpaper and then smoothed it all out with a wet sponge.

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,

The Elegant Thrifter


  1. Love it too Stan! BEAUTIFUL!! And yet another means of recycling old books... now being replaced by the Kindle =) Great idea.

    Will be sharing...
    :D Lynda

  2. I love decoupage, and the walls papered with book pages looks terrific! (As an aside: You were near my old stomping grounds -- I used to live in Manasquan. Now I'm in Maine.) Love your book! And thanks for sharing your stories with us online.

  3. I really love how that looks and can think a few other places to use it...but it just kills me to use real books- even damaged ones. I've bought some just for this purpose and will just have to get past it!

  4. fabulous, love the way this looks

  5. fantastic - what an awesome look! my grandmother once plastered an entire hallway with psychology paperback book covers, and i adored it!

  6. I hope he never has to move! This reminds me of New Orleans' Nita and Zita. Fascinating sisters, colorful lives: http://www.nitaandzita.org/realnz.html

  7. Gorgeous photo. Mod Podge is a miracle art supply!



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