When I decided to switch my queen size bed for a single bed, the goal was to make laundry easier for me and to increase space to my already small room.
I did not rush though, taking my own sweet time to decide what kind of bed frame I wanted until finally, a second-hand wooden Ikea bed frame caught my eye on Facebook. After getting in touch with the owner, you could imagine my elation at my new household furniture, and my hands couldn’t wait to give it a makeover that would suit my artistic taste!
There are many great ideas out there on how to give a simple makeover to a bed frame, but I decided on a decoupage because it was easy, and I loved working with collages since my art university days.
Most decoupage projects call for the use of thin papers. However, thick papers can do fine, although they are not really suitable for curved surfaces. The key lies in the techniques used in sticking them to your chosen surface.
For this project, I used :
- Thick papers from The Paper Market (if you’re in Singapore, you can find them in Plaza Singapura),
- Mod Podge (Furniture Matte is highly recommended, although I did not have it and the standard one worked well but you’ll need to take extra care with the furniture)
Magazine (try to find the one with fancy contemporary graphics)
- 1 large brush for brushing the entire surface
- 1 small brush to brushing individual cut outs
- Penknife or scalpel
- Cutting mat
- Masking tape (optional)
Step 1: Dismantle the bed and prepare the surface
Remove all screws, slats and dismantle the sides of the bed. This makes decoupaging at the side edges much easier especially when you join them back. Unfortunately, my bed refused to dismantle despite me removing the screws and using all my strength to pull them apart. I wondered if the previous owner put wood glue to the sides…oh well. So I ended up folding over the corners and cutting the edges of the paper. The end result was slightly disappointing despite my best attempts to “hide” the flaws.
After this, sand down any uneven surfaces and wipe clean with a damp cloth to remove all dust and dirt. This ensures maximum adhesion of each paper to the surface.
Step 2: Prepare your papers and prepare your cut-outs
Plan out which of the thick papers will act as your background and the sequence of how you want them to be placed. I cut out any complex shape from the magazine on a cutting mat with a penknife. This is way easier than with a pair of scissors, although you can fine-tune its edges with scissors later. For the graphics, I went with spontaneity instead of planning it out beforehand. However, if spontaneity is not your thing, you can use masking tape to tape the back of each cut-out and stick them in the positions you like before decoupaging.
Step 3: Fold the thick papers over the bed frame
Due to the thickness of the papers, it is highly recommended that you fold them over the edges of the frame BEFORE applying the Mod Podge. This will prevent unsightly and uneven fold marks that can occur otherwise.
Step 4: Apply Mod Podge to the papers and to the bed frame
When applying the Mod Podge to a thick paper, press the middle of the paper with a finger and apply the Mod Podge with a brush, brushing it outwards from the middle evenly. This prevents premature crinkling of the paper if you apply it from the edge to the middle. Add some water to the Mod Podge if you find it too thick. In the case of the thick papers, I did not have to add much water and have even applied Mod Podge directly without diluting it. You’ll also need to add Mod Podge to the bed frame surface to encourage greater adhesion of the thick papers to the surface. You do not have to do this necessary for thinner papers.
Step 5: Paste and press out firmly
Paste the thick papers firmly only the surface. Use a roller to smooth it out to prevent bubbles. I did not have my roller with me, so I used a candy box to help. However, a roller would be a better choice as it can apply greater pressure and it’s easier to use especially when using thick papers. Once you are done, you can add the magazine cutouts. Seal the cutouts with Mod Podge as you go along.
Step 6: Seal the entire artwork with a few coats of Mod Podge
Once you are done with your artwork, apply a few coats of Mod Podge to seal the entire artwork. Don’t forget its edges on the inside of the frame too. Allow about 20 minutes of drying time in between coats. I used about 3-4 coats in total.
Step 7: Reassemble the bed frame
When the artwork is dried, piece the bed together and enjoy!
Despite a few hiccups along the way, I was overall pleased with the result. Nevermind the tiny mistakes, it’s for my home use anyway, lol! Sleep has never been this artfully satisfying…