In­sect im­pact

Mar­sha Smith shows you how to take un­used, unloved vin­tage plates and turn them into a stun­ning wall dis­play that’s a visual feast.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CRAFT -

What you’ll need

l Se­lec­tion of vin­tage plates l In­sect im­ages l Inkjet printer l 1 x packet of Laz­er­tran Inkjet Wa­ter­slide De­cal Paper (avail­able on­line) l Scis­sors l Tray big enough to fill with wa­ter and sub­merge your de­cals in l Enamel-based var­nish l Soft clean paint brush l Tur­pen­tine (for clean­ing brushes)

Steps

1 Start by col­lect­ing your plates and the im­ages you would like. The in­ter­net has loads of free im­ages you can down­load. Just be sure that the qual­ity is good enough for the pic­ture to be en­larged. 2 Print im­ages onto the smooth, whiteeg­gshell side of the paper, fol­low­ing the instructions on your de­cal paper. 3 Cut out all your bugs (cho­sen im­ages) as closely to the im­age it­self as pos­si­ble. Tip: Be­fore mov­ing to Step 4, lay ev­ery­thing out on your plates, so you know which im­ages look best on which plates. Ex­per­i­ment with sizes for added in­ter­est. 4 Fill the tray with a lit­tle wa­ter (ap­prox­i­mately 2cm deep). 5 Sub­merge each im­age for about a minute. It will curl up at first but don’t worry, as it will slowly un­ravel as it starts to re­lease the back­ing. You can use your fin­gers to gen­tly un­fold and hold the im­age down. Once it has been prop­erly soaked, the back­ing will eas­ily come away from the printed im­age. 6 Care­fully place the im­age onto your cho­sen plate, mak­ing sure you have all the lit­tle legs and an­ten­nae flat­tened out. (I found a pair of tweez­ers in­cred­i­bly handy for this.) The great thing about these de­cals is you have plenty of time to ad­just your im­age be­fore it dries. 7 Once you’re happy with the place­ment, set the plate aside to dry for about six hours. As it dries, the outer area of the im­age will be­come white. You will see the cut edges, but don’t worry! 8 When the im­age is com­pletely dry, brush a coat of enamel var­nish over the de­cal and plate. This mag­i­cally makes the white turn clear. It also makes your im­age more vi­brant and a lit­tle trans­par­ent, so you can see some of the plate de­tails com­ing through. Leave to dry for a good few hours be­fore putting on a sec­ond coat. Tip: Be­fore at­tempt­ing to hang your plates (look on­line for hang­ing op­tions), it’s a good idea to lay them out on the floor and take a cou­ple of pho­tos on your phone so you can see what ar­range­ment looks best. Happy hang­ing!

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