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What is decoupage?

One of the crafty methods we use to produce some of the giftware we sell is decoupage. Simply put it’s decorating things with paint and bits of paper but it’s a very fiddly thing to do right and like anything it takes practice and patience to build your skills.

I started decoupaging during sheilding in the pandemic as we had cleared out my grandma’s house shortly before and she had huge hoards of decoupage papers which had been split between my mum and me as we love crafting. I thought I would give it a try and i found it to be very relaxing.

It helped me to calm down at the end of a hectic day of home schooling 3 kids and after doing my little man’s respiratory physio for the evening. I started with recycling jars to be pen pots, small vases or tealight holders. I love doing milk bottles with cow designs but my favourite so far is the three monkeys design I did on a Monkey Shoulder Whisky bottle recently.

Where did decoupage start?

Decoupage is thought to have started as East Siberian tomb art. Tribes in the area used cut-out felts to decorate the tombs of their deceased. As these tribes migrated over time the practice came to China, and by the 12th century, cut out paper was being used to decorate lanterns, windows and other beautiful objects.

Decoupage or découpage is the art of decorating any object by gluing paper cutouts onto it in combination with special paint effects, gold leaf, and other decorative elements. Commonly, an object like a small box, glass jar or item of furniture is covered by cutouts from magazines, napkins or from specialist decoupage papers. Decoupage can even be done using lightweight fabric and this is especially useful on furniture.

What is needed to decoupage?

It’s not an expensive hobby to start but be warned! As with most crafts it’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole of buying all of the pretty options out there and in the case of decoupage it’s the pretty napkins that get you hooked.

I started out with a small bottle of white chalk paint, a sponge dabber, scissors, a pretty butterfly napkin, a paint brush, mod podge (glossy) and a coffee jar thoroughly washed out and label removed.

I painted the jar with the white chalk paint by stippling the paint onto the jar which gives it a slightly rough finish and helps the papers to stick better for beginners. I had to do two coats and leave 24 hours to dry between coats which was annoying as i really wanted to get stuck into the fun bit.

@tptoh

#duet with @tptoh finished project I realised I hadn’t posted the finished article from this video I did a while ago so here it is. it’s Sold already but we have more like this on PerfectTouchHomemade.etsy.com 💕 #crafting #decoupage #butterfly #vase #homedecor

♬ This Is How We Do It – Montell Jordan

Once the paint was dry i cut the sections i wanted to use out of my napkin then tore them jaggedly on the edges so they blend better onto the bottle. be careful to make sure each is only the top ply (layer of tissue) it’s super thin and delicate especially when wet so handle with care. Apply some mod podge to the area of the jar you want the paper to be attached to.

Then very carefully apply the paper peice over the mod podge be careful not to get any folds or bubbles in the paper and use your paint brush with some more mod podge on it to smooth the paper out and seal the edges down. Repeat this process until you have applied all the peices of paper you wish to then allow it to dry overnight.

When dry apply a thin layer of mod podge over the top of the entire surface of the jar to varnish it and to make it an even finish all over. Let that dry then it’s ready to use.

Lots of crafters like to finish jars off with something around the neck as the grooves for the screw top can look unsightly. There are lots of different ways you can do this either with a simple ribbon and tie in a bow, old fashioned fabric circle over the top and tied with a thin ribbon or string (think granny’s jam jars) which is really popular at the moment. You could paint around the top with a different colour, you can wrap coloured twine around it or even cover with gold leaf.

Things I’ve learnt along the way

  • You don’t have to use mod podge, slightly watered down kids PVA glue does the job too and is more cost effective.
  • using a damp paint brush to do the making edges of the napkin peices jagged works really well to thin it out so it blends better with the paint on the object.
  • if you want to make your item waterproof you can use decorators varnish instead
  • For coasters you need heat proof varnish and leave to cure for 3 days minimum before use to prevent the hot cups sticking to coaster.
  • There are some great facebook groups for napkin purchasing where you can purchase single ones.
  • you can use spray chalk paint to coat the glass first to give a smoother and more even finish but it makes it harder to blend the edges of the napkin properly. You still need to do 2 coats 24 hours apart but its much quicker to do each coat.
  • to avoid having to wait around for as long to get to the fun bit paint your items in bulk so you have a messy painting session and do say first coat on 10 bottles each time you need to paint and when you do 2nd coat on them add in another few bottles for first coat so you always have some ready to go to get your decoupage fix when you want it.
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I hope this has explained a bit more of some of what we make and if you give it a go we would love to see your projects too so feel free to share them with us on social media 🙂

You can find our decoupage gifts & decor here or over on our Etsy store

TPTOH does #SBSEvent2022

Almost 18 months after winning the SBS award from Theo Paphitis (Entrepeneur and ex Dragon’s Den star) we finally got to attend our first SBS event and what an event it was!

If you aren’t sure what SBS is or how we won the award check out our previous blog post ‘The Perfect Touch on Twitter’ before reading on….

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The 2021 event was understandably cancelled due to Covid so we couldn’t wait to get to the 2022 event when we heard about it however we almost couldn’t go at the last minute as I was rushed into hospital 2 weeks before the event. Thankfully I was home from hospital just a few days before and stocked up on painkillers galore so I was able to go with Sarah being my fantastic chauffeur.

We decided to stay over on the Thursday night and Friday night as with Sarah driving from Rotherham via Stockport it would have been a really long day for her to drive at either end and too much for me too.

We stayed at the Premiere inn near the ICC and soon found our first Twitter friends in person in the dining room and laughed over introducing ourselves by Twitter handle rather than name “Are you YourNorth?? We’re Theperfecttouc4” it’s a very strange feeling meeting people you’ve known and speak to all the time on social media but have never met in real life but they are all such amazing supportive people.

The big day was finally here. We headed out to the ICC in Birmingham covid test results in hand nervous and a little apprehensive about being at such a large gathering after such a long time hidden away in sheilding for vulnerable family members but we are all jabbed up and have both had covid in the past few months so we felt our personal risk was low and seeing how strict they were being with checking covid tests on entry made us feel a bit more at ease.

We registered and got our badges and meandered into the big hall. Sarah being a Yorkshire lass through and through spotted freebies on the sponsors stands so she was off!

First stop was the Rymans stand and their fun hit the button game which it seems is neither mine or Sarah’s forte as we were absolutely smashed by the players against us but we got a lucky dip prize anyway so we were happy with that.

We had a good chat with the team on the SumUp stand and amused them when Sarah pulled our SumUp card reader out of her handbag declaring “I never leave home without it, you never know when you might get a sale in person”

We spoke to HP about A3 printer options for expanding our range of prints in the future and they were amazingly helpful.

We entered the Natwest video competition on both Instagram and Twitter which you can watch below and set up a call back to discuss their Business builder programme to help TPTOH to grow in 2022.

A bit of chatting and networking as we went around the stands led us to the lovely Laura of Bombs & Bubbles galore and eventually to Ian Lawn Master Notts after stalking him round the hall for a while lol. He is one of our biggest social media supporters and an actual customer too. He had bought from us again just before the event and had also asked about a sign for his new garden office cabin affectionately named ‘The Shed’ It wasn’t something we normally do so we decided to surprise him with a handpainted sign at the event.

The morning was filled with inspirational talks about the experience of @TinyBox both on and after dragon’s den followed by Debbie Lewis from NatWest Business with her powerful and uplifting mindset talk and information on the natwest business support available for free to all.

We had planned to try and meet up with a few people from the #MHHSBD network to try and get a pic so we grabbed a few of the ladies at the start of lunch for a group pic. The MHHSBD network are an amazing supportive group of small business owners (as well as SBS of course) who we work with everyday accross Twitter and Instagram to boost each others interaction and visibility as well as actively seeking sales connections between businesses for specific gift requests or small biz stationery etc. If you are interested in joining MHHSBD you can click here, it’s only £10 per year too!

During the lunchbreak we got chatting to the lovely couple infront of us who make up @sillydaddy and @Mommyknowsbest who are fellow etsy sellers and create fantastic QR code labels for networking events and packaging to quickly link people to their socials and etsy shop which we thought were a great idea. They were really bright colours too so caught our eye and started the conversation.

After eating from the delicious buffet we decided we fancied having some fun with a 360 degree video, we were a bit nervous but is was a real laugh and the finished video is full of super cheesy grins.

The afternoon was time for Theo & Touker’s fireside chat which was full of inspiration, great advice and so interesting. Touker has certainly led an amazing life in business full of not just success but steep learning curves and a few failures that taught him vital lessons along the way too which he shared with us all.

After the fireside chat it was time to make a dash for the queue to receive our certificate and have our photo with the man himself!! This was the moment we had waited 18 months for. We presented Theo with a gift of one of our personalised gonk prints of us meeting him and he laughed when we pointed out that he was a gonk in it. He has been fantastic in sharing all the businesses across social media and the gifts he received too. Can you spot our print?

After our photo opportunity we headed back to the hotel grabbing a goody bag on the way out. After a quick nosey at the freebies we both crashed out for a nap it was an amazing day and left us feeling very optimistic and enthusiastic about next steps for TPTOH but a little knackered form all the networking after nearly 2 years of no events.

For anyone who has a small business and hasn’t entered #SBS yet we 100% reccommend that you do as it has given us not just the initial boost on socials but a fantastic network of other small businesses who support each other and opportunities for training and expert advice to help us to continue to grow.

You can either enter by tweeting or via instagram now too as below:

A Crafty Business

I have tried different avenues of crafting over the years and let’s just say my attempts have been embarrassingly unsuccessful, so much so I would tell people it was a project done by one of the children but sshhh that’s our secret 🤫

We were being asked by our customers if we could source storage boxes with various labels and this set me on the path to using vinyl as we couldn’t find anything out there that we wanted. My first projects were labels for the children’s xbox controllers as I navigated my way through this new crafting field and to my surprise I found it incredibly therapeutic and so useful! As a mum and as a mum who has diagnosed OCD, labels are very exciting and makes life so much easier. If you were to visit my home you would see all storage has a label, these make chores that much easier for me and for the children, no more excuses saying they can’t find something, a very clever trick in the past so I’m not sure my newfound love of using vinyl is welcomed by everyone.

| The Perfect Brew: Mugs, Gifts & More
| The Perfect Brew: Mugs, Gifts & More

Vinyl is incredibly durable and there are lots of different types of vinyl for every project. We also offer vinyl for cars, I have created stickers including our ever popular gonks, the vinyl used will last for years.

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Once I was comfortable enough to start exploring and expanding on my new craft I came up with new designs for more items including tealight holders, keyrings, bookmarks and decorations, these are very popular and I love making custom orders as I get some brilliant ideas from customers and it gives me the opportunity to get really creative. The feedback has always been amazing and now I can proudly own the makes as my own instead of giving the credit to my poor children 😉

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| The Perfect Brew: Mugs, Gifts & More
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If there is something you can’t find on our shops please pop us a message and we will always try and accommodate you. Crafting does wonders for my mental health and has been a very positive outlet and I welcome new ideas.

New & Fresh

About 18 months ago we swapped rooms with my daughter and life got in the way of decorating. So since then we have had a Disney princess bedroom and bright pink glittery carpet (every couples dream in their 30s obviously). We did our best to make it less princessy by letting the kids make them have funny faces.

In the last few months, we finally got round to decorating and apart from the paint which I bought last year I had no idea what we were going to do.

So, I started looking on the internet for feature colours to go with grey. I have grey and teal in my living room, so I wanted something different and not pink as I am all pinked out. 

My husband’s opinion was he did not care and I should choose which is always a great thing for someone who cannot decide anything without overthinking it and changing her mind 43 times.

After much product searching, I decided on yellow. Not a colour I ever imagined I would choose but it stood out and was different so I went with it. We have white fitted wardrobes that we just needed to change the handles on I had found white ones in a local shop when it was having a closing down sale last year so I had those covered. I love a bargain and being from Yorkshire I’m tight.

Our bedside cabinets were just wood so decided to have a go at painting them, after confusing myself with furniture paint I opted for the one that said lazy on it as its suppose to be easy. So frenchic lazy whity white it was. 

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I ordered this super bright blind and these gorgeous curtains and my husband sprayed a curtain pole we already had so it fits in with the room colours.  I was going to make my own headboard but couldn’t find the bits I needed locally and so managed to find one I liked online, I think this bedding set  goes well and a my hubbys weighted blanket even goes, the scatter cushions should finish the bed nicely. And because my old headboard was huge we’ve gained a foot of space at the end of the bed too which is a bonus.   

On my walls I wanted some thing other than just photos as my whole house is covered in them and so I wanted something different, I chose these shelves as I liked the shapes and the colours match and this print because it’s so different and I love the artist. A few frames that have words in so I can change them if I decide on something different , if you watch greys anatomy you may recognise the quotes, if you don’t watch greys anatomy why???? It’s the best!

I got some boxes to hide away some clutter and though they don’t match the room I have my mums ruby ware glass away from the kids so they don’t get damaged.  yes we still have a pink glittery carpet but I’m hoping I the next month or two that will change but all in all I don’t think we have done a bad job and we actually have a room for the first time in the 15 years of living together that is pretty and bright and not just a mishmash of whatever we have lying about.  Even my husband likes the colours which is a miracle in itself.

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Gonk crafting fun

We know how much you all love our Gonks

In fact our family christmasses last year were pretty much funded by the gonk mania incited by Stacey Solomon.

So being mums ourselves and loving a good crafting session with our kids we thought we would put together some fab Gonk theme craft ideas for you all to try out and of course the knitting and crochet patterns can be completed in any colour and there are Gonks that are not christmassy in the colouring pages because we all know…..

A Gonk is not just for Christmas

Colouring Pages

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0252/2618/2755/files/Untitled_design-HQ_13.pdf?v=1629377736https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0252/2618/2755/files/Untitled_design-HQ_14.pdf?v=1629377736https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0252/2618/2755/files/Untitled_design-HQ_15.pdf?v=1629377736https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0252/2618/2755/files/Untitled_design-HQ_16.pdf?v=1629377736

 Knitting Pattern

This pattern for cute dangle leg Gonks was made by Creative Neats on Cool Denim Blog you can Download it here

Gonk Craft Ideas and Colouring Pages

Crochet Pattern

Here’s a cute no leg Gonk crochet pattern from Hooked on Patterns. You can follow for free here

Gonk Craft Ideas and Colouring Pages

Pom Pom hanging Gonks

For those not gifted with knitting or Crochet skills like me these are a sinple but cute as a button alternative and could easily be adapted for easter with adding bunny ears or halloween with change of colours.

Gonk Craft Ideas and Colouring Pages

These were created by Lia Griffith and the tutorial is available free Here

We hope you have fun creating some Gonks of your own and we would love if you sent us some photos of your creations or tag us on social media

Instagram & Facebook: #TPTOH or @Theperfecttouchof home
Twitter: @Theperfecttouc4 #TPTOH
Email: customerservice.tptoh@gmail.com

The Perfect Touch on Twitter

The 24th August was our 1 year anniversary of becoming Theo Paphitis Small business award #SBS winners so we thought it was about time we shared our amazing Twitter journey and our awards earnt over the past 12 months.

Our entry into Small Business Sunday was put in after about 2 weeks of being on Twitter and so we never thought we would be in with a chance of winning as there are so many amazing small businesses applying. 

I remember finding out, I was happily looking for new stock for Thursday and my phone kept beeping at me, I saw a “Congratulations @ThePerfect….” I saw a few more of those and threw my phone at my eldest daughter, she was sat on my bed working and watching telly.

I had a look and confirmed we had in fact won!!

Our first year on Twitter - awards galore

I started crying and telling everyone we knew! Little did we know that would be just the start of our award winning. 

Our first year on Twitter - awards galore

Before long we went on to win #TwitterSisters which is an award forparticipation in a great networking and friendly hour on Twitter, it was the first hour we had taken part in and made me fall in love with Twitter. The ladies are all fantastic, very welcoming, supportive and forever lifting women up and praising all the ups and commiserating the lows of being a woman in small business.

Our first year on Twitter - awards galore

We then went on to win another amazing Twitter award called the #SmartSocial award which is awarded to small businesses who thrive using social media and as we met, started and grew our business on social media we won! Another very supportive account, they are great at retweeting helping to get our business out there.

Our first year on Twitter - awards galore

Next it was the #ICTweetAwards this award was set up by a brilliant and lovely account and she wanted to reward those people who go above and beyond, those people who do so much for others and deserve a little thank you. We nominated the fabulous @lawnmasternotts for his advice, he has always been there to guide us and give us advice from very early on and continues to do so and we felt he deserved a little thank you and he won!

We won the Super Supporter Award ourselves which was totally unexpected. The founder of the award said “It was so well deserved, your support to others was incredible in the #ICTweetAwards. You’re a fantastic and hugely valued member of the Twitter community. So pleased to have people like you making this such a lovely place to be!” 

We have also worked with the lovely Sam of In Collaboration over on Instagram setting up and running small business engagement chats together to boost small businesses on there too.

Our first year on Twitter - awards galore

Following this we went on to win the prestigious #QueenOf award! This was another hold the phone moment and was a bit shocked but over the moon to win. This awarded us the title Queen Of Bold Home Decor and means we are a part of a fantastic, exclusive community with lots of support and a feeling of family, we are very honoured to have been chosen. 

You may think that is enough but no, we have also won the #WomanInBizHour Award, a brilliant hour on Twitter again that lifts women in business up, supports them, an amazing community of like minded women who are always there for each other with words of encouragement and lots of laughter. 

Our first year on Twitter - awards galore

Finally, we were blown away to discover we had been chosen to win the very prestigious #WOW Award, founded by a woman we have all followed and admired for years, Jacqueline Gold CBE. This award celebrates and supports female entrepreneurs and to be chosen out of the many fabulous women in small business we are just completely honoured. 

These awards all hold a special place for us, they are proof of our love and determination to grow the best small business we can, offer support to those who need it and encourage and commiserate, celebrate and share all the highs and wins of our fellow small business owners.

Thankyou to everyone who has supported us in our 18 months on Twitter you are all awesome!!

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