The last couple times I’ve visited my childhood home, I”ve been fascinated by all the treasures there. Growing up surrounded by history, I never even realized that so much of the “junk” in the barn, the shop, the garage were treasures! Now, my sister and I go “treasure hunting” whenever we visit. During one trip, I discovered boxes of old books, letters, and ticket stubs in the barn. My parents were high school sweethearts and my dad was a bit of a sentimental packrat and saved every scrap of paper with a memory attached. I collected many of these artifacts that are now a precious part of my heritage (since my dad went to Heaven eight years ago) and brought them home with me. So, thanks to him, I have a bit of history tucked away for safe keeping.
I suppose there are many different ways to display paper treasures, but I thought it would be fun to try my hand at mod podge.
We had one of those flimsy particle board side tables you can buy at Wal Mart for $10 in our music room. It lived with a round white tablecloth over it that had seen better days, thanks to Milo, the playful cat.The flimsy table was a good candidate for my first mod podge project. If I messed it up, oh well. So I hauled it to the garage and gave it a coat of antique white paint. After it dried, I rubbed on a little Zar stain with a rag.
Instead of using the original letters, I made copies. Also, some were written on blue or pink paper and I wanted all black and white. I also made copies of some of my favorite sheet music. Using brewed coffee and a sponge brush, I brushed each copy with coffee, then baked it in the oven at 170 for a few minutes to dry. This gave each piece a vintage look. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of this process.
Next, on a cookie sheet, I mixed the mod podge with a little water (enough to be able to soak it up with the sponge brush) and began painting each piece. Mod podge is incredibly sticky and when it dries, you end up with a film on your hands. But it is really cool stuff! After I had arranged and placed each piece down on the tabletop, I painted the corners with more mod podge and smoothed them down with the sponge brush. Some of the papers were hanging off the edge, so I trimmed those flush with the edge of the table.
This is the table when it was still wet. You can see how it lightened when it dried.