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Decorating with historical ephemera is a hot trend, and you won’t have to look further than your family archive for inexpensive and unique documents to work with. Photo services such as Shutterfly and Snapfish offer décor items such as large posters, canvas-mounted prints, metal prints, pillows and more. Or you can go the DIY route and create unique, family history-minded wall art with this decoupage-on-wood project:
1. Select an antique or vintage diploma, certificate or deed with distinctive handwriting or interesting decorative elements. Scan it in full color at a high resolution, such as 1,200 dpi, for best results if you want to enlarge the image.
2. Print your document on matte paper of your desired size and color. If desired, tear and darken the edges with brown paint or carefully burn and scorch.
3. Cut a piece of wood to size (many hardware stores will do this for you). Stain the edges and any border that will show around the document. For best contrast, leave the wood light where your document will be.
4. Use a foam craft brush to evenly cover the board and the back of the print with Mod Podge decoupage medium, smoothing it to avoid lumps. Carefully position the print on the board. Let dry thoroughly.
5. When dry, apply one or more coats of Mod Podge to cover the front of the print and all edges of the board. Add hanging hardware, hang and enjoy.
From the May/June 2015 Family Tree Magazine