Hello arty crafty friends! Once again it’s time to hear about the interesting journey of a talented crafter. Today I bring you the story of an ardent crafter Menka Kumar in ‘Crafter in the Spotlight’. Menka was born and brought up in Delhi but currently resides in Bangalore with her family.
Menka has worked with many MNC’s in the past but right now she is a full time crafter and a loving mom to her twin boys. Other than crafting, Menka’s passions include listening to music and driving. Menka did not plan to be a crafter ever, but discovered her interest in craft quite by chance when she was fascinated by a friend’s decoupage project and wanted to know more about it. One thing led to another and exploring different craft forms encouraged Menka to take up crafting as a profession.
How did Menka get into crafting, what inspires her, what are her tips for fellow crafters, her favourite quote, how would she contribute to the crafting world if she had magical powers? Read along to find answers to all these questions and discover more about her interesting journey and catch a glimpse of a step by step project by Menka. Don’t forget to leave your loving comments for her.
Rashmi Closepet : Tell us a bit about yourself & your background?
Menka Kumar: Hello fellow crafters! My name is Menka Kumar. I was born and raised in Delhi. I am a commerce graduate from Delhi University. I have worked with many multinational companies in the past. Now I am a full time mom to my twin boys besides being a crafter. My husband has a transferrable job, so we keep relocating. For more than one year now, we are in Bangalore. I love listening to music, driving (also participated in all women car rally from Bangalore to Goa) and now crafting is what I love to do. With support from my husband and a set of loving friends, I started my own venture. It’s been an interesting ride so far and is getting better each day.
RC: How did you get into crafting?
MK: Now this is an interesting question. Never in my life had I thought I would become a crafter as I had no interest in this field and never tried learning art and craft. One fine day, a friend of mine shared a picture of a pretty bottle and I had no clue what that art was called. Out of curiosity, I asked my friend about the form of art she used on that bottle. That is when I heard about decoupage for the first time. I liked it so much that I decided to try my hands on it. I started exploring more about decoupage on the internet and the urge of learning this art form got me into crafting. My Husband and friends always supported me by appreciating my work and pushed me to take this art seriously and turn it into a profession. Now I conduct decoupage classes and take online and offline orders. My craft room is the happiest part of my home now.
RC: What is your favourite type of craft?
MK: I am a decoupage lover. I do decoupage on glass bottles, ceramic plates, MDF products and metal. I use different techniques on these along with decoupage.
RC: What are your favourite products at Itsy Bitsy?
MK: Ah, this is a tough one! My favourites are chalk paints, chipboards, decoupage glue, stencils, stamps, one step crackle medium. The list is endless, and I love the fact that Itsy Bitsy has everything under one roof.
RC: If you had magical powers, how would you contribute to crafting world?
MK: If I had magical powers, I would wish for a big craft room fully equipped and filled with craft supplies. I would also love to share this art with more and more people and spread the joy of crafting. I would also love to create employment for the unemployed and raise more awareness among non-crafters.
RC: Your prized possession in your craft stash from Itsy Bitsy?
MK: My most prized possession would be chalk paints, decoupage glue and one step crackle medium. I just can’t craft without these products.
RC: How would you describe your style of crafting?
MK: My style of crafting is very simple yet elite. I just love to create something unique and eye-catching. My favourite are rustic, vintage and antique crafting. I like exploring new techniques too.
RC: How do you organise your time for crafting?
MK: I always get time for crafting after sending my kids to school and husband to office. After sending them is when my “Me” time starts that time I spend on my crafting table. Crafting gives me peace and solace.
RC: Tips for people who want to craft.
MK: Crafting is a great stress buster. It’s never too late to learn or start something new. The power of motivation lies within you and you never know it might just turn into a passion and then profession.
RC: Your all-time favourite quote?
MK: The me I see, is the me I’ll be. Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
Here is a Step by Step tutorial by Menka
Before we start learning decoupage with shabby chic technique on MDF pen/pencil/paint brush holder/stand and get to the step by step tutorial, let’s understand what shabby chic technique means! Shabby chic is an interior design technique where aged furniture with signs of wear are chosen to give a room an antique feeling.
The basic materials that we’re going to use are:
- Decoupage glue
- Decoupage napkin
- MDF pen stand
- Acrylic paints
- Sand paper
- Various brushes
How to decoupage on MDF pen stand with shabby chic technique step by step
The first thing to do is to prepare the base. For this, you need to remove all dirt and grime from the wood and then sand it down with a fine grit sandpaper.
Now apply the primer (Gesso) across the entire surface with a medium brush. Then, let it dry.
When the primer is dry use acrylic paints. I used black and white acrylic paints as they match the decoupage napkin I am going to use. Now, start painting it with dark acrylic colours and then let it sit again, until it dries.
Once it dries, get one tealight and rub the wax against the entire surface. Bear in mind that you don’t want very large pieces of wax on the object. Rub it gently on the surface.
Now is the time to apply the light acrylic paint matching the decoupage napkin you are going to use.
Place a little bit of colour on a palate or a disposable plate.
Now, take a little bit of colour on a piece of sponge and colour by patting on the surface. Let it dry completely before you apply the second coat. Let the second coat dry too.
It’s finally time for the shabby chic technique.
Take the sandpaper and rub the surface gently from top to bottom. You’ll soon realize that the light colour starts peeling off, revealing the dark colour underneath that you painted first. Don’t apply too much pressure. Remember that the goal is to keep the colours of each layer and you want to make it look as if it wore off due to aging.
The good thing about the tealight (wax) previously applied is that it protects the first acrylic colour painted from the sandpaper and it doesn’t peel off.
Now, cut the decoupage napkin which you selected. Once you cut the napkin you want to use, apply a coat of decoupage glue liberally on the surface where you wish to place the cut outs. Once you glue the cut outs carefully on the surface, apply decoupage glue on the top and let it dry.
After you are done with decoupage and the surface is dry completely, apply a layer of varnish across the entire surface with a fan brush. Let it dry once again and then make another pass with the varnish. This will help protect the decoupage and keep it away from dust.
You can let your imagination run wild and use decorative elements to your object. The shabby chic pen stand is now ready!
Here are a couple of Menka’s other awesome creations:
Many congrats Menka for being the CRAFTER IN THE SPOTLIGHT – ITSY BITSY !!
You will receive Rs.500/- Itsy Bitsy gift voucher & a Crafter in the Spotlight badge, which can be proudly displayed on the side bar of your blog and other platforms. Looking forward to many more creations, Happy Crafting!