For unique, personalized, wearable art, there’s nothing like a decoupaged bracelet. Start with a plain wooden bangle (online suppliers, such as DiyBangles, offer a variety of styles and sizes at $3 to $4 each); a bottle of Mod Podge, which is both an adhesive and a sealant; and a few inexpensive paintbrushes.
Then, collect paper images from your favorite highquality catalogs, postcards, wrapping paper, books, gift cards, stamps, labels and, of course, The Bark. Bark is my go-to source for all my dog-themed bracelets, as the magazine is a treasure trove of photos, paintings, book covers, cartoons and clever ads. It’s also the perfect thickness. Avoid thin paper, which will tear, and newsprint, which will smudge.
Think about a theme and color scheme. A wide bangle lends itself to rectangular images; cut them out and lay them in a row the same length as the bracelet perimeter (leave about one-quarter inch on each end of the image to tuck over the rim). This way, you can play around with the order to see which look best together. It’s easiest, and artistically effective, to work with images that are less than two inches wide. You can overlap them slightly or insert a narrow strip of paper in a contrasting color between them to set them off.
With your brush, spread a layer of Mod Podge on the non-design side and set the image onto the bangle. (For a tighter surface fit, make little cuts in the ends of the image so they can be tucked smoothly over the rim.) Continue to adhere each image onto the bracelet, carefully massaging the paper with your thumb to get rid of any wrinkles.
Once all the images are in place, cut a strip of nice paper to line the inside of the bangle and cover the image ends. Finally, put a layer or two of Mod Podge over the entire bracelet, inside and out. It takes about 10 minutes for each coat to dry completely. For a higher gloss, apply an extra glaze, such as Triple Thick by Americana. As a final accent, use a gold leaf marker to fill in any gaps or highlight a particular design feature.