What is Chiyogami Paper?
If you’ve never heard of Chiyogami (also referred to as Yuzen) don’t worry, it’s news to me too!
Chiyogami is a traditional Japanese Washi paper which has been machine printed or hand stenciled with traditional Japanese designs. Often based on Kimono designs, the patterns and colours are intense, vibrant and can be very beautiful.
Traditionally used to decorate handcrafted items, it is also very popular with origami fans.
I visited Kirsty’s Handmade Fair at Ragley Hall in May, and there I met the team from Artcuts who are suppliers of Chiyogami papers and wooden die cut shapes amongst other crafty supplies. I was fascinated to watch a demostration of applying Chiyogami paper to wooden shapes and how effective the finished effect was.
The paper itself is very robust in that it can easily be sanded without ripping and also adhere well to wood. To apply to a die cut, you apply a thin layer of PVA craft glue, then dip a brush into water and brush over the top of the glue to water it down.
Applying the Paper
Press the shape glue side down on to the wrong side of the Chiyogami paper and roughly trim around the edge (not too close to the side of the shape.)
Filing the Excess Paper
Now using an emery board, file the excess paper away from the edges to give a neat slightly shabby chic finish. You don’t even have to wait for the glue to dry to do this.
Dealing with holes
If your shape has any holes (eg for hanging), gently push through a sharp object like an awl (I may have used a fine crochet hook & got it a little gummed up with glue!) Gentley press the paper down across the shape to ensure it’s going to adhere with the shape.
There you have it, simple Chiyogami decoupage (okay, it’s not exactly decoupage – but a simpler principal!)