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Saturday 24 September 2011

Victorian Screen

Something I have been meaning to post about for some time is this Victorian style screen I made over the late 1970's early 1980's.

I was working at the Bexley hospital for a three months spell during my general training. I got involved in helping a patient while attending occupational therapy. At the time there were many projects involving Victorian d├ęcoupage being used to decorate furniture. Before I knew it, I was collecting suitable pictures from greetings cards and magazines for the patients to use. When describing d├ęcoupage here, I mean the decoration of the surface of an object with paper cut-outs, which is then varnished or lacquered, not the three deimensional variety we create for cards today.

After I moved on I decided to make a screen, and purchased three, six foot panels of plywood as a basis for this. However it was a long time before I had enough pictures in my box to cover them. I was always on the look out for suitable images of flowers in magazines, catalogues and greetings cards. Then a big pile of Victorian prints were also collected from the same sourses as well as postcards and small posters. I carefully peeled the back layers away from the thicker card images to make all the picutres of a similar weight. Once I was sure I had enough they were pasted onto the boards with a lot of glue under and over the images to seal them in.

With my Dad's help these panels were framed with pine moulding which we stained with a dark finish varnish. The images were heavily treated with several layers of gloss varnish. Then all three framed panels were joined together with brass hinges.

I was really pleased with the finished screen and wondered what to do with the reverse side of the panels. Eventually I started collecting more pictures so I could treat the back in a similar manner to the front. In the mean time I married and we moved into our current home. I found an interesting strip of newspaper, tightly folded and supporting the shorter leg of a sideboard. When unfolded it was a strip torn from the top of the front page of the coronation issue of The Sun newspaper 1838. With it's gold print, it was badly damaged, but I thought is was ideal to help comlplete the screen.

I continued on with the project and much paper, glue and varnish later, the screen was complete. It has stood in various rooms around the house ever since, and is useful for hiding Christmas shopping!


  1. Wow Lynn that is beautiful. Its a work of art in its own right. How patient you are but what a lovely thing to have. I've always wanted to do something similar but I don't think it would fit with the decor of my house which is quite modern. I'm very envious! x

  2. Wow, what a beautiful work of art - decoupage is in the original meaning of the word. It must have taken you years to complete but so worth the time - it is sure to become a family heirloom.

    I’ve a giveaway over on my blog, you might like to take a look at:- http://silverscrappers.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-memories-suite-digital-software.html

    Elizabeth x

  3. This is absolutely beautiful, what a lot of time and effort it obviously took.You have so much patience Hun.xx


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