My first international trip ever was a month-long backpacking adventure in Europe when I was in grad school. Our last stop on the trip was Amsterdam, an amazing city filled to the brim with museums. Perhaps the best among them is the Rijksmuseum, which houses all things Dutch. I’m certainly no art expert, but it was here that I pretty much fell in the love with the bright, vivid colors atop dark, moody backdrops that you find in many of the still lifes of the Dutch Golden Age. Fortunately for all of us, in the last year, the Rijksmuseum has become a pioneer in bringing art and history to the masses through its Rijksstudio, which provides online access to over 125,000 pieces from its collection. Unlike some other digitization efforts, these pieces are available in high resolution for free download and personal use. There’s even a gallery feature to share your creations. The possibilities are pretty much endless, but today, I’m sharing with you a super simple mousepad project for one of my favorite pieces from the collection. -Mandy Pellegrin
*I used this floral still life by Jan Davidsz. de Heem and printed it off on my home printer formatted to fill 90 percent of a regular 8.5″ x 11″ piece of cardstock.
1. Use a craft knife, ruler, and appropriate cutting surface to trim the painting and foam-board to the same size. Mine were each approximately 5.5″ x 8.25″.
2. Apply decoupage glue with a paintbrush to the foam board. Place the painting on top, and seal with another layer of decoupage glue. My cardstock was absorbent enough to keep the ink from smearing; however if you use photo paper, you’ll want to seal the ink with a spray-on sealer — available from any arts and crafts store — before you apply the glue or the ink will almost certainly smear.
3. Once the glue is dry, trim off the corners at an angle to give it a finished look.
4. Place small vinyl bumper stickers (like what you’d put on the inside of a cabinet door to soften a slam) on the bottom in each of the four corners and in the middle.