KLANG, May 6 (Bernama) — The moment you step into Ida Azrina Zainal Abidin’s home, you see a burst of abstract floral designs made of a collection of tissue papers, neatly and creatively arranged in all corners.
For the uninitiated, the tissue papers are imported from Germany and serve as the main item in decoupage, the art of decorating objects with paper cut-outs, which Ida Azrina pastes on wood, plastic, porcelain, metal, bottles, and various other recyclable materials.
Ida Azrina, 49, from Taman Kapar Indah here, said she has accumulated a collection of more than 3,000 tissues of various designs and sizes, which she sells online such as on Telegram under her brand name, ‘Saudagar Tisu’.
The housewife, who also holds decoupage classes, said she buys the tissues to sell to her customers, who are also working on decoupage, as a business that is now becoming a trend.
Tracing her journey in decoupage, Ida Azrina said it all began 10 years ago when she started buying various books on the subject and learning from a well-known decoupage teacher in Ampang, until she mastered the craft and began receiving orders from customers.
The mother of six believes that decoupage has a high potential to generate an income because those who are interested in it can develop their creativity, through various techniques on different surfaces or desired objects.
“The demand (for decoupage) now is quite encouraging and lately, people want tiffin carriers to be decorated with decoupage,” she told Bernama.
Ida Azrina said that when there was high demand for her products, she also started receiving requests from many parties asking her to teach the craft online and hold face-to-face classes as well, so now she focuses on teaching the art.
Her daily schedule is pretty tight as she holds classes for groups of individuals like housewives, single mothers, civil servants and college lecturers.
She is also grateful that she is being approached by students from neighbouring countries such as Brunei and Singapore, who are interested in face-to-face learning sessions.
“Usually my students have a deep interest in this art because they want to make it a business. That’s why some try to learn through YouTube, however, the results are not the same as learning with a teacher in a practical and interactive way,” she added.
Meanwhile, a civil servant, Hasnita Ibrahim, 54, who has followed Ida Azrina’s classes previously, said that she did not mind going through the time-consuming process involved in decoupage due to her deep interest.
She said the craft was therapeutic for her and gives her the space to be creative, as well as teaching her to be more focused because every step in the process requires precision to get a beautiful and perfect result.
“The decoupage process starts with sandpapering the surface of selected decorative materials, such as wood and plastic, followed by smearing gesso (special paint), and leaving it to dry before applying a smear of glaze.
“Patterns will then be cut and pasted on the tissue papers, and will be varnished for the final process to polish the artwork and make it waterproof,” she also said.
In conjunction with Aidilfitri, Hasnita also sells ‘kerepek’ (chips) jars. She fills the plastic jars with chips while the lids are decorated with decoupage art. Each jar sells at RM14, while a small set of six chip jars are priced at RM60.