The Blu-Tack Posters Infiltrate My Eyes
I have been doing a lot of sewing and knitting, but conditions still don’t really allow for photos. Today’s project I could do without having to second guess a tripod though!
When we moved, I packed all of my favourite posters. It felt quite trivial to do so, but I had to take a poster tube for something anyway, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to stash the posters. There’s a lot of sentimental meaning in there.
Once we had put up all of our framed pictures, Neil suggested that we maybe do something about the concert posters. Admittedly, most were damaged — I
stole took them from venues and bollards around the city, so they were ripped in places, and had sticky tape around the edges. Then I had put them up on my walls with blu-tack, which meant there were oil marks in the corners. We couldn’t justify getting them custom framed, because the rock ‘n’ roll wear ‘n’ tear didn’t really gel with the neat ‘n’ tidy of a frame. We needed to do something to honour the history of the posters.
Neil had the idea that we mount them to poster board. With this vague notion, I asked the internet how to do something like this — and the internet delivered. There’s thousands of tutorials explaining how to do this kind of thing. It’s not hard and it’s not expensive. I just wanted to add my voice because we did learn some things.
We used a product called Gatorboard to mount the posters onto. I’d read somewhere that if you’re using Mod Podge, a water-based product, you want something that can cope with that, otherwise it’ll warp. We used spray adhesive to stick the posters onto the board, then used one coat of matte Mod Podge over the top. One of the posters has the gig dates printed and taped onto the poster, so I just covered that with clear sticky tape. If I had’ve left it, there was a chance it would’ve become smudged once Mod Podged.
The idea was to make it look like the posters had been “postered” to wall, similar to how street teamers and promoters glue posters to bollards and worksites. I felt it represented the history of the posters, but was also a new lease of life for them — to me, they’re works that started on someone’s computer (I knew the designer for two of them), ended up on a bollard, on my bedroom walls, and now as a mounted piece.
Given that the posters were already damaged, the stakes weren’t very high. If we made a mistake, we could attribute it to the effect that we were going for. This is also a fairly inexpensive project — the gatorboard pieces were about $7-$8 each, the Mod Podge was around $6 or so, same with the spray adhesive. For comparison’s sake, we do have one concert poster framed, our Primavera Sound 2016 poster, and that set us back more than $50 I think. (Worth it, it was from our honeymoon).
We didn’t use enough spray adhesive. When I Mod Podged the posters, they bubbled a little bit. As mentioned, I had calculated something like this happening, hence why I worked with already damaged posters. If I were to do this again, I’d either Mod Podge the gatorboard, as some tutorials suggest, or use a heck of a lot more spray adhesive. Neil isn’t 100% convinced by the matte Mod Podge either, as the posters did start off glossy, but I feel the imperfections may have been more prominent if glossy.
We probably should’ve practiced this technique a little more to learn more about the results — if you have extra materials you can practice on, definitely do that. I didn’t have any posters I fancied sacrificing so I just jumped straight in. Given their sentimental nature, I would’ve just kept “practicing” and never actually get this done.
So ignore every third article on Apartment Therapy or whatever about how hanging concert posters should be relegated to your “college days”. Neil and I still love live music, so it makes sense to put the posters to use and make our home represent us a little more.
And finally, for those interested, you can definitely find the Skybombers and The Wellingtons on Spotify (The Wellingtons still play and tour even), but if you’re curious about The Hovercrafts, my favourites from the time, then you’ll need to spend some time on YouTube: