Do you like to surround yourself with unique and pretty things? Do you love to buy ordinary stuff and then make something truly amazing out of it?
I am always on the lookout to use things differently, making odd pieces beautiful or just creating something different.
Yes, that is me too, I love changing things so it fits to my style and to my colors.
This is why I want to introduce you to ‘Decoupage’. Never heard of it? Me neither, until 2 weeks ago when I was searching around on Pinterest and found some really pretty and unique furniture. I was curious how to make it and researched.
Make something ordinary pretty. See how to start with decoupage here.
WHAT IS DECOUPAGE?
Decoupage sounds pretty fancy but it just means ‘to cut out’ in french. I also know a similar method to work with cut outs and glue which is called pappmaché. Maybe you have heard of this?
I saw a lot of pretty examples people made out of odd furniture on Pinterest that I was getting curious how to do “Decoupage’.
This is why I educated myself and now I show you how to actually do this the fast and easy way.
What can you do with Decoupage?
I have seen so many amazing furniture pieces or any kind of accessories where people used decoupage. You can make a unique piece out of something so ordinary. And this is what I love about it – making a piece unique.
Decoupage truly is an art form and it let’s you be creative with a pretty easy method and without necessarily being an artist.
Artists use decoupage not only with paper and fabrics but also with painting effects like gold leaf, ink and embellishments. These unique pieces are really art pieces.
Decoupage with Mod Podge
Here is the Wikipedia definition: “Decoupage is the art of decorating an object by gluing colored paper cutouts onto it in combination with special paint effects…”
The Basics of Mod Podge
Mod Podge is a glue, sealer and finish all in one. It is quick-drying for multiple coat build up and dries clear. It can be sanded to a smooth finish. Mod Podge is non-toxic and waterbased.
There are different kinds of Mod Podges out there, matte, gloss or glitter finish. Start with the matte finish.
How to start with decoupage
If you want to try it out, it is actually pretty easy to get started. I had an old wooden dresser I wanted to update anyhow because the top had blisters , so it was a perfect object to start with decoupage.
If you want to try it out too, select a surface:
After you have decided on a surface, select a material you want to add on your surface such as:
- Tissue Paper
- Wrapping Paper
Now you need a glue to get your material on to the surface. I have used Mod Podge for my first trials, but I would suggest you make your own glue because it is soon much cheaper, especially when you are still in the trying phase.
A small bottle of Mod Podge is between 7 and 10 Dollars, a bottle of school glue about 1 Dollar.
How to make Mod Podge yourself – how to get started with Decoupage
Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. When you click these links I may get a small commission. It won’t cost you anything, but it helps me to run this site. I only promote products and services that I think are great and helpful. Also read my disclosure policy.
This is what you need:
- 1 bottle 6 oz. of white craft glue (school glue)
- 1/3 cup water
- glass container, jar with lid
- add the glue and the water into the glass container, close it and shake it well
- You just made your glue.
Additional material you need to start with decoupage: 1 medium size brush,
This is how to get started with decoupage:
If you have decided that you are going to start with napkins, then peel your napkins apart. Most napkins have 3 layers and you just want the one layer with the pattern. Don’t get frustrated if some don’t come apart, just be patient and try to peel them apart on different corners.
Then layout your design to see how many napkins you need. And just move the pattern around and see what layout you like the best.
Apply a layer of your self-made glue or the Mod Podge.
Then arrange the napkins onto the glue the way you decided before. Smooth the napkins as well as you can with your fingers, a plastic scraper, or a roller. Wrinkles can be sanded out after the glue is dry if you like it smooth.
Repeat the steps, either cut the pattern out so the pattern fits together or overlap the napkins. Just make sure to apply enough glue under the napkins where they overlap.
I repeated the same steps on the top of the dresser since the top was so damaged.
Let it dry and sand carefully over the paper. Clean the dust off and check if everything looks good.
Apply another coat of decoupage glue on top of the paper.
Add a top coat. Once dry, I added a few coats of Top Coat from General Finishes in matt or satin. Depends what finish you like better. I used a medium size brush and it worked out really well.
Install the knobs. When the dresser is completely dry, you can install the old knobs or get some new once. If they don’t look good anymore you can think about spray painting them in a fresh silver or bronze look.
Number 1 advice – How to start with decoupage
If you are getting really excited now to start decoupaging, get yourself a piece of wood, or an older tray, anything you don’t want to use anymore, and then just dive in.
Get some cute napkins or wrapping paper and start. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look amazing the first time you do it, because you have to practice to get the feeling for it.
You have to practice how much of the glue you need to apply, what kind of paper works best for you, how to work with different materials, and so on. This is why you have to practice because you need to get the feeling for applying the material.
Want to see my first piece of art?
This is how my first piece of furniture looked like with decoupage, pretty awful, but I tried at least.
I used napkins to cover the dresser top and used way too much mod podge.
The good thing is that you can redo it, just by sanding it smooth and then going over it again.
This dresser is not done yet because I am still in the practicing phase but I feel things are coming along better pretty fast.
So try it out if you are interested, make the glue yourself and check through some fancy napkins or pretty wrapping papers. Design your own tray or maybe a bar stool?
Are you ready to get started with decoupage? The more you do it the better you get and the more fun you have.
Start with a drawer and wrapping paper
- Start by pre-cutting the paper to fit the inside of the drawer.
- Next, apply the glue to the wood first with a brush and then lay the paper on top of the glue.
- Smooth it out with your fingers or a roller.
- Make sure that all of the paper contacts the glue with no air pockets.
- After drying, add 2 coats of the Mod Podge allowing each coat to dry in between.
- If you want to you can sand in between coats with a 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out any roughness you might have.
My next adventure will be decoupaging with fabric so right now I am out there hunting for pretty textiles and papers.
Try it out and let me know if you are making good progress. Maybe you want to share your art pieces with me? Would love to see them.
I will finish my dresser as soon as I am back in the States. Of course I will show you pictures of my decoupage pieces.
Are you interested in more DIY? Check out my awesome tutorial How to build a bench easy. It is so pretty, I am sure you are going to love it.
Until next week,
Want to remember “How to start with decoupage”. Just pin this image to your favorite Pinterest board: