Decoupage is the art of decorating with paper. It’s a super simple craft that involves pasting paper to an object and then covering with a varnish or lacquer. This gives the pasted material the appearance of depth and texture. Decoupage isn’t just a quick way of giving an everyday object a new lease of life, it’s fun, creative, and somewhat therapeutic.

Here’s a quick guide on how to decoupage once you have selected your object (Your Item should be clean and free of dust):

      1. Gather your paper.
        The beauty of decoupage is that you can use just about any material thin enough to mould to your object. Including but not limited to: magazine cut-outs, thin fabric, wrapping paper, card, and tissue paper. Alternatively you can purchase specialist decoupage paper .

Take Care: some printed images (specifically from inkjet printers) can run/smear and wreak havoc on your design. You have been warned.

    1. Cut & Place.
      Cut your material into patterns and shapes and place onto your object to plan your design. When cutting, angle the scissors slightly to create a beveled edge (this prevents the underside of the material from showing). You may wish to tear your material rather than cutting with scissors for an alternative finish (It’s your design).
    2. The Glue.
      Usually a PVA will suffice (Dries clear and can be applied to most materials you are likely to use), alternatively you could use a spray glue or a specialist decoupage glue. Decoupage glue can be used as both a glue and a varnish.

Take Care: Make sure you check you are using a glue appropriate for your surface as well as your materials.

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Prepare your workspace by laying down old newspaper to prevent getting glue everywhere. Simple but easily overlooked!

    1. Glue in place.
      Apply glue evenly to the back of your material/cut-outs & a thin layer to the surface of your object, ensuring you cover the edges also. Now lay your pieces onto your item, applying carefully to achieve a smooth finish. Make sure you smooth out any wrinkles and wipe off any excess glue. Use a paintbrush if you are not using a spray glue.
    2. Varnish

      Once the glue has completely dried the material will need to be sealed. Apply a coat-or two of an appropriate varnish/lacquer depending on the thickness of your chosen material and your desired finish (A smoother finish can be achieved with more layers of varnish).

Take Care: Allow varnish to dry completely before applying the next coat.

We recommend
For a super smooth finish you can lightly sand your object after a few layers of varnish have been applied. We recommend using a 360 to 600 grit, super fine sandpaper. Make sure to wipe away the dust before varnishing the next coat and repeat until you have the desired finish.

A Summary of what you’ll need:

  • Your Object
  • Your Material (magazine cut-outs, thin fabric, wrapping paper, card, tissue paper, decoupage paper)
  • Glue (PVA, spray glue, or decoupage glue)
  • Newspaper
  • Varnish (If necessary. See No 3)
  • A sharp pair of scissors or Knife
  • Fine sandpaper

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