Decoupage Deja Vu!

By , on August 13, 2013

Decoupaged container. Photo by cbeta from
Decoupaged container. Photo by cbeta from

Decoupage is the art of fusing pieces of paper on an object using glue or any form of sealant. It has been practiced for decades and even kindergartners know how to make these wonderful pieces of art.

Making decoupage can beautify any home without hurting your budget.

If there’s a photo, a letter, a piece of music, perhaps concert or movie tickets, or just beautiful pictures of landscapes or flowers, that you would like to keep almost forever, you can use decoupage to preserve these things on anything – your bedside or coffee table, your walls, your headboard, etc. Basically, if you can slap some glue on it, you can probably slap some decoupage over it.

Here are some tips for a successful decoupage experience.

First, choose the paper design you would like to stick to the object of your choice. Most people put decoupage on food trays, side tables, coffee tables, doors, or any relatively flat surface. You can also work on irregular objects, but of course it’ll be more challenging.

Once you’ve chosen your design, you can now take care of collecting materials and tools for your project. You will need cutting instruments, like a pair of scissors (some people choose scissors with a pointed end, so that it can cut around tricky corners) or a cutter. You will also need glue, of course. Clear glue is the best to use. Many people nowadays suggest using modge podge — a glue, sealant, and varnish in one jar. You will also need some popsicle sticks or a brayer, which looks like a small rolling pin or lint roller. The sticks or the brayer will be useful to flatten out the paper design onto the surface. Also, get a paint brush or an old rag to spread the glue, and another rag to clean up any glue drippings (you can also use wet naps or wet wipes for this). You will also need some old newspapers to place underneath your work area so you would not make a mess while doing the decoupage. Lastly, you will need a sealant (also sometimes called a ‘sealer’) as a final coating for your project so that it will be protected from moisture or scratches, if you’re not using modge podge.

First, get a damp cloth and wipe the surface where you will put your design. Let the surface dry completely. Once dried, use your paintbrush to spread some glue or modge podge on the surface and then lay your paper design on top of it. Use the Popsicle stick or a brayer to flatten the paper on the surface and get rid of excess glue/modge podge and let it dry completely. It is best to leave it overnight in a well ventilated area or at least 3 hours under the sun. When the surface has dried completely, you can go ahead and apply a coat or two of the sealant or polyurethane gloss. You can apply it using a paint brush or spray it on the surface. Once the sealant dries, your decoupage artwork is now ready for use or display!

Now go and collect those old photos and immortalize them using decoupage.