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Decoupage Craft with Paper

Updated on January 28, 2014
  • The word DECOUPAGE appeared in the 20th century and comes from the French verb "decouper" - which means "to cut out". The technique spread very fast throughout Europe and especially throughout France and England.
  • What decoupage actually is ? -- It is the craft of decoration of any object with colored paper cutouts and glue combined with special paint effects.

History of Decoupage

Decoupage, is a technique widely used in Italy, Germany and in France. It is acceptable and highly popular art technique across Europe. Some argue that the roots of this art come from Asia, but this claim hasn’t yet been proved. Generally the origin of decoupage is lost somewhere in the mists of time, since only few decorated objects were discovered with elements similar to those of decoupage. These objects were found inside of the tombs in cold Siberia and they are chronologically time-lined even before the birth of Jesus. But in Italy, between the 17th and 18th centuries the technique was reborn in the heart of Venice and was renamed as "Lacca Povera" or "Lacca Contraffatta". The Venetian artists began to use this craft, in order to mimic the oriental furnishings, using as main material images with depictions of China, such furniture were very fashionable and highly expensive during the century.

Decoupage Materials

True masterpieces can be created even with

  • bottle of glass,
  • a wooden or paper box
  • a candle
  • an old furniture
  • an old pan
  • a card
  • an egg
  • a photo frame
  • a fabric handbag

anything else you can think of.

Decoupage - imagination - materials

Decoupage technique allows us to create amazing things using various materials such as ceramic, glass, wood, metal, fabric and much more. The basic and usual materials of decoupage are napkins, any paper with patterns and a bit of simple glue. This great hobby will not cost you a lot of money because the main ingredient for success is your imagination.

Our imagination is unlimited and so are our choices. Almost everything that we have in our houses can be used as our base for decoupage. Your can use your projects, your creations as decoration items for your house or you can gift them to friends and family. There is nothing better than a personalized unique gift that we made by ourselves with so much love.

Decoupage Hangers


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Decoupage Vintage Items - Ideas

Decoupage Vintage Chest
Decoupage Vintage Chest | Source

How to Decoupage - Easy to follow Steps

Here is the procedure of decoupage step by step, easy to follow even for beginners.

First of all decide on which object you want to apply the decoupage technique. The object must be clean and dry.

  • It is advisable to paint the desired surface of chosen object with bright colors (white or beige).

The reason of painting is because the napkin that we put on usually is transparent and we can see the original surface of the object. So, if the background is dark, the pattern of the napkin is not going to be really visible. But if the surface is white and bright, every piece of paper, napkin, or newspaper we choose to put on, will be shown completely with all its details

  • Do not forget to let object dry after painting
  • In the meantime, we can choose the napkin or we can cut out the pieces of paper we wish to use.

If we choose to use napkin we take off the 2 white sheets and use only the one with the pattern.

  • Once the object is dry we use some plain white glue - you can always use specific decoupage glues, as Mode Podge - , but i can assure you that the white glue mixed with water 50/50, will work just fine.
  • We apply the glue with a brush to the area we want to put the paper or the napkin
  • With our brush or with our hands we put the pattern / paper very carefully with gentle moves on the object, try to avoid the creation of air bubbles. If we use our hands we should be more careful because the napkin is very thin and it can be ripped off easily.
  • Keep gluing the chosen material until all surface is covered.
  • When we have glued all the paper, we apply another layer of glue on the surface. It is advisable to apply 3 or even 5 layers of glue to the surface in order to achieve perfect results.
  • Make sure the surface is dry before applying another layer of glue.
  • Our last optional step is to use a lacquer or vanish in order to make our project brighter and shiny. For better results lacquer or vanish can be applies more than once. In this case we also have to be sure that it is completely dry before applying another coat of varnish.
  • At the end, if you like, you can add other accessories too, for example glitter or stickers. You can enrich the color of your pattern by following the details with same or different color of paint. Use your imagination
  • Let it dry for the last time and your masterpiece is ready!!!!

Good luck!!!

I am sure you will be a decoupage addict as millions of people all over the world!!


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    • SAM ELDER profile image

      SAM ELDER 4 years ago from Home

      Thank you very much :)

    • Amariah profile image

      Angel Amariah 4 years ago

      Useful, Beautiful and Awesome. Voted Up!

    • Diana Grant profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from London

      I've tried doing decoupage, but not for a while, and I will bookmark and pin your article to refer to. It looks really helpful.