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Modge Podge Furniture- A Fun Project

Updated on September 4, 2012

Did you ever have a random coffee table, end table, or vintage chair you weren't quite sure what to do with? Perhaps you live in an apartment that doesn't have a theme and you need decorating ideas. In this article, we will look at an easy way to redesign a piece of furniture with some paint and collected images from magazines. The project is a fun way to personalize your furniture. You only need a few materials:

  • paint
  • old love letters, pictures, magazine items
  • Modge Podge
  • Glue stick
  • Paint brushes

Step 1: Find a piece of furniture
You can go through tag sales, garages, attics, basements, or thrift stores. Perhaps you have a rickety old chair or end table that needs some new inspiration. Pick a piece of furniture that isn’t too large or the project will become overwhelming.

Step 2: Pick a theme and paint colors
Depending on your vision, you need to pick a couple of colors to match. For example, if you want to decorate a children’ table and chairs in the theme of animals, pick bright colors that pattern an animal. If you want to cover a coffee table with old antique love letters, then you’d be painting the base of the furniture an off white, beige, or white. If you want the furniture to match a particular room, pick the paint out accordingly.

Step 3: Find letters, magazine clippings, or pictures
Round up a bunch of things that go along with your theme. Flip through magazines and pick out pictures that inspire you. You can find old photos and make copies of them to use. Here are some other places to find inspiring images:

  • Old holiday or birthday cards
  • Magazines
  • Old children's books that have the bindings broken
  • Calendar images from previous years
  • Photos from a vacation or holiday
  • Wallpaper books (many paint stores throw out books full of wallpaper samples)

Project Idea Number One

Chairs According to the Season

For this project, you need four unique chairs. Each chair will represent a season; spring, summer, fall, and winter. Pick out two colors that represent each season and paint the chair. Once it dries, you can cut and glue magazine images and photos onto the chair. Don’t be worried about symmetry or straight edges. The ripped edge looks nice too. Use a glue stick to attach these clippings so that there aren’t a lot of bubbles or wrinkles. Once all that dries, you will use the modge podge all over the chair to seal the work. You can choose a glossy or matte finish (depending on your preference).

My sister Nicole McDonough is credited with this design. She gave me these four chairs as a wedding gift!

Spring and Winter
Spring and Winter
Summer and Fall
Summer and Fall

Project Idea Number Two

The End Table of Love

For this project, you will need one small end table. Paint the base of the table a neutral color. Gather all those old love letters and make photocopies of them. Use either the photocopied or original version to paste onto the furniture. For a truly vintage look, dip them in lukewarm black tea to stain. Crinkle the letters up and then leave them out to dry. They will look like they were written in the 1800’s. Glue on the letters and finish with a coat of modgepodge.

I used love letters and old photos of my husband and I to decorate this end table.
I used love letters and old photos of my husband and I to decorate this end table.
Close up of the collage effect
Close up of the collage effect

Some Other Ideas

  • Decorate a children's rocking chair with a pink tea party theme.
  • Collage safari animals onto a children's table.
  • Collage a bookshelf with vintage book jackets.
  • Decorate the top of a coffee table with old pictures and maps from your travel. Buy a piece of glass to cover the table and protect the artwork.
  • Decorate a birdhouse or jewelry box as a gift.
  • Purchase wooden letters at Michael's and collage it with your child's favorite items.
  • Decorate a game table.

Game table using old board covers
Game table using old board covers | Source

Have Fun With It

There is a bit of a learning curve with this project, but even with a few mistakes here and there, collage work is very forgiving. You can just add another image or layer to cover it up. Start with a small project while you get used to the materials. Once you've got it down, you can modge podge virtually anything! A store like Michael's Crafts has all sorts of wooden items- birdhouses, treasure boxes, chairs, letter signs, etc. Collage and modge podge make great gifts!

-Julie DeNeen


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    • Precious904 profile image

      Precious904 5 years ago from UK

      this is a really cool idea, i seriously have the urge to riffle through all the junk in the attic :) thank you for this

    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 5 years ago from Clinton CT

      @randomcreative- thanks! That means a lot coming from the queen of creativity on HP!!

      @mhatter- yes, first married and no furniture matches or is bought from other than a garage sale.

      @ttomb- Your welcome! Thanks for stopping by!

      @cloverleaffarm- Thank you!

      @josh- It's funny you think I'm so creative. I'm not really, just good finding other people's good ideas and doing them myself LOL

      @whowas- A whole house? Now THAT would be wacky!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      These ideas are all so much fun! Thanks for the great suggestions and pictures.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      memories of long, long ago when Arlene and I moved- in together. thank you

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Fantastic ideas! Gonna have to try this for sure! VUMS!

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 5 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      Great hub. I have saved many a chair from the trash decoupaging it. Love the small little table in the pic. Voted up +

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania


      There you go again with your awesome creativity! Your creativity seems to never stop flowing! I love your ideas, and this one will be shared with my sister Katie for sure. She will love it! Many votes Julie, and some shares! Keep up the great work and stop being so darn creative, would you?! Just kidding! Take care and have a great day!

    • profile image

      whowas 5 years ago

      Thanks for that. It's a great hub.

      A slightly whacky but entirely delightful idea! Also, it seems to me that this is the sort of thing that just anyone could have a go at to give new life to some old furniture. It's also something that you could have a lot of creative fun doing with your children - or even something that the kids could do themselves.

      But why stop at furniture? It seems to me that you could decorate a whole house - or at least one room - using this same idea. Now, there's a thought...where's that glue pot and all those old magazines...?