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Easy Collage Decoupage

Updated on June 11, 2016
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Kylyssa Shay worked as a florist for eighteen years and has created and taught an assortment of crafts to adults and children of all ages.

Tea tin covered with vivid images of saltwater fish and corals
Tea tin covered with vivid images of saltwater fish and corals

Collage + Decoupage = Simple Creative Fun

Decoupage is one of the earliest, easiest crafts I can remember making when I was a little girl in the early seventies. People were putting decoupage on just about everything, even soap! That is, they glued images onto things and put a glaze over them.

Another craft I recall from my early childhood is making collages. Collages are collections of images arranged to be visually interesting or pleasing to the eye. Sometimes, collages even tell a story.

This super easy craft project combines decoupage with making collages.

All photos by Kylyssa Shay unless otherwise noted.


Blank tea tin
Blank tea tin

Materials

  • Old magazines
  • An empty tin or box
  • Elmer's Glue All
  • Spray Varnish
  • Scissors
  • Eye Protection

Remove any existing labels from your tin. I used a tea tin and soaked the label off in warm water. Carefully dry your container before beginning this project.

Images cut from magazines laid out on black paper
Images cut from magazines laid out on black paper

1. Cut Out Images You Like

Cut out little images you like from your old magazines. I chose little saltwater fish from my old aquarium magazines mainly because I have a lot of old aquarium magazines and I like fish. Any small, colorful images will work well. You could certainly get a lot more artistic with the collage aspect of this project than I did here.

Gluing a base layer of paper on the tin
Gluing a base layer of paper on the tin

2. Choose Magazine Paper as a Background

Choose pieces of magazine page to serve as a background. I chose some big pictures of vibrantly colored soft corals to go nicely with my little fish.

Apply a thin layer of glue to the outside of the tin and allow it to get tacky.

A covering of magazine paper creates a background for the collage
A covering of magazine paper creates a background for the collage

3. Smooth Background Paper on Tin

Apply your background magazine paper to the tin, covering the whole tin, smoothing as you go. If it isn’t perfect, don’t worry, it will still look OK and you may be able to hide some of your mistakes with pictures you add to the collage.

Apply multiple layers of varnish after the images are all in place and glue is dry
Apply multiple layers of varnish after the images are all in place and glue is dry

4. Apply Images to Tin

Once the magazine papered tin dries, apply a very thin layer of glue to the back of each image you cut out, one at a time, and apply them to the tin wherever you want them to be on the finished tin. Keep applying pictures until you've used them up or until the tin looks the way you'd like it to.

Apply spray varnish to the completed tin and allow it to dry.

Always use eye protection and work in a well-ventilated area when you use spray varnish.

Always use eye protection and work in a well-ventilated area when you use spray varnish.

The finished tin is ready to be used
The finished tin is ready to be used
A slightly different angle on the can
A slightly different angle on the can
working

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