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How To Decoupage a Table Easily

Updated on August 17, 2013

Decoupage a Table Top

It is easy to learn how to decoupage a table top quickly and easily. I am basically impatient with crafts and most projects, and usually seek to find the quickest and easiest ways to accomplish all tasks. It goes without saying that I want a good final result. My instructions are generally short and to the point thanks to my impatience.This quick and easy method does not work for everyone, but those who share my impatience will appreciate my sharing of how to do things quickly and have satisfactory results.

My work table

Not bad for first try
Not bad for first try

What You will Need

  • A clean table top
  • Elmers White Glue
  • Water
  • A plastic bowl for mixing
  • A wooden spatula
  • A two-inch wide bristle brush
  • A popsicle stick
  • Paper towels
  • Magazine pictures, maps, old menues, photos,color papper, old letters
  • Clear Arylic Gloss Coating or any other suitable finishing solution

Lather on the glue

Carol at work
Carol at work

The Table in Progress

Organize the pieces
Organize the pieces
Make a decision with the pieces
Make a decision with the pieces
It is Finished
It is Finished

Instructions To Decoupage a Tabletop

  1. Clean the table thoroughly with soap and water. Dry completely.
  2. Cut all the pictures that you want to use. Don't worry about rough edges as you can cover with another piece of paper or picture.
  3. Arrange the pictures on the table in any fashion. Make sure to overlap and do not allow empty spaces.
  4. Take a picture of the table so you can follow the pattern.
  5. I didn't follow step four, but felt I had to show some patience and care. I roughly cut the pictures and just started gluing them randomly. I always take chances like this, however if you are a meticulous person this will not work for you.
  6. Remove the pictures from the table.
  7. Set up another table and cover it with newspaper.
  8. Mix your special glue with three parts Elmer's glue and one part water. Other recipes call for equal parts of glue and water, but I found this combination worked well for me.
  9. Start at one end of the table and go across. Carefully lay your picture right side facing down on the small table and brush a generous amount of glue on the back.
  10. Carefully lay the picture on the table and using your fingers press the picture from the center outward. Use the popsicle stick to remove any bubbles or wrinkles.
  11. Follow this process until the table is complete except for the border of the table.
  12. Allow the glue to dry for several hours to make sure it is completely dry.
  13. Cut long strips of pictures or plain paper. Measure this piece to be sure it just goes over the edge and will fit under the table. The corners have to be done very carefully to avoid wrinkles. It does take some practice to get the corners smooth, so you may want to experiment with a corner of a box.
  14. Glue the strips all the way around. If the corners are square you just have to meet at the point of the square corner.
  15. Give the table a final coat with the glue mixture over the top. After it dries give it one more coat to seal it well.
  16. If you are new at decoupaging experiment with a piece of cardboard or an old table.

Finale for the Table Top

I did my painting table for my first attempt. I also decoupaged a coffee can for my paint brushes. The table has some wrinkles and not perfect edges, but all in all it looks pretty nifty and colorful. To seal the paper spray the table with the Clear Acrylic Gloss Coating--two coats.

You can pat yourself on the back for learning how to decoupage a table top easily.


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    • Bishop55 profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      I cannot wait to try this for our home office!

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 

      5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Hey Carol! I doi not know why but I am not getting any notifications for your hubs. I found this when I was looking for a project to link to my next hub! Interestingly, I just told the kids that I want to make a decoupage table. Perfect timing! Thank you so much! Up++, my friend and pinning!

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      5 years ago from Arizona

      thank you for visiting and comment..

    • agapsikap profile image


      5 years ago from Philippines

      I love decoupage. I always admire the outcome after doing decoupage. It gives one simple box a unique design after decoupaging. I used old comics to decoupage. This is a really great idea.

      Thank you carol7777 for sharing.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Thank you Lindacee: I like it as a great cover up for an ugly table. And since this is my project room I have beautiful paintings to look at and get inspiration. Thanks for dropping in and voting and sharing..

    • lindacee profile image

      Linda Chechar 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      I think this is such a great idea! I love decoupage -- I remember decoupaging way back in the 70s. I guess it fell out of favor for a while, but it has always been in style for me! Desscriptive and easy-to-follow tutorial with photos. Very inspiring! :) Voted up, beautiful and interesting. Shared on FB.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      It is a great way to get rid of old paper. Also, before throwing out magazines cut out pretty pictures to save for the day when you go on a decoupage rampage. Thanks for sharing and voting.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Carol,

      I have not decoupaged anything since I was a child but remember how much fun it was. Now you have me thinking about what I could do around here. Thanks for the reminder of this colorful craft project. Up votes and sharing!

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      It is so easy to do. I found that it worked best with thin paper. I am thinking about doing several coffee cans for my artist friends to hold their brushes.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Forgot to thank you for votes and sharing!

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Yes you put a top layer over the entire table..Actually I did two coats to insure the ends of the pictures would not come loose. It is a fun and easy project. Thanks for sharing and voting.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      rajan Jolly; It was amazingly easy to do..and it was an old marked up table..So when I sit down at my computer I am hit with lots of color. Thanks for dropping in as always.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I love this idea, and what a great conversation piece it would make.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Dapples 

      6 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      I like this idea and I was following your quick and easy instructions -- until no. 15. Are you saying we are to put a layer of glue on TOP of the pictures after we have glued them down? I'm totally new to this, so I'm just trying to make sure. Wouldn't that cause the pictures to wrinkle or something?

      Voting up, useful and sharing.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Carol, this is cool and I love the colorful crisp final look. Interesting and maybe I'd like to try my hand at a smaller table. votes up/ useful/interesting and shared.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      That is a pretty cool idea...And you will have a constant reminder. Never thought of that!!! thanks for the share.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      6 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      This would be a great idea for a crafting table. Putting all the "I wanna do" craft pictures on it (with instructions). Loved this! Thanks, Carol! Sharing!!

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      it is so easy ...Hope you do!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This is something I've been wanting to do. Thank you so much.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Thanks for stopping by..we just have to deal with our impatience..oh well its not so bad.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Carol, what a great idea! and it looks quick and easy to do, like you I am quite impatient, although I am creative - I like to see results quickly!

      Thank you for sharing and voted up.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I hadn't thought about the distraction. However I have so much junk on the table it hardly matters. Thanks for stopping by and of course voting UP. The table is pretty safe with two coats of glue on top.

    • kidscrafts profile image


      6 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      I like your idea of the collage but I know it would be too busy for my eyes when I work on a project. May be because it's a work surface....or may be because I am easily distracted by anything visual...or both? On top of that, when I paint sometimes I spill over...and it would destroy the collage. But to create tablecloth...I would not say no because it would be a good conversation start at a party!

      I remember when I was a teacher, I went through hundreds of pictures and create a lot of montages of pictures to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the school. I teared down the sides of the picture so it would show a little white edge. It gave a really interesting result. We laminated the montages and then the school used those for years after.

      Nice reading your hub again :-)

      Voted up and interesting!

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      It is not really perfect--first try but the room looks colorful. I now use it for my computer rid of small desk where my frames and canvasses are stored. The room looks better. Thanks for the vote.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 

      6 years ago

      I love how it turned out! Fantastic ^_^ I should do that to my art supply table. Voted up and useful

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      I am now in mode to decoupage everything. I am kind of like that. When I find something I like I don't stop. Thanks for dropping by and comment.

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Great hub and idea. I have enjoyed decoupage and it is also one of my mom's favorite crafts. Although, it is a sticky one! Thank you for sharing your tips and experience.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      sweetiepie: thanks for stopping by.

      rtalloni: I look at the table as I sit writing and do enjoy the colorful look..better than white with old paint stains.

      teaches12345: It actually is easy and requires no patience. Honestly.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Carol, funny you mentioned doing a coffee can. I was just looking at an old art coffee can deoupage project I did with my grandson years ago -- it still looks good. You must have lots of patience to do such intricate work!

    • RTalloni profile image


      6 years ago from the short journey

      What a great painting table you created for yourself! Thanks for sharing your project how-to with us.

    • SweetiePie profile image


      6 years ago from Southern California, USA

      What a beautiful idea! Thanks for sharing!

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      greenery day: thanks for the vote up and stopping by.

      candie V: Thanks for dropping by.

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 

      6 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Fun idea!!

    • greeneryday profile image


      6 years ago from Some tropical country

      Great idea for those who don't have enough time but still getting good result in the end, thank you for sharing, voted up for awesome.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      I am with you. I am not cut out for detail in my life. I want things! Every once in a while a shed the impatience...Not often.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I share your impatience. You should see me paint a bedroom. Instead of completing a wall at a time, I paint a bit on all four walls thinking by doing so I'm that much closer to being done. That plan never works in my favor. I like your craft and finished product. It's a great idea!


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