Decoupage is a wonderful way to add character and new life to anything. Old furniture, shoe boxes, a plain Jane vase, even jewelry can be decoupaged. The fact is, for centuries it was considered the poor man’s art. It is a fantastic way to use household materials and scraps of paper, along with a little glue, to make something beautiful.
What is decoupage?
Decoupage, by definition, is the art of decorating an object by gluing colored paper cutouts onto it. These cut outs can be glued on in any number of combinations, but the overall affect is artwork. People often combine decoupage with various special paint effects, gold leafing and stenciling.
What can be transformed using the decoupage technique?
The most common items to get the decoupage treatment are pieces of furniture, or boxes. However, anything can be decoupaged. You can do it on a plate, a vase, a photo album, a ceramic, a shelf, a frame and a mirror. The idea is that any item can be transformed and given new life with decoupage.
How is decoupage done?
Typically decoupage crafts are covered by cutouts from magazines or newspapers and layered. Each layer is sealed with a varnish. The item will determine how many coats of varnish each layer gets. Furniture, for example, which withstands more abuse than a decorative item, will require more coats. It traditionally requires 30-40 layers of varnish, which means that this is not a quick craft, but an artistic project that takes time. Each coat must dry completely before adding the next. Once all of the layers are in place, the item should be sanded to a polished finish.
One great decoupage craft is decoupage picture frames.
What you’ll need?
- Wooden picture frames.
- Pictures to decoupage with. (magazine, newspaper, catalog, wrapping paper, etc. all work well for these)
- Scissors, or something else to cut with.
- White school glue, diluted with a little water or decoupage glue.
- A Popsicle stick. This is used to smooth pictures, remove excess glue, and eliminate wrinkles.
- A sponge. This is used to spread the glue about.
- Rags for wiping away excessive glue and cleaning up.
- The varnish. This can be a sealer such as an acrylic spray or lacquer, polyurethane or glue of some kind.
Instructions for the Project:
Cut out the pictures you want to use to decoupage, and determine the layering you want to do. Then, use glue to adhere the pictures, one layer at a time to the wooden frame. Smooth each picture out with the Popsicle stick, and remove any excess glue at each layer. Cover the layer with varnish. Let dry completely. Begin layer two. Continue until each layer is complete.
You use the same basic method any time you decoupage, so choose the item you want to cover and have fun!