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How to Decoupage



Decoupage is actually quite simple! If you can cut and paste, you should be able to create beautiful craft projects.   You can buy supplies or other items that you might need.  But, basically you use what you can find around the house.

Basically, you cut out pictures from old magazines that are lying around the house.  You can do this anywhere at anytime.  Watching television, riding in the car or just sitting around the table chatting.  This can be the hardest part of decoupaging.  So, cut out as many pictures that you can prior to beginning any project.

Organize your cut out pictures, by either putting them in an accordions file folder, in a 3 ring binder that you have inserted sheet protectors in (I recommend the ones with the opening at the top) and label them.  You could also use shoe boxes for storing your cut out pictures.  It's pretty much up to you, but this organizing and segregating of your cutout pictures will save you a lot of time when you need a certain image or creating a certain theme. 

When cutting out your pictures, go as close to the edge of portion of the picture and eliminate all other areas that you won't be using.  You will need to use sharp scissors with a point.

Then all you need to do is glue the pictures onto an object; and then cover the object and pictures with a few coats of glue/decoupage medium to protect it.

You can purchase a ready made Decoupage glue or make your own:

Decoupage Glue

3 parts white household glue*
1 part warm water
*A thin solution of Paperhanger's Paste or Waterproof or Glass Glue can be substituted.

1. Combine glue with water in a jar or bottle with a screw top lid.
2. Shake until well mixed.

Modge Podge Glaze

Mix 3 parts white glue (Elmer's or any cheap brand) to 1 part water.
Add more or less water to get the desired texture and thickness.
Add 2 Tbsp. varnish, for shine.  Put into container with screw on lid.

Just Like Modge Podge

1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. non-self rising flour
1/2 tsp. powdered alum
1 3/4 c. water
1/4 tsp. oil of cinnamon

In medium size pan, mix together sugar, flour and alum.
Gradually add 1 cup water, stirring vigorously to break up lumps.
Boil until clear and smooth, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.
Add remaining water and oil.  Stir until thoroughly mixed.  Put into container with screw on lid.

Materials that you can use:

Gift Wrapping Papers

Paper Doilies

Pictures from Magazines

Pictures from old discarded books

Old Christmas Cards*

Old Postcards*

Printed Tissue Papers




colorful threads

nature's bounty - flowers, leaves, etc . .

this list is just a start, I'm sure you can find many more that isn't written here.


*If you plan on using Christmas Cards or postcards, you will first need to take out some of the paper backing.  You do this by submerging the entire card into water.  Then on several stacked paper towels, put your card face down.  Gently rub off the backing.  Don't worry if the back looks rough, you will not see the backside of it and the added bumpiness will add texture to your project.


Other Supplies that you will need:

What to do first:

Find an object that you'd like to decoupage.  It can be a serving tray, a clay pot, a picture frame, a desk set, the sky is the limit.  Make sure that your surface is clean.  Dust or dirt will prevent properly adhesion of your pictures.

Seal your object with one coat of Decoupage Glue.  Set aside and let it dry completely.

Figure out your theme:  If you want angels, you collect all the angel pictures that you have cut out.  Gather together your other supplies that you will be using.  If you plan to use fabrics, threads, buttons, doilies, etc. . have these handy.  Make sure that you have your other supplies that will help you with your craft project.

Arrange the pictures first before you start gluing it to your object.  You can overlap you images. 

Hint:  If you want to have a background like a doily, make sure that it is the first item that you arrange.  If you add items that will stick out like buttons, put these last.

Once you have your arrangement and you are happy with it.  Carefully, start gluing your pictures to your object.  Starting with your background if you are going to have one.  Working from one end at a time.  Remove your pictures and glue the items that is closer to the object first.  In other words if you have overlapping images or items, glue the one that will be overlapped first.  Apply decoupage glue to the back of your image and to the area that your picture will be put on.  Once you have applied the picture.  Apply a coat of decoupage to the front of the picture.

Repeat these steps until you completely cover your object.

Set aside to dry completely!  This is important.  Your first layer of coat should be dried completely before adding a new coat. 

After the first coat, you can:

Add 2 to 3 more coats of decoupage glue to your project.  Making sure to dry completely between coats.  If you want a completely smooth surface add as many decoupage glue coats until your surface is smooth.  If you're happy with the 2 to 3 coats spray on or apply your sealer.  The Modge Podge Glaze works well as a sealer too!

That's pretty much it.  You can create beautiful objects with any theme that you choose from objects that you already have at home or flea market finds.  If you're up to the challenge you can also decoupage furniture's such as chairs, table tops, cabinets, drawers, desk, mirrors, etc. . .

Here are links to internet sites that have projects to help you get started.  Please note:  The links that have been added here were working at the time of creation of this page.

Heart Wooden Basket - submitted by member Eileen.  Learn to create your own with just the items from home.

Decoupage Candle Set

Decoupage Photo Box

FANtastic Blades - Re-do your ceiling fan blades

Valentine Patchwork Keepsake Box

Decoupage Cabinet Doors

Painted Clock Project

Victorian patchwork keepsake box

Handful of Memories

Plastic Lid Ornaments

Victorian Tray

Decorated Gift Boxes




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