How to Decoupage: A Beginner’s Guide

Decoupage may sound scary (it’s just French), learning how to decoupage is actually very easy and straightforward. Put simply, decoupage is the process of cutting out pictures, sticking them to an object and coating them in varnish. At best, the finished item looks so pretty that they seem hand painted, at worst the finished item is a one-of-a-kind and unique DIY project. What’s not to love?

To learn how to decoupage.

[Photo Credit]

You Will Need:

How to Decoupage:

Step 1: Preparation

Before doing anything give your table or chosen object a good wash down, getting rid of any dirt or dust. Ensure surfaces are smooth and clean and void of anything that may interfere with the final finish.

how to decoupage

Step 2: Cut Out Pictures

The main point of learning how to decoupage is to apply pictures and patterns to your existing furniture. So, by this point, you’ve probably already chosen what you’d like to decoupage on.

If not, have a look around at:

  • Wrapping paper
  • Wallpaper
  • Magazines
  • Greeting cards
  • Fabric
  • Paper napkins
  • Origami papers

Once you’ve selected the image, cut it out with scissors making sure to be very careful and precise on the edges (these will be visible in the final product!)

Tip: If there’s a white outline on the image that you’ve cut out you can colour it in to ensure it blends better.

Step 3: Arrange the Images & Stick!

Decoupage artist

Arrange your patterns how you would like them on the table. If you are using an old table which has unsightly cracks in it you may want to consider covering any cracks with your decoupage motif.

Apply the decoupage glue to the area and put your image pieces in place. Make sure to smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles; this can be done by covering with cling film and wiping on top with a damp cloth.

Wipe away any excess glue and leave to dry.

Step 4: Varnish

When the glue is dry, it’s time to varnish the whole object to seal your creative DIY project in place. You will need to complete a number of coats of varnish, ensuring to leave each layer to dry thoroughly before starting the next.

how to decoupage tools on wooden table - square composition.

Depending on the type of finish you require will affect what varnish you use. A glossy varnish won’t go cloudy, regardless of the number of layers you decide to do.

Now you know how to decoupage check out these 40 decoupage ideas for simple projects!

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