Coined from the French word ‘cut’, decoupage originated in the 18th century. In the beginning, it could have been considered a child craft. Namely, it involves cutting pieces of paper and layering them over each other to create a 3D image.
Today, decoupage is one of the hottest decorating trends. And it is becoming increasingly sophisticated. You can utilize the technique in personalizing any item in your home. The items may include vases, boxes, utensils, mirrors, frames, lampshades, and furniture.
While it can deliver complex-looking effects, it is a quite simple technique. And this article aims to teach the basics of decoupage.
The good thing about this technique is that you don’t have to buy everything. Most of the supplies you need for a decoupage project could be readily available in your home. Let’s dive in.
What’s the Right Paper for Decoupage?
You can get pictures for decoupage from a wide range of sources, including:
- Wrapping paper
- Greeting cards
- Origami papers
- Paper napkins
- Special decoupage papers – they are available in a variety of designs
It is advisable to choose pictures that have a clear outline, especially if you are still a novice. You want pictures that are easier to cut out. Copied or scanned pictures of the original can turn out great.
Can You Use any Glue for Decoupage?
The best glue for decoupage should be versatile, quick, easy, and dries clear. They include:
- PVA glue
- Gloss Varnish
- Permanent spray glue
- Special decoupage glue – can be used as both glue and varnish
Tools You Need for Decoupage
Must-have tools for decoupage are:
- A sharp pair of small scissors – You want to cut clean edges
- Craft knife with a sharp blade – For cutting out detail and intricate areas
- Soft cloth – For wiping away excess glue
- Sandpaper – To sand the layers of varnish if necessary
- Buds of cotton wool – For dubbing away small amounts of excess glue
Once you have the requisite tools and supplies in place, follow the instructions below carefully:
Step 1: Prepare Surface
Select the item to decoupage. Make sure its surface is clean and dust free. You don’t want varnish to accentuate any flaws on your item.
Step 2: Cut out Pictures
Cut out your desired pictures. You may cut them out roughly with scissors first before trimming them out more accurately with a craft knife.
Step 3: Arrange the Pictures
Position the pictures properly as you desire. You can use tweezers to place tiny pictures. Then glue the pictures in place.
Step 4: Gluing the Pictures
Once you glue the pictures, smooth out any wrinkles. Then wipe away any excess glue with a somewhat damp cloth.
Step 5: Varnish the Pictures
The glue should be dry before you start to varnish. Leave the varnish to dry properly between each coat. You’ll need between 4 and 15 coats depending on the thickness of the paper. The desired smoothness and durability also determine the number of varnish coats.
Sand the pictures lightly after a few coats of varnish. Be sure to wipe away all dust. The result will be a finely lacquered finish. Repeat the process until you get the desired finish.
This guide will be of great help when you decide to do your own decoupage project. The finished item can look so attractive that people will assume it is professionally painted. It is imperative that you have the right tools when creating a decoupage.
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