How to decoupage

DIY Decoupage

Some of you might have seen my dreadful attempt at a tutorial on Snapchat ( iv since fired my cameraman lol) so I thought I would come on here and explain how to decoupage. 

These type of tutorials I feel are better shown than reading so I will do my best to explain. I want to get into sharing DIY tutorials on Youtube so hopefully early next year I will be able to share some videos with you, I am just saving up for a new laptop to edit the videos on. 

I had fallen out of the habit of doing decoupage, I was obsessed with it when I first moved into my home and loved how relaxing it was. The lovely Liz over at decoupage. ie had read I wanted to get back into it and sent me over some of her goodies to get me started. 

Liz also teaches workshops too so if you are inspired after reading this and want to do a day workshop you can find details by clicking here.

What is decoupage? 

My definition of decoupage is ……. sticking pretty napkins/pictures to things. Now I am sure there is a much more technical term to this but this is what it means to me. I have used it in hangers, even on some pieces of furniture too. 

Where do I start? 

Step one: 

Pick something pretty to decoupage, if you are beginning I would get something with a flat surface. 

It can be tricky at first to try to get the wrinkles out so go for something flat like a bookmark or a wooden spoon, Liz sells tons of wooden items to decoupage that are really cheap so you can even start with these. 

When you get a little more advanced you can move onto bigger items.

Step two: 

Your tools, you will need.

– pretty napkins

– decoupage glue

– some varnish to seal

– white paint (optional)

– a nice flat brush

You can use PVA glue instead of decoupage glue but I recommend the decoupage glue as the PVA glue gives more wrinkles. I started off using PVA and once I changed to a decoupage glue I found it less wrinkly and it dries quicker. 

I would paint your surface white so the napkins stand out and you don’t see the brown wood underneath. 

Step three: 

Peel back that napkin. 

You will need to peel the layers of your napkin away to leave you with the thin piece of printed napkin. 

Most napkins are three-ply so make sure you get the thinnest piece. 

Prep your surface. 

Make sure your surface is clean from dirt, dust and grime. 

Apply a thin layer of glue to your item. 

Slowly place your napkin onto your item and gently brush the napkin on, I stress gently as you don’t want your napkin to tear. 

I apply a layer of glue over the item too. When your piece is dry you can sand off the edges. 

Step four: 

Varnish and finish. 

Once your piece is dry you can very lightly sand it so that it blends a bit better into your piece, this also removes wrinkles from your piece. 

Then varnish, to seal in all your hard work apply a thin layer of varnish to your piece. 

Then the fun part, dressing your item in bows or embellishments. 

I decoupaged some hangers so I just added some ribbons and tied them into bows. 

One of my fave ladies is @nana_spoon she decoupaged these spoons below and even has made a successful business of selling her decoupaged items. Have a peep at her Instagram here.

These also make fab items to give as gifts. How pretty is this hanger with the dress, you could even make a batch of these and give it as part of a wedding present for the bride to hang her dress on? 

It’s also a fun rainy afternoon project that you could do with little ones. The glues are safe for children to use and they can decoupage some pretty hearts and hang them in their rooms. 

It wouldn’t be a blog post without Blondie! whilst trying to shoot some pics she decided to get in on the action! Oh, Blondie. 

I hope this post was useful, Let me know if you have tried some decoupage and tag me in your pics or leave a link to your blog in the comments section below. 

Have a fab week, Catherine. 

* The items in this post were kindly gifted to me however this is not a paid sponsored post*



  1. Blogger
    September 23, 2017 / 10:15 am

    Did you know you can create short links with Shortest and earn money from every visit to your shortened urls.

  2. The dainty dress diaries
    September 1, 2016 / 3:14 pm

    Aw thanks! I didn't know you had a Facebook group too! I just join! Love seeing everyone projects X

  3. DecoupageIRL
    September 1, 2016 / 3:08 pm

    Ah Catherine, you did good!!! Delighted you are back in your decoupage groove and thank you so much for the lovely post – you are so good. If anyone would like to see more we have a lovely facebook group called Decoupage Ireland – would be lovely to have more members! Any decoupage related questions just ask there 🙂 Thanks again Liz

  4. The dainty dress diaries
    September 1, 2016 / 12:54 pm

    Thanks so much for reading Monte. I can't wait to see what you decoupage. Decoupage is fab on furniture X

  5. monte
    August 31, 2016 / 8:24 pm

    Thanks for adding to my mental to do list, LOL!! I wanna try this on a chair or some cabinet doors now! You make it look so easy!!

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