DIY Decoupage

hand painted eggs

Decoupage is the decorative art of cutting and pasting paper onto a surface and varnishing over the surface. The word comes from the French word decouper, which means “cutting out.”

This creative technique can be used to transform all kinds of objects including furniture, boxes and other containers, vases, lamps, decorative screens, trays, tins and dishes. You can cover these items with almost any kind of paper including gift wrapping papers, wallpaper, tissue papers, photographs and pictures from magazines.

You can also use dried grasses and dried flowers. Often the finished product can look so stunning that it can look professionally manufactured. It is a great technique for jazzing up those tired items and making great accessories for round your home.


  • Decoupage Medium – You can find this in pretty much any craft store. Used to glue the picture to your item and seal it.
  • Brayer – This is a small roller designed to help remove wrinkles, remove excess glue, and stick your picture down better.
  • Foam or Small Paint Brush – Used to apply and spread decoupage medium.
  • Craft Knife – Used to cut out detailed pictures.
  • Sealer – You can use your decoupage medium or glue as a final coat, or you can use, polyurethane, acrylic spray, etc.


Before you begin your decoupage project, you need to prepare the surface that you will be covering. First of all, make sure that the surface is clean, dry and dust free. Make sure that you have all your pictures cut out ready and all your materials close at hand. If necessary apply a base coat of paint to the surface of the object you are decorating, and allow to dry.


Arrange the pictures before you add the glue so you know where you want everything. The pictures can be in any design and can also overlap. Completely coat the back of the picture with your glue or decoupage medium.

You should also put a thin layer of glue in the area where you are sticking the picture. Stick the picture on the glue. Use your finger to gently push down the picture (for a large picture, start from the center and work your way out) and push out any wrinkles and excess glue.

Continue with the last 2 steps until all your pictures are glued on. Let the glue dry. Now, coat your item completely with diluted white glue (approximately 3 parts glue to 1 part water) or decoupage medium. Let this dry completely.

Now, you can continue to add coats of the glue or decoupage medium or use another sealer (polyurethane, acrylic spray, etc.) until you get the desired results. You will, however, want to keep adding coats until the edges of the pictures are smooth.

See Also
Stencil templates
Stencilling Techniques
Dishes of coloured paint
Specialist Painting Techniques