Decoupage Instructions and Inspiring Ideas! | Just Imagine - Daily Dose of Creativity

Decoupage Instructions and Inspiring Ideas!

1. Before & After: A Colorful Refinished Vintage Dresser

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Decoupage can sometimes be deceptive. By looking at a finished project, you would think this craft technique would be complicated, but it isn’t. It is actually quite simple. If you can cut and paste, you already know most of the techniques involved.

Decoupage—from the French word découper, meaning to cut out—is a craft or art form that entails pasting cut-outs (typically paper) to an object and then covering them with several coats of varnish or lacquer.  The process gives flat cut-outs an appearance of depth and makes patterns and pictures look as though they are actually painted on the decoupaged object. Decoupage is a fun and easy way to decorate just about any object, including household items from small vases to large pieces of furniture–the possibilities are endless. Best of all, decoupage can be learned fairly quickly in just a few steps.

1. Get your materials ready.  Select an object you want to decorate, and collect materials to decorate it with. You can use just about any materials for decoupage, including cards, tissue paper, wrapping paper, paper shopping bags, magazine clippings, rice paper, thin fabric pieces, or (of course) decoupage paper. You can evenMake Paper to use. Generally, however, the softer and more flexible the material, the easier it’ll be to work with if you’re decoupaging a curved surface.

  • Don’t use any images printed on an ink-jet printer as the color will smear with the top-coat. Instead, make copies on a color copier which uses toner that won’t blend.
  • Try using fabric or wallpaper to cover a large surface area very quickly. You can even use these as a background before adding other decoupage items.
  • Avoid using anything too thick, as it will stick out from your project and be more likely to be knocked off accidentally. You want to keep your surface as smooth as possible.
  • Use found goods to decoupage to save money on supplies. Clippings from junk mail, free hand-outs, newspapers, and old books and magazines work perfectly for this.

2. Cut your cut-outs. You can use whole pieces of paper, you can tear it, or you can cut your paper to make interesting shapes and designs. Use scissors or a craft knife to cut around out the shapes you desire, holding the scissors so that they are angled slightly to the right. This will create a smoother, beveled edge.

  • Tearing your paper will help to create smoother edges. To tear your paper smoothly, fold it along the tear-line and create a strong crease with your nail. Do this again in the opposite direction, and then tear the paper.
  • Don’t feel like you must completely cover your surface area with cut-outs. Only prepare as many as you feel you will use for your project.
3. Plan your decoupage project. Make a sketch of the layout or simply put the cut-outs into place without gluing them and then take a picture so you’ll remember the arrangement.
  • If planning isn’t your style, feel free to glue your pieces as you go without deciding ahead of time. Keep tabs on your composition to make sure that you are gluing things in a consistent manner.
  • Consider the color and texture of the things you are gluing. Mix and match different colors or try color-blocking areas of your project.
4. Prepare the surface. Make sure the object you are decorating is clean and dry, fill in deep gouges, and sand it down to remove bumps and imperfections if necessary. If you want to paint it or refinish it, you should do this before pasting anything onto it.
  • For some materials, such as wood and metal, you may need to prime the surface with a coat of latex paint to help the cut-outs stick better.
  • If you wash off the object, make sure it is dry before you start gluing so that everything sticks better.
5. Protect you work area by covering it with newspaper.
6. Use a glue appropriate for both your surface and your cut-outs. You can generally use plain white glue, but it’ll be easier to use if you mix it with water it should be the ratio of 50% glue and 50% water. Make sure your lid is closed and shake, shake, shake.
7. Apply the glue. Use a paintbrush to brush a thin layer of glue onto your surface and onto the backs of the cut-outs. Make sure you apply the glue evenly and over the edges of the cut-outs.
8. Glue the cut-outs, piece-by-piece, to the object. Lay a piece of your cut paper onto the area to which you applied the glue. Apply the paper carefully to avoid bending or crumpling it, and smooth it out with a brayer (a small roller) or with a Popsicle stick, rubbing outward from the center. Repeat with each piece.
  • For a more complex appearance, make several layers of cut-outs. Lay down the first layer and then glue subsequent layers on top, partially overlapping the layers below.
9. Let glue dry. Make sure the whole piece is thoroughly and completely dried before proceeding. If you are applying several layers, make sure each layer is dry before starting on the next.
  • If there is a rim or an edge that the decoupage wraps around, you can trim it with a razor for a cleaner look.
10. Apply varnish or lacquer. Seal the decoupage with a couple coats of an appropriate sealant, such as specially-formulated decoupage finish (available at art and hobby stores), varnish, or lacquer. Let each coat dry thoroughly before applying the next.
11. Sand the sealed decoupage. When the sealant is dry, sand it with 400 grit sandpaper to remove imperfections. Use a damp cloth to remove residue from sanding. Do not sand until you have enough coats of sealant to completely cover the underlying surface and cut-outs.
12. Continue applying varnish or lacquer. The unique appearance of decoupage is created by multiple coats of sealant. The number of coats is up to you. Depending on the sealant you are using, you may need as few as 4 or 5. Some decoupage artists use as many as 30 or 40 coats. Remember to let each coat dry before applying the next, and sand the decoupage after every couple coats for best results.
13. Finished.

Inspiration Gallery Sources:

Instructions from Wiki How 

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