Thursday, May 3, 2012

Decoupage Decoupage Decoupage!!!

**New Decoupage post added here.**

I have spent the past two days teaching myself a new skill. You guessed it... DECOUPAGE (proud that I can spell the word now BTW) I had done a lot of Google searches for scrap paper wall art and I really loved it. This was trial and error and it really was not too bad. BUT I did have one pretty big fail, read on for the details (there will not be pics posted of my fail).

Here's my step by step!
I bought 2 4 foot 1x12's. You can use whatever size you want or need. I then cut them into 8 equal pieces and sanded them just enough to clean them up and wear down  the edges.

Next up I put a coat of stain on the sides and around the edges. I went ahead and filled in the centers just for fun but probably won't worry about that next time. You could also use paint in a color that coordinates with your paper.


After you wipe them clean it's time for your Mod Podge. This stuff is kind of expensive and did not go as far as I thought. Boo. BUT just make sure to stock up when it's on sale like I will be.  So, you put a thick coat on your surface and your paper. When you apply the paper to your surface try REALLY hard not to leave bubbles or wrinkles. I used an old credit card then switched to a small rolling pin. Either way works, just work carefully and slowly and work from the inside out!! Wipe up glue that comes out of the edges.

Here is what it should look like once your paper is on and smooth.

Next up, it is VERY important to wait 15-20 minutes before you put another coat on top. Set your timer. The waiting helps to lessen wrinkles... so wait! You can apply 1 or 2 or 3 more layers if you'd like. Some people use 0000 steel wool between coats. I did not but might in the future. This step would be needed if you want to reduce brush strokes but using a foam brush would also help with that problem. I thought that I would like the brush strokes, and do. It gives it more of a canvas feel.

This is after two top coats have dried.

Now, you could stop there if you'd like and pop these guys on your wall.

But I went a little further.  The blogosphere will tell you to use "distress ink" but really, I forgot to buy it. So I used some watered down black paint. I smudged it on in the corners and around the outsides. Then blotted it with a paper towel. In my opinion it turned out great on the black paper but not so great on the lighter papers (see image below). (I will try distress ink in the future just for fun).

So, since I was not O.M.G. in love with the lighter ones I went one step further. I printed off 2 8x8 black and white photos and after doing a color bleeding test I went ahead and Mod Podged them on. BAD IDEA! My test had lied to me. Once dried it ended up looking very green and ugly. So I ended up spritzing it with water and gently peeling off the paper image. It worked! I did have to do some light sanding to get the last bits of the bad picture off. But the layers I had done on the original part was still good.

Moving on! After that I decided to get into my photos and find some shots that would mesh well. Now, I am not set on these images sizes (really wanted a square) so for this reason I just placed the pictures on. I gotta say, I am pretty O.M.G. over my handsome little men on these! And the shot with the flowers would look really pretty with a larger square picture.


So there it is. Two days of trial and error and a few hits and a miss. I will be finding larger square pictures to add permanently. And I do plan on doing more. What do you think? I have grand dreams of spending my winter months doing decoupage. :)


  1. I am redoing my bedroom, and plan to do all my own artwork. I am so excited to try this! I think your decoupage attempts turned out great!!! Thanks for doing this.

  2. I've been thinking about trying to decoupage the top of a desk from Ikea. My new craft room is all white and these desk are that blonde color. I HATE them in my new space. If I could cover the top it would work though. I wasn't sure how the decoupage would hold up to the wear and tear of me using the table to sew on.

    1. Hi Chrystyna! It should work and work well. Plus if you use the Gloss Mod Podge it will be wipeable and easier to clean up. If you find that it is tacky after it has cured, spray on a top coat and that will help with the stickies.

  3. I want to do a decoupage project, so I checked out the Mod Podge. You're right! Very expensive! I did a search on homemade mod podge and it's basically just glue and water. Have you ever tried decoupaging with a diy glue? I think I'm gonna try it. Your pictures came out beautifully. You are inspiring me. :-)

    1. Hi Sarah, thanks for your kind words. I have yet to try the glue and water recipe but may since glue is so cheap with back to school prices (not that it isn't cheap anyway). The reason I stick with Mod Podge, so far, is because it also has a built in protective top coat so I don't have to think about that. Plus, I always remember now to use a 40% off coupon and I buy the larger container.

      Good luck and have FUN!

  4. the glue and water recipe works GREAT! i jut used it to put home made labels on some jars! <3!

  5. I have several projects I want to complete, but I am still in the research process. I have read on several sites that card stock, also used for scrapbooking, can be used for decoupage and other sites say tissue paper. Will card stock work as well for decoupage?

    1. I would NOT use tissue paper. Tissue paper works well only if you are wanting a wrinkled look. I actually like to use thick scrapbook paper so I am sure cardstock would be fine. As you learn to decoupage it is easier to start with thicker papers because it makes less bubbles and wrinkles. Have fun with it!


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