DecoupageGet your creative juices flowing with decoupage! It’s a fun way to involve the whole family where create awesome décor pieces that’ll personalise your home design!

Decoupage dates back many centuries and has a rich history in art. It involves layering objects with cut-outs from magazines, wrapping paper or even photographs and then lathered in glue to create a beautiful work of art. The best thing about decoupage is that it can be personalised, making it the perfect medium to express your creativity and individuality.

Choose from a variety of materials which range in price, making this a hobby that fits in with your lifestyle.

The DIY materials you need to decoupage:

  • Sandpaper - 1200 grit water paper
  • Cloth
  • Acrylic paint
  • Crafters glue or decoupage modge podge
  • Water-based Polyurethane Hard Varnish
  • Wrapping paper or pictures cut out
  • Wooden item of your choice that you would like to decoupage

The DIY tools you need to decoupage:

  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Paint brush
  • Sponge applicator
  • Roller
  • Dust mask

How to decoupage your item

To spruce up your home bathroom with some homey touches, purchase a wooden dustbin, tissue box and a little toilet ornament that holds extra loo paper. Choose a paint colour that complements your bathroom and look for pictures and patterns to complement the space.

In these examples, we used blue, purple and silver paint with cut-out pictures of dolphins, shells, crabs and other stunning sea creatures from wrapping paper.

Dustbin beforeDustbin after

Step 1: Arrange all your tools and materials within easy reach. Cut out all the pictures you want to use very carefully with scissors or a craft knife.

Keep in mind: Tissue paper is very soft and fragile and photos printed off an inkjet printer can smudge.

Step 2: Most of the items you buy from the hobby shops will already be quite smooth and ready to paint, but if Pen holderthere are a few rough patches, gently sand paper down. Then use a dry cloth to wipe them clean before you start painting.

Step 3: Paint your piece with your chosen colour(s). Give it two coats and then let it dry completely.

Step 4: Once fully dry, decide how you would like to place the pictures. Once you are happy, it’s time to start pasting then down.

Step 5: With a sponge applicator or decoupage brush, apply a generous amount of Modge Podge to the back of your picture, ensuring that the entire surface is covered. Alternatively, you could apply a generous amount of Modge Podge directly onto the painted item, covering an area slightly bigger than the cut-out picture, in the position you wish to glue your picture. The last method works well when you are using motifs or pictures cut from a paper serviette. If you apply Modge Podge to the paper serviette picture, it can tear easily.

Position the motif very carefully. (Do not press it down at this stage). According to what type of paper you are using, follow the guide below that applies to you:

PAPER PICTURE: Lift half of the picture and with a decoupage roller start smoothing out all the air bubbles. Very gently (on the part of the picture that is flat) start rolling from the centre outwards. When you are satisfied that there are no air bubbles, lower the rest of your print and start rolling out the air bubbles from the centre again.

Once the picture is in place and smoothed out, remove excess Modge Podge with a damp sponge or cloth. Allow item to dry well. Any remaining air bubbles can be pricked with a pin to release air. Roll once again with the decoupage roller.

SERVIETTE PICTURE: Start smoothing down the picture from the centre outwards with your fingers and/or a decoupage brush. Work extremely carefully, as serviettes can tear easily. Apply more Modge Podge over the picture and keep smoothing out all the air bubbles.

Once the air bubbles have been smoothed out, allow the item to dry well. Apply approximately 10 thin coats of Modge Podge to entire surface of your wooden item. Apply each coat in an opposite direction, i.e. one coat horizontally and the next coat vertically. Always allow Modge Podge to dry well between each coat.

Jewelry boxopen DIY box

Step 6: Gently sand the entire Modge Podge area with 1200 grit water paper; these are available at hardware stores. Dip the water paper into water and sand the decoupaged area gently. Apply another 4-5 layers of Modge Podge and sand again. Continue until you are satisfied that the print is totally embedded in the Modge Podge.

Step 7: Wash your equipment such as the brushes and roller in water before continuing.

Step 8: Lastly apply 2-3 layers of the water-based Polyurethane Hard Varnish either in hi-gloss or matt to seal the surface.

Step 9: Once completely dry, place your newly decorated item in your bathroom and be sure to show all your friends and family your impressive DIY skills!

DIY tissue boxTissue boxDIY tissue box

Where to buy your items

All good arts and crafts shops stock anything from jewellery boxes and money boxes to dustbins and tables which you can transform into anything you want with your own unique stamp. They also have a range of materials and Starter kittools.

Shops like PNA, Crafters Market and other big hobby or stationery shops will stock all the above mentioned items.

Alternatively, you can also purchase a starter kit to get you going, at Kraftex from around R265. 

Written by Kayla Myburgh for Home Inspirations. Sources: Genuine Heritage Craft products, and Happy Thoughts.

Photograph credits: Kayla Myburgh, Kraftex, Ceramic Crafts Studio and Paper Curves.


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