Project ideas for Decoupage
Decoupage can be done on almost any surface. In this article we cover
various ideas for projects, including projects suitable for children.
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Here are some varied ideas for new decoupage projects. We've even
included some children's projects as well.
Boxes provide interesting results when done with decoupage. A variety of
boxes are available in craft stores. A box should be given two or three
thin coats of an oil based paint as a base and at least three coats of
varnish to finish. The final coat can be rubbed with dampened emery cloth
for a fine, soft, matte finish.
When lining a box with fabric, put the seam at the front of the box. When
the box is opened, you can see the back "wall" of the box but not the
front one where the seam is.
If lining a box without overlapping the fabric onto a piece of cardboard,
glue the pieces of fabric on to the sides and then glue decorative braid
along the top edge to hide the raw edge.
Lining a box finishes it well, especially a jewelry box or a trinket box.
To line a box cut a piece of sturdy cardboard to fit into the bottom. It
should fall in and out easily, without catching on the sides. Cut a piece
of wadding the same size as the cardboard. Cut a piece of fabric about an
inch larger on all sides than the cardboard. Put the fabric face down on
the table with the wadding and then the cardboard on top. Cut the corners
off diagonally so that you don't have a bulge at the corner. Pull one
edge of the fabric up onto the cardboard and glue it down. Bring each
side of the fabric up onto the cardboard and glue down. To glue this
padded shape into the box, run a line of glue on the box bottom close to
the sides. Push the padded shape down into the box and press firmly.
Soft flock can be used to give a box a soft, flocked interior and comes
in a variety of colors. It’s a good idea to paint the inside of the box a
Soft flock comes in two parts. There is a colored glue in a bottle, paint
this inside the box. Sprinkle the flock pieces generously into the box.
Close the box and shake vigorously. Pour out any excess onto a piece of
clean paper. Use the paper as a funnel to put the excess back into the
bottle. If you want to flock the inside of the box but not the lid of the
box, insert a piece of cardboard between the box and lid, close the lid
and shake. When you remove the cardboard, the lid will be clean and the
box will be flocked.
Picture frames make ideal gifts. Or you can use decoupage to brighten up
a cheap frame. As you need to see how the frame will look once upright,
it’s a good idea to attach your cutouts with tiny pieces of masking tape
to work out their positioning.
Remember to remove the back and glass before beginning work. Use your
fingers to wrap your cutouts over the edges of the frame. To ensure that
you cover your frame completely with varnish, you may want to prop it up.
You can use dowels rods as a frame and balance your picture frame across
them. Make sure that you have newspaper below to catch any drips and
gently wipe drips from the underside with a cloth. Leave it in position
for a couple of days to dry thoroughly.
Mark your design on the candle. If the candle is wrapped, remove the
wrapper to a quarter inch more than the design area. If it isn’t wrapped,
mask off the area to be left plain with paper and fasten with tape.
Lightly sand the area to be painted and remove dust with a cloth. Apply
two thin coats of oil-based varnish to the uncovered area. If you’re
placing images on a painted background, sponge on a couple of coats of
gesso. Don’t sand and allow to dry between coats. Sponge on background
colors and allow to dry. Finish with up to five coats of varnish, lightly
sanding between the last two coats. Using a craft knife, remove the
wrapper and tape. Finish the cut edge with ribbon or braid.
Decoupage is a craft that is easy enough for children to be involved in.
With their small fingers, children are often capable of very fine work
with practice. However, depending on the age and ability of the child,
you may want to make a few allowances. It’s best to think it through so
that they can work with your guidance, but actually perform each step
Boys as well as girls can enjoy decoupage, and as many young boys are
fascinated with small and fiddly items, they can be particularly adept at
this sort of work. Decoupage can be helpful in developing hand-eye co-
ordination as well as powers of concentration. Once they have been
introduced to the techniques, most children can be left to do projects
alone, so long as someone is available for advice if they run into
problems. If you aren’t yet competent at decoupage yourself, you can
Children will usually prefer decoupaging different types of items to
adults. A serving tray is likely to have little appeal, but a lunch box
or moneybox would get lots of use. For a first project, it’s best to
start with something small, and many children enjoy decorating blown
eggs, and are fascinated with the process of blowing the eggs.
For very young children, you can use safety scissors with rounded ends.
As these scissors make it more difficult to cut small areas accurately,
you will need to choose simple images and shapes to work with. Comic
books can make a good supply of images and, generally, the bold pictures
will be easy to cut out.
As many children get bored easily, it’s worth taking a few moments to
plan how the project is going to be done so they spend as little time
waiting around as possible. Instead of cutting out all the images first
and then after painting a surface, sitting around waiting for it to dry,
paint the object first and the cutting can be done while it’s drying. Or
you can have two projects on the go at once so that they can switch
Getting rid of air bubbles can cause the greatest problems and the
easiest tool for most children to use will be the back of a spoon. Rather
than using varnish or lacquer to finish, it’s safer to use glue. Keep
varnishes and paints out of reach of small children.
With a little forethought, decoupage is one of the safest crafts children
can be involved in and it’s simple enough for them to produce pleasing