In today’s screen-heavy world, we’re all looking for offline activities that are engaging and interactive. A good place to start is to try your hand at crafts like the art of decoupage.
Decoupage involves gluing paper, tissue, or other materials onto wood, glass, or plastic.
Traditionally, pictures are used, but these days there are many creative decoupage projects using all kinds of materials. This craft is easy to pick up and can be made with items that you have lying around at home.
Have you always wondered about decoupage but not sure where to start? We’ve pulled together 15 creative and interesting decoupage ideas for first-timers.
15 Decoupage Ideas Perfect for Beginners
Here are some beginner-friendly decoupage projects that will inspire you to come up with your own ideas!
1. Decoupage Shelves
You can give those old shelves a fun update with this easy decoupage on wood project. Choose a fun fabric you love to create an interesting décor piece that will brighten up any room.
Along with your material of choice, you’ll need a sponge brush, scissors, measuring tape, and decoupage glue. Depending on your shelf, you may need to sand and prime it before you start.
Once primed and prepped, you will need to apply the glue onto the shelf and then carefully smooth the fabric down on top. A hard coat of decoupage glue to finish will seal and varnish your project.
Then all you need to do is let your project try and you’re all done.
2. Decoupaged Wine Bottles
Bottle art is a go-to decoupage project for beginners that adds a little charm to any empty corners.
You’ll need paint, glue, varnish, decoupage paper, and of course a wine bottle. First, paint the glass bottle with white acrylic paint to make a base for your decoupage.
Then, cut out a design from a decoupage print, decoupage letters, or draw your own. The tutorial uses elegant Asian prints, but you can use any motif you like that fits your décor. Place the cut print on the bottle and brush with decoupage glue. To finish, use a varnish spray to seal the print.
3. Decoupage Letters
Decoupage on wood is one of the easiest forms of the craft, as you are working with a flat and hard surface. Decoupage letters on wood are a simple yet effective home décor item for your own home — and also make a great gift.
You’ll need a wooden letter, patterned paper, decoupage glue, a paint brush, and acrylic paints. Start by painting the letter with a white or light-coloured base coat. Once dry, brush it with glue and lightly press the paper on top. At the same time, wrap the paper around the letter, trimming as needed.
For the finishing touch, brush another layer of glue over the top to seal in the paper.
4. Decoupage Jewellery Box
If you have an old box knocking around, you can use this for your next decoupage project to make a lovely jewellery box.
Along with any wooden box, you’ll need a paint brush, acrylic paints, fabric pieces, decoupage glue, and an acrylic sealer. After painting a base coat on the box, you simply apply decoupage glue and paste the cut fabric pieces onto the surface.
Seal the design with several coats of acrylic sealer and you’ll have a beautiful box to store your jewellery, or a nice little gift.
5. Decoupage Candles
It may surprise you that you can also decoupage candles, though this technique is a little different.
Stock up on plain white candles, paints, decoupage napkins or paper, and a heating tool, such as a hairdryer. Start by wrapping the candle with a piece of napkin, and then heat the candle to melt the wax slightly and affix the paper.
As you work, it’s important to smooth down the napkin to avoid creases. Once the candle dries, blend the edges of the design with paint for a polished finish.
6. Decoupage Photo Coasters
Personalise your own coasters and bring a little joy to the table with this unique project.
To start, you’ll need to print out a photo using a laser printer. Then, cut to fit your coaster and brush the printed side with decoupage glue.
Stick the photo on the coaster with the printed side face down. Once the glue dries, wet the photo with some water and rub off the white paper backing. The photo will have transferred onto the coaster and will be revealed.
7. Decoupage Photo Suitcase
If you want a unique suitcase that will stand out on the luggage carousel, personalising it with your own travel photos is sure to do the trick.
Like the coasters project, you’ll need to print out pictures for this and cut them to suit the size. You can either print out several pictures or have one large photo, it’s up to you. The suitcase is then covered with decoupage glue and the photos are placed on top.
8. Decoupage Journal Cover
More and more people are discovering the many benefits of journaling, and you can add a creative touch to yours with a beautiful decoupage cover.
You can do this with any journal that has a scrapbook or chipboard cover.
Only a thin layer of decoupage glue is required, and then glue down the design of your choice. This easy tutorial suggests using a paper doily for a mandala-like effect. To really make it your own, you can add embellishments and adhesive letters.
9. Decoupage Tile Magnets
These cute little magnets are made with ceramic tiles, small magnets, decoupage glue, hot glue, and scrapbooking paper.
Simply cut the paper the size and shape of the ceramic tile. To attach, apply decoupage glue to the tile and place the paper in the centre, pressing down gently.
The paper is sealed on with another coat of decoupage glue. To complete the project, stick a small magnet in the centre back of the tile with a hot glue gun and you have a unique fridge magnet.
10. Decoupage Canvas
Canvas decoupage may sound complex, but it is simple enough to do and creates an interesting effect.
For this decoupage canvas, spread the decoupage glue on the canvas. The layer should be medium-thick, just enough for the delicate decoupage napkin to stick. Then simply stick the decoupage napkin on top of the canvas.
11. Decoupage Mirror Frame
Use any mirror with a frame for this creative decoupage project.
You’ll also need decoupage glue, scissors, and fabric. It can be a little tricky to get the material to wrap around the frame, so work in sections by cutting and patching the fabric with the glue. Your decoupage mirror will be complete once you seal the fabric with a thin layer of glue.
12. Decoupage Flower Pots
Decoupage an old plant pot with a cheery design to bring extra flair to your garden.
You’ll need to seal the flower pots first with a sealer. Decoupage works best with a white base, so paint the pot with a white acrylic coat. Then cover it with decoupage glue and decoupage napkins or paper.
Floral motifs are an obvious choice, but you can also try something less expected if you like.
13. Decoupage Wardrobe Dividers
Decoupage dividers are a creative and fun way to organise your wardrobe.
For this project, grab a template for the divider and trace its shape onto your scrapbooking material. This makes it easy to cut the material to the perfect size and shape, and affix it with decoupage glue. Add some decoupage letter or number stickers to keep your wardrobe organised.
14. Decoupage Fabric Pillows
Faded pillowcases can be transformed with the help of decoupage.
To make these unique pillowcases, you’ll just need decoupage napkins, decoupage glue, and an old pillowcase, of course. Once you’ve put the napkin in place, cover it with decoupage glue. Finish by ironing the back, and your design will be sealed in.
15. Decoupage Glass Plates
Decoupage is a truly versatile craft and can even be used on glass to make whimsical, decorative plates.
All you’ll need is patterned paper, decoupage glue, and a clear glass plate. Trace the plate onto the paper and cut out the shape accordingly. Since you’re working with a thick material, you’ll need to apply a thick layer of glue all over the front of the plate. After attaching the paper, seal it with another layer of decoupage glue.
Ready to get started?
Decoupage is a fun and relaxing way to spend your free time. You'll make a beautiful item to brighten up your space, or for a unique gift. Better yet, these projects are deceptively easy, and you'll be able to make a lovely jewellery box, plate, or mirror in no time at all!
Feeling inspired to try more decoupage? Check out our Paint and Color boxes for curated boxes that deliver hours of fun and creativity to your doorstep.