Decoupage for beginners.

What do you think connects the French Queen Marie Antoinette and Pablo Picasso? A common hobby, they brightened up their leisure time with decoupage, however, in different eras. This kind of needlework, century after century (since the XV century), continent after continent has conquered the whole world with simplicity of execution, excellent results and affordable materials.

​A person is so arranged that he wants to make the space around him more beautiful and comfortable. But not everyone, due to different circumstances, gets it qualitatively and professionally. Why? Reasons:

there is no special education and no tool for artistic painting;
there is not enough free time for painstaking work.​

Is the situation familiar? In this case, the decoupage technique will come to the rescue (transferring the finished picture to household items).

Features of decoupage materials

Decoupage for beginners

​In the distant Middle Ages, portable illustrations were inlaid with furniture. Today you can decorate any smooth or rough surface:

glassware (glasses, decanters, wine bottles);
porcelain or ceramic tableware;
tin cans;
wax candles;
plastic and fabric;
wood is the most common option (cutting boards, trays, hot plates).

Decoupage is similar to an application, but a drawing on a very thin base is suitable for it. These can be:

kitchen paper napkins (top layer with a pattern);
illustration printed on the thinnest office paper;
a set for creativity.​
You will also need: primer (acrylic paint), PVA glue, varnish, scissors, brushes.

Types of decoupage​

Decoupage is divided into:

Direct decoupage – gluing to a flat surface.

Direct decoupage

Reverse decoupage – we glue the image from the back of a transparent surface (it can be glass, plexiglass or transparent plastic) in such a way that a beautiful decor is visible on the front side under the glass.

Reverse decoupage

Volumetric – the drawing is raised above the surface, this effect is achieved due to layering.


Smoky looks like an art painting. This type of decoupage requires special skills and skill. The author should erase the boundaries of the drawing and the surface, wrapping them in a gentle haze.


It is better to start acquaintance with decoupage with a napkin technique. It is quite simple. But it has its own nuances.

The working surface should be smooth, without flaws. Sandpaper, putty and primer will help here.
The treated plane is covered with white paint. This is an ideal background, the drawing on it does not lose its brightness.
The napkin can be glued completely, large fragments are cut out, small ones are torn by hands.
Glue can be applied both on a napkin and on an object. The pattern is smoothed from the middle to the edges.
The dried product must be covered with several layers of varnish.​

Sometimes an iron is used for smoothing instead of a brush. It is important here that the glue on the surface is completely dry. Next, the napkin is pressed to the plane through the pastry paper. The glue melts from high temperature and impregnates the paper.

Decoupage styles​

Decoupage styles​

At the dawn of its popularity (XVII-XVIII centuries), the art of decoupage was a whim of court ladies. Accordingly, the pictures had a very feminine character: pastoral and floral motifs. In our century, the choice of themes and motifs is quite extensive.


Products decorated in an elegant Provence style resemble precious things in an antique shop (combs, mirrors, caskets). A distinctive feature of Provence is pastel colors and a slight aging effect. Real retro chic.


Shabby chic​

Shabby chic is an endless tenderness covered with English mists. Angels, birds of paradise and flowers settle on porcelain plates and wooden caskets. The peculiarity is a slight blurriness, indistinctness of the drawing.

Shabby chic​


Simplicity is simplicity and practicality, the style of urban simplicity and modernity. The main material is newspapers and other papers of daily use (maps, ads, magazine clippings). The result is modern, simple and stylish.


Victorian style​

It will bring a regal luxury to the interior. The main motive is the entertainment of the aristocracy (evenings, hunting, theater). And, of course, the English rose. The dominant colors are purple, green, and gold.

Victorian style​


Embodies the comfort and simplicity of rural life. It will suit everyone who is tired of the urban landscape.


Decoupage on a wooden base

Do you want to master the decoupage technique perfectly? Follow the principle from simple to complex. For the first acquaintance with decoupage, a wooden cutting board is suitable. Why?

Firstly, a simple household item is found in every home.
Secondly, it is easier to work with a flat, flat surface.
Thirdly, the wood is easy to process (grinding, priming).

Decoupage on a wooden base

When choosing paper, focus your attention on simple kitchen napkins: a variety of drawings and an affordable price are pleasantly pleasing; the thin surface absorbs glue well and dries quickly. But be careful and attentive. Wet paper can stretch and tear. Otherwise, this is the most suitable material for practicing decoupage technique skills.​

How to turn a cutting board into a decorative item in 7 steps:

Step 1. Surface preparation. The wood must be sanded, if necessary, use putty. The goal is to eliminate irregularities.

Step 2. Priming the work surface with acrylic paint (2 layers). Instead of a brush, you can use a sponge for dishes. Apply acrylic to the board with flapping movements. Sand the dried paint with sandpaper.

Step 3. Determine where the drawing will be located, what its size will be. It is important to remember that when wet, the paper will stretch by 0.5-0.8 cm.

Step 4. The paper is laid down on the file (multiphore), water is gently poured onto it from the brush, which is distributed over the entire surface of the napkin with the same brush. It is necessary to expel all air bubbles.

Step 5. Put the drawing file aside. Lubricate the surface of the board with glue-pencil.

Step 6. Transfer the drawing from the multiphore to the cutting board. Smooth out the file with a napkin on the board and carefully separate it from the paper.

Step 7. The dried workpiece is covered with 2 layers of acrylic varnish.​

In just 7 steps you will completely renovate the furniture and other wooden objects in the house!

Decoupage on a wooden base

Decoupage of a glass bottle

The technique is similar to the previous version, but there are nuances:

the working surface should be perfectly flat without chips and relief;
the glass must be degreased with alcohol or nail polish remover before decoupage;
it is convenient to trim the drawings with manicure scissors with rounded edges;
glue the napkin on the PVA or varnish;
cover the dried workpiece with 2 layers of acrylic varnish.​

A bottle decorated in decoupage technique is an original decor for any celebration.

Decoupage of a glass bottle

The decoupage technique is simple in execution, but this does not detract from its advantages. You can decorate both the porcelain surface and all the furniture in the house. It’s interesting, original and inexpensive. Its democratic nature and variety of motives allows you to do what you love, regardless of age, gender, profession and cultural environment. Be successful and full of creative energy!