Decoupage Your Own Decor

Decoupage is a true art form that's perfect for all of your home accessories and décor. This great arts and crafts project creates a complicated look that's not really all that complicated. Small pieces of cut out papers from magazines, tissue paper and even gold leaf can be used to layer decoupage into any design you like. After the pieces are attached to your favorite décor item, a few layers of decoupage lacquer are applied to the surface. This not only seals in the cutouts, it also makes it appear that the design is one smooth piece like a photo or drawing. Use this guide to decoupage and you'll be on your way to getting an affordable and adorable design on any home décor item in your home.
Prepping the Surface
Before you begin any decoupage project on your home accessories, you'll need to prep the area first. The area must be able to accept a glue to work. Plastic surfaces may need to be scuffed up with some light grain sandpaper to allow the glue to adhere correctly. Glass surfaces may need a quick acid etch with one part muriatic acid and four parts water. Acid etching is dangerous so use the correct safety equipment when handling this material.
Cutting out the Pattern
Materials like paper are easy enough to cut out and can be easily done with a regular pair of scissors. Paper conforms well enough to work with most decor and can easily wrap around round objects with ease. Stiffer materials like cardboard may need to be softened to bend around curved house décor.
Glue it Down
The medium that is used to glue down decoupage is as simple as it gets. Regular white Elmer's glue works great with most materials like wood or cloth. Some synthetic fabrics may require the use of special fabric glues. Wood glue can be used for most craft materials like ceramics, but some materials may require the use of special fixatives to provide a surface for the adhesive to bond to. Glue and place your decoupage materials on your favorite wall art and décor. Allow the materials to dry for 24-48 hours before applying a varnish. This way, if any decoupage materials peel away from the décor, you'll know you need a different adhesive.
Decoupage It
Once the paper is in place and your design looks good, it's time to cover it all up with a decoupage medium. A varnish or lacquer is commonly used to create the decoupage. Some decoupage materials are already premixed and ready to go. For a cheap alternative to store bought decoupage medium, wallpaper paste can work perfectly. Add several layers until the decoupage medium is flat and smooth across the décor. This may take many layers, so be patient and let each coat dry before applying another.
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