Monday 25 June 2012

Decoupage - The How To

If you are new to decoupage and want to learn how to do it.. you came to the right place. Here is a detail step by step on the how to.

Once you have your object you want to decorate, which can be pretty much ANYTHING!!!!!!  figure out what materials you are going to use to decorate it with! You can use just about anything for decoupage; including cards, napkins, tissue paper, gift wrap, newspaper, magazines, thin fabric pieces, scrapbooking or Decoupage paper. Keep in mind that, the softer and more flexible the material, the easier it will be to work with, especially if you are working with an object with a curved surface.

Once you have your materials, figure out if you need them cut. You can use whole pieces of paper or you can cut them to make them fit or make them into different patterns or designs. Use your scissors or a craft knife to cut out the pieces that you need.

Place the cut out pieces on your project where you want them to be, don't glue them down yet, take a picture or sketch out the layout so you remember where the pieces are to go for when you are ready to glue!

Make sure your object is clean and dry. If there are imperfections and bumps and you prefer to sand it or paint it before you decoupage, do so beforehand. Make sure the paint is dry before placing the materials on. For some materials, such as wood and metal, you may need to prime the surface with a coat of paint or primer to help the cut outs stick on your object better.

Use a sponge or a paint brush to brush a thin layer of glue onto your surface (if you are finding it hard to stick, you can put glue on the back of the cut outs as well; putting glue over the edges too). Work with smaller sections as the glue tends to dry rather quickly. 

Place your first piece of cut paper onto the area to which you applied the glue. Apply the paper carefully to avoid ripping it and smooth it out with the sponge, a small roller or with your finger, rubbing outward from the center. This will reduce bumps! Repeat with each piece. Applying glue, the cut out, and then some more glue. You can overlap your other cut outs or leave open spaces, it's up to you.

If you are applying several layers, make sure each layer is completely dry before starting the next layer.

After your object is completely dry you are going to seal the decoupage with a couple coats of sealant, such as decoupage finish, varnish, or lacquer remembering to let each coat dry thoroughly before applying the next.

When the sealant is dry, sand it with sandpaper to get rid of the imperfections and bumps if any. Remove any dust from sanding with a damp cloth. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH COATS OF SEALANT covering the surface before sanding. You do not want to sand off your cut outs.

Apply as many coats of sealant as you like to get the finish that you are aiming for! Some decoupage artists use as many as 30 or 40 coats. I wouldn't do that many, unless it was something immaculate, LOL. But usually 4 or 5 coats is plenty. Remember to sand every couple coats of sealant and let it dry between each coat!

And ta da! You have just learned the fine art of decoupage!

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