Decoupage: A Beginner's How To Tutorial Guide


Want to enter the wonderful world of decoupage? Here is how to add a unique decoupage finish to your craft projects using paper or fabric scraps and decoupage medium.

Tags: #decoupage #paper #papercraft #crafts #diy #tutorial #modpodge 

Step 1: Make or Select Your Form:

If you want a custom shaped sculpture or item, paper mache is the way to go.  You do NOT have to settle for (the overpriced and limited varieties of) paper mache armatures you find in craft stores.  You can inexpensively and easily create anything your heart desires.  To see how I created my latest rooster, visit the tutorial I wrote for Activa Craft Products:  How to Sculpt a Paper Mache Rooster with FastMâché.  You can also visit the paper crafts section of this blog.  There you will find more of my paper mache tutorials and many include free printable patterns.

 Activa FastMache Rooster Tutorial

I've also decoupaged wood craft forms, shoe boxes and even a trash can. You can decoupage almost anything.

DIY Tree Art Recycle Bin

My husband even jokes that if our cats are not careful, one day he's going to come home and find them decoupaged as well.

meme credit:

Step 2: Select and Prep Your Paper or Fabric

After you have your selected your form, it's time to prep your scrap paper or fabric.  Think outside of the box when it comes to paper or fabric selections.  You can use book pages, newspaper, magazines, scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, pretty much any type of paper. You can also use scrap fabrics from old shirts or etc for decoupaging.  Fabric really doesn't require any prep work.  The steps you take to prep paper depends on the type of paper you use.  Most commercial or laser printed paper requires no prep work.  However, I have found that the ink will bleed on some book pages (from mass produced paperback novels) and inkjet printer copies.  To avoid this, spray the paper with a print fixative first and allow to dry. Plaid makes a spray that can double as both a print fixative and a finishing sealer for your project. When in doubt, brush a coat of decoupage medium (I use Mod Pod Podge) on top of a small piece of your paper to test for print smears. Once your paper or fabric is ready to go, simply cut it into strips or any desired shape.

Step 3: Let's Decoupage!

Once your paper or fabric is cut, grab a sponge brush and dip it into decoupage medium. Apply the medium on the back of each strip and the place it in the desired position on your project.  Continue adding more strips (if necessary) until the project is covered to your liking.

To finish and seal your strips, sponge brush the decoupage medium over the top and allow it to dry.  That's it!  You can add a few additional coats for extra durability if desired.  As Negan would say...

Meme Credit:

Yes, I'm totally a Walking Dead nerd, I mean fan.

For even more durability or to reduce tackiness in the finish, you can also add a clear acrylic or enamel spray sealer if desired. However, Mod Podge's decoupage medium is an excellent sealer and finisher in its own right. It dries hard and rarely requires additional sealing.

Here are some of the items I've decoupaged along with their tutorials.
Anthropologie Inspired Elephant Bust

 Upcycled Decoupage Magazine Mug
Upcycled Magazine Mug

Tic Tac Bobby Pin Container Tutorial

Once you get started it's super addictive.  Before you know it you will find yourself looking around your home for new things to decoupage.  For your own safety, you should probably take my husband's advice and  refrain from decoupaging your cat.  They don't appreciate that very much.

meme credit:

Until next time, happy crafting, my friends!


Decoupage: A Beginner's How To Tutorial Guide


Note:  Some of the exact supplies I used are available using the Amazon affiliate links below:



  1. Great tutorial for beginners indeed... Nice one.. Happy crafting!~

  2. This is such a great starting place for beginners, I remember doing a bit of decoupage years ago and making it a lot harder than it needed to be.

  3. So cool! I just love how the elephant bust turned out. Pretty!

  4. I enjoyed decoupaging. I need to do a project soon

  5. Great post. I have done papier mache for years. looks so fun.

  6. I am so happy to have found this post. I can't wait to try out some projects!

  7. I though decoupage would require more work, but that's a really easy to follow tutorial. Good idea for a a weekend project!

  8. That's a lovely DIY, Would love to make this for my kids.

  9. I am an avid crafter myself and I always marveled on nicely decoupaged pieces like yours. I have a plastic container i want to recycre to keep my daughters hair bows so I will try it this wee weekend.

  10. Modge Podge is a great way to craft! Love this.

  11. Decoupage projects are so very cool. I loved the very few ones that I have done. I am sure I would love to do it at the library with my kids there.

  12. Summer is almost here, thanks for the great tutorials and ideas to do with the grandchildren.


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