What is it?
Découpage is the technique of cutting out designs from paper and pasting them on to an object to decorate it. Once the chosen item is fully covered, it is then covered in several coats of varnish to protect it.
What do I need?
These days you can buy special découpage paper, but you can also use your favourite wrapping paper, pictures from magazines, paper napkins and wallpaper. As with the paper you can buy découpage glue which also acts as a varnish or you can use PVA and gloss varnish. You will also need a craft knife to cut out your designs, a cloth to wipe any excess glue and a brush for pasting and varnishing.
How do I make it?
First you need to decide what you want to decorate, it can be almost anything from lampshades to boxes and papier mâché animals. You can find a great selection of objects and papers at The Arty Crafty Place website. Once you have chosen your object, cut out the patterns and pictures you want to decorate it with. Arrange the pictures before gluing them down to make sure it looks the way you want it to. Once you’re happy with your layout, use your glue to stick the shapes down. When you’ve covered the entire object and let the glue dry, coat it in several layers of varnish to protect the paper.
Why do you like it?
Découpage is an easy way to give a new lease of life to something that might not fit in with a new colour scheme or that you simply don’t like the look of any more. It also makes a great personalised gift for someone and is a relatively easy activity to do with children, as they can decorate their chosen object with their favourite pictures.
Have you used découpage to decorate something before? What was your favourite thing to cover? I’d love to see your pictures!