Basic Decoupage - Wet Method
Tear or cut the material to fit on the surface of your object.
Use sharp scissors or a craft knife to cut the paper or fabric into shapes or an outline. If you'd like a rustic look, tear the material so it has rough edges. Give yourself a margin for error by leaving at least a 1-inch overhang on each side. Don’t worry about the extra paper; you will be able to trim any excess after your decoupage has dried. (you can use your rad pad to remove the excess paper after it has dried) Decide if you'd like to place just a few pieces of material or if you'd like to overlap several pieces. - For example, if you're covering a dresser, you may just want to cut 3 large pieces of paper that fit 3 drawers perfectly. If you're decoupaging a small box, you might want to rip a variety of materials and overlap them on all sides of the box.
- Pour a little topcoat in a small dish to use as an adhesive and to topcoat. Almost any topcoat works well, but we've found that satin topcoat has more body and does the best. Pour a small amount into a dish and set it on your work surface. - You may be able to use a spray glue, if it dries clear
- Dip a brush into the topcoat and apply the material to the surface. Dip a small paint brush or a larger foam brush into the topcoat in the dish. If you're decoupaging a small item, brush the topcoat onto the back of the material and press the piece onto the object. If you're decoupaging a large object, use the brush to spread the glue directly onto the object. You can use your rad pad (included in your decoupage pack) to help you remove bubbles.
- Dry the item and apply topcoat over the entire piece if you'd like to protect it. Leave the item in a well-ventilated space and let it dry completely before you use it. If you'd like to protect the item from peeling and give a slight gloss, spread another layer of topcoat across the entire surface and let it dry. - You can buy a topcoat in matte, satin or glossy.
Basic Decoupage - Iron OnMethod
- Cut your decoupage paper to remove most of the excess, as this will make it easier to handle. Give yourself a margin for error by leaving at least a 1/2" - 1-inch overhang on each side. Don’t worry about the extra paper; you will be able to trim any excess after your decoupage has dried. (I use my included rad pad to remove the excess paper)
- Using your paint brush, begin applying topcoat on the surface you’re going to decoupage. You want to apply two layers of topcoat, letting each layer dry prior to putting on the next.
- Once all the layers of topcoat are dried, lay your decoupage paper down on the topcoated area. Turn on your iron and let it warm up but be sure to pay attention to the iron’s heat — if the iron is too hot, it can scorch your paper or overheat your topcoat. (Be sure that your steam is turned off) Your parchment paper will act as a protective layer between the iron and your decoupage paper.
- Lay your parchment paper down and run your iron over the parchment paper. You want to iron each area until your piece is warm to the touch. The heat of the iron will reactivate the topcoat underneath your paper and cause it to adhere to the surface of your piece. If you notice air bubbles, continue to iron until they are gone.
- Once your paper is completely adhered, brush your topcoat over the top of your paper. Your paper will wrinkle a bit but don’t panic. Once the paper dries, it will shrink and most of the small wrinkles will go away. If any bubbles are present after it is dry, you can lightly iron over it again and they will disappear (be sure to use your parchment paper to protect your decoupage)
- You’ll want to inspect your edges. Any lifted edges will need more topcoat underneath. After adding a little more product, rub edges down until they adhere.
- Use your rad pad to trim the excess decoupage paper. Sand along the edges and be sure to sand in only one direction — down and away from your decoupaged area. If you sand in multiple directions, you can pull and tear your adhered sheet.
- If you are decoupaging an area that has an insert, use your Exacto knife around the edges of the decoupaged area.