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Decoupage - Methods, Materials, and Project Ideas

Decoupage is a misleadingly easy craft to produce yourself. Though decoupage items may look like painted masterpieces,  in reality, decoupage is all about adhering paper crafts or other mediums to a project is a seamless way. Decoupage is the act of designing items with different papers and different techniques. There is no one correct product to decoupage with or to decoupage on, it’s all about creativity and experimentation. You can create your own decoupage or buy it in a variety of forms. As a craft, decoupage is all about upcycling something you already own and personalizing it in the way you want. Read below to learn about tpes of adhesives, materials, different projects and tips for all of your decoupaging projects.

Decoupage Craft Tips and Project Ideas | Discount Craft Supplies


1. Decoupage Adhesive

To decoupage an item, whether it be furniture, home decor, or clothing, you will need an adhesive. There are many options for adhesives and there are benefits and drawbacks for the different options. The adhesive can also create different finishes on your product. Here are a few of our favorite options.


This finish will be flat rather than glossy. Using this finish will allow the decoupage to look more like paint and will create a more seamless design. Putting a matte finish on your project will also help prevent any glare from lights that can be created when using a glossy finish, which will be more reflective.

Aleene's Collage Pauge Instant Decoupage

DecoArt Adhesive Decoupage Glue & Sealer Matte

Multicraft Adhesive Decoupage & Collage Glue/Sealer Matte

Plaid Mod Podge Matte

Ranger Essentials Glue N' Seal Matte

Aleene's Collage Pauge Instant Decoupage 8 oz. Matte


A glossy finish will give your project a shiny or lustrous effect. This is a great option when decoupaging photographs printed on glossy paper. It will not dim the photos, but add to the finish to give a professional look to your project. 

DecoArt Adhesive Decoupage Glue & Sealer Gloss

Multicraft Adhesive Decoupage & Collage Glue/Sealer Gloss

Plaid Mod Podge Gloss

DecoArt Adhesive Decoupage Glue & Sealer Gloss 8oz


A satin finish is similar to a matte finish in the fact that it will not have a shine. This is another good product to use if you want to avoid the glare that can be caused by a more glossy finish. A satin finish is the recommended option for furniture you want to have a painted effect. 

Plaid Royal Coat Decoupage Finish 

DecoArt Adhesive Decoupage Glue & Sealer Satin

Plaid Mod Podge Furniture Satin

Plaid Royal Coat Decoupage Finish 8 oz


To add a little extra sparkle and design to your project, try a sparkle finish. This is a great product if you are planning to decoupage an entire piece.

Plaid Mod Podge Sparkle

DecoArt Adhesive Decoupage Glue & Sealer Crystal Glitter

Imagine Crafts Creative Medium

Plaid Mod Podge Sparkle 2oz Bulk

Colored Decoupage

Some decoupages come with a light tint of color to add to your project. This is great for staining glass, wood, and metal. With a trasparent color and the same application uses as all decoupage, it's a great option for adding something extra to your design. 

Mod Podge Sheer Color

Plaid Mod Podge Sheer Color 4 oz. Aqua

Decoupage for Furniture

This decoupage is great for more porous materials such as wood and fabric. When decoupaging furniture you will also want an adhesive that will not fade with wear and tear. This finish gives the strength and resistance needed for heavily used items. 

Plaid Mod Podge Furniture

Plaid Royal Coat Decoupage

DecoArt Adhesive Decoupage Glue & Sealer

Plaid Mod Podge Furniture Matte 16oz


Using outdoor decoupage will allow you to seal your project from outdoor elements causing less wear and tear than the average decoupage.

DecoArt Adhesive Decoupage Glue & Sealer

Plaid Mod Podge Outdoor

DecoArt Adhesive Decoupage Glue & Sealer Wide Mouth Jar Outdoor 8oz

Making Your Own Decoupage

Another option could be creating your own decoupage from Elmer’s Glue and water. Though this may be a cheaper option, it is also less strong and will hold for a shorter time. It will also be less water resistant.

2. Materials for Decoupage 

You can decoupage almost any paper. The type of paper you are using will depend largely on what the project you are creating is and the purpose of the project. For projects that will be used more, you may want to use a stronger paper, or to personalize something more you can cut out images from magazines or use your own photos.

Decoupage Paper

DecoArt Americana Decoupage Paper kits are soft, pliable, thin and lightweight, with many stylish designs. These papers are made specifically for more intricate designs. Plaid Mod Podge Podgeable Papers are also paper packs designed specifically for decoupaging crafts. 

Tissue paper

Because this paper is lighter than average paper, it can easily bend around corners and will be less likely to have a raised surface or bubble up. With it’s semi-opaque surface, it can look more like painting than other papers.

Decoupage with Tissue Paper


Cardstock comes in many designs and colors making it a great option for mod podge. A heavier cardstock can be a good option for 3D decoupage. Because it is a heavier option, it will look thicker on your project.


Decoupage will work perfectly for adhering your own photos to a project. Just add decoupage to the surface, add your photo and then add more adhesive over the top to smooth the photo down to the project you are creating. You can also use decoupage to transfer a photo to a different surface. When decoupaging with photos make sure they are from a laser printer rather than an ink-jet printer as a photo from a ink-jet printer can smudge with the decoupage application. Check out this post about transferring a drawing. 

Shabby Chic Picture Frame


A lighter fabric will work better as it will allow the decoupage to seep into the fabric and stay sealed. To ensure less wrinkles make sure to make the fabric tight and press it onto your surface a little bit at a time. Make sure to seal  your fabric with a polyurethane and sealer.

Mod Podge Bar Stools


Due to the designs that napkins come with and the lighter paper they are made out of, napkins are a great option to use for decoupage. Cut out the design before taking apart the layers of the napkins and then use a single layer for the decoupage.

Tips for Decoupaging on Different Surfaces

Decoupaging furniture

To decoupage furniture make sure to first clean the surface you are decoupaging. If decoupaging a large surface, a thicker paper can be better as it will not wrinkle as easily. To make sure your paper will be able to fold easily, let your paper soak in water until it is malleable. Make sure to keep your hands wet so the paper does not tear. Glue your paper down before decoupaging and allow to dry. Make sure to check on your project throughout the drying process to get rid of any bubbles. Once dry, apply your decoupage to the furniture. You may want to use three to five coats to ensure coverage. Then apply a sealer spray and a polyurethane to ensure a full protection.

Decoupaging Fabric

Make sure to iron out the fabric you are using before adding your adhesive to avoid wrinkles. Add the adhesive to the fabric and allow it to dry to stiffen the fabric. Then brush more more adhesive on to the fabric and add your cut-out or material you are decoupaging on to the fabric. After allowing it to dry, add more adhesive to seal the design and then spray with an acrylic sealer to protect your project.

Decoupaged Tote

Tools to Make Decoupaging Easier

1. Scrapbooking scissors - this will make it easier to cut out intricate designs and can eliminate some of the stress regular scissors can create on your hands.

2. Foam brushes - these brushes are helpful for applying the decoupage finish and will be easier to clean than normal paint brushes.

3. Craft knife - for cleaner edges

4. Saran Wrap - to avoid getting fingerprints on your project while still pressing your paper down, use saran wrap.

5. Plaid Mod Podge Podgeable Glass Domes - these glass domes are perfect for creating and decoupaging your own magnets and embellishments. Also check out the Plaid Mod Podge Podgeable 3D Shapes which are designed especially for decoupage and can be used to create gift tags, jewlery, and more.. 

6. Plaid Mod Podge Dimensional Magic - creates brighter colors and can create special dimensional pieces for your project.

7. Plaid Mod Podge Tools Brayer/Squeegee - creates an easier way to get rid of bubbles and excess adhesive. 

8. Plaid Mod Podge Tools Roller Applicator - use to get more even coverage and to cover larger surfaces.

Tips and Tricks

1. Use die cuts to create intricate designs with less work. This technique is great for people just beginning to decoupage or for anyone with a specific design in mind.

2. If decoupaging something that will come in contact with a lot of water, use a dishwasher safe adhesive. This is a good option for dishes or coasters.

3. Crinkling the paper before you apply it, especially with a thicker paper, can help smooth your project out and allow for cracks for the adhesive to fall into.

4. Use your hands to smooth of surfaces. If you're worried about getting fingerprints on your project, use saran wrap to smooth the materials down.

5. Decoupage is great to use as an adhesive with glitter, sand, or other mediums. It will dry clear, so you don't need to worry about the glue showing. 

6. Use decoupage as a sealer over painting and craft projects to add a glossy finish or to stop from smudging. 

Projects Using Decoupage 

Mod Podge Bar Stools

Mod Podge Light Switch Plate

Confetti Vase

Sandy Seashore Painting

Glitter Pen Top

Faux Stained Glass

DIY Address Plaque

Decoupage Wood Bracelet

Decoupage Wood Bracelet

For more projects using Decoupage visit our blog at

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