DIY table decoupage instructions for beginners

Features of the technology

The term "decoupage" literally translates from French as "cutting". This defines the meaning of technology. Decoupage of a table or any other object involves applying a whole or cut-out design to the surface of the product, followed by varnishing it. This special type of art appeared in the 15th century in China and has since gained wide popularity. Decorating a table using decoupage is beneficial for many reasons. The most important thing is that the furniture acquires a second “life”; its service life is significantly extended. Additional advantages of decoupage include:

  • ease of doing the job;
  • low costs for materials;
  • available tools;
  • beautiful visual effect;
  • protecting the surface from damage.

Having mastered a master class on decoupage, you will be able to give the table a unique look. But since the process involves the use of acrylic varnish, you have to endure its pungent odor while processing the product. This disadvantage of decoupage is offset by the pleasant result of the work.

Ease of doing the job

Low material costs

Available tools

Beautiful visual effect

Protecting the surface from damage

If a change in the stylistic design of the room was planned, decorating the furniture can play a good role. The externally transformed table can easily fit into different interiors. To do this, the decoration of the item itself is maintained in a certain direction:

  1. Provence. Characteristic features are a whitened background and pastel colors in the pattern. They emphasize the combination of antiquity with French elegance.
  2. Shabby chic. Features of the style include shabby, blurry drawings depicting natural scenes and objects. These could be flowers, birds, angels.
  3. Victorian. The direction harmoniously combines luxury and classics. The goal is achieved with the help of bright, rich pictures and ornaments.
  4. Simple City. The name itself reflects the meaning of the style - simple urban design. Newspaper and magazine clippings are used for decoration.
  5. Printroom. Originality lies in the use of black and white copies of old photographs. The gray-black pattern contrasts effectively with the light background.

The style in which the table is decorated should be combined with the overall design of the room.


Shabby chic


Simple City


Varieties of decoupage

There are different decorating techniques. They differ in the method of execution and quality of materials. To ensure that decoupage of an old table does not cause problems, it is necessary to decide on the type of method at a preliminary stage. This will help you avoid common mistakes.

How to assemble a simple transforming table with your own hands, tips for craftsmen

By method of execution

Despite the fact that the general essence of the technique is gluing a certain decor onto the surface, there are nuances in its implementation. Depending on this, decoupage comes in several types. Decorators and restorers identify six methods:

  • direct decoupage;
  • back;
  • volume;
  • art;
  • deco patch;
  • Sospeso Tresparente.

The direct (or classic) method involves applying a paper design directly to the surface of the tabletop. Reverse decoupage is used only for glass tables in the kitchen or living room. The material is glued to the bottom surface of the tabletop, as a result of which it looks like a stained glass window. The volumetric method creates some unevenness on the surface. To achieve a 3D effect, they use fabric with an embossed texture, eggshells, dried flowers and twigs.

With the artistic (or smoky) technique, the pasted pattern is completed and shaded using paints. You can show shadows in the image, make individual elements brighter, and create an emphasis on the main details. Decopatch is somewhat reminiscent of patchwork. The decorative covering is created by using many pieces of paper or fabric that match the style. They are torn by hand to create uneven edges or, conversely, neat shapes are cut out. The most expensive in terms of costs is the Italian technology Sospeso Tresparente. The decor is fixed to thermoplastic, and after drying it takes on a three-dimensional shape.

Making your own changing table and mattress for it






Sospeso Tresparente

By type of materials used

The sources used for gluing differ in quality. These can be new or used paper products, various types of textiles, and scrap materials. Most often suitable for decoupage:

  1. Paper napkins. The specimens with beautiful large patterns are of greatest interest. They are carefully cut out and placed on the surface. Decoupage a table with napkins is a common and simple option.
  2. Paper. For decoration, wallpaper, newspapers, color magazines, photographs, wall posters, and geographical maps are used. Selected objects are also cut with scissors or torn by hand to create a wavy edge.
  3. Textile. The quality and color of the fabric are at the discretion of the artist. The main thing is that the material is thin. In this case, it is easy to glue it to the table surface and create the effect of an even coating.
  4. Guipure. This openwork type of fabric is used as a stencil. The tabletop is covered with a single piece of lace and all folds are straightened. Then the surface is covered with aerosol paint, and after drying, the guipure is removed.
  5. Shell. The material at hand is often used for table edging. Egg shells are crushed and distributed on selected areas of the countertop. If necessary, cover the volumetric parts with paint.
  6. Leaves. For work, take specimens with pronounced veins or with a complex leaf blade. Before laying out, the elements are ironed.

Some types of decor can be combined, for example, decoupage with fabric and shell looks beautiful.

Paper napkins






Decor of small interior items

Create a small craft using the decoupage technique with your own hands. This will be an interesting addition to the interior. The made souvenir will also be a good gift for family or friends. Ideas for decoupaging small items can be different; you can use old family photographs or vintage pictures.

Most often they decorate such items as:

  • bottles;
  • boards;
  • dishes;
  • lamps;
  • watches and much more.

Decoupage wooden hanger

Decoupage boxes

Decoupage table lamp

Bottle decor

Painting plates using decoupage technique
In general, the principle of operation is the same as when decorating furniture. In addition to the file method, there is another way to apply a picture. It is applied to the surface of the object and generously smeared with glue on top of the image. First glue the middle, and then carefully move to the edges. This method will not work for large items because folds will appear. Before varnishing, you can write a cheerful wish or a Latin aphorism on the gift.

Learn to make crafts with your own hands, they will definitely bring a smile to your loved ones. There is no need to spend a lot of money to decorate your home. You can decoupage old furniture or create original decor.

Ideas for decoupage of wooden objects (2 videos)

Decoupage of furniture and interior items (36 photos)

Decoupage wooden hanger

Painting plates using decoupage technique Bottle decor Decoupage boxes Decoupage table lamp

Selection of tools and consumables

When the image style and decoupage method are determined, we move on to preparing tools and materials. You will need scissors, sandpaper, brushes, sponge, water container, pencil, soap. The set should include brushes for painting, gluing, priming, and varnishing the surface.

The set of consumables depends on the purpose of the interior item. To decoupage a desk, you will need materials with a minimum of decorative elements and a final matte finish. Toilet and magazine, on the contrary, welcome any patterns and textures. For a kitchen table, decoupage must meet the function of practicality. The work values ​​reliable materials that are resistant to washing and aggressive agents. For the classic master class you will need:

  • PVA glue;
  • acrylic paints;
  • primer;
  • wood putty;
  • acrylic lacquer.

If decoration is done using the aging technique, you need a special varnish - craquelure. The more cracks are simulated on the surface, the more layers will be required.


Tabletops differ from each other in the structure of the material, and their preparation for decoration occurs in different ways. The table chosen for work can be a wooden kitchen table, a polished desk table, or a glass coffee table.

Surface preparation

It is enough to degrease the plastic or glass surface with alcohol and you can start working. Sliding materials should also be sanded to increase the adhesion of the surface to the pattern. But with an old wooden table you will have to tinker a little longer. Preparation will take some time and effort, but it is necessary. There is no point in covering a clumsy surface with a picture - this will not change the deplorable state of the piece of furniture. The preparatory activity is carried out as follows.

Preparing the picture

If you purchase pictures for decoupage, you won’t have to prepare them for work. And with other types of images you will need to carry out a certain series of actions. For example, ordinary napkins need to be layered to get the thinnest layer with a pattern.

Decoupage cards or magazine versions of drawings are soaked before use. The printouts are coated on the design side with a layer of hairspray. You can use glue for decoupage, but the main thing is to get four to five layers of coating, with each layer drying completely. The resulting material is placed in warm water for five minutes, then carefully dried with a towel. To free the picture from excess layers of paper, it is carefully rolled off the surface, starting from the central part of the sheet, and brought out towards the edges. The remaining thin pattern should be handled with extreme caution.

Decorating instructions

A classic master class consists of several successive stages. It is suitable for decoupaging a coffee table with your own hands or any other interior item with a flat wooden surface. Step-by-step instruction:

  • the table top is sanded with sandpaper;
  • prime the surface and leave until completely dry;
  • small cracks and gaps are puttied and dried;
  • repeat sanding with fine sandpaper;
  • prime the surface a second time and allow to dry;
  • cover the tabletop twice with the paint chosen for the background;
  • the necessary fragments are cut out from the selected samples;
  • lay out the cut out parts on the plane of the furniture;
  • each decorative element is outlined with a pencil;
  • the fragments are coated with glue and fixed to the surface;
  • smooth the part with your hands or a roller, expelling the air;
  • when all the decor is fixed, apply a thin layer of glue on top of it;
  • after drying, the tabletop is varnished several times;
  • The table legs are varnished or tinted with a suitable color paint.

For an even finish, it is convenient to use aerosol varnish.

Since acrylic products have an unpleasant odor, it is recommended to dry them outdoors. This speeds up not only the weathering of harmful substances, but also the drying process of the varnished coating itself. If it is necessary to achieve an artistic effect, after gluing the fragments, the details are drawn with a thin brush. In this case, to obtain a voluminous result, it is better to use an acrylic contour.

Step-by-step creation of a wooden table with your own hands, useful tips

It’s not difficult to do table decoupage yourself if you follow the step-by-step instructions and all the recommendations for choosing materials. The end result in the form of an originally decorated piece of furniture will delight you with its individuality. By being creative, you can successfully update the decor of your living room, bedroom or kitchen.

Sand the surface

Prime, fill cracks and gaps, paint the counter top

Cut out the necessary fragments

Lay out the cut out parts

Fix the parts and varnish

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