Decoupage Ideas

Rebecca Wiseman
decoupage supplies

Decoupage is an affordable and fun way to make simple craft projects fabulous and sentimental. You can decoupage practically anything from wooden trays to jars to furniture.

Decoupage Lap Desk

A lap desk is a multi-functional piece that can go anywhere you do. Why not give it an artistic flair? This project has accessible supplies and can be ready to go overnight.

Decoupage lap desk

Supplies Needed

Consider your color scheme or artistic theme before you get your supplies. You may only need to look as far as you linen closet. The rest can be found at your local craft store or lumber yard.

  • A piece of plywood measuring 15 inches deep by 24 inches long (the average bed pillow)
  • A saw, if you could not find the wood in the correct size
  • Sandpaper
  • Coordinating scrapbook paper
  • Coordinating wall paint to seal the wood
  • Mod Podge - a decoupage medium that is an adhesive and a sealant.
  • A bed pillow - either new or one that is not being used.
  • One yard of 42 or 45 inch wide muslin
  • E6000 Adhesive
  • Tape or staples

How to Make Your Lap Desk

Making a lap desk is much easier than it sounds. The process goes rather quickly once the paint is dry.

  1. If the craft store did not have the correct size piece of wood or the lumber yard did not offer on-site cutting, you will need to cut the piece of plywood to the fit the pillow.
  2. Once you have cut the wood, use the sandpaper to take any splinters off and make the wood smooth. Knock the dust off by turning the board on its edge and tapping it on your workbench.
  3. Apply one heavy coat of wall paint to each side of the wood for you lap desk. Let this dry for about two hours to ensure the paint is completely dry.
  4. While the paint dries, tear the scrapbook pieces into sections or tear out individual images, such as butterflies and flowers. Make three or four large selections to use in the middle and on the sides.
  5. Once the paint is dry, arrange your paper pieces on the wood to decide where everything will go before applying the adhesive. Once you have a plan worked out in your mind, remove the paper and apply a thin layer of Mod Podge over the board.
  6. Before the Mod Podge dries, place the paper starting with the corners and center. Apply a coat of Mod Podge to the back of the paper pieces, if needed.
  7. Apply a coat of Mod Podge over the paper pieces to secure them and seal them.
  8. Repeat this process with the rest of your paper pieces; work from largest to smallest.
  9. Once you have all of your pieces on the board, cover the entire side of the board with a generous coat of Mod Podge to seal your desk top. Set aside and allow it to dry. This should take about thirty minutes.
  10. Unfold the muslin and lay it out on a tabletop or the floor, whichever is easier.
  11. Place the pillow diagonal on the fabric. The ends of the pillow should be pointing to corners of the fabric.
  12. Starting on the long sides of the pillow, pull the fabric up making sure the entire edge is covered and into the center of the pillow. Secure it with a piece of tape or a staple.
  13. Pull up each end of the fabric over the end of the pillow. You may need to fold and tuck fabric at the corners. Secure the fabric with tape or a staple to the fabric from the sides.
  14. Once the desk top is dry, flip it over and apply a generous bead of E6000 adhesive to the edges of the board and several stripes of it through the middle of the board.
  15. Place the board, E6000 side down, on the pillow covering all secured edges of fabric. You should not be able to see any of the pillow inside the fabric.
  16. Holding the board and pillow together, carefully flip it over and set books or something on the pillow to weight it down. This will ensure adhesion while it dries overnight.
  17. The E6000 adhesive will take about 24 hours to dry. Once that time is up, your desk is ready to use.

DIY Lamp

Decoupage lamp

This is an inexpensive do-it-yourself decoupage project, and it is much easier to locate parts for than you might think. These are fun to make for different holidays, seasons, or decor. The instructions for this lamp are for winter or for lovers of snowmen.

Supplies Needed

Everything needed for this project can be found at your local craft store or online. Several supplies may also be available at your local dollar store if it has a craft section.

  • A quart crafting mason jar
  • Rocks or clear glass pieces for jar weights
  • A mason jar lamp adapter
  • A small lamp shade
  • A 40 watt bulb or whatever wattage the adapter calls for
  • Mod Podge
  • Snowflake scrapbook paper
  • A wavy scrapbook edging template
  • Pearl iridescent glitter
  • A snowman stamp, "Magical" word stamp, and ink pad
  • Colored pencils
  • Scissors
  • A foam brush or paint brush

Making the Lamp

This is quick project that is kid-friendly. Get the family involved with tracing and cutting and making everything sparkle with glitter.

  1. Start with an empty quart mason jar without a lid. Wash and dry the outside of the jar to remove any residue from fingerprints.
  2. After the jar is dried, apply a thin coat of Mod Podge. Let the jar dry completely.
  3. On the backside of the scrapbook paper, trace the edging template. Depending on the size of your paper, you may need to do this more than once. Make a tall border for the bottom and a narrow one for the top of the jar. Cut out on the lines that you have drawn
  4. When the jar is dry, apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the back of the border you just cut out. Carefully wrap the border around the bottom and top of the jar. Smooth any folds or bubbles.
  5. Apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to set and seal the borders.
  6. While the jar dries, make the snowman image with the stamp and ink pad on plain white paper or the backside of a scrap of the scrapbook paper. Do the same with the word stamp "Magical."
  7. While the stamp ink dries, apply a thin coat of Mod Podge over the glass that is showing on the jar between the borders. Sprinkle iridescent glitter over the jar while the adhesive is still wet. Let the jar dry about 15 minutes.
  8. Use the colored pencils to color in the detail of the snowman. Tear out the stamps and set aside.
  9. Once the jar is dry, hold the jar over the trash can and dust off any loose glitter.
  10. Apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the back of the stamped details. Place on the jar and smooth. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge over the stamps and let dry about five minutes.
  11. Apply a generous coating of Mod Podge over the entire jar. Set aside and let it dry. This should take about thirty minutes.
  12. Fill the jar with rocks or glass marble-type pieces.
  13. Screw on the light adapter set.
  14. Set the lamp shade on and screw in the light bulb. Your lamp is now ready to use!

Decoupage Doll Bed

Decoupage doll bed

If you have a child that prefers brightly colored doll accessories over wood or solid color plastic, this kid-friendly project is what you need. While this bed was made for a Barbie doll, the size of the box can be enlarged or decreased to fit any doll or stuffed animal.

Supplies Needed

Gather your supplies before you begin. You might have everything in your closet or pantry.

  • An empty box - The box for this project was an empty microwave popcorn box that you would find at wholesale warehouse stores such as Sam's Club or Costco.
  • Mod Podge
  • A foam brush or paint brush
  • Dinner or party napkins in two coordinating designs
  • A box knife
  • Scissors
  • A hand towel to match the napkins
  • Four small plastic shot glasses
  • Hot glue

Assembling the Doll Bed

  1. Begin with an empty box that is long enough to fit the doll or toy.
  2. Using a box knife, round off both ends of the box making one end shorter than the other as shown in the images below. These will be the head and foot of the bed.
    doll bed footboard
  3. Cut the sides as straight as possible so they are about two inches deep. You do not have to be perfect here because the layers will make up for any unevenness.
    Doll bed side
  4. Coat the outside of the box with a layer of Mod Podge and let it dry.
  5. Tear the napkins into four strips and separate the layers. Only tear two or three napkins at a time. You may not use them all. Do not throw anything away yet.
  6. Apply another thin coat of Mod Podge to the end or side that you decide to start on. While wet, apply the white layer of the napkins making sure to leave enough napkin at the top to fold over to the inside.
  7. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to secure the napkins and seal that layer.
  8. Once you have the outside finished of where you are working, repeat this on the inside. Fold over the napkin the is overhanging from the front.
  9. Repeat this around the box and then let dry. The layer should only take about fifteen minutes to dry.
  10. Repeat this process with the design that you have chosen for the outside of the bed. It may take two or three layers of napkins to cover the box design.
  11. Let the box dry for a few hours before moving on to the inside of the headboard and footboard. This will allow for the outside to be thoroughly dry and the inner edges will not shift.
  12. Repeat the process for the inside of the headboard and footboard using the second napkin choice. Since there are no designs on the inside of the box, you may only need one layer of white napkin and one layer of designed napkin.
  13. Clip off any overhang from the headboard and footboard and smooth the edges.
  14. Allow the bed to dry a few hours.
  15. Put a final generous coat of Mod Podge over the inside and outside of the bed to seal it.
  16. Allow to dry overnight.
  17. Turn the plastic shot glasses upside down and apply a small amount of hot glue. Place one on each corner or the box bottom to serve as the legs of the bed.
  18. Fold the hand towel to fit the bed. This is the mattress and a folded napkin in either print is the pillow.
  19. Your bed is now ready for your little one to enjoy.

Other Decoupage Project Ideas

You can decoupage just about anything. There are several project ideas on Craftster.org and on craft store websites, such as A. C. Moore. A simple internet search will result in many, many pages of ideas. An easy gift idea is a decoupaged picture frame or a wooden tray with children's pictures decoupaged on it.

If you want to use special papers for your project but are pressed for time, you can print free decoupage papers at home using your home computer and printer. Gift wrap paper is also a good choice.

Embellishment

Embellishing your decoupage project depends on how fancy you want to make it. You could add bright buttons to a picture frame or silk flowers to a decoupaged box. It all depends on what you want your project to look like. Rhinestones that have flat backings found in most craft stores are a great choice too. Scrapbooking jewelled designs are another good option to add some glitz and glamour. If you are doing a project with baby items or pictures, consider embellishing your project with a small satin bow.

Protecting Your Project

Regardless of what type of decoupage project you have decided on or have finished, you need to protect it so you can enjoy it for years to come. If it is a small picture frame a child has made for you, consider placing it in a shadow box to hang on a wall or keep it in a China cabinet. If it is something that is meant to be enjoyed by small children, such as the doll bed, place it on a shelf in a bookcase when they are not playing with it. Keep the project where you can see and enjoy it, but where it is away from spills unless it is under glass.

Decoupage Ideas