Découpage is from the French word Découper which means to cut up or cut out.  It is the art of cutting out paper motifs, drawings, pictures or designs and sticking them to decorative objects like furniture, jewellery boxes, vases or any hard surface you wish to use and then varnishing over it multiple times so that the end result no longer looks like glued on pieces of paper but rather a painted-on design.

Many other effects can be added before the varnish is applied if required.  Shadowing by hand-painting to enhance a motif, staining to age it, colouring to alter or enhance the original picture are just some of the very many options that are possible.

You can use single cut outs or you can use many and overlap them onto a surface for completely different looks.  In traditional découpage, dating back to the 18th Century, the cut-outs were generally overlapped and entirely covered a surface. This can look really effective when done properly.

You can buy ready made découpage sets with motifs included, however, I like to use whatever catches my eye in magazines, on postcards, on serviettes or in books.  I have included photos of some of my own stock (a lot of baths!) to give you an idea of what can be used.

Other useful items are: A large scissors, a small scissors, PVA glue, Masking tape, a sponge, a cloth (soft), a couple of paint brushes, craft knife, pencil, tweezers, roller

Découpage Projects completed:

A Box-Shelf / Drawer-Tidy


An Old Coffee Table


Découpaged Mirror

Découpaged Lampshade

Découpaged & Painted Trinket Box

Chest of Drawers Handles


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