Decoupage …… “from the french word decoupe, meaning to cut out – is a craft or art form that entails pasting cut outs to an object and then covering them with several coats of varnish or lacquer” Google, 2015

My husband laughs at my paper collection.  When we go into a DIY store, I always get some paper samples on the pretence its for a wallpaper job at home but no its really a way to get free paper for some small project I am working on.

When we are out for a nice lunch or diner, I don’t let him use the fancy napkins, I stuff them in my bag for further projects.  Don’t all us crafters do this ??

Adding some paper to a project is a great way to personalise or embellish a project. I recently used some wallpaper on my floor, you can read all about it here.  It’s still looking good by the way!

I mostly use wrapping paper and recently I have started using some paper napkins.  Having dabbled with them in the past, they can be tricky to use.  But I did attend a workshop with the wonderful Aileen from Sew Darn Pretty Vintage Shop based in Borrisokeane, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary.  She demonstrated how to use the napkins and the techniques involved.  A wealth of knowledge!

Here’s the tray I did in the workshop and this is what I learned from Aileen …..

  • I picked the napkin and decided on a paint colour to match the napkin
  • I then painted the tray, I gave mine 2 coats
  • I tore the pieces I wanted from the napkin and decided on a layout for the tray.
  • Next, I applied some glue to the tray ( watered mod podge/pva  or some decoupage glue can be used ), in thin strokes.
  • I placed the napkin piece on the tray and held it in place with my finger and with light long strokes I glued it down.  By some miracle it didn’t tear! I found when I tried this before I was using too much glue and rubbing the napkin too much. I know some people use cling film to help stick it down because it won’t tear the napkin.
  • I dried it with a hair dryer, not too hot!
  • I then repeated the process of applying the glue in light strokes and letting it dry between coats.
  • After 4 coats, I lightly sanded the napkin until it felt smooth and at this point it should look and feel like it’s part of the piece, not stuck on.  Be careful sanding, just gentle strokes, you could tear the napkin!
  • You can add other elements here if you wish, maybe try a crackle effect or a distress look or even some gold leaf.  I left it as is and used a gloss varnish to seal my piece.  Two coats was enough.

Using some paper or napkins in upcycling your old jars and tin cans can be a great way to make them.  Here’s some I did.  I used a graphic I found from the Graphics Fairy on one of the tin cans, this site is great for images and well worth a visit.  I distressed and aged some of the projects.


Here’s some pieces I did with wrapping paper. I know some people soak the paper first and peel off the backing to make the paper easier to work with.  I generally don’t bother unless the paper is very thick.  These are early projects I did, I didn’t get a before shot but you get the idea.  I am definitely going to try using the napkins on a furniture project, I’II keep you posted.

  1. This was a piece of left over skirting I had, covered with paper and I added some nice hooks
  2. One ugly filing cabinet, covered with some vintage travel wrapping paper, cabinet was also painted.
  3. This was a Lidl drawer unit, it was painted and each drawer was covered with some scrapbook paper

I have drawn up a  list of some of the suppliers I have used & would recommend. In no particular order …..

Sew Darn Pretty Vintage Home – Aileen covers all types of craft goodies, from paint to decoupage to all things to make your home so darn pretty.  She has a great Facebook page and she is very responsive to all queries.  She has recently turned to You Tube and has posted her first tutorial on decoupage soap, yes soap. Go see her over here. – Liz supplies everything you need to get started. Great range of napkins, glue and wooden items. I found delivery quick & postage was reasonable.

Vibes and – a mecca of all things crafty, over 3 stores and based in Cork. I love this shop! It has everything you need from yarn, to fabric, to all those little crafty bits you need for various projects. Great online shop and quick delivery. – supplies everything you need, for you guys based in the UK.  Mary also gives great tutorials and has a facebook group.

Masque Wrapping Ltd – they have the best wrapping paper.  I especially love the Cavalline paper they stock.  Items came packaged in a tube for protection and arrived quickly from the UK.

Paperchasethey always have a great supply of crafty things and I love their paper range.  They have some nice hand made papers and I love the map papers they have.

Ebay / Etsy – not much I can add about Ebay or Etsy.


Have fun! and maybe you have some tips or projects you would like to share?

I link up over here !

Tutorial/tips on using paper (decoupage) in your upcycling projects or just for fun!