How to Use Fabric to Decoupage

Découpage is the process of covering something with paper or fabric. Paper is a popular and well-known medium, but fabric can be decoupaged in much the same manner. You can découpage a large item to really show off a particular fabric or you can cover a smaller item with various scraps of fabric.

Sand down the piece of furniture using a fine sander. You want to remove any old paint or varnish that may still be on the item.

Paint or stain your furniture. This is only necessary if parts of the furniture will be showing around the fabric.

Allow the furniture to dry completely before beginning the découpage process. Starting with a wet or sticky surface will mess up the fabric and the final look.

Cut the fabric to fit the piece or area of the furniture that you are decoupaging. Use sharp scissors so the fabric doesn't fray while cutting.

Paint a thin layer of découpage glue over the surface you are about to cover. If you are doing more than one section, paint only one section at a time. If you cover too large an area with the glue, some of it will dry before you get to laying down the fabric.

Carefully lay the fabric on top of the découpage glue. Smooth out any air bubbles or pockets with your hands. Be careful near the edges not to pull the threads loose. Repeat with all the fabric.

Paint a thin layer of découpage glue on top of the fabric. Allow it to dry for at least 30 minutes. Then, paint another layer on top. In total, you want four to eight layers of glue on the fabric.

Sand the decoupaged surface with very fine sand paper. This will remove any air bubbles or heavy globs of glue. Do not sand too hard or you may sand right through the glue to the fabric.


Take any hardware off the furniture before painting or decoupaging.


Work in a well-ventilated area.

Things You'll Need

  • Sandpaper or sander
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Découpage glue
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About the Author

Rebekah Martin is a freelance writer and tutor. Her work has appeared in various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Mississippi College. Martin teaches her young children at home and also teaches Sunday School to preschoolers.