Découpage is a creative way to decorate any plastic, wood, glass or metal item. You can decorate with pictures cut out from old magazines, copies of photographs, wrapping paper and many other decorative papers. Wallpaper is a good choice to use when working with découpage because it is thick and will not tear easily. Whether you will be using découpage for a piece of furniture or a plastic tissue box, this craft is fun and easy for all ages.
Choose the theme for your project. If you are using wallpaper samples to découpage an entire book shelf, you may want to choose all soft green patterns and shades. You can make a collage and decorate every inch of the piece, or simply cut out a small design and place it in the centre of the piece you want to decorate.
Prepare the piece you are going to découpage by sanding the area lightly with a fine grit sandpaper and dusting it off with a damp cloth according to The Guardian website. If you are using unfinished wood, you will need to seal, stain or paint it first, and then lightly sand it with a fine grit sandpaper to prepare the surface.
Cut out the pattern using a craft knife with a self-healing cutting mat, or use a pair of manicure scissors, whichever will help you cut around tiny details. Lay the cut out pieces on the surface to see how they will look best, you can easily move them if you don't like the look. Experiment to see what works best for your piece.
Spread a thin layer of the découpage glue on the back of the picture with a foam brush. If you are doing a collage and can work quickly, you can apply the Mod Podge or glue to the entire surface instead of brushing the glue on each individual picture.
Place the glue side down and go over the area with a craft roller or your thumb to make sure no air bubbles are on the project. Add other pictures in the same manner, overlapping them slightly if you want to make a collage.
Finish the project by applying several coats of varnish to the entire piece. This will provide a protective coating and create an even finish. Be sure to allow each coat to dry completely before adding another coat of varnish.
You can use regular white glue thinned with just a bit of water, instead of purchasing découpage glue.