A little light on decoupage …………


Well folks, I am a little bit in love with this technique.. I decided to hobble about the house and see exactly how often I use my ‘Go –To’  way of applying colour, pattern and interest to just about anywhere.. and it has to be said.. it is probably more than normal!

We are all a little bit scared of paint, even those people who have been applying colour to canvas or sculpture for an age. can get brain freeze when faced with a blank canvas, or a white ghessoed figure.


To cover a surface quickly or to give a beautifully chalky surface to paint your acrylics on, simply cover your canvas or paper you can use a base layer of coloured tissue. This gives you a much broader starting point where your next layers can tease and build in depth on top .

You might wish to keep areas of the original tissue as the ‘true’ layer’ and add a glaze or ink to brighten. You can trap things between layers,, like string, flattened objects like tickets and dried flowers and use the mix of plain colours to jar against each other or blend in interesting textured layers .

So I love tissue generally, because it is cheap, easy to pick up, use, apply, mix, and work over. Kids love it and working with groups who find art challenging ( the elderly, recovering from illness or health issues) or in my own case struggling with bad arthritic days and because it is immediate and can be cut or torn into an infinite variety of shapes.

And that is only the beginning…

So.. the next thing is the massive choice you have in skinny patterned layers of lovliness you can use on surfaces which are just made of paper.. There are so so many and once you start seeing how they can be incorporated into a collage you will see potential in the most everyday materials. !

Napkins, patterned tissue paper, crepe paper, wrapping paper, and the fancy stuff.. decoupage paper ( more sturdy and less likely to break up in application).. although you’ll pay for the privalige.

And all you do is this…

Prepare the surface you’ll be working on. In each case it will be different, but you need a kind of tooth ( a grip) so the glue won’t just slide off.

On a paper mache surface or a canvas, you’ll need a chalky clean but waterproof surface. Prime with ghesso or white acrylic first.

On a wood surface , sand down any gloss paint and get the surface to be a little rough before you start.


Mix up a magic mixture of 50% pva and water 50%. Warm water is better as it makes the glue a bit meltier .. and the paint it onto your preferred surface. Apply glue  mixture with a generous brush, apply papers, and then  importantly Apply another of glue mixture painted on top. This will flatten, secure and seal the layers. Repeat until you are done! Add detail with acrylic paint and when dry ( next day) add a layer or two of strong yacht varnish. Preferably matt ( but some kinds of art can tolerate the glossy kind and it has it’s uses in some kinds of painting, and certain projects, ) Your project should now be pretty cool and hardwearing 🙂

Here is a tour of my house and its decoupage projects.. I hope it inspires you to try it for yourself…… xxxxxxx

These projects have included a couple of trunks in the living room, a set of coffee tables, the kitchen wall !!! a vintage style magical cookbook and Leah’s homework desk . The papers we use are from old recipe books ( thanks to a friend for a gift of a particularly perfect ice cream and cake pics, torn from an old dairy cook book, manuscript books, napkins from holidays, online buys.. you name it.. you just need to know what you like and put it out there to all your crew that you need inspiration!!! Good luck and show me your finished projects, I can’t wait to see what you’re up to too!!  Love and Hugs Liz xxxx



Leave a Reply