Kate Makes

DIY Decoupage

Hello all happy Friday to you!

Hope you all had a good week and an enjoyable weekend.  We went away on the church holiday, (just a weekend) and it was absolutely brilliant. My only complaint is that it goes too quickly.  This was the fourth year we’ve gone and it never disappoints, we had such a laugh.

About a month ago I did a post about the Creative Hub I did which you can read here.  Today I have decided to post about the craft itself – Decoupage.  This is especially for you Jo as you requested I do it.  Jo is my friend at Inspirata and you can read about her journey in this post.

List of what you will need

PVA Glue



Brush – either sponge or normal whatever you prefer or have to hand

The item you want to decoupage such as a tile, hanger, bottle of wine etc

Patterned tissues/decoupage paper

Clear matt spray varnish

Scissors if you want to cut the pieces




Here are some example of tissues that I have used




The reason this post is titled ‘DIY Decoupage’ is that you can end up spending quite a lot of money on things like this when you buy all the ‘recommended’ bits and pieces.  I’m not one for spending more on something if there is no need so instead of buying ModPodge, which I believe to be the most popular brand out there, I use 50/50 PVA glue/water, put it into your pot or container and mix up really well.  Ta Dah! Your very own, inexpensive ModPodge! It will last for absolutely ages in a well sealed container so you can save it for future projects.

Also in decoupage you can buy the ‘proper’ paper but again its very expensive for what it is, having said that there are some beautiful designs and if your doing something really special they are probably worth investing in.  I’ve always been really pleased with the results from using the tissues, for doing things like tile coasters, hangers, bottles of wine and the lovely shaped boxes you can get in craft stores.

Once you have all your supplies ready you can start.  There are 2 ways that I decoupage, one is to just tear pieces of the tissue/paper into equal ish sizes (or you can cut), the other is to use larger pieces of the tissue/paper and cover much larger parts of your project. With the smaller pieces you just keep adding them by slightly overlapping each piece as you go, this will give a more rustic look and obviously the pattern won’t run as all the pieces are merging.  Using the larger pieces will keep more of a uniform look with the pattern but depending on what you are decorating it can be quite tricky and you will still have to line up in places.

When I make coasters from tiles I use a whole piece the size of the tile as its such a simple way of doing it.  Covering a wine bottle is easier to use the smaller pieces and it gives a really lovely look.  When I took the creative hub some of the girls did something I had never tried before which I loved.  Using certain designs they cut out individual pieces, like flowers and butterflies.  In these pictures I have shown that technique (left pic) and the tearing and overlapping (right pic).


So as you can see I have left gaps in the cutting out technique  and with the background being white I think it’s really effective.  It’s all a bit trial and error to find the way you like to work the most.

Once you have completely covered your piece and it has dried, cover it in at least one coat extra of the glue mixture.  For things like hangers one is plenty but for coasters, but I do about three extra coats to help them stay hardy.  Leave each layer to dry before adding another and once the last coat is fully dry thats when I spray with the varnish.  Again for a hanger one coat would suffice but for a coaster I would do about three.

A few tips to remember

I don’t usually use all the layers of the tissue.  Sometimes I use two layers and sometimes if I want a really fine look just the top layer, although you need to be careful as it can tear when wet with the glue.

Make sure the area you are about to put your piece of tissue on is covered in glue, but don’t over do it. Also put enough on the top to make sure it’s stuck down properly but if you use too much it has more chance of tearing and slipping around and will take an age to dry.

When you are using torn/cut pieces and overlapping them try not to overlap too much as it will make the overall look very patchy.  Try and ‘fit’ them but only roughly.

Check the instructions on the spray varnish that you buy as to how far away you should spray, how long to let each coat dry and ventilation etc.


Hopefully I have explained in a way that is helpful.  If there is anything that doesn’t quite make sense to you or you have a better suggestion on technique don’t hesitate to post in the comments section.  If you do give it a go I would really appreciate some feedback and if you would like to share some pics of your finished piece that would be even better.

Wishing you all a really happy weekend.

Much love

Kate x



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  • Reply Meryll June 19, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Hi Kate, Thank you for the tips on doing the decoupage. I’ve done a few bits over the years, some more successful than others! One of the most fun was to use scraps of material to cover hangers. They worked really well and are a little more hard wearing than tissue. Works best with fairly thin material but did use some thick, woven fabric which was lovely and gave a little padding as well as beauty. I feel some more projects coming on …! Thank you for the encouragement. God bless. xx

    • Reply Kate June 20, 2016 at 7:14 pm

      What a brilliant idea Meryll I would never have thought of using material, something new for me to try. So pleased you’ve been encouraged. Take care xx

  • Reply jayne jewiss July 12, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Hi Kate
    Thanks for more info on decoupage. I’d been looking for the mod podge recipe and here it is!
    I have just decoupaged a little set of drawers for my dressing table .. Really pleased with results.
    And all your inspiration.. Thanks Kate

    • Reply Kate July 14, 2016 at 12:52 pm

      Brilliant well done. Would love to see some pictures x

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