Decoupage is a French craft that originated in the eighteenth century. Literally translated, the word "decoupage" means "applied cutouts." It is a method of decorating a three-dimensional object with paper cutouts.

Cut to the corpse
by Lucy Lawrence.
Waterville, Me. : Wheeler Pub., 2010.
"A Decoupage Mystery."
Cut to the corpse
Lucy Lawrence.
New York : Berkley Prime Crime, c2010.
A sticky situation in the second Decoupage mystery. Decoupage teacher Brenna Miller is in over her head when she finds bride-to-be Tara with her fiance's dead best friend-and Tara holding the murder weapon. It's up to Brenna to get to the truth before Tara's future turns to shreds.
Pebble pets : 30 loveable companions crafted from pebbles and paper
Steve and Megumi Biddle.
Newton Abbot : David & Charles, 2009.
Pebble Pets features a unique collection of delightful rock animal designs that are packed with personality, making them the perfect desktop companion. The 30 loveable creatures are created with easy techniques including layering rocks with paper, molding details out of modeling clay and creating faux fur. Plus, cute accessory projects accompany the pets, including collars, bones, dishes and beds. The easy-to-follow techniques and clear step-by-step instructions combined with adorable photography make it hard to resist these newfound friends.

To begin a decoupage project start by first cutting out paper illustrations or designs from any paper source. For example, you can use greeting cards, wrapping paper, calendars, wallpaper, stamps, dried flowers or leaves.

The next step is to arrange these cutouts in any order that is pleasing to the eye on a base for your decoupage project such as a plate, tray, box, furniture or glass.

around the world

Italy - done on desks
French -  lacy and intricate
Germany - embossed motifs
Swedish - earth tones
Norwegian - mythological
Poland - colored paper
Mexican - holiday items
Belgian - done with a scalpel
Australia - discovered  25 yrs. ago

Once cutouts have been arranged and glued to the surface, many coats of lacquer are applied to create a smooth, transparent finish. When completed, a simply painted piece of wood can turn into a fancy art piece. Creating a piece with decoupage can be a relaxing leisure activity.

A variety of faux, or "false" finishes can be used to create an interesting textured background onto which you can apply decoupage designs. Techniques that can be used include, antiquing, sponging, splattering, crackling, ragging or glazing.

Hopefully the inspiration to learn decoupage will lead you into a wonderful new craft project. Finding objects to use for decoupage can present an interesting challenge. However, once you begin your decoupage you will soon have the feeling of accomplishment and a lovely piece of art!

More about decoupage

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff