Decoupage is the art of decorating an object by gluing colored paper on to it, and then sealing the finished product in layers of varnish until the cut out appearance vanishes altogether. Craftsmen in the past have combined this technique with specialist paints and finishes such as gold leaf to produce really beautiful works of art.
Although I can not promise that our works of art will end up in a museum in a couple of hundred years, it is really easy to use the concept of decoupage at home to decorate objects, and it is a great activity to do with the kids. In the past we have used Autumn Leaves to decoupage, today we decided to use the technique for an Easter craft.
The eggs we used have been blown to remove their contents, it’s great fun and full instructions can be found here. Alternatively, I am sure that the polystyrene or paper mache eggs that you buy in craft shops, would work just as well. Traditional decoupage paper is thin, which does give a lovely smooth finish, however we wanted to use something that everyone would have at home, so simply tore a few colourful pictures out of magazines, and cut them into little pieces. Likewise, although there are lots of specialist decoupage glues on the market, we find that we get perfectly good results in our craft projects by using traditional PVA glue.
We started by covering a small area of the object with a fairly generous coating of the glue and stuck the first piece of cut paper in place. We then painted over that piece again with more glue ensuring all the edges were well stuck down. We continued, overlapping the first with the next, and so on, each time coating the stuck down paper with more glue – when dry this gives the finished object the ‘varnished look’ as well as protecting it.
Once your project is completely dry you can coat it with a clear water-based varnish – the more coats you add the more authentic your work of art will look and the more robust it will be. We made ours as presents, they will be going in little baskets along with some of our Home made Bath Fizzes.