Decoupage : Step By Step Tutorial


Article by Christina Ranjan, Artist

Decoupage is derived from the French word “decouper” meaning “to cut”, cutting being an important part of this craft work. It is the art of decorating objects using paper cutouts, paint effects, decorative details and layers of lacquer along with varnish.  It was originated in France during the 17th century. It was spread throughout Europe and in the 18th century, it had become a fashionable past-time in Italy, France and England. It was mainly done on furniture- chairs, desks, screens etc. Paper cutouts were reassembled and designed and glued to a painted or glided surface. With such a long and varied history it isn’t surprising that decoupage is still evolving with styles. With its colourful origin and variety of techniques, the possibilities for this fascinating art form are infinite, offering scope for endless hours of creativity as well as enjoyment. This craft is limitless, interesting and challenging. Contemporary decoupage makes use of all kinds of prints and papers. Decoupage can be done on small household items like boxes, vases, to large pieces of furniture. It can be used for gifting as well as home decor products.Old furniture can be given life through decoupage which is very much common in western countries. What appears to be a printed design is actually papers glued together. Decoupage can create a bold, aesthetically appealing modern design statement on any surface. Upcycling can be done on wine bottles, liquor bottles and glass jars with decoupage to give a beautiful finish and it can be added as a decor. One can grow more fascination towards this craft and by trying out many other techniques with the help of different paste, glues and gels on various surfaces. In India, all the materials are imported and it’s available through leading online craft stores.

It can be used for gifting well as home decor products. Home makers show more interest towards this craft as they can learn and sell it online. They can have an entrepreneurship on their own. Decoupage can also be mastered by working women from different walks of life as a leisure activity.

Old furniture can be given life through decoupage which is very much common in western countries. Decoupage decor can be done on various materials like furniture, wood, MDF, rexin, glass, ceramics, shells, jute, canvass, plastic, stone, metal, terracotta and candles.



  • Papers: Bob and Betty decoupage papers, craftreat decoupage papers, Papericious decoupage papers, rice papers.
  • Decoupage napkins
  • We can also use a photograph or a photocopy paper, any paper with 75gsm or more
  • Glues: Mod Podge (matte, gloss, fabric, dishwasher, furniture, dimensional, glow in the dark, antique, sparkling are some of the varieties)
  • Paints
  • Varnish (matte, gloss, fabric, dishwasher, furniture, dimensions, glow in the dark are some of the varieties)
  • Scrapper
  • Fussy cutting scissors
  • Base surface: wood, MDF, glass, ceramic, fabric, rexin, metal, old furniture, terracotta, candle, cork, canvas


Christina Ranjan is a lecturer by profession, artist and crafter by passion. She is the owner of Christina’s Art Studio.

Disclaimer: Views expressed are personal and may not reflect those of this organisation.