Decoupage is a fancy name for a simple craft that appeals to young and old alike. Children find it particularly satisfying and amazing effects are achieved by applying paper tissue and glue to very ordinary items.
Things You’ll Need a
Even if you have just a basic craft kit at home, the chances are that with a quick rummage around the house, you will already have all the things you need for the kids to get started on some great creative projects.
- You need a base for your design – this can be something as simple as paper or card. You can look out for an object to be decorated. Try tracking down some cheap items in discount stores. You start with something very plain and ordinary but after a little craftwork; the kids will be thrilled with a piece of unique art.
- Paper napkins make perfect decoupage material. Use a combination of plain colours to make block effects in an abstract design. This produces a mosaic effect. The real beauty of paper napkins is that they often feature wonderful designs and motifs ranging from floral themes, to scrolls, pictures and even favourite children’s characters.
- Using scissors, the children get plenty of cutting practise with this craft depending how intricate the napkin design is. More complicated projects are best left to older children whereas younger artists can use plain napkin colours and the overall effect will be equally attractive if they tear the napkins into squares.
- PVA glue is a gift to the world of decoupage! It’s so practical for younger kids as its thick white appearance makes it easier to apply. Thankfully, the glue dries clear so it won’t spoil the end result. As well as sticking the napkin to the object, the PVA glue can also acts as a varnish to seal and preserve the finished item. You can also use a simple acrylic varnish if you prefer.
- Use a fine brush to smooth over the applied napkin. The paper tissue can be quite fragile and especially when liberally doused in sticky glue. The brush can be used to gently sweep the napkin down neatly and get rid of air bubbles. It’s also useful to apply the PVA glue.
The Process of Decoupage
The children begin their project by cutting out the motif, border, shapes, design or character they’d like to use in the finished item. When it’s been cut out, separate the layers of the napkin. There will usually be the patterned layer which will be used and a plain colour layer which is discarded.
Apply a thin layer of PVA glue to your decoupage object and start the design by gently applying the napkin pieces. Gently smooth the napkin down using your brush. Don’t worry about how the glue looks at this stage; don’t forget it dries so it’s clear.
When you are happy with your design, you can finish the craft project with a thin layer of PVA glue. At this stage you can add to the decoupage by applying extra decorations like tiny pom poms, glitter or ‘faux’ gems. Now leave it to dry and stand back to admire the handiwork.
Project Ideas to try
The real beauty of decoupage is that it transforms the most ordinary items into things of beauty. The projects kids can try are limitless. Here are just a few favourite ideas:-
- Decorate a plain wooden photo frame. For a Christmas present, try using a festive napkin. You can also choose a colour scheme to match the decor of thee room where the frame will be displayed.
- Make your own gift boxes with empty packaging and a selection of napkin designs. This is very effective with Christmas and birthday napkins.
- Decorate ornaments for the house- starting with plain vases, bowls or jam jars and ending with something striking and unique.
- Try turning a plain white candle into something amazing by applying napkin motifs; this makes a great gift or Christmas centrepiece.
Decoupage sounds like a complicated craft idea but it is simple enough to appeal to all ages and produces some unforgettable end results, using simple paper napkins and glue. Crafts don’t get much better than that!