What is Decoupage Art?

by Annie Saxena on Mar 24, 2023

What is Decoupage Art?

Decoupage, usually called Découpage, is the skill of cutting out cutouts and pasting them on a wood, metal, or glass surface to resemble painting. The four fundamental processes of decoupage normally involve cutting out the photos, arranging them to create a scene or tell a story, pasting them on a surface, and coating the photographs with numerous thin coats of varnish or lacquer. There are many variations in approach.

Decoupage began in France in the 17th century as a method of embellishing bookcases, cabinets, and other pieces of furniture. It was influenced by a tradition of cut work that includes the paper cutting of the ancient Chinese, the felt appliqués found among the Siberian peoples, and the Polish folk art of paper cutting. It travelled throughout Europe and gained popularity in the 18th century, especially at the courts of Italy, France, and England. Fans, screens, and toiletry items all had elegant, endearing, and vibrant designs printed from images generated specifically for this use. Peep displays from the 19th century were made of decoupage and included miniature landscapes that could be seen through a small aperture.

What is Decoupage Art?

In the decorative art form of decoupage, paper or fabric is cut out and glued onto a surface before being sealed with several coats of varnish or adhesive to produce a one-of-a-kind and distinctive artwork. The method can be applied to a number of materials, including ceramics, glass, metal, and wood.

Decoupage's origins can be found in the 17th century, a time when European aristocracy utilized it to decorate their homes with ornate patterns. When it was employed to embellish little objects like snuff boxes and other personal accessories in the 18th century, it became more widely used.

The word "decoupage" derives from the French verb "decouper," which meaning "to cut out." The term "cut work" was initially used to describe the method.

Decoupage is a flexible art medium that enables artists to produce intricate designs using a range of materials, including patterned paper, tissue paper, fabric, and even pictures. From straightforward geometric patterns to rich flower themes and natural settings, the designs can be found.

Decoupage can be used to give old or worn-out items a new life in addition to its decorative value by upcycling and repurposing them. For instance, decoupage designs can be added to a basic wooden box to make it into a one-of-a-kind, personalized jewellery box.

Decoupage is a style of art that is still widely used today. Craftspeople and artists use it to make everything from jewellery to furniture and other ornamental goods.

What are the Examples of Decoupage Art?

In the art form of decoupage, paper or fabric is cut out and layered to form a design on a surface, which is then covered in a sealant. These are some illustrations of decoupage artwork:

Furniture decoration: You may create works of art out of plain furniture by decoupaging paper or fabric onto it. Decoupage, for instance, can be used to make a one-of-a-kind coffee table out of an old luggage.

Designing a home Many household items, including lamps, picture frames, vases, and even switch plates, can be decorated using decoupage.

Shoes, purses, and jewellery boxes are just a few examples of the fashion items that can be decorated using decoupage.

Wall art: With decoupage, you may make wall art by adhering paper or fabric to canvases or wood panels.

Decoupage can be used to make collages and give pages more depth in scrapbooking.

Gift-wrapping Tip: Gift boxes and bags can be customized and made one-of-a-kind by using decoupage to design them.

Decoupage is an artistic process that can be used to embellish a variety of surfaces and items.

How to Create Decoupage Art?

To make decoupage art, use these fundamental procedures:

Decide on a surface: On a variety of materials, including wood, glass, metal, and plastic, decoupage can be done. Choose the area of a surface that you want to decoupage.

Choose your cloth or paper: Choose the paper or fabric you want to use for your decoupage creation. Any style or pattern is acceptable for this, including floral prints, old postcards, and even newspaper clippings.

Get your surface ready by: If the surface you're decoupaging onto isn't already smooth, you'll need to sand it down and clean it. After that, paint or prime the surface with a base coat and let it cure completely.

Images to be cut out: On paper or cloth, cut out the images you intend to use. To make precise cuts, you can use scissors or a craft knife.

Organize your photos: To organize the arrangement, arrange your cut-out photos on the surface. If you are satisfied with the design, reposition the components.

Decoupage glue application: With a brush or sponge, spread decoupage glue over the surface. After that, adhere your pictures on the adhesive and smooth out any creases or bubbles. Let it to totally dry.

Decoupage glue or clear varnish should be used as a top coat after the decoupage layer has dried to seal the surface and guard it from deterioration.

Final touches: Include whatever last touches you choose, such as decorative embellishments made with paint, glitter, or beads.

Please note that the particular stages may vary based on the type of surface and the materials you choose to use for your decoupage project. This is just a rough outline.

What are the Different Types of Decoupage Art?

Decoupage art comes in a variety of forms that can be categorized according to the supplies and methods employed. Some of the most typical varieties are listed below:

Decoupage of paper: This kind of decoupage, which is the most common, is utilizing paper cutouts to embellish a surface. The paper may be made from books, magazines, gift wrap, or printed pictures.

Decoupage with fabric entails decorating a surface with fabric cutouts rather than paper. It is frequently used to adorn clothing, purses, and home decor.

Decoupage that produces a 3D impression by layering cutouts is known as 3D decoupage. It is frequently used for crafting cards and scrapbooks.

Reverse decoupage: With this technique, the cutouts are layered underneath the surface rather than on top. For instance, you might decoupage a glass plate from the underside to produce a distinctive pattern.

Crackle decoupage: This technique uses crackling glaze to give the surface a cracked appearance. Then, to give the cracks a vintage appearance, the paper cutouts are placed over them.

Decoupage that has been painted entails painting the surface first, then gluing the cutouts on top. In order to produce a special look, the paint color might peek through the cutouts.

Serviette decoupage is another name for this style of decoupage, which uses ornamental napkins.

What is the History of Decoupage Art?

With origins in both Europe and Asia, decoupage art has been around for centuries. An overview of decoupage's past is provided here:

The French verb "decouper," which means "to carve out," is the source of the English word "decoupage."

Europe, especially France and Italy, saw the emergence of decoupage as a popular craft in the 17th century. During this time, it was mostly utilized to adorn furniture and household items.

In England, where technique was practiced to make attractive items for the home such screens, boxes, and trays, decoupage gained additional notoriety in the 18th century.

Decoupage rose in popularity as a female pastime in the 19th century's Victorian era. They would use paper or fabric scraps to cut out beautiful patterns that they would then put to items like boxes, trays, and even fan blades.

In Asia, particularly in Japan and China, decoupage also gained popularity. Paper is sliced with a knife and used to make images and motifs in the Japanese decoupage technique known as "kirie".

Decoupage developed further and gained popularity as a craft and art form in the 20th century. It has been applied in many different ways, including furniture and home design, wall art, and even fashion accessories.

Decoupage is still a very common pastime and art form today, with lots of crafters and artists coming up with elaborate and one-of-a-kind designs utilizing various tools and methods.

What is the Right Age to Learn Decoupage Art?

People of all ages can love decoupage painting. Under adult guidance, children as young as 6 or 7 years old can learn the fundamentals of decoupage. However, it's crucial to make sure that kids are using materials and tools that are appropriate for their age, and that they are always under adult supervision when using sharp objects like scissors or craft knives.

Children and teenagers who are older can learn more sophisticated techniques, like 3D decoupage or reverse decoupage, and can make more detailed and complex designs.

Decoupage art is something that adults of any age may learn and enjoy. It may be a soothing and healing pastime as well as an opportunity to make one-of-a-kind and customized home décor, presents, and artwork.

Decoupage art can be learned at any age; there is no right or wrong time. People of all ages and skill levels can enjoy this hobby since it is adaptable and accessible.

What is the Difference Between Decoupage and Collage?

Both decoupage and collage are artistic processes that entail cutting and adhering items to a surface, yet they differ significantly in several important ways:

Materials: While collage can utilize a wider variety of materials, such as magazine clippings, pictures, and found objects, decoupage often uses thinner materials, such as paper or fabric.

Surface preparation: While collage can be done on any surface, decoupage frequently includes giving the surface a base layer of paint or primer.

Decoupage and collage both require stacking different materials onto a surface; the former involves paper or fabric scraps, the latter involves a variety of other materials.

Technique: Decoupage entails using glue or adhesive to connect the paper or fabric to the surface from the back, whereas collage frequently uses glue or adhesive to adhere several materials to a surface.

Decoupage is frequently used to create a decorative surface or to give an item a new look, but collage can be used to express one's creativity or to convey a particular message or meaning.

In general, collage is a more adaptable method that entails stacking different materials onto a surface for aesthetic reasons, whereas decoupage is a more specialized technique that involves utilizing paper or fabric to embellish objects.


Decoupage is a type of craft in which cutouts of fabric or paper are glued to items before the whole thing is sealed to make it appear painted. Decoupage is a do-it-yourself method for embellishing household products and repurposing vintage items. Many surfaces, such as wood, metal, glass, terra cotta, and even plastic, are suitable for découpage. In-home décor favorites include furniture, flowers, lampshades, picture frames, and glassware.

The Medieval French term "decouper," which meaning to cut up, cut out, or carve out, is where the word "découpage" originates. The découpage technique may have come from Siberia, where tombs were decorated using it. Then the method spread to China, and finally it reached Europe. Artisans would découpage furniture, frames, and book covers; it was common in Italy and France. Nowadays, découpage is a simple craft because to all-in-one adhesive and sealants like Mod Podge.