Many of these things you can find at home. Everything which is made of wood, ceramic, glass, metal, plastic, etc., can be used for decoupage; so, to choose the first project, you do not need a lot of time and effort to find the perfect artifact – usually it is at your fingertips. When we are talking about materials used for decoupage they can be purchased in specialized stores, hobby shops or, if you do not have them in your town, or you just have a tiny budget, almost all that stuff you can find in local dyehouse; then, in the grandma's napkin collections; on the internet, etc.

Just to make all this stuff more clear we are going to decoupage one piece together and use that as an example. A whole bunch of needed stuff could be divided in four major groups:

  • Decoupaging piece: It could be piece of wood, furniture (it is recommended to start with smaller project unless you are not beginner), glass, ceramics, plastic, metal etc.
  • Dry materials you are using to glue on the artifacts (decoupaging piece): These are colorful pictures, newspaper cutouts, napkins, ropes, decorative paper, printed materials, photos, etc. For each of these materials there is a special preparation work, just to make them usable for decoupage. We are going to discuss that in upcoming tutorials.
  • Wet materials used for gluing, painting and protecting: you may use professional decoupage glues, paints, varnishes and other components if you like and have a nice budget. But, there are some low cost shortcuts: wood glue, concrete paints, acrylic varnishes etc. They are way cheaper and the packages are bigger, so they will last you forever. You really need just white, black, red, yellow and blue paint. With these 5 paints you can mix (produce) any color you want. It is always useful to have color spectrum image next to you. It really helps during the mixing. If you are not skilled for this, then you may need some special paint color. Varnishes are available in two variants: matt and shiny. You can pick the one you prefer more.
  • Tools: brushes (just from synthetic materials), paint rollers, sponges, scissors, scalpels, sandpapers, hair dryer, towels, napkins etc.

Artistic picture frameNow, lets take a look how this simple black picture frame, bought in 2 dollar store is made. First, we prepared needed materials: white concrete paint, wood glue, napkin and shiny varnish; and tools: scalpel or sharp small knife, scissors, synthetic brush, towel, hair dryer, towels for cleaning and old newspapers for protecting surfaces of stains.

This project is very simple, almost the easiest in the decoupage because it is basically gluing the napkin on the piece of plastic and the major task here is to prepare the frame for gluing. Almost every decoupage piece has to be white before you glue the napkin on, so we made it white. We applied the paint 3 times and we used hairdryer to dry it. After painting we sand it just to make it smooth. This is very important because the smoother gluing surface provides better results at the end.

Picture frameNext is to prepare the napkin and apply it on the frame. Usually napkins have three layers and in decoupage is used just the first one. After the layer separating, we put the wood glue on the frame, a thin layer, and gently pressed the napkin on. After that we cut the exes napkin parts and using the paint brush we added another layer of wood glue on the top of napkin and dried it out.

The last step in the process is to varnish the complete piece. We always use three layers of varnish.