Decoupaged decor will inexpensively cheer up any space or accent. A collage of cutouts and a few coats of sealer are all you need.
For this enchanted entryway, we decoupaged floral designs sourced from vintage seed catalogs and prints around a doorway.
We alternated between black-and-white and color images for a Victorian vibe with a modern twist. Cut out and soak paper clippings before arranging and affixing them to form a tres chic (and cheap) trellis motif. Hold the design to the wall with painter's tape before you adhere and seal each section with decoupage medium. Tip: Don't have time to stroll through antiques stores for images? The Graphics Fairy (graphicsfairy.blogspot.com) is a treasure trove of vintage printables. To put the "mod" in Mod Podge, we can't get enough of How About Orange (howaboutorange.blogspot.com) for fresh and free downloads.
Black-and-white blooms add whimsy below a chair rail. White molding frames these carefully clipped flowers. Apply matte decoupage medium (we like Mod Podge); then, starting from the center of the image, use your fingers to smooth out bubbles. Rolling over the image with a brayer or squeegee is another option for ensuring a smooth finish, although the technique can sometimes rip delicate designs.
What you'll need:
Copy machine or scanner and laser printer
Decoupage medium (we used Mod Podge matte)
Remove any hardware if needed. Photocopy image onto high-quality paper.
Soak the image in hot, clean water until edges lightly curl to help relax the fibers in the paper.
Brush a coat of decoupage medium on the hard surface.
Place your image, smoothing gently with your fingers.
Brush over the top of the image with decoupage medium. Slightly diluted white glue, such as Elmer's, also will work. Once dry, use a sealer to protect the decoupaged surface.
Punch up a pair of pillows with an iron-on appliqué. (Our favorite is Purple Chimp Print & Iron 100 percent cotton sheets with a fusible backing; you run them through your ink-jet printer.) We layered a bouquet over a background print for lots of visual interest and depth. Or simplify the look by applying a monogram in your favorite typeface or a sweet silhouette of your pet.
Not sure how to fill a frame? Showcase your stellar snipping skills and think outside the print by decoupaging an oversize mat. We overlaid a page from a gardening guide with leftover paper cutouts. Overlapping the leaves and leaving some not adhered creates a dimensional look in a deep-set frame.
We're inspired by the instant cheer that fresh flowers bring to a room. Transform a plain-Jane white café curtain into a modish textile to achieve the look of a fresh bouquet year-round. TIP: Prewash fabrics, if possible, before applying your image. We evenly spaced and repeated the same potted-plant design on this café curtain to mimic the look of a store-bought print, but you can customize with your own mix and placement.
What you'll need:
Heat transfer paper, such as Purple Chimp Print & Iron
Iron and ironing board
Print your images according to your printer settings and transfer-paper instructions. (We like the Purple Chimp sheets because you simply cut around and iron on top of the image. Most heat-transfer paper requires you to flip or mirror an image on the computer first.) Allow 30 minutes to dry, then cut out your design and arrange the collage on the lampshade.
Use your iron (highest setting, no steam) to affix the transfer. Lift the iron over the image, then lower it on top of the image. Press the iron onto the image until it is fully fused -- about 8 seconds.
Here, we used decoupage to create cohesion between the dresser and mirror without making everything feel too matchy-matchy.
Try a low-commitment project like this one before you take on something like the larger-scale doorway trellis. This mirror is a great practice piece to test your decoupage skills. Terra-cotta, tin, papier-mache, cardboard, and crafts foam are also suitable.
Try a decoupage project on glass using the same simple skills used on wood.