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Decoupage Art Project

written by: kellylynnmarie • edited by: Linda M. Rhinehart Neas • updated: 8/15/2012

Decoupage is a fun arts and craft idea that is easy for students of all ages. From decoupage, the student can create a unique and beautiful item such as candle holder or picture frame that can later be put into a school auction.

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    Choose an Object

    The object used to decoupage can be just about anything. The most common items used are small boxes and candle holders found decoupage candle within any local arts and craft store. If you want to get fancier with your project, you may want to think about doing a decoupage of a picture frame. If it has an untextured, relatively flat surface, it's probably an object that can be decoupaged.

    When choosing your object to decoupage, select something that does not have a lot of corners or edges as they can be the most challenging. For a more experienced decoupage artist, challenge yourself with objects that are square or oddly shaped.

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    The Materials

    Decoupage materials can consist of a plethora of items. The most common material used in decoupage is tissue paper. Tissue paper absorbs the glue quickly and is easy to smooth out or make textured, whatever you desire. It is probably the easiest material to work with, although, it is also the most fragile as it can rip or tear with little pressure.

    Tissue paper comes in a variety of colors, patterns and looks that can be mixed and match to make a unique piece. No matter what you do, you will never have two decoupage pieces the same. They will always be slightly different, which is really the beauty of this art project.

    Another material that offers some of the benefits of tissue paper is the ordinary napkin. Napkins come in a variety of different colors and patterns but they are stronger and more durable. Their durability, however, make them less pliable than the standard tissue paper and less absorbent when it comes to getting your material soaked with the glue.

    Other materials that can be used include anything from stickers to magazine clippings to photographs. Anything that is flat and can be glued down solidly can be used in making a decoupage art project.

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    The Adhesive

    Mod Podge is the glue used in decoupaging. A decoupage project relies on the adhesive to keep the project together and smooth. The Mod Podge should be put on the items being decoupaged, as well as the material being glued on so that both have a sufficient amount of adhesive. Do not worry about putting too much glue on, as that is just not possible.

    Even if it takes longer to dry, it will eventually dry--and it will dry completely clear. You will not see any traces of the glue, except possibly of how it was put on. If it was put on with a brush stroking all in one direction, that pattern may shown up ever so lightly within the final product. However, using a finger to smooth the material onto the object is all that is needed and is much more effective and efficient than a brush.

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    The Process

    The process of decoupage is relatively simple. The following steps can be printed out for students to follow and/or placed on an overhead projector.

    • Once you have collected your materials, you need to make sure you have a good space to work where getting glue on something will not be a concern.
    • Assess the objects and materials you want to use so you know what needs to go where on the item. Instead of making clean cuts with scissors, try tearing for a rugged effect.
    • Cover the area of the object you're working on with the adhesive. As that sets a bit, add some glue to whatever material you will be working with first.
    • Put the material onto the object. Smooth out the material or crinkle it to add texture.
    • Continue this process until your object is completely covered. Remember that you can overlap colors to create other colors and get creative with any material you want.
    • Once your have covered the object with the materials you have chosen, add another coat of Mod Podge to give it a solid coating.
    • Smooth it out as much as possible. You don't want any seams to be torn up.
    • If you want texture to your decoupage piece, let the first coat dry and add texture through the second coat. This ensures you have a solid outer coating to add longevity to the piece.
    • Your school art auction project is now ready to dry.
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    The Final Product

    Once the decoupage piece has had sufficient amount of time to dry completely, it will be ready for the school art auction. A school art auction allows people the opportunity to purchase beautiful art to give as a gift or keep for themselves. Decoupage pieces can add elegance and creativity to any room, so they always make wonderful presents for other people. Decoupage school art auction projects will be a huge asset for the simple fact that they are one-of-a-kind; no two are ever alike.

    Completed decoupage products cannot be compared or judged against anything else. It's a process that is fun, easy, and extremely unique.

    Photo Credit: Wiki Commons