How To Decoupage


Fancy revamping a tired old family heirloom? Using decoupage will give it a unique and fun look - and it's easy to achieve.

By Jacqueline Davies of

  • An old atlas or other images (we've used maps, but you can use any paper as long as it's not too flimsy)
  • PVA glue
  • Varnish
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Paintbrush
  • Furniture to decorate


You'll need a bit of patience but if you like gift wrapping you'll love this.


Glue about £2; varnish, £10; paper should be free, assuming you're using off-cuts.

Table before

Step One: Table Before Decoupage

You can cover almost anything with decoupage, from boxes to lampstands. It's a pretty simple technique, but takes some practice to perfect. Start with simple objects with simple angles, and work up to more complicated pieces for best effect.

Sand the table

Step Two: Sand The Surface

If the surface of whatever you're covering has a high shine, sand the surface flat to make a good key for your paper to stick to. Brush away any dust.

Cut pieces

Step Three: Cut Pieces Of A Map

Select the best pages of your map and cut up into 8cm squares.

Of course, you you don't need to use a map - any paper will do, as long as it's not too thick or too flimsy. Choose a pattern to suit your room and colour scheme.


Step Four: Glue The Map Pieces

Brush glue onto the surface of your furniture - just work on one part, such as the table top, at a time - and smooth your squares of paper on top. You can overlap with other pieces of paper, but ensure that all edges have glue on them. Remember to position your favourite pieces where they will be seen.

Cut to fit

Step Five: Cut To Fit

When your images reach the edges, glue the table sides and splice to avoid bunching the paper around curved edges. Straight edge furniture can be wrapped over the edges without cutting.

Eliminate grooves

Step Six: Eliminate Grooves

Gently run your finger over any grooves to push your paper to the edges, and leave to dry.


Step Seven: Varnish To Finish

Brush two or more thin layers of varnish over all the decoupage areas, remembering to leave to dry for the correct time between coats.

Finish off

Step Eight: Finishing Touches

If you want to take decoupage further, there are plenty of craft supplies available for serious decoupagers, from specialist glues to rubber rollers for getting rid of those pesky bubbles.


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