Paper Napkin Decoupage DIY Craft Ideas

Paper Napkin Decoupage

Origin of Decoupage Idea

Decoupage has been around for centuries, with its origins traced back to ancient China, where it was used for decorative purposes. However, the modern form of decoupage gained popularity in Europe during the 17th century. Paper Napkin decoupage, specifically, likely emerged as a creative twist on traditional decoupage techniques.

Paper Napkin decoupage DIY is a versatile and enjoyable craft that can be done on various surfaces, making it suitable for beginners and experienced crafters alike. What is even better, is that it is easy and whatever you decide to decoupage will look professional. Here is some information and tips to get you started:

What Can You Decoupage with Paper Napkins?

Napkin decoupage can be applied to a wide range of surfaces, including:

  • Glass:
    • Mason Jars: Upcycled or new;
    • Decorative Glassware: Apply the napkins to glassware like candle holders or drinking glasses to create a beautiful and thematic display;
    • Plain Glass Plates: For display on a wall, for a personalized gift or for a centrepiece on a table.
    • Candle Holders: Decoupage glass jars to create beautiful candle holders or vases.
    • Glass Coasters: Use decoupage to embellish glass coasters for a unique table setting.
  • Wood:
    • DIY Coasters: Make personalized round or square coasters by adhering the napkin designs to cork or wooden coasters. Seal them with a protective finish to ensure durability.
    • Decorate wooden boxes or trays with decoupage to create stylish storage solutions.
    • Use decoupage to enhance the appearance of wooden furniture, such as tables or chairs.
    • Make custom wooden signs by decoupaging letters or images onto a wooden surface with paper napkins (and stencils).
  • Birdhouses:
    • Decoupaging a wooden birdhouse with paper napkins can be a fun and creative DIY project.
      • TIP: Paint the birdhouse with Chalk Paint first. Let it dry properly. You may want to give it a second coat. Then choose and apply pieces of napkin designs.
    • Materials Needed:
      • Wooden birdhouse; Napkins with designs or patterns of your choice; Decoupage glue or Mod Podge; Paintbrush; Scissors; Sandpaper (optional).
      • Clear sealant spray (optional) a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:
    • Steps:
      • Here is  a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:
        • Prepare the birdhouse:
          • If the wooden birdhouse has any rough edges or surfaces, you can lightly sand them to smooth them out.
          • This step is optional but can help create a better surface for the napkins to adhere to.
          • A medium or large birdhouse will be easier to decoupage than a small one.
        • Cut out the napkin designs:
          • Carefully separate the layers of the napkin so that you’re left with only the top layer containing the design.
          • Cut out the desired designs or patterns from the napkin. You can cut them into smaller pieces or use larger sections depending on your preference and the size of the birdhouse.
        • Apply decoupage glue:
          • Using a paintbrush, apply a thin layer of decoupage glue onto the area of the birdhouse where you want to place the napkin.
          • Make sure the glue (Mod Podge) is evenly spread and covers the entire area where the napkin will be placed.
        • Place the napkin:
          • Carefully place the cut-out napkin design onto the glued area of the birdhouse.
          • Smooth out any wrinkles or air bubbles using your fingers or a clean, dry paintbrush. Be gentle to avoid tearing the napkin.
        • Seal the napkin:
          • Once the napkin is in place and smoothed out, apply another thin layer of decoupage glue over the top of the napkin.
          • Make sure to cover the entire surface of the napkin with glue, as this will help seal it and protect it from damage.
        • Repeat the process:
          • Continue applying napkin designs to different areas of the birdhouse, repeating steps 3-5, until you’ve covered the entire birdhouse or achieved the desired look.
        • Let it dry:
          • Allow the decoupage glue to dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This may take several hours or overnight.
          • Optional: Seal the birdhouse:
          • If desired, you can further protect the decoupaged napkins by spraying the entire surface of the birdhouse with a clear sealant spray. This will help waterproof the birdhouse and prolong the life of the napkin designs. Make sure you use a sealer for outdoors if you are going to put it in the garden. It would be a pity to spoil all that hard work.
        • Once the birdhouse is completely dry and sealed (if you choose to do so), it’s ready to be displayed in your garden or home!
  • Fabric:
    • Cosmetic bag or Pencil Case: For yourself or for a gift for someone special
    • Tote Bags: Personalize canvas tote bags by decoupaging napkins onto the surface. This is a great way to create unique and stylish bags for shopping or carrying everyday items.
    • Fabric-covered Journals or Notebooks: Jazz up the covers of journals or notebooks by decoupaging napkins onto fabric. It adds a lovely texture and visual interest to your stationery.
      • Remember to use a decoupage glue or mod podge specifically designed for fabric to ensure a strong bond and a professional finish. Additionally, apply a sealant over the decoupaged napkins to protect them from wear and tear.

  • Rocks:
    • Use fairly large smooth rocks. Prime them first, let them dry and then decoupage them with the napkin of your choice.
    • Create unique paperweights by decoupaging decorative paper onto smooth rocks.
    • Make garden markers by decoupaging plant names or images onto flat rocks.
    • Decorate rocks with inspirational quotes or images to use as decorative accents around the home.
  • Ceramic:
    • Ceramic Pendant: You may want to decorate a ceramic pendant;
    • Ceramic Tiles: Plain ceramic tiles can be decorated with napkins to create custom coasters or decorative pieces. Clean the tiles, prime them with chalk paint and apply a layer of decoupage glue. Carefully place the napkin on the tile, smoothing out any air bubbles or wrinkles. Seal with additional layers of glue or a clear sealant.
    • Ceramic Plates: Transform plain ceramic plates into unique wall art or decorative pieces for display. Clean the plate surface thoroughly, prime it with chalk paint and once completely dry, apply glue on the part where the napkin pieces are to be placed. Use decoupage glue (Mod Podge or another suitable craft glue), ensuring smooth application. Seal with additional layers of glue or sealant for durability.
    • Ceramic Vases: Old or plain ceramic vases can be given a fresh look with decoupage napkin art. Clean the surface of the vase, apply the napkin pieces with decoupage glue such as Mod Podge, and seal with additional layers of glue or sealant. You can also add embellishments like ribbons or beads for extra flair.
  • Metal:
    • Tin Cans: You can upcycle tin cans into pencil holders, vases, or decorative containers. Clean the surface of the tin can thoroughly, then apply a coat of decoupage glue. Carefully place the napkin onto the glued surface, smoothing out any wrinkles. Once dry, apply another coat of decoupage glue on top to seal the napkin and protect it.
    • Metal Trays: Old metal trays can be transformed into decorative serving trays or wall art. Prepare the surface by cleaning it and sanding lightly to create a better bonding surface. Apply the napkin pieces onto the tray (put the Mod Podge or another suitable craft glue on the part to be decorated with napkins just before the napkin pieces are placed), overlapping them slightly for a layered effect. Finish with a protective sealant.
    • Metal Planters: Turn plain metal planters into unique pieces by decoupaging napkins onto them. Clean the surface, apply the napkin pieces using decoupage glue, and seal with additional coats of glue or a clear sealant suitable for outdoor use.
      • Remember to allow proper drying time between layers and handle the napkins gently to avoid tearing. Experiment with different napkin designs and techniques to create unique and personalized metal and ceramic crafts.
  • Plastic:
    • Transform plastic storage containers into decorative organizers by decoupaging patterned paper napkins onto them.
    • Decorate plastic plant pots with decoupage to give them a personalized touch.
    • Customize plastic photo frames with a napkin design decoupage to match your home decor.
  • Canvas:
    • Create a collage-style artwork by decoupaging various napkin images onto a canvas.
    • Make personalized wall art by decoupaging letters or words onto a canvas.
    • Decoupage a canvas tote bag to give it a custom design.
      • For each of these projects, you’ll need decoupage glue or Mod Podge, a variety of napkin designs for decoupage, a paintbrush or foam brush for applying the glue, and a sealer (such as Mod Podge or a clear varnish) to protect the finished piece. Let your creativity flow and experiment with different materials and designs to create one-of-a-kind decoupage creations!

Can Kids Do Decoupage?

Absolutely! Decoupage can be a fun and easy craft for kids, especially with supervision. It’s a great way to encourage creativity and fine motor skills. Just make sure to use non-toxic materials and choose projects appropriate for their age and skill level.

Preparing the Surface

Painting the surface with chalk paint beforehand can provide a smoother base for napkin decoupage and prevent the underlying material from showing through. It can also enhance the overall look of the finished piece, especially if you’re going for a shabby chic or vintage aesthetic.

Tips for Paper Napkin Decoupaging

  • Use thin, single-ply napkins for easier application.
  • Separate the layers of the napkin and only use the printed layer for decoupage.
  • Apply a thin layer of decoupage glue or Mod Podge to the surface before placing the napkin to prevent wrinkles.
  • Smooth out the napkin gently with a soft brush or sponge to remove air bubbles and ensure a smooth finish.
  • An even better method when working with glass, wood, etc., is to place some plastic wrap over the decoupage and to smooth the wrinkles with your fingers.
  • Seal the decoupage with additional layers of glue or varnish to protect the design and add durability.

Supplies Needed

  • Napkins with desired designs
  • Project to decoupage
  • Chalk paint (optional)
  • Decoupage glue or Mod Podge and plastic wrap to smooth out the wrinkles
  • Soft brush or sponge or dauber
  • Scissors and spray bottle with water
  • Sealer (optional but preferable) – you can use Mod Podge as a sealer as well
  • Decorative embellishments (optional)

Ideas for Beginners

  • Decoupage a simple glass votive holder with floral paper napkins for a pretty candle holder.
  • Create personalized coasters by decoupaging patterned paper napkins onto ceramic tiles.
  • Transform a plain wooden box into a stylish storage container using decorative paper napkins.

Ideas for Advanced Decoupagers

  • Experiment with layering paper napkins to create intricate designs and textures.
  • Incorporate mixed media elements like stamps, stencils, or paint to enhance your napkin decoupage projects.
  • Try decoupaging onto unconventional surfaces like fabric or metal for unique and eye-catching creations.

See the YouTube Videos below for Ideas for anyone who wants to try decoupage.:

Remember to have fun and get creative with your paper napkin decoupage projects! It’s a versatile craft with endless possibilities for customization and personalization.
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