5 More Decoupage Tips

Every time you do a new project, you learn something different - so here, I want to share 5 more tips on decoupage (read my other article about my Top 10 Decoupage Tips here).  Upcycling furniture using wrapping paper is a fantastic way of giving an old piece of furniture a new lease of life.  Spoonflower does very high quality gift wrap.  Using my pink hummingbird design printed as wrapping paper from Spoonflower, I transformed this perfectly functional but ever so boring bedroom cabinet for our little girl. 

Transform cabinet

1.  Choose Paper to Fit a Theme.  With so many wrapping paper designs on offer at Spoonflower, you can choose almost anything!  Our daughter had just gone for pink sparkly paint for the walls of her bedroom.  She decided that my pink hummingbirds were the way to go for her bedroom cabinet.  I'm a great believer in being brave when upcycling furniture - such as using my train tracks design to upholster an old chest.  If the piece of furniture is of little value, you can be very creative with your decisions!

Colour Theory

2.  Use Colour Theory to Select a Paint Colour and Paper.  There are lots of articles available to read on colour theory - I found this one helpful.  In this case, my daughter wanted to have pink birds - so I made the background to the birds a green colour.  Pink and green are complementary colours, and the presence of green tones down pink.  Another hint which I have learnt through mixing my inks from printmaking is to 'knock back' a colour by mixing in a small amount of grey.  So although the cabinet has been repainted in pink, I actually bought a bright pink and another grey tin of paint, and mixed them.  Below you can see what the original bright pink looks like, and the 'knocked back' pink.  Colours with a little bit of grey in them are more harmonious.

Knocked back pink

3.  Cut Paper into Manageable Sizes.  When decoupaging a piece of furniture, you quickly learn that air bubbles are your enemy!  To combat this, do not use too large a piece of paper.  As you can see, the paper for the cabinet was cut to fit the panels.  This helped draw attention to the structure of the cabinet - but also meant it was easier to apply pressure to the paper to make it stick well and to remove any air bubbles.  

Cut paper

4.  Make it Fun!  If you are upcycling a piece of furniture for a child, get them involved!  They can help with painting the furniture, applying the glue and varnishing the paper.  Decoupage is a very forgiving technique - and if the furniture is secondhand and unloved, there is really no risk to getting a child involved in the process!  If the furniture is going in their room, it will make them feel a real sense of pride that they have helped to upcycle it.

Make decoupage fun

5.  Incorporate Accents of Colour.   The finishing touches for this cabinet were bright pink love heart handles - and the feet were painted brighter than the rest of the cabinet in the original pink paint.  These accents of colour tie in with the overall pink but also bring out fun elements of detail. 

Cupboard upcylced with pink hummingbirds

Remember, you may also want to check out my other article - Top 10 Decoupage Tips for more useful ideas and advice!

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