DIY Decoupage For Your Wedding

It’s the eleventh hour and you still haven’t figured out how you’re going to decorate your wedding. For that matter, now that your budget has been spent on essentials (like, say, feeding your guests), you haven’t figured out how you’re even going to afford wedding decorations.

Don’t worry. Do-it-yourself decoupage will save your wedding. Decoupage is not only an elegant word to say aloud; it’s also a craft project that gives you a deceptively elegant result for comparatively little effort and expense.

Best of all, you can use the same technique to spruce up nearly anything about your wedding: signage, guestbook covers, tissue boxes, table labels, photo frames, seat card holders, platters, bottle centerpieces, tables, napkin rings, stationery, and even jewelry.

Don’t forget, too, that you can hide necessities (like a pair of comfy shoes for dancing later in the evening) in a fancy decoupaged box.

Here’s How to Do It

Decoupage is all about finding papers printed with images you like. You may find them in magazines, brochures, newspapers, photos, posters, books, rolls of wallpaper or gift wrap, and even your own sketches. Some couples use their old love letters to decoupage ring boxes. (Just be careful in selecting images from one-of-a-kind sources, though, since you do have to physically cut the images out of the paper–you may want to use photocopies of the originals instead.)

As you select images, take size into account. If you will be using them to decoupage a slender vase, for example, a few small images of flowers could wrap around the sides without overlapping.

Large images, on the other hand, often result in cropped edges and covered-up parts (which can work well, too, depending on the artistic effect you want to achieve).

Once you have your favorite images cut out, it’s time to attach them to the objects you want to beautify. (You may want to paint your objects a base color first; if so, make sure the paint is dry before attaching your images.) Test them in several configurations (overlapping, sideways, and so on) until you find the way you like them best.

Apply a thin, even layer of glue to the back of your images. You can use a special decoupage medium like Mod Podge, or you can create your own by mixing three parts Elmer’s Glue and one part water. Make sure you cover the entire backs of your images, corner to corner.

Then, press the paper images firmly onto the object’s surface, taking care to smooth the edges. For delicate paper or images printed with smudgy ink, you may find that a popsicle stick works better than your fingertips.

Once your images are attached and the glue is dry, you may decide to add additional images. Add as many layers as you like. Translucent papers, like thin colored tissue paper, can look beautiful in several layers.

When you’re happy with the way the final product looks, it’s time to protect it. Brush a layer of glue all over the entire object. Let it dry. Then brush on another layer of glue. Keep adding additional layers of glue until the surface feels smooth to the touch.

Repeat and Enjoy

Use your decoupage skills to spruce up nearly any objects in your wedding. You can cut out letters from headlines to create your own signs directing guests to the ceremony site. You can use colorful comic strips to create a whimsical kids’ activity table for your reception.

You can even bring ho-hum objects like your trash and recycling bins into your wedding theme by finding and applying the right images.

Why not throw a craft party and let your friends help you find great images by flipping through piles of magazines? With decoupage, the technique is easy–but the possibilities are endless.