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Kids Craft: Decoupage

Reported by Donna Lannerd

As far as crafting with children go, decoupage is one of the easiest you can do and is a very inexpensive craft to introduce kids to. Basically the concept of decoupage is to glue items usually paper or fabric to an object. You can also use items such as stickers or petals from artificial flowers. The paper can be almost anything like tissue paper, magazines, napkins, newspapers or you can even use paper maps. Your item to decoupage can be just about anything you are able to glue items to. It’s a great way to recycle an old vase, box or bottle.

It’s easy to get started. You probably have a lot of the supplies around the house and the only skill you need to show kids is how to brush on the glue. They usually catch onto this pretty quick. Just follow the basic instructions below and see the projects to get some ideas.

To begin you will need some basic supplies:
  • Mod Podge by Plaid – this is a water base glue that has been around for 40 years and is non-toxic and nonflammable
  • An assortment of papers and/or fabric and stickers
  • Foam paintbrush
  • An item to decoupage

Basic steps:
  1. Make sure your item is free of dirt and debris especially if you are recycling a food container or you are wanting a stained glass effect.
  2. Pre-cut or tear pieces of paper or fabric.
  3. Using the foam paintbrush, apply glue to the item.
  4. Place paper or fabric over the glue.
  5. Brush glue over the paper or fabric you just glued down.
  6. Add other pieces as desired repeating steps 3-4.
  7. Apply a thick coat of glue over entire design. Allow to dry.
  8. Repeat step 7 as desired. The more coats the thicker the finish.

Although all the projects I’m showing are very easy, the first one below uses the fewest supplies. This has been made by cutting a piece of tissue paper in a rectangle about 2 inches higher than the height of the terra cotta flower pot and about 1 inch longer so that the paper overlaps when wrapped around the outside of the pot. Apply the glue to one small area at a time as you place the paper on the pot. Glue the top edge to the inside of the pot and the bottom edge to the underside of the pot. Don’t worry about the paper crinkling and folding – it’s part of the charm. The tissue paper used on this one is printed and had to be cut just right to get the pattern to show in a certain way. For very young crafters a solid tissue paper would be easier to handle and then add stickers or silk flower petals as desired.

The next two photos are an easy way to get a mosaic or stained glass effect. The candle globes were purchased. Pieces of tissue paper were cut into pieces for the globes. I added some yarns and beads to give it a more boutique look. My daughter has given both of these as gifts.

This vase is simply an empty Arizona tea bottle.The vase’s tissue paper pieces were torn to give it just a little different look.

The next project is a wall decoration my daughter made for her room. The plaque is a purchased paper mache one from Michaels. It has been covered in tissue paper. I stamped the “MEOW” for her onto tissue paper. The paw prints and quote are stickers. The cat is a cut-out from a magazine. Unfortunately the tissue papers bled together making it hard to see the stamped image but my daughter still thought it was good.


The last project is a paper mache box from Hobby Lobby. The bottom is covered in tissue paper. The top is covered in pieces of fabric I picked up at a quilt show by RJR Fabrics. I purchased them in a sample pack of 5″ squares. I still have bunch left in different colors. I did most of the work on this one. My daughter was getting a little tired and I was having too much fun. It was nice to used some of my cool fabrics without the work of washing them, cutting them into precise little pieces and sewing them up.

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3 Responses to Kids Craft: Decoupage

  1. Avatar
    lorrwill June 10, 2008 at 11:43 pm #

    I LOVE the kitty plaque!!!!

  2. Avatar
    Jeanine February 27, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    I love the writing however, viewing the photos is proved impossible, on two different iPads and an iPhone … So I’d love to see this post properly somehow…thanks?!?!

    • Avatar
      Nancy Nally February 27, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

      Our apologies for the inconvenience. Due to a server issue the graphics on this article are temporarily unavailable.