digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















For the aleatory literary technique, see cut-up technique.

Decoupage (or découpage) is the art of decorating an object by gluing colored paper cutouts onto it in combination with special paint effects, gold leaf and so on. Commonly an object like a small box or an item of furniture is covered by cutouts from magazines or from purpose-manufactured papers. Each layer is sealed with varnishes (often multiple coats) until the "stuck on" appearance disappears and the result looks like painting or inlay work. The traditional technique used 30 to 40 layers of varnish which were then sanded to a polished finish.

3D decoupage (sometimes also referred to simply as decoupage) is the art of creating a 3D image by cutting out elements of varying sizes from a series of identical images and layering them on top of each other, usually with adhesive foam spacers between each layer to give the image more depth.

Pyramid decoupage (also called pyramage) is a process similar to 3D decoupage. In pyramid decoupage, a series of identical images are cut into progressively smaller, identical shapes which are layered and fixed with adhesive foam spacers to create a 3D "pyramid" effect.


The word decoupage comes from Middle French "decouper", meaning to cut out or cut from something. The origin of decoupage is thought to be East Siberian tomb art. Nomadic tribes used cut out felts to decorate the tombs of their deceased. From Siberia, the practice came to China, and by the 12th century, cut out paper was being used to decorate lanterns, windows, boxes and other objects. In the 17th century, Italy, especially Venice, was at the forefront of trade with the Far East and it is generally thought that it is through these trade links that the cut out paper decorations made their way into Europe.

Florentine decoupage[edit]

Further information: Florentine crafts

Artisans in Florence, Italy have produced decorative objects using decoupage techniques since the 18th century. They combined decoupage with other decorative techniques already popular in Florence, such as gilt with gold leaf and carved wood designs. These older techniques were already used to produce articles such as furniture, frames for paintings, and even tooled leather book covers. Known as Florentine style crafts, these items are now highly collectible antiques. Florentine artisans made use of decoupage by adding it to the space within a carved gilt frame, or by adding the decoupage to a wooden plaque. Artisans used pasted reproductions of famous artworks, nearly always religious depictions. Florentine triptychs using decoupage images of such Biblical scenes as the Crucifixion are a common motif. As society became more secular in the early 20th century, and nonRoman Catholic tourists began buying more crafts from Florentine artisans, decoupage images became less religious in orientation and more reflective of famous Italian artworks in general.

Materials for decoupage crafts[edit]

Decoupage Florentine style box

Common household materials can be used to create effects. Here is a short list of supplies:

  • Something to decoupage onto. Examples include: furniture, photograph albums, plates, ceramics, shelving, frames, mirrors.
  • Pictures to decoupage with. These can come from myriad sources: newspapers, magazines, catalogs, books, printed clip art, wrapping paper, greeting cards, fabric, tissue paper, lace, paper napkins
  • Cutting utensil. Scissors, craft knife or razor blades can be used.
  • Glue. Standard white glue works best if it is diluted with a little water. Specialty glues can be found in most crafting stores.
  • Smoother. Popsicle sticks work well. A brayer is a specialized tool like a miniature rolling pin designed to help remove wrinkles, remove excess glue and smooth pictures.
  • Glue spreader. Many things around the house can be use for this: cotton swabs, paint brushes, sponges.
  • Rags, sponges, tissue paper to help wipe up glue and other clean up.
  • Sealer. Glue or other decoupage medium can be used as a sealer. Alternatively, polyurethane, spray acrylic, epoxy resin or other lacquers are usually used.

Notable decoupeurs[edit]

Someone who does decoupage is known as a decoupeur, or "cutter". At the age of 71, Mary Delany achieved fame at the court of George III and Queen Charlotte of England thanks to the 18th century decoupage craze. In 1771, she began to create cut out paper artworks (decoupage) as was the fashion for ladies of the court. Her works were exceptionally detailed and botanically accurate depictions of plants. She used tissue paper and hand colouration to produce these pieces. She created 1,700 of these works, calling them her "Paper Mosaiks [sic]", from the age of 71 to 88 when her eyesight failed her. They can still be seen in the Enlightenment Gallery at the British Museum.


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decoupage — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

24219 news items

Daily Maverick

Daily Maverick
Mon, 06 Jul 2015 14:11:15 -0700

DRC President Joseph Kabila has announced that he will enact a constitutionally mandated process known as 'decoupage' to create 26 new provinces in the country before elections can be held. In doing so, the president, who is seeking an unconstitutional ...

Trumbull Times

Trumbull Times
Fri, 31 Jul 2015 08:33:45 -0700

Studio for an afternoon of decoupage — Working with handmade papers and comic book pages, participants will design their own 'superhero' monogram on canvas panel. Register; max. 16. Author appearance — Thursday, Aug. 6, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Welcome ...
Fri, 31 Jul 2015 17:56:15 -0700

Students will decorate a wooden box with decoupage techniques and collage items that is to be used to release life's struggles. • Aug. 26 – Stained glass sun catcher. Students will personalize a handmade sun catcher. Basic stained glass-making tools ...


Thu, 09 Jul 2015 02:34:48 -0700

Ο Πολιτιστικός-Εικαστικός-Καλλιτεχνικός Σύλλογος «ΑΘΗΝΑΛΙΔΗ» παρουσιάζει μια μοναδική έκθεση Decoupage και Ζωγραφικής με τίτλο «Δημιουργώ, σημαίνει ΖΩ!» στην Αίθουσα Τέχνης του Δημαρχιακού Μεγάρου του Δήμου Περιστερίου από τις 14 ως 19 ...

Bradenton Herald

Bradenton Herald
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 21:14:24 -0700

This August Jane Keeling, the Island Gallery West muralist who designed the gallery's iconic outdoor mural, will present a selection of her oil paintings perfectly suited to reflect Florida's year-round love for the outdoors in an exhibit titled ...
The Daily Freeman
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 10:29:12 -0700

Buran and Noelle have directed independent short films, animated commercial videos, illustrated children's books and handcrafted decoupage glass art for the home. This year's Woodstock Film Festival, the 16th, is scheduled for Sept. 30 to Oct. 4 at ...
The Seattle Times
Sun, 26 Jul 2015 17:00:00 -0700

A typical Fred Slatten platform was 7 inches high, made from wood by a Los Angeles furniture maker, with satin or leather uppers. They were embellished by a team of artists using a variety of methods, including decoupage, gold leaf, airbrushing ...


Tue, 21 Jul 2015 01:11:58 -0700

Anche il prossimo giovedì dalle 19 fino a mezzanotte il programma della serata è ricco: dai corsi di decoupage al calcio balilla umano, dalle esibizioni musicali al flash mob. Ma questa volta l'evento si svolgerà anche all'interno del negozio. In ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight