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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.

Origins[edit]

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 Delaney 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]

Manning, Hiram (1980). Manning on Decoupage. Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-24028-2.  Rice, Durwin (2008). New Decoupage. Potter Craft. ISBN 0-307-39611-8. 

External links[edit]

  • Peter Mundy manuscript, 17th-century illustrated manuscript incorporating numerous paper cutouts at the British Museum

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.
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393 news items

The Providence Journal

The Providence Journal
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:46:53 -0700

Anderson has received queries from people wanting to decoupage snakeskin, kitchen appliances and car dashboards. (Her answers: Test the snakeskin on a small project. Decoupage only the fridge or washer/dryer front door — not the entire appliance.
 
BBC News
Thu, 07 Aug 2014 23:33:45 -0700

Get Crafty: With Decoupage. Potteric Carr Nature Reserve, Doncaster. Run by: Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. The giant dragonflies need to be decorated with decoupage so we can hang them from the roof of the Discovery room. Why not decoupage a bird box too ...

Design Mag

Design Mag
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 08:11:15 -0700

Come arredare casa con il decoupage? Siamo pronti per svelarvi alcune idee creative per decorare la vostra dimora con una tecnica economica ma che garantisce un risultato davvero delizioso e soprattutto personalizzato. Infatti, decorare con il ...
 
Chicago Tribune
Fri, 08 Aug 2014 19:11:32 -0700

I lied about the decoupage. Obviously, being artsy like other journalists, I have vaguely heard of it. But if I ever take a decoupage class or even learn what the heck it really is, then I hope somebody reading this smacks me on the back of the head ...
 
Salt Lake Tribune
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 00:03:06 -0700

She plays violin, is a writer and has dabbled in cross-stitching and decoupage. Giauque plans to attend The Avenues Street Fair on Sept. 13. Nobody in her small social circle has started a family yet, though one recently bought a house. Owning a home ...
 
Longmont Times-Call
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 16:26:15 -0700

When the weekend arrived, Spalding festooned her porch with lanterns she hand-decorated with decoupage, alcohol-based markers and fringe. Her fanciful designs included bees on a yellow lantern, bats on an orange lantern, pink peonies on a cream ...
 
Observer-Reporter
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 18:52:30 -0700

Decoupage, which is cut-and-paste art, is a captivating way to build a picture or cover a plain cardboard box to make it special. There are lots of ideas for containers to hold paintbrushes and colored pencils that are artsy and fun all on their own ...
 
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 06:08:08 -0700

Instead of letting your summer vacation memories fade with your souvenirs into the back of a closet, make your travel mementos a part of your home decor. Here are some do-it-yourself ideas for giving your travel tokens a permanent place in your home.
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