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Decoupage hints and tips

What is decoupage?

Decoupage is a popular craft, which can be used to create many beautiful projects.

The word originates from the French 'Decouper' - to cut out. Decoupage work can be flat, for example cutting and pasting images to decorate scrapbooks or flat surfaces such as a tray, wooden box etc, or it can be used to create a 3D effect.

Most of the decoupage sheets available at Foil Play are intended for 3D decoupage, although many could also be used for one dimensional decoration too, and some (for example Mamelok scraps) are specifically designed for the latter.

3D decoupage

3D effect decoupage involves cutting out several copies of the same image, and layering them to produce a 3D effect, using either tiny double sided adhesive foam pads, glue dots or silicone glue to stick the layers in place. Each successive layer is smaller than the one before it. Foam pads and glue dots are very easy to use, particularly for beginners, whilst silicone glue can give a more natural effect to your project.

If you are a beginner, it is probably best to start with 'step by step' decoupage. This means that each layer of the design is printed separately with only the detail needed for each individual layer, making it easy for you to cut out and assemble your project.

You start with the largest design as the base for your project, and then add the next largest layer and so on until you have assembled the complete project. It is usually very straightforward to identify the order of the layers, but if you are a complete beginner, you may prefer to start with a sheet where each individual layer is numbered, so it is absolutely clear in what order they should be assembled.

Projects can also be created from several identical images - this requires a little more experience, as you will need to judge how many layers are required and which elements of the image to remove from each successive layer.

Finishing touches

You can achieve a more rounded and natural effect for, for example petals, by curling the edges of the top layer (using a shaping tool, the back of your scissors or your fingers) before assembling your project. You may also like to varnish the finished project. Some papers, such as the TBZ sheets at Foil Play, already have a beautiful glossy finish.


In order to decoupage, you will need a sharp, small pair of scissors and / or a craft knife and self-healing mat. Which you decide to use is down to personal preference, there are many scissors on the market designed specifically for decoupage so it is a matter of finding what is most comfortable for you. You may also wish to use a pair of tweezers for assembling your project.

More on the subject

This is only a very brief overview of how to decoupage; there are whole books on the subject and lots of online resources too covering the different techniques involved. Happy decoupaging!

Decoupaged card - using TBZ traditional decoupage Decoupaged card using Jolly Nation decoupage Decoupaged card, using TBZ traditional decoupage Decoupaged card made using La Pashe traditional decoupage


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