Mastering the Art of Decoupage: A Comprehensive Guide to Using Wrapping Paper

Ever wondered what to do with that leftover wrapping paper from the holidays? You’re not alone. Many of us have drawers full of beautiful, barely-used rolls that we can’t bear to toss out. What if you could give that paper a second life, transforming it into something truly unique?

Welcome to the world of decoupage, an artistic technique that’s as versatile as it is fun. And yes, you can absolutely use wrapping paper. In fact, it might just be the secret ingredient you need to take your projects to the next level. So, let’s dive in and explore how you can turn that stash of wrapping paper into your next masterpiece.

Key Takeaways

  • Decoupage is an artistic technique which involves applying and layering cutouts of various materials onto another surface. It transforms simple objects into intricate design pieces.
  • Wrapping paper can be an excellent material to use in decoupage due to its varied thickness, sheen, and vibrance.
  • Decoupage with wrapping paper offers unique design possibilities and increased artistic freedom due to the paper’s multitude of colors, patterns, and textures.
  • Not all wrapping paper is suitable for decoupage; it depends on the quality of the paper and its compatibility with decoupage glue. A quick test to check paper’s suitability can be beneficial before starting a project.
  • The success of a decoupage project lies not only in accurate sticking and sealing but also in the careful choice of decor elements.
  • Using a step-by-step guide, one can easily transform leftover wrapping paper pieces into unique and beautiful decoupage projects.
  • Wrapping paper decoupage can breathe new life into everyday items like vases, book covers, picture frames, candle holders, coasters, lampshades, and gift boxes.
  • Remember to choose the right paper, apply it smoothly, give it enough time to dry, seal it properly, and feel free to experiment with different shapes and designs for successful decoupage projects.

Understanding Decoupage: A Quick Overview

Decoupage presents nifty ways to transform simple objects into intricate design pieces. Deriving from ‘decouper,’ a French term for cut out, decoupage involves applying and layering cutouts of different materials onto another surface.

Picture a three-dimensional collage, if you will. You’re creating textured, layered effects with diverse elements. Wrapping paper, categorized as one of these elements, promises patterns and colors that can make your decoupage stand out.

Appreciate the evolution of decoupage. From the 12th century tomb art in Siberia to the classy Venetian furniture embellishments in the 18th century. Fast forward to the Victorian era, they found charm in using decoupage for decorating home accessories. This art form thereby molded a rich history that continues to inspire artists around the globe up to this day.

Applying decoupage, you creatively layer pieces of paper (or other material) onto the target surface. The subsequent sealing levels aim to achieve a painted-on look. It’s not just about sticking paper onto a surface, but creating a smooth, flawless finish that makes the paper seem part of the object. It’s a process that takes precision, patience, and practice.

Decoupage does not discriminate against materials. However, wrapping paper has certain advantages in this artistic discipline. Think about the varied thickness, sheen, and vibrance you encounter in the sphere of gift wraps. You’ll find a multitude of designs, patterns and colors, continuously feeding your creativity.

Remember, the success of decoupage lies not only in the accurate sticking and sealing, but also in choosing the right decor elements. So, get ready to convert leftover wrapping paper into magnificent crafts that exude individuality, creativity, and innovative thinking.

Exploring the possibilities that decoupage with wrapping paper can offer is only a matter of diving in. Take the plunge, it might just open a new avenue for your artistic endeavors.

Can You Decoupage with Wrapping Paper?

Yes, you can decoupage with wrapping paper. Using wrapping paper in your decoupage adds a unique, personalized touch to your creative endeavors. It opens up a world of design possibilities due to its multitude of colors, patterns, and textures. It’s a way to add layers of intriguing dimensions while utilizing a creative approach through repurposing.

Let’s consider the benefits of using wrapping paper for decoupage:

  1. Diverse Designs: Wrapping paper presents a treasure trove of designs, pictures, and patterns that can become the centerpiece of your decoupage project.
  2. Easy Availability: Common around celebration periods, it’s not hard to get your hands on eye-catching wrapping paper designs.
  3. Affordability: Compared to specialty decoupage papers, wrapping paper typically comes at a fraction of the price.
  4. Uniqueness: Utilizing wrapping paper for decoupage affords you the chance to create pieces that are truly one of a kind.

However, remember that not all wrapping paper is suitable for decoupage. It all hinges on the paper’s quality and its compatibility with decoupage glue. High-gloss or foil papers might not adhere well, for instance. There’s the option of conducting a quick test before you start your project by applying a small patch of decoupage medium heat to a piece of the chosen paper.

This way, you get to familiarize yourself with the properties of the paper, which allows you to make informed decisions about its suitability for your decoupage projects. In the world of decoupage, it’s not just about cutting and pasting, but about creating a unique work of art. Therefore, the choice of wrapping paper plays an integral role in the final outcome.

Decoupage with wrapping paper offers you the perfect avenue to channel your creative energies, exploring the artistic possibilities in transforming ordinary pieces into extraordinary works of art. If your aim is about crafting unique, stunning pieces that reflect your vision and style, wrapping paper decoupage definitely holds the key.

Step-by-step Guide: Decoupage with Wrapping Paper

Transforming your wrapping paper into impressive decoupage art requires some specific materials and a set of steps you’ll complete in order. Let’s jump into the step-by-step guide:

Gather Necessary Materials

Go ahead and gather your materials. Here’s a concise list of items you’ll require:

  • Wrapping paper designs of your choice,
  • A pair of reliable scissors,
  • The target surface you intend to work upon (e.g., a picture frame, a vase),
  • Decoupage glue, such as Mod Podge,
  • A paintbrush, preferably one inch wide.

Prepare the Wrapping Paper

Once you’ve gathered your materials, start preparing the wrapping paper. Cut out the designs or sections of interest. Keep in mind that smaller pieces lay flatter and create a smooth final surface.

Apply Decoupage Glue

Next, apply a thin layer of decoupage glue onto the item you’ve selected for decoration. Use your paintbrush to distribute the adhesive evenly across the surface.

Position the Wrapping Paper

With the adhesive applied, begin positioning your selected pieces of wrapping paper. Ensure that each piece overlaps enough to avoid gaps. Making sure that patterns match if you’re using a single design or coordinating colors if you’re using multiple designs will keep the aesthetic appearance intact.

Apply a Sealing Coat

After all the paper pieces are in place, apply an additional coat of decoupage glue on top of the wrapping paper. Seal the entire surface, including the edges of the paper, using your paintbrush. Let it dry completely.

Finish with a Clear Sealant

Consider using a clear spray sealant to protect your decoupage project after the glue dries. A clear sealant boosts the resilience of your piece, defending it from scratches and daily wear.

Let It Dry

Pour a cup of patience and let your project dry completely. It typically takes about 24 hours. Leaving it to rest prevents wrinkles and increases the durability of your piece.

Equipped with the ability to decoupage with wrapping paper, embrace your creativity. The project lets you enjoy hands-on crafting while recycling leftover wrapping paper with beautiful designs. Transform everyday items into unique pieces of décor.

Decoupage Wrapping Paper Ideas and Inspirations

Distinct wrapping paper designs offer limitless opportunities for decorative pieces. Patterned wraps provide vibrant aesthetics, transforming ordinary household items into visual masterpieces. Let’s delve into some innovative inspirations for your next decoupage project.

  1. Decoupage Vases for Fresh Flowers: Floral, geometric, or abstract wrapping papers breathe new life into plain vases. A unique, flower-matching pattern ensures a harmonious blend between the vase and blooms.
  2. Book Cover Revamps: Books can turn into striking decor elements when decoupaged with beautiful papers. Vintage-inspired patterns give old books a charming novelty, enhancing your bookshelf display.
  3. Picture Perfect Frames: Boost the appeal of your cherished photo memories by decorating their frames with wrapping paper. Soft designs lend a delicate touch, while bold ones make a powerful statement.
  4. Breathtaking Candle Holders: Give your candle holders a stylish twist. Apart from adding color pops, decoupage facilitates customized themes aligned with the festive spirit, be it Halloween or Christmas.
  5. Coasters with Character: Add personality to your table setting by decoupaging coasters with playful patterns. Not only are they functional, but they’ll also be a conversation start at your next gathering.
  6. Lampshade Renovations: Transform plain lampshades by incorporating intricate designs through decoupage. See your spaces light up with nuanced shades and sparking curiosity among visitors.
  7. Unforgettable Gift Boxes: Make your loved one’s special day more memorable by presenting a hand-decorated gift box. Utilize wrapping paper scraps for this purpose, thus conserving resources.

Top Tips for Successful Decoupage Projects with Wrapping Paper

  1. Selection Matters: First in line is choosing the right wrapping paper. Give consideration to the thickness and print of the paper. A lightweight paper, usually 20lb to 24lb weight, works best as it easily takes the shape of the object you’re decoupaging. Concerning prints, smaller patterns aid in creating a seamless look, particularly on smaller objects.
  2. Precision Cuts: After choosing a wrapping paper, careful cutting becomes a key factor. Use a sharp pair of craft scissors for a clean cut. For complex shapes, an X-Acto knife acts as a reliable tool, helping you create intricate designs with precision.
  3. Smooth Application: A trap beginners often stumble into relates to paper application. Avoid wrinkles by applying your decoupage medium – such as Mod Podge – evenly. Start from the center and carefully smooth the paper outward, ensuring it adheres to the surface without bubbles or wrinkles.
  4. Give It Time: Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to drying. Once your design is in place, let it dry completely before applying the next layer of medium or varnish. Rushing this part leads to sticky, smeared patterns.
  5. Seal the Deal: To give your decoupage project a long life, seal it with a proper finish. It’s important to note that different types of sealer suit different projects. An acrylic sealer works well for most, but outdoor projects may demand a more durable finish.
  6. Experiment with Shapes: Unleash your creativity by experimenting with various shapes and forms. Don’t be restricted to flat surfaces. Decoupage wrapping paper designs bring out the best in rounded objects like vases or curved picture frames.

Keep these tips in mind as you embark on your decoupage journey. Soon, you’ll find that wrapping paper isn’t just for gifts – it offers an artistic canvas for those willing to explore. Remember, the only limit to your creativity is your imagination. Enjoy turning ordinary objects into extraordinary pieces of décor with your wrapping paper decoupage projects.


So, there you have it! Decoupage with wrapping paper isn’t just possible, it’s an exciting way to breathe new life into everyday objects. Your creativity is the only limit when it comes to transforming these items into personalized decor pieces. Remember, it’s all about choosing the right wrapping paper, making precise cuts, smoothing out any wrinkles, and giving it enough time to dry. Don’t forget to seal your masterpiece for longevity! Experiment with different shapes and surfaces to keep things interesting. With these tips at your fingertips, you’re all set to embark on your decoupage journey. Now, it’s your turn to create something amazing with that leftover wrapping paper. Happy crafting!

What is decoupage?

Decoupage is a creative craft process where you cut out pictures, glue them onto an object, and then cover the object and pictures with a few coats of varnish or lacquer.

Why is wrapping paper suggested for decoupage?

Wrapping paper, with its range of designs and thickness levels, serves as a versatile material for decoupage. The print quality and texture add a unique artistic flair to the decoupage craft projects.

What are the key tips for successful decoupage with wrapping paper?

Essential tips include selecting the right wrapping paper in terms of thickness and print, precision cutting, ensuring smooth application to prevent wrinkles, allowing enough drying time, and sealing the project to ensure longevity.

Can one decoupage on surfaces beyond flat ones?

Absolutely! One of the exciting aspects of decoupage is the ability to experiment with different shapes and surfaces—this encourages creativity in personalizing and transforming everyday objects.

How does the decoupage process contribute to repurposing wrapping paper?

Decoupage gives wrapping paper a second life, turning it into beautiful decorative items. It capitalizes on the print and texture of the paper, allowing it to be reused in a captivating manner rather than being thrown away.