Decoupage glass vase – tutorial

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Today instead of a recipe I will present another type of creativeness – a decoupage project.
It’s not that I am already an expert in this type of art. Nevertheless I believe that my recent creations are not too bad, considering also that some of them were ordered by people that saw my previous work.
This vase, made of a simple flask, was one of my orders.
I am doing decoupage mainly on glass because it’s easier to find objects for decoration (jars, bottles, etc.) It’s not very easy because the glass is transparent and smooth, but recently I found a new more successful and simple method.

Description of the steps:

1. Prepare the necessary tools and products for the decoupage:

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– White glue: I am normally using this one for decoupage, instead of the specialized products
– White acrylic paint
– Brushes: a big flat brush for painting and a thin round brush to cut the napkins
– Varnish
– Razor: to remove any unnecessary pieces of glued napkin, excessive glue, paint and varnish.
– Napkin/s, cut into desired pieces
Often napkins are cut by hand and not with scissors, as in some cases it creates more natural look. The easiest way to cut them is by watering the thin round brush and then “drawing” the desired shapes on the napkin. Afterwards it is incredibly easy to break the napkin exactly through the path made by the brush.
Only the top layer of the napkin is used for decoupage, so it has to be separated from the other layers before the shapes are cut.

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2. Prepare the object for decoupage
In this case it was a flask, provided by the friend of my mom who requested the project.

3. Apply the glue only on this part of the object which will be later covered with paint. The glue will help the paint to stay on the glass.

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In my view this is one of the biggest challenges in the glass decoupage. There are different methods which could prevent the paint falling out of the glass, such as: gluing first one of the white napkin layers and covering it with paint on top; scratching the glass with sand paper; applying a specific product under the acrylic, etc. The glue layer under the paint is my latest invention and I am happy with this method for the moment.
After the surface of the object is covered with glue, leave it to dry until it becomes transparent.

4. Paint with white acrylic paint on top of the glue.

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The light background is always necessary, because the napkins are too thin and they will not look good if they are glued directly on the transparent glass. If part of the painted glass is planned to remain not covered with napkins, you can do more than one layer. Alternatively the paint can be applied with a sponge, which will prevent the brush marks; however I find this way more complicated.
When the object is painted, leave it to dry completely.

5. Before starting the real decoupage, I recommend you to place all the prepared napkin pieces on the object, without gluing them, and to try to get the idea of how the project will look like. This step allows spotting in advance possible overlooked details.

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After this final clarification of the project put the first piece of napkin on the painted glass and start applying glue on top. Move the brush from the middle of the piece to the edges, trying to avoid the paper to shrink too much. The wrinkles are unavoidable, especially on round surfaces (as most of the bottles and jars are). This is part of the decoupage art and normally it is not a problem, however it’s good to try to make the decoration of the object as even as possible. Consider also that the bigger are the napkin pieces, the more they will shrink.

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When the napkin pieces are glued to the object, leave it to dry for 2-3 hours.
If the whole object has to be covered, the painting or/ and decoupage normally should be done in two phases. This is necessary because the object needs to be hold with a hand at a dry surface during the entire work process.
After the decoupage is finalized, look the object over from all angles. Any imperfections can be removed with a razor. If there are “white wholes” of paint without napkin, they can be “patched”.

6. When the decoupage is done and the object is dry, apply at least two layers of varnish on top. If a special decoupage glue combined with varnish is used, this step will not be necessary. But when ordinary white glue is used the varnish is mandatory; otherwise the project will not look good.
Leave the varnished object to dry for 1-2 days.

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After this step the project is finished.
If you followed my tutorial I hope that now you own a nice vase/ jar/ bottle. If you have any questions, feel free to leave comments or to contact me in my Facebook page or by email.

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