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A snip of decoupage - beginners' workshop

Happy student with a beautiful, chiyogami inspired picture frame

About the Course

What is Decoupage?

Decoupage, from the French Découpage, (French) meaning “cutting out” is primarily the art of cutting and pasting cut outs to simulate painting on a wood, metal, or glass surface .
There are many variations in technique, but the basic steps of decoupage generally are cutting out the pictures, arranging them, pasting them on a surface, and finishing, traditionally applying numerous thin coats of varnish, sanding between the layers, to build up the layers of varnish until it reaches over the images to create a new flat surface, hence tricking the eye (and the hand) that the images are painted and not applied to the surface.. New modern finisheds include applying UV resistant epoxy resin to avoid the yellowing of the varnish overtime and creating a glassy hardwearing and superior finish to traditional varnishes. Other finishes include enamels and lacquers and acrylics.
Due to its versatility, it can be indistinguishable from collage, by using images to creating new pictures or scenes and the use of mixed media, including prints, transfers, stamping and gilt. The same methods can be also be applied to create full size wall murals.

The history of decoupage is one that appears in many different cultures and artistic traditions,. Rather than look for a neat chronological influence from one culture to another, it’s more likely that the decoupage as a technique spontaneously arose. From the Siberian memorial felt appliques to the imitation Japanese style lacquered furniture so delighting the Georgian Middle Classes, to the rococo swirls and swags in Lacca povera in Italy, (literally poor (man’s) Lacquer), and kittens and cherubs in Victorian greetings cards there is a style for everyone. And so many would think the art got stuck there – but with modern professional finishes, home printing and endless array of images to use courtesy of the internet, decoupage has had a most modern revival , ever changing and ever versatile, limited by only the imagination and with little need for any special equipment or skills before getting great results from first attempts, it’s an art form for everyone, that’s here to stay.

In this beginners course you will learn the take-home skills and a range of techniques you need to apply decoupage to all items you can think of, from in the minature jewellery to full size furniture:

Meet and greet . See and feel finished items in a range of different decoupage techniques:
- Under glass decoupage
- Epoxy resin for finishing tops
- Furniture
- Jewellery
- Trinket boxes
- use of decals and transfers

------ A brief history of decoupage

- pros and cons of different finishes- 5 years of finishes and how they look now.
- what a difference a colour makes - composition skills, how different colours and textures of the background effects the images. How the arrangement of images creates effects of depth and dimension

We will cover the basics of using a scalpel, and scissors - safely and acurately. Troubleshooting! what to do with those white lines and missing rosebuds.
- How to use decals and transfers- either printing onto specialist decal - dry rub or waterslides or simple PVA transfers.
- how to apply images from napkins to wherever you want it to go.
- How to blend patterns into one another for a seemingly seamless flow.
- How to create chalky paints of your own with ordinary tester paints and regular acrylics

The aim of this course is to equip you with all you need to apply to your own creative projects going forward, big or small, for keeps or for sale.
If you would prefer to have a single, finished item or would prefer to focus only on some aspects of what we cover here, then we can do that too. Just let me know when booking.

If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

All materials.


Carol Vigurs at Nova and Lorsten
73 Meadowview Road
Catford, London
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Suitable for

  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers

Available as a gift

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3 hours (10am-1pm)

Available dates:


In-person course
- - #24880

A very enjoyable course, Carol gave some history on the use of decoupage and then we got into making our own designs on a placemat. A very imformative morning and Carol was extremely helpful.

Would highly recommend

In-person course
- - #7742

Such a warm welcome. I felt relaxed and comfortable, and I had the opportunity to practice a variety of techniques. The course was very inspiring, and I would recommend anyone to book a day. Many thanks!

In-person course
- - #6177

Attended a session which was perfect first class to whet one's appetite for decoupage.
Was pleasantly surprised to see how easy and technical it can be depending on what one wants to do or feels like at the moment !

Carol is a pro and a great
host :)

In-person course
- - #6079

Welcomed at door by Carol would I like a tea or coffee. Shown into workroom already laid out for 4
Small numbers so lots of one to one Introduction to decoupage and the history
all materials supplied and explained.
Would have been useful to have been asked to bring a hairdryer as the PVA takes time to dry and only one in use by us all.
Did not get to use the resin as we ran out of time but managed to finish project with just the varnish to do at home.
Easy to find venue and parking on side street
Would recommend to friends and would attend again.

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