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The Art of Decoupage

Decoupage is a popular craft which uses paper to uniquely decorate a variety of different furnishings. The hobby is becoming trendy with those who want to add a personal touch to their home or want to easily make beautiful handmade gifts.

With over five thousand followers on Instagram, using the handle @romantic_art_decoupage_by_olja, Olja showcases and sells her own decoupaged items such as bookmarks, table trays and storage boxes. As a keen enthusiast of the craft, we talked with Olja to get to know how her passion for decoupage first began, what the craft really means to her and how others could start this handcrafting hobby.

Firstly, for those who haven’t heard of it, what is decoupage?

Decoupage is a creative technique used to decorate various objects by cutting out pictures from various papers or napkins and applying them with glue in layers onto an object. This technique can be used to decorate various objects made of wood, glass, plastic, etc. It’s a fun and easy way to add something special to an ordinary looking object.

So, how did you get into decoupage as a hobby?

Well, I found out from a friend that there was a decoupage workshop in my town. I was curious about the hobby and ended up going to the workshop. Until then I didn’t even know what decoupage was but after the workshop, I realised that I really liked it. I have been doing decoupage for 5 years now.

At the beginning, I did decoupage on some old objects such as glasses and small pieces of furniture so I could upcycle them for myself. Then I began making jewellery boxes, bookmarks and other various items that I gave to my friends as gifts. Nowadays I have my own decoupage business and loyal customers who love my products because they are unique and can be personalized. It’s been quite a journey.

What is your inspiration when creating a new piece?

Inspiration definitely depends on the person I’m creating a new piece for and also the specific item that I’m working on. Sometimes I take motifs from nature, incorporating flower or leaf patterns.

What is your favourite decoupage item that you’ve created so far?

It’s hard to choose because I have several favourite items I’ve done so far, but if I had to single one out it would be the set of 3 old coffee tables that I redesigned for my friend.

I fashioned them into a shabby chic style that came together really well. My friend is thrilled with it and they now stand proudly in her living room.

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How long does it roughly take you to create a piece?

The time needed to create a piece usually depends on the size and then also the additional techniques that I could use such as shabby chic, patination, working with a template, etc. Sometimes it only takes a few short hours, other times it could be up to 4 days, but the finished results are always worth it.

How would someone new to the craft start decoupage?

First, it’s important to buy acrylic paints and varnish which are nontoxic. Then you’ll need some napkins or printed pictures that have a design you’d like to use on them, as well as brushes and specific decoupage glue. It is best to start out with small objects for practice until you get the hang of the technique.

There are plenty of helpful video tutorials online. Also, there is a large community of decoupage artists on social networks who would be more than happy to help in the beginning stages and answer any questions. That’s one really great part about decoupage, the community surrounding it is so helpful and talented, you can gain plenty of knowledge and inspiration from them as you start the craft.

End of interview.