upcycle, decoupage, furniture, ideas, crafts, fashion, clothes, projects, DIY, storage

One of the things I absolutely love about craft and DIY projects is recycling and re-using old things in a “crafty” (see what I did there? 😉 ) way. So this week I rescued some old music sheets from the recycling bag after I had an “aha” light-bulb moment. What was I thinking throwing them away? I could use them for decoupage and some other craft projects .. close call!

This post is project number 1 of 5 projects using the music sheets so far (and there are sooo many more things you can do with them). Keep posted for the other 4 posts which I will update as and when I get round to doing them.

What is decoupage?

So what the heck is decoupage anyway? For those of you who have not heard of it, it’s covering and decorating items with small bits of paper cut outs using a special type of glue/varnish.

It’s so versatile and great fun for both adults and kids. For an example on how to make your own cheap Easter bunny decoration using pages from an old book, check out my previous post here.

What do you need for a decoupage project?

Well, not a lot you’ll be pleased to hear 🙂 You’ll need

  • something to cover (a box, ornament –  How cute is this decopatch dog?! – piece of furniture etc)
  • something to cover it with (scraps of paper, either shop bought like these lovely colour papers or old books or music sheets like I’ve used in this project)
  • Decopatch glue (available in different finishes) for this project I have used the satin finish but it’s also available in gloss or matt finish
  • A brush – small or large, depending on the project you’re tackling
  • A pair of scissors
  • Something to cover your work surface with to prevent glue dripping on your lovely table top

How to decoupage

Items needed for your decoupage project.
The dog in the picture is optional 😉 (Did you spot our dog Simba on the top right?)
If you’re using a dog, I recommend this one instead !

I chose a really old box for this project that desperately needed a make-over! (I mean .. just look at it!!). It’s such a fun and easy way to update and customise an item to your taste rather than just replacing it. And with the amount of different papers available you can make things as colourful as you chose them to be.

Cut around the tricky bits

With this box I decided to start of with one of the corners as I knew I would have to cut around this tricky bit. I marked the corner with a pencil and cut the shape to fit.

Spread out the glue onto the item you want to cover

Avoid bubbles

Use your brush to spread your glue of choice to the surface you want to cover. Use enough to make sure the paper will stick, but not too much. Over-using the glue can create some wrinkles and bubbles in the paper (although I find that most of them reduce or disappear after drying).

Place the paper on top of the glued surface and cover with another layer of glue. You may see some of the print from the other side of the page, but this settles right down after drying

Next, place a piece of paper on the area that you have just covered with glue. If wrinkles/bubbles appear, try to iron them out with a credit card (if your paper is sturdy enough and doesn’t tear). In this project I found that the paper was too thin to do this, but I used the brush to iron out as many wrinkles as possible. I find that normally a lot of bubbles go right down or disappear altogether when drying. However, if you can prevent them, you’ll get a smoother finish.

Load your brush with more glue and brush over the paper, completely covering it.

Tidy up the edges

I used a sharp knife to mark a line where i needed to get a perfect cut to tidy up the edges for the lid. I then used scissors to cut along the line. Alternatively, use a sharp pencil to draw a line and cut to shape with a pair of scissors.

Layer, layer and layer

Cut pieces of paper to suit the shape of your item and repeat the above process. Add glue on the surface you will be sticking it to, and then cover the paper with another layer of glue to make it stick and smooth out any edges.

Use small bits to cover any gaps

Use small bits of off cuts to cover up any gaps.

Nearly half way

Keep going until you’ve covered the whole item. Let the item dry completely which doesn’t normally take that long!

You’re all done!


And there you have it, your own customised box! Such a fun way to update an item for your home. Or decoupage a shoebox with colourful paper as a cheap and fun way to store things. Add a display frame to your box and you’re all set!

Whatever you create, I’d love to see and hear your ideas. Find me on social media to share your creations or leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means I get paid a small amount of commission if you chose to use my link. However, I only recommend products, companies or services that I love myself and where I think you will love them as much as I do!


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