How to Decoupage on Cardboard

(Image: Lindsey Crafter)

Recycle your remnant fabric and shoeboxes to create chic storage for a low cost -- this decoupage technique can be used on any cardboard or paper mache material.

Things You'll Need

  • Shoeboxes or kraft storage boxes
  • Fine-bristled paint brush
  • Decoupage 
  • Cotton Fabric Remnants or Decorative Tissue Paper
  • Scissors

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Step 1: Cut workable pieces of fabric or paper to cover your cardboard surfaces

(Image: Lindsey Crafter)

Step 2: Apply glue

Using a paint brush, apply a thin layer of decoupage over the entire surface. Stretch your material over the wet decoupage glue and, with the same brush, apply a second light coat of decoupage over the surface of the material to seal it. If using fabric, make sure to pull the sides taut to avoid bubbles and wrinkles and, if applying paper, use a straight edge to squeeze out air pockets and flatten the surface.

(Image: Lindsey Crafter)


  • Work outwards - starting from a corner - to keep the material smooth and avoid wrinkles or air bubbles.

(Image: Lindsey Crafter)

Step 3: Make corners

For crisp edges, make a vertical cut in your fabric and overlap the fabric at the corners before sealing with decoupage.

Make a vertical cut at the corner
Make a vertical cut at the corner (Image: Lindsey Crafter)
--and overlap before trimming and sealing
--and overlap before trimming and sealing (Image: Lindsey Crafter)

Step 4: Trim

Cut off any excess material and seal the loose edges with a bit of decoupage.


  • This project also works well with recycled book pages, magazine pages and burlap! Try mixing textures for eclectic storage options.

(Image: Lindsey Crafter)

What other materials would you use for this project? Leave your ideas in the comments below. Happy crafting!

(Image: Lindsey Crafter)
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