How to Decoupage Fabric

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Paper is most often used in the art of decoupage; however, lightweight fabrics make an interesting medium for the technique. Decoupage fabric to any surface, from wood to canvas.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean smooth surface

  • Lightweight fabric such as cotton

  • Iron

  • Fabric scissors

  • Decoupage glue

  • Damp cloth

  • Paintbrush or other applicator

  • Water-based polyurethane (optional)

Step 1

Iron out all wrinkles from the fabric.


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Heavy fabrics are difficult to work with and will not adhere to surfaces as easily as lightweight fabrics.

Step 2

Cut the fabric to the same size as the clean smooth surface.


If you do not have enough fabric to cover the entire surface, use smaller scraps of fabric instead.

Step 3

Using the paintbrush or other applicator, coat the surface with a thin even layer of decoupage glue.

Step 4

Lay the fabric on top of the surface and slowly press it down. Start at one end of the fabric and work your way to the other end, smoothing out air bubbles and wrinkles with your hands as you go along. Use a damp cloth to smooth bubbles and wrinkles. Allow to dry for about two hours.

Step 5

Using the paintbrush, apply another thin even layer of decoupage glue on top of the fabric. Allow to dry for about two hours.

Step 6

Repeat step 5 as many times as desired, always allowing the previous layer to dry before applying more decoupage glue. Allow the last layer of decoupage glue to dry overnight.


For a waterproof surface, paint on two to three coats of water-based polyurethane. Allow to dry overnight. The polyurethane top coat will give the fabric a laminated look and make it easier to wipe clean with a damp rag.


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