Framing Decoupage

Frames traditionally surround things like photos, mirrors, artwork, and poetry; but they don’t have to play a mere supporting role to the main event. A frame conservator once told me:“lots of people forget about them, but frames to me are pieces of art in their own right”. I agree. A really beautiful frame can enhance the space it frames, and with decoupage this is really simple to achieve.

Whether it is a gift, or a frame for your own home, it is worth taking the extra time to make a boring frame spectacular. We spend too much of our days looking at ugly things (car parks, tower blocks, office blocks… you get the idea), why not bring more beauty into your home?

Have a gander at this present from my boyfriend. He wrote and framed a poem for me, but he didn’t stop there. The frame is decoupaged with images of clocks to match the themes in the poem. He  got the images  from an old book on clockwork.

For men out there wanting to gain brownie points with their girlfriends; good news, it is incredible cheap and easy to do (perhaps not the poetry mind you, but definitely the decoupage).

Mirror frames are another category of frame that often get forgotten about. Not this one. My friend Tilly decoupaged a plain, pine mirror frame with strips of coloured paper to create this striking piece, in-keeping with her and her husband’s gorgeous flat.

It’s really easy to use decoupage to liven up boring bits of framework and make a beautiful statement frame like Tilly’s. The main thing to remember is to have a theme; unlike a larger flat surface, the small angles of the frame need a coordinated pattern and tend to look messy with random collage (believe me I’ve tried). Once you’ve decided on a theme then you can go crazy.

I’m tempted to try decoupaging Victorian nudes and pictures of birds. Watch this space.

You will need:

  1. A frame & something to frame
  2. A plan
  3. lots of glue (decoupage glue is not essential, nor is varnish)
  4. Your choice of paper, wrapping paper, or magazine clippings
  5. A wall space to hang it


(This is really simple)

  1. Rip and cut the desired pieces of paper up into the shape and size you want them
  2. Start sticking!
  3. Apply a small amount of glue to the back of the paper you want to stick- get the right amount; too much glue and the paper will wrinkle, too little and it wont stick
  4. You want a certain amount of overlap between the different bits of paper; how much depends on to what extent the surface you want to cover shows through the paper, a how intricate the frame is as you don’t want to bulk over elaborate tricky detail with bulky layers
  5. Don’t worry if you don’t stick a piece of paper in the right place straight away, you’ve got a little bit of time to re-position bits if you don’t get it right first time
  6. When the frame is covered you’re finished!
  7. If you want a glossy finish and you haven’t used glossy paper (magazine/wrapping) then you’ll need to give it a coat of varnish once the glue is dry; don’t worry if you don’t, a frame hung inside doesn’t necessarily need varnishing.
Happy decoupageing!
3 Responses to “Framing Decoupage”
  1. Laura says:

    That poem is amazing Miss Button, your boyfriend is very talented. Xx

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