Project Restyle: Photo Decoupage

How to Decoupage Furniture (via photo furnitureWe haven’t shared a Project Restyle in quite some time. The basic idea is you take something (furniture, clothing, etc.) and refresh it into something you love even more. This could mean repairing a broken or neglected item, or it might just mean changing something up because you want to. I’d say this project falls into that second idea. Lately I’ve been a little obsessed with making small updates to our home. I’ve just been in the mood to change things up a bit, and I’ve mainly been focused on our bedroom this month. 

Before and after decoupage furnitureHere you can see a before and after of our bedroom drawers. The “before” photo you see is actually from our book Happy Handmade Home. And I haven’t changed up our bedroom too much since around the time we were writing that book. I decided I wanted to cover the front of the drawers with a giant (blue print) photo. This is a similar project to one you can find in our first book, A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book

Do you like how I casually mentioned both our books in that last paragraph… subtle, no? 🙂

In case you’re thinking of doing a similar project anytime soon, here’s how I did mine.

Make a pattern from the furnitureSupplies:
-blueprint copy of a photo you love*
-scrap paper
Royal Coat Decoupage Finish (similar to Mod Podge)
-foam brushes
-X-Acto knife

(In case you’re curious, this project cost about $14 to complete as I already had the scrap paper and X-Acto knife needed.)

*Note on what photos work well: If you are covering a piece of furniture that has drawer handles or pulls, you’ll want to be mindful of their placement on your photo. If I had used a photo that had people as the subject, the drawers may have hit right in the subjects’ head or body in a way that ended up looking kind of weird. In my opinion, the best photos to use for this type of project are either something more abstract (like a grouping of succulents or flowers) or a landscape photo.

First, create a pattern for your furniture piece onto scrap paper. Use this pattern to cut your blue print photo. Remove any hardware from the drawers beforehand.

How to decoupage photos to wood furnitureNext, lay your photo onto the surface of the drawer and use a few pieces of painter’s tape to secure the photo in place. Use a foam board or cardboard to divide the paper in the center and fold half of your photo onto the board. Paint a thin layer of the decoupage finish onto the back side of the photo. 

How to decoupage photos to wood furniture Starting from the center, gently lay the photo into place, smoothing as you go. Try to avoid getting air bubbles or wrinkles in the paper as you work and smooth either out towards the side or towards the top or bottom as needed. Repeat on the other side and continue the process on all the drawers.

Tips for decoupageIf you find that your pattern wasn’t perfect, use an X-Acto knife to trim the edges once the finish has completely dried. 

Decoupage finishAdd a coat or two of the decoupage finish to the outside of the photos and allow to fully dry before putting the hardware back on. I noticed that while adding the outside coat of finish, the photo looked bubbled (when wet) but this will go away as it dries, so don’t freak out (I almost did!). 

Decoupage furnitureI’ve simplified our bedroom decor (more on that soon), so the pop from this now graphic set of drawers makes the room feel that much more intentional. I love it! Thanks for letting me share. xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman, Project Assistant: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

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