DIY Project: Decoupage Marble Fabric Chairs

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When you think of decoupage it might bring to mind messy magazine cutouts and dripping glue, but the technique actually has a long and beautiful history in the decorative arts. I set out to find just the right mix of materials to give this old-school technique a sophisticated and modern update.

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Rather than paper, I settled on fabric as my medium of choice and found myself drawn to a bit of yardage that had a marble pattern digitally printed on it. I loved the trompe l’oeil effect and knew the texture would help camouflage any imperfections in the surface of the item I would cover. Next up was finding the right piece of furniture. When I spotted this three-seater bench made up of Eames-style, cast-plastic seats I knew I had found the one. The idea of cladding such a minimal, utilitarian shape in marble fabric felt totally unexpected. Ready to dive into decoupage? –Megan Pflug

Click through for the full how-to after the jump!

Here’s what you’ll need:

– 1-3 yards of fabric

– Mod Podge glue

– A 1.5-inch soft paintbrush

– Clear water-based polyurethane

– Latex outdoor paint for plastic surfaces (I used Krylon in blue)

– Scissors

– X-Acto knife

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Getting Started

Begin by cutting a square of fabric a few inches larger than the surface you’re planning to cover. Next, coat the surface with a thin layer of Mod Podge using your brush;,then, while the glue is still wet, neatly lay and press the fabric into place. If you’re covering a surface with curved edges like mine, don’t worry about wrapping it around the sides yet. Just focus on smoothing out any air bubbles and getting the fabric in place before the glue starts to set.

Tip: To accommodate curved surfaces, you may need to cut a slit in the fabric to get it to lie flat. Just look for where the fabric seems to naturally fold to accommodate the curve, and cut there. To hide the slits, neatly overlap the edges and glue the fabric into place, smoothing it to hide the seam.

Finish the Edges

Once your surface is covered, start tackling the edges. Working slowly and neatly, glue the fabric around the sides, leaving the excess fabric hanging over the edge. When the Mod Podge is completely dry, usually after 30 minutes to an hour, use your X-Acto knife to neatly trim away the extra fabric.

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Final Touches

To finish, apply three coats of water-based polyurethane to the fabric surface using your paintbrush. Wait until the surface is dry to the touch before adding your next coat. For an added pop of color, I chose to paint the back of the chairs a bright blue, but if the backs won’t be seen you can skip this step.

Although I used a bench, these same steps would work equally well with a single chair. Just keep in mind that pieces with flat surface areas work best for this type of project!

Resources: I used Stonehenge quilting fabric. That brand makes lots of really cool stone prints, so be sure to look at all the options.

I also really liked this Carrara marble print on Spoonflower.

And this malachite print.

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For more decoupage ideas, like this malachite tabletop, and an archive of all my past DIY projects, check out my Weekend Decorator column on One Kings Lane’s Style Blog!

  1. maggie says:

    Oooh, I love that table as well – what a lovely DIY project. I think I want to do this to a table that has been a bit scuffed up. Bookmarking this page!

  2. Elle says:

    I really like the table! THis is pretty awesome!

  3. Nathan says:

    I love that mirror, I can’t help but wonder if that a DIY job too. I’ve defiantly got inspiration for the chairs though, very cool.

  4. Mindy Fox says:

    Beautiful treatment for a fabulous piece of furniture. Great job!

  5. Kim says:

    This is such a great idea! Not at all what I think of when someone mentions decoupaging. Thank you for sharing this DIY!

  6. Neat idea! Looks great :)

  7. Sandra says:

    This is so cool! I’m totally going to decoupage the (laminate) coffee table that I just bought from the antique fair!

  8. Amanda says:

    My favorite is the malachite! Love a good DIY. I’m definitely adding it into my living project I’m working on. You can follow along on my blog for all the updates :)

    hammerandheels.blogspot.com

  9. Alex says:

    I really like the malachite one as well. I wonder how it would look under a glass top, it seems more practical for cleaning.

  10. Charlie says:

    Great DIY! I’ve never seen any other chairs like those before!

    http://impulsory.net

  11. Gillianne says:

    Ditto the mirror love from the first photo. Anyone else think those chairs might look even better with a gold-leafed or gold-sprayed base?

  12. Tina C. says:

    I just covered an old desk with fabric & mod podge. it was easy and looks great.

  13. Amy says:

    Lovely,& definitely would not think these bench seats were decoupaged!
    I’d LOVE to know: where can I find this unique bench? Or better yet, a DIY tutorial on how to make this bench? Such a statementment for an entryway. Redifines the entryway bench!
    Thank you!=^_^*=

  14. Karen says:

    I’m glad to see how nice this technique looks on furniture, as I’ve been planning to do it with a dresser I bought from Goodwill. When I realized how badly gouged the lower veneered edges were, I decided to fill-in with wood putty, sand, and then decoupage some rattan-printed fabric onto the sides. Got partway through the project before life interrupted my, but I intend to finish shortly. I’ve also seen it done on floors.

  15. Stephanie says:

    I’ve tried to decoupage with fabric but the mod podge made the colors dark and muted. How did you get this to work so perfectly?

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