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.
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)
– X-Acto knife
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.
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.
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!