Decoupage wooden boxes: step by step instructions with photos for beginners, secrets, features

Any boring and nondescript subject can be turned into a work of art. All that is needed is a little patience, perseverance and a set of the simplest materials that can be bought at any office supply store. This article will focus on decorating a wooden box using the decoupage technique.

What is decoupage?

Decoupage wooden casket

Decoupage is a technique for decorating a surface using a carved pattern or ornament. The pattern is glued to the surface of the subject and fixed with a layer of transparent varnish. Most often, paper decor elements are used. For pasting complex surfaces, it is more convenient to use napkins, they are much thinner than paper, so it is easier to stick to the bends of the surface.

The first mention of decoupage dates back to the 15th century. Chinese craftsmen used pictures to decorate furniture. Later, in the XVII century, this technique began to be actively used by Europeans when furniture from Asian countries came into fashion. Skilled craftsmen stuck pictures to furniture and covered the surface with 30 layers of varnish.

Decoupage of the modern world is represented not only by the decor of hard surfaces, but also by the processing of fabrics and leather. Decoupage is used in various directions and styles, but most often this technique is typical for furniture and accessories made in the classical style.

Decoupage for wood for beginners

Decoupage creation process

If this is your first time trying to create a work using decoupage technique, then take an object with clear and even edges. Decorating such surfaces is much easier compared to round or distorted surfaces.

Decoupage wooden boxes for beginners will be more accessible when using patterns on thick paper. They are easier to stick to the surface, so the likelihood that you will ruin the image is much less. Drawing should be made on the basis of water-insoluble paints. Otherwise, when processing with glue, the drawing may leak and smear.

Do not choose too complicated compositions. Cut the image carefully, paying attention to small elements. The more detailed you cut the picture, the more interesting and attractive it will look in the final version. If the picture has a suitable background, then it is better not to use scissors to create a template. It is enough to simply cut the picture along the contour so that the edges remain torn. So the image fits better into the design of the subject.

Preparation of a wooden surface

Sanding a wooden surface

The surface of the tree must be carefully treated before starting the action of fixing the picture. If there is old paint on the surface, remove it with a scraper. Remove all mechanical impurities.

The entire surface of the item must be treated with sandpaper. After this, a primer is applied. The primer should dry completely. This is followed by another step of sanding and an additional layer of soil. The surface should be smooth and even.

If there are small cracks or crevices on the surface of the tree, then fill them up. For this purpose wood putty is suitable. If you plan to make an antique piece, then all the flaws of the surface should be left and even emphasized. You can make additional flaws and cracks.

Decoupage wooden box

Decoupage wooden box

The surface of the box must be treated with sandpaper, paying attention to hard-to-reach places. Primer and sand again. After this, apply another coat of primer. To make the whole process visual, before starting work it is better to see a detailed master class of decoupage of wooden boxes.

When choosing the background color, take into account the color gamut of the image, which will be glued to the box. The most commonly used decoupage is a wooden box in white, it looks very aesthetically pleasing and fresh. Apply the paint evenly on the surface of the wooden box. After drying completely, apply another coat of paint.

Now you can start creating the composition. As a basis with an image, napkins are suitable. When they come into contact with the surface treated with glue, they immediately take the desired shape. Fasten napkins carefully. With improper movement, they can tear or assemble into an "accordion". If the napkin is two-layer, then we leave only the layer on which the drawing is applied. Do not use scissors to separate the picture, just gently tear off the image along the edge. Glue the cloth to the surface of the box using PVA glue, wait until the surface dries. You can use different types of paper materials and even fabrics. The method of fixing the pattern on a fabric basis is exactly the same as in the case of a paper pattern. After the drawing has dried, varnish the entire surface in several layers.

Retro style flower box decoupage

Decoupage flower box

The surface of the box must be sanded and leveled. After that, a layer of white paint is applied. After the paint dries, we again treat the surface with sandpaper. To achieve the effect of aging, we use dark paint. For this purpose, the color of burnt umber is ideal. It is not necessary to apply it evenly, the main part of this layer will be closed.

Drawer Aging

The dried layer of dark paint must be treated with candle wax. This should be done carelessly, not over the entire surface. In places where the wax sticks to the surface, subsequently there will be small bald spots, and they will give the effect of old age.

The next layer will be the finish. Take a suitable paint color and treat it with the entire surface of the box. Lightly sand the dry surface so that dark spots appear in some places. Decoupage of a wooden flower box is best done using pictures that correspond to those plants that will be placed in this container. Now you can start fixing the picture and coating the product with varnish.

Finish on the surface of the box


Several layers of varnish should be applied in order to create a protective coating that will give the product a wear resistance property. In the photo - a decoupage of a wooden box made using several elements. Varnish should be applied in a thin layer. The application of the next layer is possible only after the complete drying of the previous layer.

The choice of varnish depends on the desired properties of the future surface. You can take a glossy varnish, then the surface of the box will be shiny. Matte varnish will create a โ€œroughโ€ surface that will not glare. Tint varnish will change the color of the product. Use it with caution, since a large number of layers can create a very bright shade, against which the pattern will be lost.

You can apply varnish with a small roller. To cover hard-to-reach spots it is more convenient to use a brush. To varnish lay evenly thin layer, you can use the spray gun. If you decide to use this particular method, take care of the safety of the respiratory system.


A designer wooden box can be used as a container for storing any things or presented as a casket. The box turned upside down can be a coffee table or a bedside table. You can make the whole composition, consisting of several wooden boxes, which will be located in several rows. This design is convenient to use as a bookcase.


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