Decoupage Your Watercolor Artworks | Elisa Ang | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Decoupage Your Watercolor Artworks


    • 2.



    • 3.



    • 4.



    • 5.

      Simple Accessories


    • 6.



    • 7.



    • 8.

      Tips & Reminders


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About This Class


Use your watercolor paintings to personalize the items you own using decoupage techniques. This class will equip you with the skills to get started.

The word decoupage comes from the French verb découper, which means 'to cut out'. It involves cutting out pictures (watercolor painting), gluing them to an object then sealing it for protection. The decoupage technique can be used to upcycle old things and customize the items you want to keep or give as gifts.

In Decoupage Your Watercolor Artworks, you will learn:

  • Materials you will need for decoupage
  • How to prepare the different surfaces (i.e. wood, fabric)
  • How to brainstorm and paint your designs
  • Apply decoupage techniques that you can do on wood, glass, fabric, and simple accessories.

This class is for everyone who wishes to incorporate watercolor artworks to customize different things.

Meet Your Teacher

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Elisa Ang

empower you to make art inspired by your stories


Elisa Ang sketches and paints her life using pen and watercolour.

She believes that everyone is creative and that creativity is not only limited to the artist. Her desire is to empower others to make art inspired by their stories.

She teaches drawing and painting to children and adults. When she's not working, she likes to read, watch cooking/family shows, go to nature trips and take photos. She currently resides in Singapore with her husband.

You can see more of her works at her website, Youtube, Instagram




See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Decoupage Your Watercolor Artworks: Have you ever wondered what you can do with all the watercolor paintings you have painted? Sure. You can turn them into prints or cards, frame them or sell them. But have you tried decoupage? Hello, my name is Elisa Ang and welcome to Decoupage Your Watercolor Artworks. The word decoupage comes from the French verb decouper, which means to cut out. Decoupage involves cutting out pictures. In this case, your painting, gluing them to an object and then sealing it after. The decoupage technique can be used to upcycle old things, customize the items that you own or turn it into gifts. This class will equip you on the materials you will need for decoupage. How to prepare the different surfaces that you will be working on. How to brainstorm and paint your designs and learn decoupage techniques that you can do on wood, glass, fabric and jewelry. For your project, find one thing such as a jar, box or a canvas pouch that you would like to personalize or upcycle. You can use your old paintings or create a new artwork for your decoupage project. I look forward to seeing you in class. Let's get started. 2. Materials: To start with, decoupage adventure. You need a special medium that is all-in-one glue, sealer and finisher that binds paper in different surfaces. I like to use Mod Podge. Mod Podge comes in different formulas, and I will be using three formulas in this class. The first one that I use is the classic Mod Podge with a glossy finish that gives a shine effect and is good for photos printed on glossy paper. Personally, I like the shine that it gives on my paintings. If you do not want any shine, you can choose the mat. There are recipes on the Internet that shares how to create decoupage glue that is cheaper than Mod Podge. Some said it works great, while other said their project turned yellow after awhile. Mod Podge may have other ingredients that makes a project last longer. You can try which options work for you. The second formula is the Fabric Mod Podge. It helps adhere your design onto fabric or cloth surface. You can gently wash the fabric after curing it for 72 hours. The third formula that I will be using is the dimensional magic. It is water-based and adds a glassy three-dimensional effects to the surface of your project. It gives depth and interest on jewelries, cards and other embellishments. There are other Mod Podge formulas that you can explore depending on the needs of your project. Since watercolor is a water-based paint, that means colors are still prone to lifts off when you touch it with your wet hands. Mod Podge acrylic sealer protects the artwork for being smudge. Foam brush is helpful for applying Mod Podge, and is easier to clean than using normal paintbrushes, since Mod Podge doesn't get in between the bristles. But of course, you can use brushes that you have on hand. You can put the brush in soapy water for easy cleanup. To create your designs, you need the following materials. For simple watercolor designs, use cartridge paper of around 160 GSM. I can still apply watercolor techniques and it won't buckle. This paper is also thick enough to prevent wrinkles. If you plan to use lots of water and paints, you can use 300 GSM watercolor paper instead. You will need water color paints and brushes to create your painting designs. You can use good quality standard grade paints like Winsor and Newton Cotman, Van Gogh, Pentel. I also use acrylic paints to add colors on wooden surfaces. A good brand is the Apple Barrel. You can also use your old artworks for decoupage, or old pictures from a book as collage for your painting. All of the materials are available in local and online art and craft stores. In the next lesson, you will learn how to decoupage onboard. 3. Wood: Now materials you need to decoupage wood are: acrylic paints, mod podge, acrylic sealer, watercolor paints, sandpaper, any wood surfaces like containers or frames, paper for drawing, foam brushes, and scissors. Before you take a podge on wood you need to use sandpaper to smoothen the rough edges. This ensure a clean surface to work on. I find this process quite therapeutic. For ideas on what to paint, make a list of things that interests you. It can be different background colors, nature, buildings or abstract. Think about how you want to incorporate the designs on your project. I like flowers and I've painted a couple of them. You can find inspiration on what to paint from your travel photos, the things you see, or from your own images. If you are using photos from the Internet, ask permission from the owner of the photo for copyright purposes. Otherwise, you can also use royalty-free images. I painted the flowers loosely by following the main shapes and its overall structure. I use the belly of the brush for the broad shapes and use the tip of the brush for the tiny details and thin stems. I allow the colors to interact by dropping in colors while the initial layer is wet. This is a nice way to blend colors effortlessly. Being able to alternate from belly to the tip of the brush is essential in painting flowers well. While waiting for the painting to dry, now is a great time to paint the inside of the box. I'm using acrylic craft paints which is good for various surfaces. I use a flat brush to cover the areas quickly. I think about the colors that I like when I decide on colors. When painting acrylic on wood, make sure the brush is dry as we don't want wet wood and faded colors. I use acrylic sealer to seal my watercolor painting. I follow the instructions and sprayed one coat and allow it to air dry for 15 minutes. Part of the process of decoupage is cutting of designs. Using a good scissors helps to cut with precision. I also use a blade to cut into smaller spaces. The fun part is to experiment with different composition and decide which elements to include. At first, I thought about adding all the flowers together, but the space is small for the crowd of flowers. I have decided to include only three flowers for a cleaner look. Feel free to enter the elements and focus on what works for your design. I also decided to put the remaining flowers on the side of the container. I cut the leaf on one of the flowers and put that on the left. Taking pictures helps me see if the composition is pleasing to the eyes. Once it's final, it's time to decoupage the elements. Though mod podge is non-toxic, it's best to do this in a ventilated area. You can pour the mod podge on the palette so that you can close the container to avoid it drying out. The process is as simple as gluing the artwork on the surface, and it helps to smoothen the piece with any tool to avoid any bubbles. Brush mod podge over the elements and the wooden surface to seal it. This process is important because it makes your project stronger. I use a dabbing motion to apply the mod podge to avoid any smudging just in case I wasn't able to use acrylic sealer in every corner of the artwork. I use the end of the foam brush and gently dab the areas to ensure everything sticks well. I repeat the process on the sides. Again, I seal the whole area with mod podge. Mod podge dries clear and the glossy effects gives a nice shine. I smooth out the mod podge by brushing back and forth. Because there's a tacky effect, it's best to store the parts of the boxes separately for at least a day or two to ensure they wont stick to each other. In the next lesson, you will learn how to upcycle old or unused things and make it useful again. See you there. 4. Upcycle: Last Christmas, I sent my students' artworks to a printing company who specializes in printing designs on different things like magnets. Unfortunately, the printing result was poor in quality. Thankfully, they agreed to print for me again. What do I do with all the magnets? I decided to upcycle the magnets, by decoupaging my art books on it. The materials you need to decoupage upcycled objects are: paper, pencil, watercolor paints, old book, scissors, old things that you want to upcycle, Mod Podge, acrylic sealer, foam brushes. First, I trace the magnets on the paper. Then I thought of painting pink flowers. A pattern is a great idea when thinking of what to design. Then contrasting it with a dark blue background. I leave a white highlights around the flowers that gives it a nice glow. When the artwork is dry, I use acrylic sealer to protect the artwork. I allow the artwork to dry for 15 minutes. Then I apply Mod Podge on the back of the artwork, and gently paste it on the surface. I use the end of the foam brush to push out any air bubbles. I remove the paper excess with a blade. To add interest on the painting I wanted to collage words from an old book. I have no specific words in mind, but I try to find words that catches my interest. I think words can elevate an art piece. Once I find the words, I refine and arrange it. I arrange a composition of the words. Now it's time to Mod Podge. I use it straight from the jar, since it's just one artwork. I use the pencil to help hold it in place. Finally, I seal the project with Mod Podge. I like how the magnet has turned out. This is great as a decor, or be given as a gift. In the next lesson, you will learn how to decoupage your artwork to design simple accessories. See you in the next video. 5. Simple Accessories: The materials you need to decoupage simple jewelries are; watercolor paints, mod podge dimensional magic, pin for paper brooch, silver disk for a pendant, mod podge, acrylic sealer, foam brushes, paper, pencil, old book, scissors. I found this tiny silver disc at an art store that I think works great as pendant for a necklace. First, I trace its shape on paper. I thought of a simple background painting inspired by the galaxy. I start with a light color, paint it wet and wet, and add darker colors to create contrast. Once dry, I spray it with acrylic sealer, allow it to dry. I use mod podge to stick the artwork on the silver disk. Then I gently squeeze mod podge dimensional magic on top of the painting. Squeeze enough to cover the whole area and try not to overdo it because too much will result to cloudiness. I use a thread to work as a chain for the necklace and use some bids for accessories. I like the simplicity of the necklace and how I can use most of the things that I already have to make this. Another accessory is a paper brooch. I'm using flower as an inspiration and thought of drawing an orchid. You can make your paper brooch into any shapes and other designs inside or create something specific with it like this orchid. I start with a light color, paint it wet on wet and add darker colors to create contrast. I also add the details once the painting has dried. Then I spay it with acrylic sealer. Once dry, I cut and paste it on a scrap cardboard to make it sturdy. I cut out the shape again and then paste it on a nice paper to cover the back. I use super glue to stick the pin behind the brooch. I apply the Mod Podge Dimensional Magic to create the 3D effect. If you wish to learn more about creating a paper brooch and other accessories, serve as Skillshare class, Illustrated Jewelry: Turn your Art into Wearables is a great resource. The paper brooch is a great accessory on clothes, bags, scarves. I like how the Dimensional magic elevates a simple accessory. It dries clear, but not as hard as resin. Give this a try and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 6. Glass: You can decoupage any jars made of glass. You can upcycling your old jars or buy new ones as gifts. Wash the glass container first in preparation for the glass decoupage. The materials you need to decoupage glass are, a clean glass jar, watercolor, mod podge, acrylic sealer, foam brushes, paper, and scissors. First measure the paper around the glass to know how much space is needed for design. Cut into size. I wanted to paint colorful people. I started with a blob, then shape it to become a head. I use the belly of the brush to create the broad shapes. I went straight with watercolor and think about proportion, colors, clothing, and actions as I go. I actually enjoy creating when I don't plan so much, and just enjoy the process. I also allow the colors to run to each other to create the sense of unity. I used bright contrasting colors to make the designs standout. Adding details in paints and ink gives life to the characters. It makes me think about their stories and personalities. When the painting has dried, I sprayed it with acrylic sealer, ensure the area is well ventilated. To decoupage, I applied mod podge on small sections of the paper, and gently pasted on the bottle. Then flatten the surface with my fingers to ensure there's no bubbles. Then, I continue to add mod podge as I go along. It's not as perfect aligned as I would like to be, but that's okay. I seal the artwork by dabbing mod podge over it. Sometimes there are areas where paint is smudge because I miss some spots when I sprayed it with acrylic sealer. One way to prevent that is to spray a second coat after the first layer has dried. Overall, I really like how the glass jar comes alive with the simple colorful painting. In the next demonstration, I will show you how to decoupage your artwork on to canvas pouch. See you there. 7. Fabric: Fabric mod podge is used to decoupage the fabric on the fabric surface. But I tried experimenting by using paper on fabric and it actually works. You can wash the fabric and your design will still remain. I'm excited to create my design on this canvas pouch and show you the outcome of the painting after washing. The materials you need to decoupage fabric are mod podge fabric, paper, canvas pouch or any fabric materials you have, like shirts, canvas bag, watercolor paints, foam brush. First, you must wash the fabric you'd like to use, let dry, and iron if you wished. I drew an oval shape and painted a simple flower garden. Flowers are one of my favorite go-to subjects to paint because the process of painting it is relaxing. There are so many flower inspirations that you can find or come up with your own flower garden. I tried to follow the curve of the oval as I paint the elements around it. I painted simple foliage elements to enhance the three main flowers. I cut out my design. I put a scrap cardboard under the pouch to protect the inside. I applied fabric mod podge on the design and paste it on the canvas pouch. I checked for any openings and apply mod podge. Again, I use the end of the foam brush to ensure the artwork sticks well on the pouch. I seal the surface of the painting with fabric mod patch to make it waterproof. I try to cover every area and use gentle dabbing motion to prevent any smudging of paints just in case. I check for spots that I missed and dab it with mod podge. Let dry and allow to cure for 72 hours before washing or using the canvas pouch. After 72 hours, I washed a canvas pouch. You can see the design remain even when it's wet and soap is applied on top. I also tried to agitate it a little bit, and it looks fine. So far, you have been acquainted with decoupage techniques and the different formulas of mod podge that you can use on your projects. In the next video, we will talk about tips and do's and don'ts on decoupage to tie everything together. 8. Tips & Reminders: Decoupage is an interesting art form that gives life to various objects, both old and new. Now that you are aware on how to decoupage on different surfaces, here are some tips on decoupaging your artworks. Prepare the surface like sanding the wood, washing the jar, or canvas pouch. Apply moderate layer of Mod Podge. Spread it by using gentle dabbing motion. Clean brush with soap and water immediately after use or soak the brush in water while you work. Mod Podge will harden the brush if left to dry. Use at least 160gsm paper to avoid any wrinkling. Once you stick your artwork on the surface, use a blunt tool to smoothen the artwork to prevent any air bubbles. Allow your project to dry for 2-3 days before storing or using them to avoid any stickiness. Mod Podge is not waterproof but it is water resistant, which means a few drops of water is okay. However, Mod Podge fabric is one of the formulas that allow you to wash your project. Finally, you can clean your decoupage project with a damp towel. Please check out, which contains useful information about all things Mod Podge. It has been a great learning experience making this class. As always, you can reach out to me for any questions or feedback via the community discussions. I'm excited to see your decoupage project in the project gallery. Enjoy the process.