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Crafting the Perfect Custom Decoupage Glass Tray

by Kristin DiGioia January 23, 2023

Crafting the Perfect Custom Decoupage Glass Tray

Artisans have used decoupage to create ornamental pieces ever since 18th century Florence, Italy, and this art has exploded in popularity with modern-day DIYers. Decoupage produces breathtaking centerpieces, mementos, and exquisite decor in today's world in a way that captures the attention of everyone who sees it. Nowadays, even beginner artists can create stunning works of decoupage art at home, spiffing up old pieces or adding a perfect touch to their home.

A decoupage tray is an excellent gift for the decor-hungry friend in your life, and it gives new life to old materials around the house. Glass trays that are no longer fashionable, wooden boxes that look plain, and old pieces of glass can all be transformed with an eye-catching paper design that completely changes their appearance.

What Is Decoupage?

Decoupage is a dimensional art form, and we'll teach you how to create a beautiful decoupage tray step-by-step here. By gluing decorative pieces of paper, tissue, and other materials to glass using adhesive, you'll be able to create an eye-catching work of art for your home or as a gift.

Decoupage is a specific paper and glass craft method with modern and traditional techniques. There are many modern techniques that are easy to try at home, plus you can find beautiful and personalized keepsake decoupage trays online if you're looking for a quicker, long-lasting gift to present to a loved one this year. Many of our trays were made professionals like Ben Busko, who have been employing traditional techniques for years.

But everyone starts somewhere, and below, we'll go over the ways you can do decoupage as a beginner.

While our focus is on decoupage glass trays, you can actually transform a variety of items using this art. Wooden boxes or wooden slabs, furniture pieces, glass vases or jars, and even picture frames can be transformed with a little creativity and basic decoupage techniques.

Materials Needed For Your Tray

  • Glass tray
  • Decoupage glue or varnish
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Cutouts (paper or card)
  • Pencil or pen
  • Brush or sponge
  • Heat Gun
  • Craft Paint (Optional)

While cutouts are a bit vague, we want to be more specific on what kind of paper will make your project a success. Thin, translucent paper like tissue paper, napkins, and rice paper will be easier to work with and are really a must for at-home decoupage glass plate crafts. Anything thicker can bubble up and ruin the look of your project.

For thicker napkins, you can separate them by using painter's tape on the edge and peeling both sides apart. Many crafters will have Mod Podge already on hand, and that's a great way to start crafting decoupage on glass. There are specific varnishes that are made for decoupage and are worth looking at if you want to level up your decor pieces.

Let's Get Started

Ready to start? Even if you're nervous, the best way to complete a project is by taking the plunge. 

After picking out your supplies, gather all of your materials into a well-lit crafting space. You'll want room to move around. Clean your glass tray and make sure it's dry, as you'll want a clear surface to work off of. Any bits of hair or dust lingering around could potentially ruin your decoupage tray, so clear the area before then and clean your glass tray thoroughly.

Prepare Your Cutouts

  1. Gather your cutouts and arrange them on the glass tray. The best part about decoupage art is that you can combine different cutouts to have a unique look.
  2. Use a pencil or pen to trace around the cutouts after they're arranged in a pleasing design on the decoupage glass plate.
  3. Cut out your cutouts along the lines you've drawn with scissors or a craft knife.

Applying the Cutouts

This is the part where we need to take our time to ensure our art doesn't experience wrinkles or unseemly bubbles. For this part, you'll need your brush or sponge, your decoupage glue or varnish, and your cutouts on hand.

  1. Wet a sponge in water and then dip the sponge into the decoupage medium.
  2. Apply the decoupage medium onto the tray, keeping a smooth coating with even brush strokes.
  3. Start with one side of the cutout and begin to ease it onto the tray, dabbing gently with the sponge to adhere it without bubbles.
  4. Once the cutouts are applied, you can use a heat gun on low to smooth out any bubbles with a scraper until dry.
  5. Apply another layer of varnish and let it dry.

Finishing Touches

Natural materials such as dried flowers and herbs can be added to your decoupage for a natural rustic look. At this stage, you can also add beads or sequins for an extra pop of color. Small objects like buttons, coins, and seashells can be incorporated into projects as you grow more experienced. Remember to only use a small amount of any additional materials to avoid overloading the project and making it difficult to work with.

Adding a touch of craft paint around the edge of the tray, such as a gold lining, can bring the whole project together into a cohesive look. Thin fabric that has been cut into small pieces and applied smoothly also works for decoupage and can be incorporated into future projects.

Congrats on Your Unique Decor

There you have it. A beautiful custom decoupage glass tray for your home or as a gift. There is an endless amount of designs to explore and materials to use when you're experimenting with decoupage. It's all about having fun and seeing what you can come up with to decorate your home.

If you love the look and feel of decoupage glass trays but want to use thicker materials such as photos, wedding invitations, or other keepsakes, check out Ben's Garden. Traditional decoupage methods preserve wedding photos, handwritten letters, baby shower invitations, and more for a lasting keepsake. Don't be afraid to try something new, and let your creativity shine through. Happy crafting!



Kristin DiGioia
Kristin DiGioia

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