Decoupage Papier-Mâché

(This tutorial was previously published in Delight in the Art of Collage by Lisa M. Pace, copyright 2014. It is republished here courtesy of and North Light Books.)

Bird final

The papier-mâché bird on this canvas is actually half of a decorative box. When I found the package of three bird boxes, I saw six birds that I could alter in all kinds of different ways. I decided to decoupage, paint and stamp this one, but I have ideas to cover the others with fabric, mists, modeling paste and glitter. Just because an item is meant for one thing doesn’t mean that’s how you have to use it. Keep this in mind when you peruse the clearance aisles, as most items can be used as a base for an altered project.


What You’ll Need
Papier-mâché shape, sewing pattern tissue, acrylic paint in two colors, ink, glitter glue, matte medium, unmounted acrylic stamp, charcoal pencil, paintbrushes

Bird step 1

1 Using a paintbrush, apply matte medium to the top of the papier-mâché bird. Place sewing pattern tissue on top of the wet medium. Brush over the tissue with more matte medium to secure it in place. Repeat these steps until you achieve the coverage you like.

Bird step 2

2 Tuck the excess tissue inside the back of the bird.

Bird step 3

3 Apply a thin coat of paint to the bird, and let dry.

Bird step 4

4 Accent the wing, tail, belly and top of the bird’s head with gold metallic acrylic paint, and let dry.

Bird step 5

5 Ink an unmounted acrylic stamp and stamp randomly over the bird. The unmounted stamp allows you to stamp the curved areas of the bird and looks more random.

Bird step 6

6 Define the bird’s wing and tail feathers, eye and beak using a charcoal pencil.

Bird step 7

7 Apply glitter glue to your finger and rub it onto the bird’s head and belly. Apply some to the eye directly from the bottle. Let dry.

Bird detail 1

To finish this project, create a collage with patterned papers, a paper doily, buttons, a key and glitter glue. Adhere the collage to a 5″ × 7″ (13cm × 18cm) canvas.

Bird detail 2

Create a banner by cutting triangles from Grungepaper or chipboard. Emboss the shapes with polka dots, distress them with ink and accent the dots with glitter glue. Use metal stamps to stamp the letters into the Grungepaper. Cut out each letter and distress them. Adhere one letter to each pendant with strong liquid adhesive. Thread baker’s twine through the holes in the banner and adhere the twine to the canvas.

Bird detail 3

Attach a large jump ring to each end of a pearl bead chain. From one jump ring, attach a chandelier bead. Tie a seam binding bow to the other jump ring and glue the seam binding to the canvas with fabric adhesive. Adhere the bird to the canvas. Cut around the words of your sentiment. Ink the paper to distress it and then glue it to the canvas.

(This tutorial was previously published in Delight in the Art of Collage by Lisa M. Pace, copyright 2014. It is republished here courtesy of

Delight in the Art of Collage_160Click here to learn more about or purchase a copy of Delight in the Art of Collage.







1-9_W0940 0 FM.inddLisa M. Pace is also the author of Delight in the Details and Delight in the Seasons.









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