Carol’s DIY decoupage plates

Four decoupaged glass plates, photo

Last week, I blogged about Carol Endler Sterbenz’s new book Homemade: The Heart and Science of Handcrafts. This week, I’m honored to welcome Carol as a guest nester! This decoupage plate tutorial is just one of the many fabulous projects in her book. Carol writes, “Of all the DIY techniques I have learned or been inspired to try, few have equaled the beauty and ease of potichemanie, a form of decoupage where prints are glued behind glass so that they gleam like fine porcelain. (This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something, I may earn a small commission. You can read my full disclosure here.)

“This straightforward technique can be used to decorate plain glass plates in any style or size you want. Begin by decorating a small dessert-size plate and then, when you are ready, decorate larger pieces, such as a platter or other serving piece. The top surface of the decorated plates can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Do not submerge the plates in water.”

Note: Featured here is a plate decorated with a repeat pattern of sized images of a dancer’s head, but you can choose different art to suit your personal style and taste. If you are making a copy of an image, use a laser copier or a computer and laser printer.


How to make Carol’s decoupage plates

  • dessert plate, 7” (17.8 cm) in diameter, in clear glass
  • self-adhesive bumpers

  • decoupage medium

  • acrylic craft paint, in color, as desired

  • acrylic medium-and-varnish

  • poster putty

  • glass cleaner

  • paper towels

  • brushes: narrow watercolor and sponge

  • manicure scissors

  • craft knife

  • felt-tip marker

  • Spanish Dancer, original art (right click/control click on the image when it opens)

Spanish Dancer drawing, photo

Step 1: Prepare the prints
Use a laser copier or a computer scanner and laser printer to make copies of the dancer’s head. You’ll need eight small heads 1½ inches (3.8 cm) high to make the featured plate. Use manicure scissors to cut around the perimeter of each head print as shown, or as desired.

Step 2: Prepare the glass plate
Use glass cleaner and paper towels to remove any grease or fingerprints from the glass plate. Dry the plate thoroughly.

Glue the print to back of plate, photo

Step 3: Lay out the design and glue the prints
Use poster putty to apply the head images to the top surface of the plate, referring to the photo (below) for placement. Mark the glass with a marker to indicate the placement of the heads. Lift off one print, remove the putty, and use a narrow watercolor brush to apply decoupage medium to the image side. Press the image side of the print against the underside of its plate. Use your wet or gluey fingertips to slide the image into position as you view it through the glass from the top.

All prints glued down, photo

Continue until all of the prints are adhered. Let the glue dry completely.

Paint the plate, photo

Step 4: Paint the plate
Use a foam brush to apply two thin, even coats of chartreuse paint to the back of the plate.

Remove stray paint, photo

Before the second coat on each plate is fully dry, use a craft knife or single-edge razor blade to remove stray paint from the rim. Use a clean, narrow watercolor paintbrush for touch-ups, if needed.

Finished plate, photo

Step 5: Seal the plate
Use a foam brush to apply two thin, even coats of acrylic medium-and-varnish to the back of the plate, allowing the first coat to dry before applying the second. Let the sealer dry overnight. Let the sealer cure 2 to 3 weeks before using the plate.

Four decoupaged glass plates, photo

Step 6: Protect the foot of the plate (optional)
Add self-adhesive felt bumpers to the bottom of the plate’s inner rim to prevent abrasion.

Author Note: There are so many stylistic variations possible when using this decoupage technique. Here are several other design ideas to inspire you.

Excerpted from Homemade: The Heart and Science of Handcrafts. Copyright © 2011 by Carol Endler Sterbenz. Excerpted with permission by Scribner, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. Original photos by Dennis A. Johnson, copyright © 2011 by Carol Endler Sterbenz, courtesy of the author. Spanish Dancer art print, printed with permission by Dover Publications, Inc.

Crafty Nest Carol's decoupaged plates Pinterest image

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