“Rice Paper” Decoupage Video


I don’t know if I should call this technique Rice Paper Decoupage or Handmade Paper Decoupage, but either way, it’s fast, fun, and easy–and perfect as a first time project. But it’s also a great technique for the experienced decoupage artist as well, because it can be a nice break from all the careful cutting and gluing of more traditional decoupage, while still incorporating beautiful papers and still creating a wonderful end result.

Enjoy the video, and don’t forget to read the rest of the post below for other great tips that I couldn’t include in the video.

Extra Tips for Decoupage Success

>In the video, I suggest you tear about half your sheet before you get started gluing. The reason I don’t tear the whole sheet of handmade paper into pieces right at the beginning of the project is because once I start gluing, I realize that I want to tear the design a little differently than I might have thought before getting started.

For instance, with the black and white tie-dye paper in the video, I realized after I started  gluing that I wanted to tear out one or two whole tie-dye sunburst shapes so I could make them make a focal point on the sides of the vase. Such mini-revelations basically happen to me every time I do this project, so by not tearing up the whole sheet in advance, I keep my options open.

>The wonderful thing about this project is that it’s endlessly editable—you can keep layering the paper until you’re satisfied with the design–in fact, it’s kind of rare to be satisfied with the design in the first go. Just keep turning your vase and work on each section–tearing and gluing more pieces (balancing the pattern, evening out the color, etc.) until you love it.

>Rice Paper Decoupage is very low risk–as long as you use a waterbased sealer, you can actually soak the paper off the vase and start over anytime you want. It takes a while, because the glue is really strong and effective, and you do have to leave it sitting in a tub of water–maybe even overnight. But if you change your mind or change your decor and don’t want your vase covered in that paper anymore, you can recycle your project and start again.

>Finding a vase (or any object) to decoupage on is half the fun–this is a great chance to find a killer deal at a yard sale or a big discounter like TJ Maxx, Tuesday Morning, or Home Goods. Because as long as you like the shape of your vase, it doesn’t matter what the surface looks like, because you’re going to transform it with your wonderful handmade paper! So while everyone else walks by that crazy-ugly-thing on the bottom shelf marked down 6 times–your mind’s eye sees a brand new future for that castoff, and you scoop it up for next to nothing!

There are a lot of different decoupage techniques out there, and I’ve got a bunch of great ideas for more videos and technique posts in the future. My next Rice Paper Decoupage technique will involve using stamping and embossing as part of the process. Combining techniques opens up the possibilities of what you can make and adds an interesting level of complexity, so give this simple process a try so you’re ready!

Please leave me a note in the comments and let me know what you think of the video. I’d also love to answer any questions!

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  1. [...] for Rice Paper Decoupage By Sarah Tips for choosing handmade or rice paper that will work for my Fast & Easy Rice Paper Decoupage [...]

  2. Laura says:

    That video was great — super clear! Thanks! This looks like fun, and as you say, very low risk. I like that.

  3. Rob says:

    I have been doing rice paper, or washi, collage for a long time, but now you have me thinking 3D! Cool, great video! How about decoupaging ‘inside’ a clear glass vase? …ship in a bottle gone decoupage – nice clear protective coating for the decoupage and maybe transparency thru the paper thrown in. I have to try that.

  4. Sarah says:

    @Laura–yes, the low risk part can really be freeing about experimenting with your papers…no permanent mistakes!

    @Rob–Wonderful to hear–the 3-D thing opens up a lot of interesting possibilities and the softness of the paper makes almost any shape possible. And I will also be demo-ing collage inside a clear vase in an upcoming video–the decoupage behind the glass looks wonderful, but it’s a little harder/more awkward than this technique–if you start on that before my video comes out, make sure you pick something you can get your hand in and out of easily!

    And thanks for watching!

  5. Rob says:

    Looking forward to the upcoming video!
    Maybe I’ll try something closer to a bowl with clear glass the first time.

  6. Sarah says:

    Good idea, and you might keep an eye on the curve of the bowl if you use paper that’s stiffer than the rice paper….

  7. MARIA says:

    I loved your instructional video and will try it. I am interested in knowing if I can do this technique on clear glass cylinders that will be used as a globe on electric wall sconces…..can you comment on this

  8. Sarah says:

    So glad you enjoyed the video! And yes, you can work on clear glass cylinders–in fact, I just got 2 clear cylinder vases in order to make another video.
    Decoupage looks fantastic on clear glass when you put it on the inside rather than the outside–it’s a little trickier to do though….make sure you can get your hand in there easily because you’ll be doing that over and over–also, I suggest that you use Elmers glue instead of Modpodge for the clear glass as I think the modpodge crystalizes more when it dries.
    The only thing I’m not sure about is how it will look with the light shining through it–so I would do a test before embarking on the actual project…I’ve got a clear glass vase here with decoupage on it, if I can find a lightbulb that I can stick inside it, I’ll also give it a try and write another comment here.
    I’d love to see you final creation, so please send a pic when you’re done! good luck! :-)

  9. Sumera says:

    I really liked your idea. I was wordering if i can make a wall frame using the decoupage technique. can please comment on that…

  10. Sarah says:

    @Sumera Yes! It would definitely work on a wall frame–I was planning on showing some other options for this technique but haven’t gotten there as quickly as I thought I would. I’ve done a large 3 window wall frame and loved the end result. Make sure you have enough surface to work with though (not too narrow) in order to get the full effect.
    When you make it, send me a picture, I’d love to see. I’m planning on creating a Make Great Stuff Flickr group for folks to share their creations, so if you’re interested in that, please let me know.

  11. sumera says:

    hi, how are u. i wanted to make vase using the same technique of yours. i have a glass vase and instead of rice paper, i am using tissue paper. i am confused, do u think it would work. what type of glue works best for glass on glass project. if you can please let me know about that. Thank You

  12. What a great idea for Decoupage. It’s so easy & I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing, Donna.

  13. Sarah says:

    Thanks Donna–it’s really fun with a lot of possibilities…

  14. wonderful. If I layer multiple rice papers one above another, and I want wrinkled effect, how should I remove air bubbles?

  15. Sarah says:

    Hi, Sorry for my delayed response. Use a razor blade to remove the air bubbles and you may want to add more Mod Podge underneath and above and then press down to seal. Let me know how it goes!

  16. Sarah says:

    Use a brand new razor blade, make a single slit in the air bubble, and fill with more decoupage medium–inside the air bubble space and on top!

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