Peacock Eden- Adding Depth to Decoupage

Hello everyone…Hope you all are crafting  great !!! Vaishali here on the blog today.

I completely enjoy decoupage and  its always great to explore new ways of using this craft technique. Most of us know about various mediums used for mixed media. Modelling paste and texture paste are widely  used mediums to create textures. In my creation, I have used modelling paste to give depth and dimension to the otherwise flat decoupage work…..

Here is a step wise  picture tutorial to explain the process of creating this happy garden space for the peacock -‘Peacock Eden ‘. So let’s get started !!!!

I have used canvas as  a base for this creation. The canvas used is 8 x 10 inch in size. First I primed the canvas by applying white gesso on it with synthetic hair flat brush. You can use sponge to apply gesso as well. This will give some added texture. However, here I only wanted to prepare the canvas for further work, so used the brush. Gesso gives tooth for the colours to be applied and enhances them. The Little Birdie gesso from the store has good consistency and flow….a must try product!Once the gesso dried completely, I added texture by stencilling. I have used two stencils. Brick stencil and the newly launched ‘Flora Enchante’ stencil. Do check out the new stencil designs….they are just amazing and the release has some great background stencils as well!!

I have  used the brick stencil with Mont Marte modelling paste and the Flora Enchante  stencil with Little Birdies’s two in one mix media  paste – Slate.  Apply the medium through the stencil with a palette knife or an old stiff card and leave it  to dry. Would like to share here that the two in one mix media paste can also be used as gesso if diluted with water. It comes in two colours- White and Slate. Here, I have used it as it  is, without diluting as I am using it with stencil and not as gesso.

Tip- It’s advised to let the mediums dry naturally. Speed drying causes the mediums to bubble up and spread.

Once both the mediums applied through the stencils dried completely, my next step was to decoupage. I have used the beautiful peacock design  decoupage napkin called – ‘Peacock Eden’ ….and yes it was indeed creating a happy place  for the peacock on canvas !!!

I adhered the napkin using the Decoupage Glue- Matte from the store.  Itsy Bitsy has some wonderful new designs added to their Decoupage Napkin category….am sure decoupage lovers will enjoy using them !!!!

In the picture above, I have only positioned the napkin, such that some part of the brick effect gets covered with the napkin and some part is seen. I tore out  a portion (blue rose part )of the napkin to do so. My plan from the beginning was to decoupage over the textures created by the modelling paste, this would give an added dimension to the decoupage work.

Tip – Whenever you plan to decoupage over the textures, like how I am doing here, choose a stencil design that gives  flat areas, to decoupage on. Do not choose a very intricate design as it will be very difficult to decoupage on the fine design.

Here’s the dimensional look.. I really love  the brick effect, seen through the napkin….this adds so much depth !

You will need a lot of patience to decoupage on a surface with undulations. Adhere the napkin  on one brick line at a time, then press the napkin well into the grooves, before moving to the other line…work in parts !!!!

Some information about decoupage with printed napkins also known as printed tissues before we move ahead –   

  • Decoupage napkins are generally 3 ply- meaning they have one printed layer and two plain layers. What we use is only the top printed layer for decoupage.
  • Napkins can be used as whole or cut into pieces as per design. When using pieces  of napkin, always hand tear to give it a natural look. Do not use scissors.
  • Tearing pieces  or trimming the edges of napkin, should be done before separating the plain layers. A single layer is difficult to tear.
  • When adhering a large piece of napkin, always adhere a small section first and then gradually move ahead from one end to another….work in parts.
  • Generally a white or lighter colour background should be given to the area on which the napkin is to be adhered. All napkins which have darker prints, mostly look good  on lighter backgrounds.
  • Little Birdie decoupage glue from Itsy Bitsy’s own brand is available in both matte and gloss finish and is very good to adhere decoupage napkins.  The glue is also a sealant and is applied over the adhered napkin as well. This protects the napkin from yellowing and makes the project wipeable. The choice of gloss or matte depends on the look you want for your project.
  • When adhering a  napkin, do not use too much  glue. Make sure all areas are covered with glue, but the quantity of glue should be minimal, else the napkin will tear when you press it down.

Hope this helps…..

Coming back to the project, this is how the canvas looked after adhering the napkin and applying a top layer of decoupage glue on the napkin area.

Now is the time to work on areas around the napkin. Decoupage is not just about adhering the paper, its about blending the paper area with the background so that it all looks one as if the paper was a part of the background. There are some grey tones in the napkin, so I first applied a light grey chalk paint Misty fog on the brick areas and the in the gaps of the Flora Enchante stencil. This was followed by giving shadows to the bricks. I did this with chalk paint Lagoon Breeze, using a  thin brush . Wanted the dark blue colour of the roses (in the napkin ), to come in the background as well. 

This was looking too grey and little dull to me, so chose to add a little yellow that was peeking in the peacocks feathers. Did that with Little Birdie chalk paint shade- Fortune Cookie, in the stenciled areas.

Once, I was happy with the colours, I embellished the canvas with some beautiful paper flowers and chipboard shapes. The chipboard shapes from the store are pre-primed…which means you can colour them directly, without applying gesso. Have a look.

I also gave some stitched lines to the chipboard with black permanent marker and some highlighting with gold acrylic. Added the stamped sentiment -‘SEIZE TODAY ‘….seize the happiness today in this moment !

Finally distressed the edges of the canvas with brown ink to complete.  I really liked the new stencil Flora Enchante design. It compliments the napkin print  and gives it an ethnic touch.

Here is the final look. I have given a coat of decor varnish matte to the whole canvas to protect it. Decor varnish is available in both matte and gloss finish and is quick drying. This water based varnish from the store is a great product to further weather protect the creations.

Hope you like this idea of decoupage over a created textured area. It adds depth and gives a wonderful dimension. Happy Crafting till we meet again ….

Create, Express, Enjoy !!!

Vaishali Khandwala.

List of materials-


  1. Wonderful !
    And such amazing creativity Vaishali…loved the overall depths in the project ….
    Gorgeous it looks…thanks so much for sharing the details…

  2. Wow, such a beautiful canvas. Loved it the way you took the decoupage to next level. Thanks for sharing the wonderful tutorial Vaishali. Your tutorial are so easy to understand that even beginners can easily follow the easy steps.

    1. Thanks a lot Vidhu.. this time was thinking of something different yet easy to execute.. glad u liked the tutorial

  3. Amazing, another awesome project by you vaishali beautifully made and as usual super well explained post

  4. Wow very beautiful canvas….you always do something different with decoupage..amazing…easy tutorial and very informative post. Thank you

    1. Thanks a lot for always stopping by… happy to read that you liked the creation and the tutorial

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