Monday, July 25, 2016

Decoupage Napkins on Paper Mache Vases

I was so excited to make paper mache vases and decoupage them with purple paper napkins. I wanted to imitate porcelain vases. You know the kind you see everywhere in blue and white.  Why don't they come in purple and white?   I looked all over the net,  no such luck. So I decided to make my own. 

I thought it would be easy with awesome results. I've decoupage before. Most of the time my projects turn out okay, but not this time.  All I can say is ugh, ugh, and ugh for the texture! Too many wrinkles! But I love, love, love the design!

Lets start from the beginning.  I blew up two balloons. One, into a regular oval balloon shape. The other balloon, I pushed the center into the balloon to grab the bottom end, pulling it up and tying both ends off with a string .  .  .

making for a cute round donut shape.
Next, I painted mod podge over the balloons and began adding strips of newspapers .  .  .


until the entire balloons were covered. I applied seven layers, using different types of paper, and drying between each layer to make it very sturdy.

Once all of the layers were applied and dried, I popped the balloons.

Then I centered cardboard tubes over the middle knot and traced the vase opening. Carefully cutting out the opening, and attaching the tube with masking tape.

Then I applied mode podge and newspaper strips over the tubes, as before, making sure to cover the rims. 


I cut off a portion of the cardboard tube for a shorter neck on this one.

For the donut shaped vase, I added twine to the rim to make a lip .  .  .

and covered it with paper and glue.

Then, I spray painted both with a white primer and let dry.

You can see that the finish is not smooth, although I did try to sand the lumps out.

I decided that the flaws were part of the finish and continued on. I started tearing the straight edges from the napkins .  .  .  since torn edges blend in better in decoupage.

The white backing layers of the napkin pattern were separated .  .  .

and a light layer of mod podge was applied to the vase and the napkin pattern was patted in place using a brush dipped in water. 

I used plastic wrap to help smooth out the wrinkles (like I did here) but that didn't help this time.

And I continued on .  .  .  out of frustration.

After covering the entire vases with napkins and mod podge, and allowing them to dry, I applied a final coat of mod podge to seal.  Then I applied a layer of Tripe Thick Glaze to give it a hard glossy look, wrinkles and all.

The vases blend in with my décor. And look great from a distance!

BUT .  .  .  Lesson learned! Flaws and all! But great designs!

I think next time I might try stenciling on the paper mache instead!
What do you think?

Take a little time to enjoy


Happy Crafting!     


  1. Oh, this is amazing! Great job dear!
    Vesna - Home Chic Club
    new post:

  2. Though the decoupage may not be perfect I love the shape of the vases Gail...they are beautiful !

  3. aww they look cute Gail! Enjoy the purple and include the flaw you see as part of the crafting process! I tried the balloon thing and see my issue - i didn't do enough layers. Mine collapsed. Of course I wasn't doing something as cool as these!

  4. I used to make piggy banks like this but had forgotten all about it!! Thanks for the great instructions and bringing back a great memory!! Would love to have you share on the Pleasures of the NW's DIY party!

  5. Oh Gail! I thought, "Yay, I'll get to see mor of Gail's pretty work", then I saw the word fail in the post title. Uh oh! After reading, I'd say it was a total fail - the vases look great but I see your issue with the decoupage. I would have given up but you persevered! They're still pretty though. :-)

    1. *wasn't a total fail. Sorry I should have proof read my message. Ha.

  6. I knew as soon as I saw the link at the Make It Pretty party that these had your name written on them, Gail. You get an A+ for cleverness - you'd never know these fabulous vases were made from a balloon and cardboard!
    Here's a thought if you want the decoupage fail to look intentional. What about rubbing dark wax over the vases and wiping off the excess. The wax will rest in the wrinkles, adding to the aged appearance.
    Marie, The Interior Frugalista

  7. You're so creative! The balloons worked out perfectly :)

    Edye | Http://

  8. Gail, I was so amazed as I continued reading as to how you made your vases and I am so impressed (as usual) with your creativity! They may be a little wrinkled, but they are amazing! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Snickerdoodle Sunday :) Pinned to share.

  9. I think they are so adorable! Please link up with us:

  10. Those are so cute Gail! They are gonna look so cute on any table you choose. Thanks so much for joining us at the DI & DI Link Party, it's great to see ya!

  11. Hi! How did you make the bases flat so the vases would stand up? I love these vases.

  12. Hi! How did you make the bases flat so the vases would stand up? I love these vases.

  13. you are doing a great job indeed! And I am a big fan of purple! love them all...thanks for sharing it with #OMHGWW as well and cheers from NYC

  14. Love the vases, just a thought why not cover with sand or a Moroccan shade of paint then the creases and lumps would add texture. They might have a purple one!! Also love the starfish and bleached pine cones. Thanks for all your diy.

  15. Oh my! This is NO kinda fail! These are sooo pretty! Thank you!

  16. So pretty, must give it a try. You are so talented , thanks for sharing this nice idea.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...