Decoupage Days


My first decoupage project – a bird box

I have just completed a four week class in the art of decoupage with the very talented teacher – Martina Montgomery Folan.

We transformed plain bird nesting boxes in week one, with a striking bird pattern.

To create a similar project, you will need:

A bird box, chalk paint, a brush for application, a paper napkin, decoupage glue, a small flat brush, clear matt varnish.

The technique is simple:

  • Paint your background in a similar colour to the patterned napkin you want to add to your design.  We used chalk paint in white for this project.  The roof was already painted in a nice teal colour, which needed no further painting. Allow the paint to dry.
  • Gently separate the layers of your paper napkin.  You will only need to use the top layer.
  • Decide how you want your design to appear on the box, and tear around your chosen pattern to roughly fit one side of the bird box.
  • Apply a layer of decoupage adhesive with a small flat brush, on top of the napkin, whilst holding it over one side of the box.
  • You will have some trimming to do around each side.  Use your finger nails to gently remove any excess paper.
  • Continue this process, until all sides are covered.  Allow to dry.
  • Coat with matt varnish.

Et voila, you have a beautiful bird box that is quite unique!

Our next project was somewhat more difficult but very rewarding – furniture decoupage. I chose to transform two chairs:


One chair before treatment

In order to create a smooth surface for painting, the chairs were sanded with fine sandpaper, the dust removed, washed with sugar soap, dried, then painted with a primer, before adding two layers of white chalk paint.

Patience is key!


My two chairs ready to be decoupaged

I chose a napkin with rows of fuschia flowers for one chair, and used the same design as my bird box for the other.

The technique was the same as for the previous project.

However, once you have varnished your furniture, you can sand over the decorated parts, which makes the surface smoother and the design looks as though it was always part of the chair.  A final layer of varnish will make sure the furniture will withstand wear and tear.

My finished chairs

In the final class, we learned how to use the same technique on terracotta, plastic, glass, tin and finally (my favourite) shoes…

I had bought two pairs of flat pumps – one red and one turquoise.


I primed and painted the red pair with a cream chalk base, as my chosen napkin had a cream background.  The pattern contained daisies, poppies and butterflies.

Here are my finished shoes:

I was overcome with delight at the difference.

The second pair were transformed with more daisies, poppies and butterflies.  This pattern was full of bold pinks, and the background was white, so these shoes were primed and painted in a white base.

Finally, I added my flowers:

Both pairs were sealed with two coats of matt varnish.

What do you think of my designer shoes and furniture?

I have continued to transform bird houses, stones, coat hangers, yoghurt cartons…

These projects have given me hours of contentment and creativity, while my family and friends will hopefully enjoy some unique Easter gifts.

Brigid P. Gallagher

Memoir: “Watching the Daisies – Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow” is available from Amazon and all good online book stores.

Book Trailer:

Twitter: @watchingthedai1



Categories: Artists Dates

Tagged as: ,


  1. I have just done the Snoopy dance, well in my head anyway! Love, love, love all of these. The chairs look super, and so different from anything in the shops. But as a shoe freak, well, I am giddy…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Absolutely amazing! I thought the bird box was brilliant…. I LOVED the chairs – they don’t look like the same pieces of furniture! The Shoes totally blew me away! I never knew you could decoupage shoes. Well … no, I knew you could, but didn’t know you could wear them afterwards! AMAZING!

    What a great post! Loved every moment of it. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Squidges ~ Cobs. x

    Liked by 2 people

      • Oh how lovely! Now that’s a gift which is perfect. Handmade by a friend. Decorative AND useful all at the same time.

        I don’t think I’d use them as hangers though. They’d be too special to hang in a wardrobe where no one would see them. I’d put up a couple of hooks on the wall, or even on the outside of the doors of the wardrobe, and hang the hangers on those hooks. Just so I could look at them every day.

        Such a great idea for a gift!
        ~ Cobs. x

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jumped over from the Senior Salon
    Everything is beautiful, but the shoes are far and away my favorites. Beautiful and unique – and perfect gifts!
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

      • Oh how lovely! The only thing I ever did of this sort was a recipe box – back in my college days. I still have it, but it certainly is NOT lovely. 🙂

        I ran across a magazine article – years ago – featuring a woman who decoupaged floor cloths. I’ve been saving it, hoping someday to have time to tackle making one myself. Mine would have to be relatively simple, design-wise, but YOU could probably work wonders. I’m told that floor cloths are absolutely perfect under dining room tables where children are likely to drop crumbs, etc. – easy to clean and not likely to get much foot traffic.

        You’ll have to let us know how the shoes hold up.


  4. Everything is stunningly beautiful, sincerely! When you first showed the shoes and were talking about napkins I thought you meant the paper napkins you use to wipe your mouth or hands with and did understand at all…now I get it. The napkins have the designs on them. You have done a wonderful job with all three projects…I would be so excited if I were a bird and that’s where my food was kept…how exciting to come home to that everyday! 😉 So lovely Brigid and your family and friends will be so lucky to be the receiver of your creations. xo


  5. Love, love, love all 3 of these projects, Brigid ❤ The shoes are completely awesome. I so see you wearing them. 🙂 Hope you are enjoying them. Maybe sitting in one of your chairs, with your new and improved shoes on, watching the birds go in and out of your feeder. Blessings – really fun to read. ~Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey Brigid!! What fun projects!! And great step by step help/instructions!! I did not even know you could decoupage shoes!! and the bird house is so so sweet! Fun to see what your doing. What will be decoupage next???

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s