Napkin Decoupage Vases, Blue and White Chinoiserie Vase DIY Craft Idea

5 Materials
2 Hours

I love blue and white chinoiserie vases and jars. I think they look beautiful on the mantle, but seeing as they are around $100 each, I just couldn’t justify the splurge!

It had me wondering if there was an affordable way to have those blue and white vases, other than getting incredibly lucky at a thrift store someday.

My crazy solution was to try to decoupage vases with a pretty paper to create a similar look.

Pinterest showed me that napkins are frequently used to decoupage, and that’s when I found a beautiful napkin design on Amazon. My first experiment was making these tile coasters. When that went well, it gave me the confidence to move on to the vases! 🙂

The first step was to clean them and let them dry.

Next, I spray painted them white with a basic spray paint and primer. There is no need to be perfect, as the paint is simply a base to decoupage over. I already had Rustoleum paint and primer on hand from another craft. The vases took a several rounds of painting, as I had to turn them a few different angles to get the entire vase coated.

Then, I just went crazy decoupaging!

Separate the ply of the napkins you want to decoupage with down to one ply. My napkins had three layers, so I had to peel off the bottom two.

Then, I cut the napkin to the size I wanted to work with. I cut it in half to put the pattern around the center of the vase without having to contend with as many curves. To start, I painted the mod podge directly on the vase, and used plastic wrap to smooth the napkin onto where I wanted it.

The plastic wrap would have been a good idea to use the whole time, because the napkin will tear pretty easily if you brush too much over one spot. I just cut tiny pieces to fill in over any parts I accidentally brushed off.

Once I got going, I just stuck the  napkin onto the vase and painted the modpodge over the top with the brush. I did all but the bottom section of both vases first and let it dry.

Then, I flipped them over and finished the bottom.

I’m going to let my mod podge vases cure a few weeks, then seal with mod podge acrylic spray sealer. I plan on using them for both fresh and faux flowers, so I want the outer decoupage to be able to handle getting wet now and then!

As I was applying the napkin, I realized that anywhere the napkin layer majorly overlaps, you can tell the section is darker. I think a more skilled “decoupager” (that really ought to be be a real word!) than I could make these so flawlessly you wouldn’t guess they weren’t ceramic even up close. However, mine look the most convincing from a small distance.

That said, I am thrilled with my new blue and white decoupage vases! They are large enough to fill the empty void on the mantle, and for just a few dollars! I thought they were surprisingly easy to make too.

Decoupage is such a fun medium with so many possibilities! Do you have any fun decoupage adventures to share?

If you enjoyed this project, you might enjoy this tutorial on making tile coaster s using the same napkins!

Suggested materials:

  • Large vases  (Thrift store)
  • Spray paint  (Lowes)
  • Decorative disposable napkins  (Amazon)
See all materials

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Joy Elizabeth

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Elise
    on Jun 4, 2019

    I wonder how this would work with cheap scarves instead of paper napkins?

    • Rose M.
      on Mar 23, 2020

      By "cheap" do you mean "thin"? That would work best and I would try to tear the edges rather than cut them straight. Don't use the hem.

  • Julie A
    on Mar 29, 2020

    This is brilliant. Love the finished product and it now has me thinking of doing the same to a lovely old metal water can I have. Would look great with a plant on my front door step

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