How to Decoupage Laminate Furniture With Brown Paper Bags

2 Materials
2 Days

Do you have one of those those inexpensive laminate storage cube organizers? While they're incredibly useful, they aren’t really built to last. And the finishing is usually pretty cheap looking.In this post, I’m going to teach you how to revamp a laminate cube shelf, basically for free, simply by using some glue, water, and leftover grocery bags.

Grab a whole lot of brown paper grocery bags

You’ll need quite a few so don't skimp! If you have bags without printing on them, that's ideal. If you plan to paint over the decoupage at the end, then printed is fine. Otherwise, only use the parts of the bag without print.Kraft paper can also be used if you don't have enough bags. I detail the pros and cons of bags vs. kraft paper on my blog if you need help deciding which to go with.

Tear and crumple up the bags

Tear all your bags into irregular pieces. The more variety the better!Then, crumple the pieces up to create a rougher texture. This will soften the paper and allow it to absorb more of the glue.Doing all the tearing and crumpling up front is tedious but will speed up the actual decoupage process. Tearing up paper with glue all over your hands is very sticky

Make your decoupage medium

Mix one part school glue to one part water. I like to mix it up directly in the glue jug if there's room, then pour some out into a lined paint pail as I need it. You can also mix it directly in the container of your choice.

Start decoupaging!

Dip each piece of paper into the glue mixture and coat well. Place each piece onto the your furniture and smooth with your fingers until there are no air bubbles.Be sure to overlap your pieces to create a more natural texture, and also to enhance durability. If you'd like a bit more detail and some helpful tips for this step, check out the full post (link below).Allow the decoupaged paper bags to dry thoroughly (at least 24 hours) before moving on to the next step.

Add a couple coats of varnish

Adding a coat of varnish will protect the finish. I used a spray varnish for the sake of speed, but if you want a more durable finish, do a traditional brush application.

So what do you think? Would you give this project a try? If you love DIY and are looking to decorate your home on a budget, this is a truly chic look for literally almost free.

Excuse me while I go style those shelves

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


Have a question about this project?

3 of 6 questions
  • Bry
    on Jul 6, 2020

    I love this look! Right now I'm renovating my kitchen and looking for ideas for my countertops. Do you think this would hold up around a sink? I would give it a number of coats of varnish, spar or other oil-based finish.

  • Caroline Bick
    Caroline Bick
    on Aug 21, 2020

    Hi it’s lovely, would it work on kitchen worktops as well please? Thank you for showing what you have achieved

    • Thanks Caroline! If you used this method then no. You'd need a heavy sealer. It's definitely been done through other methods though! I believe most use a resin but you'd have to do some research.

  • Caroline Bick
    Caroline Bick
    on Aug 21, 2020

    Hi sorry I also meant to ask how many layers of paper would be best please? Thank you

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