Terry V.
by Terry V.
4 Materials
1 Hour

Any intricately cut craft blank may be difficult to decoupage. One way I know is to sand off the edges, but how do we get into the itty-bitty holes in between. Perhaps a nail file can help but it could end up tedious.

Let me share with you a better, easier and much faster technique I learned in decoupaging detailed wooden cut words.

The four main materials we need are: wooden cutout, gift wrap tissue or 1-ply napkin, mod podge, and a lighter. 

Yes, a lighter…the most important tool for this project.

A foam brush and scissors will also be used. 

You can choose to paint the cutout first, but I left it in its raw material.

One section at a time, mod podge your gift tissue to your cutout. Work slowly on smoothing out the tissue with your fingers to avoid any bubble or tearing…a piece of cling wrap over the glued tissue area can help with this.

Trim off the excess tissue paper.

Cut slits in between letters and poke holes through the bowls of the letters.

The next step has to be done while the mod podge is still wet.

But, for safety measures, have a wet towel, baby wipes and/or a water spray bottle handy. 

Now, let’s pull out our lighter and start burning the excess paper. 

It’s fun to watch the flame continually crawl all around the edges.  

Light it up again if it stops and then do over through the poked holes.

When the burning is complete, clean out the burnt edges with baby wipes and our project is complete, ready to display.

If you would like to watch the crawling flame, please visit the link. I hope you'll enjoy it.

Resources for this project:
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Frequently asked questions
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  2 questions
  • 516maria 516maria on Jul 04, 2022

    how would I prepare this for decoupage? Would I have to paint this a lighter color first?

  • Teresa Ann Ford Teresa Ann Ford on Feb 04, 2023

    what do you do to control the burning? I didn't watch the link. You must be a fire sign. Just kidding.

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3 of 42 comments
  • Bur80159668 Bur80159668 on Mar 29, 2023

    Does this only work for tissue paper? Does it work with regular paper? Very great technique!

    • Terry V. Terry V. on Mar 30, 2023

      I’ve tried it with gift wrapping paper, tracing paper and Japanese paper - all thin paper- but the ‘crawling flames’ worked best with the gift wrap tissue and 1-ply napkins.

  • Gig69451122 Gig69451122 on Apr 25, 2023

    Risky try but well worth it! Good for you 👍