DIY Decoupage And Crackle Using Elmer's Glue

3 Materials
8 Hours
A lot of people find it hard and expensive to crackle, but with this technique, you'll never use crackling medium again. Pair it with a pretty design from a napkin and you'll have a work of art. All you'll need is a napkin, some Elmer's glue, a paint brush, fan or hair dryer, and some acrylic paints. This is an old technique they use to do on wood and I decided to try it on my bottle to see if it would work, and it did!

This is the video for this DIY, it is also a step by step. You can watch or keep scrolling down, as i have also written it out for you step by step. Either way, let's get started! :)
Make sure to have a clean and dry bottle with all the labels removed. I like to soak mine in hot water and dish soap until the labels detach.
Give the whole bottle a coat of matte white acrylic paint. Use a pouncer brush to apply the paint. Apply it in a dabbing motion that way you don't get streaks. Let that dry. You can put it in front of a fan or use a dryer, in the cool setting, to dry it quicker.

Making sure the bottle is completely dry, give it a coat of brown acrylic paint. I used the color Chocolate Bar from Plaid Apple Barrel. Do it the same way you did with the white. Using a pouncer brush and in a dabbing motion. Set that aside to dry.

While the paint dries, you can cut all your desired designs of the paper napkin out. Use little scissors for small details. I used a paper napkin with roses and cut all the roses out.

Wetting your fingertips to make it easier... separate the plies of napkin until you only have the printed part left. Pinch the napkin between your fingertips until you see a spot that separates. Lift and peel. My napkin had two plies. Do this to every single piece you cut out.
Grab the bottle, make sure it is completely dry, and your Elmer's glue. Brush a layer of glue over a section of the bottle. You want to do sections at a time so that the glue doesn't dry. It needs to stay wet in order for it to work. As the picture shows, I had one section done and dried and I was now starting the next one.
As soon as you've placed the Elmer's glue, grab a fresh, clean dry brush and add the acrylic paint over it lightly. DO NOT keep working the paint over the glue. You want to lay it on and keep going. I used the color Parchment from Plaid Apple Barrel.
Once you've applied the paint over the glue, set it in front of a fan or use a hair dryer, on cool, and you'll start to see it crack. Let it fully dry and then start another section until the entire bottle is covered and dried.
Add all the roses randomly around the bottle by placing Mod Podge on the spot you wish to place the rose, place the rose and using a crumpled up piece of plastic wrap, LIGHTLY smooth out the wrinkles.
Apply one last coat of Mod Podge to seal the rose. Let that dry and continue to do this until you've placed all of the remaining roses. Making sure to use a fresh piece of plastic wrap every time you smooth out a rose. You don't want to rip the next rose because there was glue from the last one on the plastic wrap.
Using a thin brush and acrylic paints, in the colors, Flag Red & Harvest Orange, Paint random spots. Smudge with your finger as you go. You want to give it an aged look. Don't over paint and remember, this is optional. You could skip this step.
Lastly, seal the whole bottle with Mod Podge Gloss, let that dry and you could spray it with any clear sealer you'd like... or leave it like that. Let that dry and you're done!
Thanks so much for reading/watching. Did you like this DIY? If you did, stop by my YouTube channel check out some of my other bottles/DIYs and say hi! Hope to see you there. :)

Suggested materials:
  • Paper Napkin   (
  • Elmer's Glue   (Walmart)
  • Acrylic Paint (Matte White, Chocolate Bar, Flag Red, Orange Harvest)   (Walmart)
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 5 questions
  • Rambie Rambie on Jun 26, 2017

    Very pretty! You did a great job of explaining things but I must have missed something after applying the brown paint? No worries I will figure it out :)

  • Michelle Lang Michelle Lang on Jul 23, 2018

    Do you need to use a matte finish

  • Cynthia Cynthia on Apr 25, 2022

    How do you think you “messed up”! They look awesome and you gave wonderful explicit instructions! If you used a wrong brush you didn’t want to use, might I suggest putting a code of some sort on the bottom or top of the handle to say what its use is for. But, I think you ought to stick to what and how you do things right now!!! You have quite a knack for making these gorgeous bottles - I wouldn’t change a think. Smile girl, you rock at what you do and inspire me to just “DO IT”! Thank you for this explicit tutorial!!!! Not read one quite so comprehensive and clear as this one above and the end result was just beautiful!!!

Join the conversation
2 of 70 comments