How to Make a Chinoiserie Style Lamp With Decoupage

4 Materials
2 Hours

I’ve gone a little decoupage crazy. My latest decoupage project is another You have to see how to make a chinoiserie style lamp with decoupage.

I’ve mentioned that I’ve become a bit addicted to decoupage. It’s such a fun and easy craft. The hardest part is choosing from tons of options and how to customize your chosen object.

I love it when I have a great project already in mind. All I needed was the right thing to work on. And then I found it. Accidentally. Out in the garage. Again.

this Idea.

So grab a glass of your favorite beverage (mine is sweet iced tea) and follow along as I share how I made this chinoiserie~style lamp with decoupage.


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I didn’t find this object at a flea market. I found it in our garage. Again.

You might remember the discarded planters that I found in the garage and revived with paint and gold leaf. Those turned out to be one of my favorite DIY projects in recent memory.

Then last week, as I was rummaging through the garage, I found this ginger jar lamp sitting on the floor. It was another one of those forgotten items that I had changed up years ago.

In this case, it started off shiny white and I painted it a matte charcoal grey. I even made a fabric~covered shade for it ~ that I didn’t find.

You can see all the scratches from being moved around. I’m surprised it didn’t break from neglect.

NOTE: I did check first to make sure that the lamp still worked! Do you remember this lamp project from our winter bedroom? Well, my $7 estate lamp bit the dust!!

The old ginger jar lamp was perfect for the project that I had in mind.

For a few weeks, I have been ordering blue napkins online in patterns I thought would be good candidates for decoupage items.

I loved these blue napkins which reminded me of a chinoiserie~style vase. I was just waiting for the right item. Now, with the discovered lamp, I had my item.

First, what is chinoiserie? I looked it up.

chinoiserie /ˌSHēnˌwäzəˈrē,ˌSHēnˈwäz(ə)rē/ ~ the imitation or evocation of Chinese motifs and techniques in Western art, furniture, and architecture, especially in the 18th century.

Notice the word “imitation”? My plan was to imitate and interpret my vision of a chinoiserie style vase as a lamp.


Besides the lamp and the napkins, I needed:

  • craft paper to cover my work surface
  • white paint to cover the lamp ~ I used Rescue Restore in Blessed from A Makers’ Studio ~ my favorite chalk paint
  • painter’s tape
  • brushes

I wrapped the painter’s tape around the top of the lamp mechanism and around the cord.

Next, using a 3~inch paintbrush, I painted the entire surface of the lamp. This took about 6 minutes. I let it dry for about 30 minutes.

Since the lamp would be covered in Mod Podge and napkins, I just gave it one coat of paint.


Now the fun really begins.


  • Mod Podge in Gloss; ultra gloss would work too
  • Mod Podge brushes; I decided to try these brushes. They definitely were better than using foam brushes.
  • Napkins of choice ~ I love these blue~flower motif napkins
  • scissors for cutting out motifs from the napkins

I estimated I would need 4 napkins. I unfolded them and removed the front layer from the back layer. You can discard the white back layer.

I wanted to have the large flower motifs on the lamp so I cut around the 4 distinct sections on each napkin.

Since my last decoupage project, I read that you should also apply Mod Podge to the paper as well as the surface that you are covering. That worked very well.

I brushed the Mod Podge in sections on the lamp, starting at the top. Applying the napkin pieces with Mod Podge worked great.

I worked my way down the lamp, slightly overlap the napkin pieces as I went.

When I had covered 90% of the lamp, I cut out small pieces of a 5th napkin to fill in the small places that were not covered.

Finally, I went over the lamp with more Mod Podge, smoothing out places that were wrinkled.


I let the lamp dry completely overnight: it was about a total of 36 hours. I wanted the lamp to have a shiny finish ~ as a real ceramic lamp would. I bought Mod Podge Ultra~Gloss Spray Sealer.

Next, I wrapped the lamp switch with plastic wrap to protect it.

As well as the cord.

Fortunately, the day was sunny, but not windy. I took the lamp outside on our driveway and placed it on a newspaper.

Then I gave it a good coverage of the Ultra Spray. This product isn’t like spray paint. It feels more like you are spritzing with water. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of that process.

I brought the lamp back in the house and let it dry overnight. It now had the shiny finish I wanted.

I loved the results. Even Sweet Shark thought the lamp was awesome. It needed one more thing ~ a lampshade. Guess what? That’s another project for another post! But here is a peek of the finished chinoiserie~style lamp with decoupage.


Pretty enough to PIN? I hope this chinoiserie~style lamp with a decoupage project inspires you to try decoupage or gives you a new idea for your decoupage projects.

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Carol Lander
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3 of 11 comments
  • Carol Lander Carol Lander on May 23, 2022

    We’ll, thank you so much, Dee. So glad you liked it. Stay turned for more.

  • Erin Erin on May 29, 2022

    I used to make gift baskets with this technique.

    • Carol Lander Carol Lander on May 30, 2022

      Erin, decoupage is such a wonderful medium to use for so many different applications. Gift baskets sound like a great idea.