Decoupage sheets are papers or printable sheets that have images suitable for decorating surfaces using decoupage techniques. Decoupage sheets are most often used by paper artists and decorative painters, but crafters of all types can find uses for these colorful paper cutouts. Most decoupage sheets have a single theme or style and offer images of varying sizes so that the right piece can be chosen for any surface. Common themes include angels, Victorian images, vintage advertising images, wildlife and holiday images.
The colorful paper images that make up decoupage sheets are meant to be cut out and applied to another surface. Crafters use small, sharp scissors to cut carefully around the image, preserving any small details. The image is then glued onto another item to accent and decorate it. Depending on the type of adhesive used, paper cutouts can be used to add a decorative element to paper, wood, plastic, metal or glass. After the paper cutout is adhered and dry, a final coat of sealer will be applied to preserve and protect the image.
There are several styles of decoupage sheets. The most common form features colorful images arranged on a plain white background, with room to cut around each image. Other decoupage sheets are die-cut and are held to the base paper only by a few easily snipped tabs. Some images can be purchased on compact disc (CD) or in digital form, so they can be altered before use. Colored paper cutouts or die-cuts can be used for decoupage as well, though they do not come in full-sheet sizes.
Scrapbook boutiques, paper crafting stores and general art supply stores all stock a variety of decoupage sheets from which crafters can choose. Books about decoupage are generally accompanied by a printed sheet of designs or CD with images to complete the projects detailed inside. Decoupage sheets can be found online as well, either from individual artists or from online paper craft supply stores.
Decoupage kits are ideal for beginners because they usually come with everything needed to get started with the craft. Kits usually include a decoupage sheet or two, adhesive, sealer and a foam brush for the crafter to use to apply the image. Some kits come with scissors, but manicure or needlework scissors can be used as well. Most kits do not include a design surface to work on, but a simple wood box or tile makes a great first decoupage project for beginners.