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DIY decoupaged containers

DIY Tutorial: Darkly Découpaged Containers

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When every corner store has an overstock of “Live, Laugh, Love” signs (eww!), and Halloween housewares only come around once a year (booooo!), sometimes it can be a little bit tricky to make one’s home just the right amount of spooky. One of the most satisfying ways to liven (or darken) up our abodes is to add a personalized touch. Ordinary things can become extraordinary, and ho-hum generic stuff becomes “where on EARTH did you GET that?!”.
This tutorial is going to show you how to do just that, with some simple, everyday items, and just a few easy-to-find DIY crafting staples.

Step 1:

Gather your tools. You’ll need:

  • clean, dry containers/bottles/jars
  • craft glue/sealant, such as Mod Podge
  • brushes
  • image(s) to découpage your container (print-outs, tissue paper, fancy paper, stickers, artwork, whatever strikes your fancy)
  • glitter glue, tissue paper or other accoutrements (totally optional)

Either buy some blank containers (the tea tins shown are available here) OR if you have some empty bottles, tins, jars, etc. around your house, use those! Upcycling is cooooool. Gather your materials so that everything is close at hand for when you need it.

As for the images, if you printed yours out via your computer, please note that images printed via a laser printer will not smudge, whereas inkjet printouts CAN smear, depending on the ink and print quality.
Either way, thin coats of Mod Podge are always better than heavy, gloppy coats.

gather tools and supplies together

Step 2:

Cut your image out, and make sure it’s going to fit well on the container you’re going to use.

ensure image fits container

Step 3:

Prep your container (optional).
If you wish to, you can cover the container prior to adding the desired image. Tissue paper works really well, especially if you’re recycling a container that has existing imagery on it that you wish to cover completely. This method works best when cut into long, thin strips, and is Mod Podge’d on, mummy-style:

apply layers of tissue paper

For best results, let Mod Podge dry between each layer (15 minutes should be sufficient).

seal tissue paper with Mod Podge

Step 4:

Apply your image. For best results, apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the back of the image, and quickly apply your image to the container. Do your best to avoid getting air bubbles trapped under it.

apply Mod Podge to back of image


apply image to container

Step 5:

If you find you’ve gotten an air bubble and it’s really bugging you, you can pop it with a pin and work the air out. Chances are, though, that nobody but you will ever notice it’s there, so don’t worry too much. Go ahead and seal your image with another thin coat of Mod Podge, and let dry.

sealed tin

And you’re done!
If you like, add some flair to the lid, add glitter glue, or leave it as-is. Soon you’ll be decorating all of your containers.

completed tins, decorated lid

Additionally, this is the same tutorial you would use if you wanted to make your very own DIY devotional candles, or poison-labeled jars and bottles:

DIY poison bottles, devotional candles, decorated jars

Now that your crafting muscles are flexed, want more Dear Darkling DIY articles? Check some of them out here, here, here, and here.
If you try it out, please tag us on Instagram (@dear.darkling), and share with us what you made!

All images via Caroline Blicq

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About The Author

Constant Reader. Horror fan. Podcast enthusiast. DIY everything. Canadian transplant. Kitchenwitch, wortcunner, and perfumer with an insatiable fascination with the paranormal. Seattle, WA

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