I Decorated a Tote Bag with a Decoupage Using Dollar Stores!!

You can make original items to decoupage with your favorite illustrations.

You just need to stick the illustration on the paper with the special decoupage liquid (Coating agent such as an adhesive), so it is popular as you can enjoy it like a craft work.

But you wonder what kind of paper is good and whether it is safe to get wet even though it is paper. Here’s how to decouple your bag, how to do it, and some of the tricks you’ll notice and make it easy to fail.

What is decoupage?

Decoupage is a technique in which an illustration drawn on a thin paper is cut out and attached to an item with a special decoupage liquid.

In French, decoupage means “crop”. However, there is a theory that Italian furniture makers started the process of coating the top with varnish.

At present, the special liquid sold for decoupage has the role of adhesive and coloring, and when it dries, it becomes water resistant, so you can enjoy decoupage for everyday items. As for the paper used, thin paper such as paper napkin or decoupage paper is less likely to fail.

What can you decorate with decoupage?

You can attach decoupage to pottery, metal, plastic, wood or rubber if it is made of materials other than silicon. Especially, decoupage of soap is popular as a gift.

Reference: http://michikusaartlab.com/
Reference: Decoupage School Pathway

If you decorate white sneakers, they will be the only original shoes in the world. In addition, many people enjoy decoupaging transparent covers, photo frames and candles on their smartphones. This is my first decoupage, so I tried decoupaging with dollar store’s decoupage goods to a dollar store’s canvas tote.

I Tried Decoupaging to a Tote Bag

Preparation for Decoupage

There are 6 items you might want to prepare.

1. Decoupage Paper

I bought decoupage paper at a dollar store for this. You can also use paper napkins or thin cloth.

2. A Tote Bag

I bought a canvas tote bag at a dollar store.

3. Decoupage Liquid for Fabric

I will decoupage it to my bag, so I bought decoupage liquid for fabric from a dollar store. There is also one that can be used for all material other than fabric.

4. Special Liquid Top Coat for Decoupage

Decoupage finishing agent that protects the surface and makes it shiny.

5. A Flat Paint Brush

Use the decoupage liquid to spread on your bag or paper. I bought it at a dollar store.

6. Scissors

Cut out the paper used for decoupage.

2.Decide the Pattern to Decoupage

The decoupage paper I bought at a dollar store contains 5 sheets of 50 cm x 50 cm [20 x 20 inches] paper. I decided to use the flower pattern at the bottom from these.

3. Cut the Pattern

I cut flower patterns of my favorite color from paper one by one. Cut around the flower so that the white part is reduced as much as possible.

4. Layout: Think about How to Place Them

I think about the layout by putting the flower illustration temporarily on the bag. This time, I laid it out so that the flowers are blooming toward the lower right edge.

5. Prepare the Decoupage Liquid for Fabric

To make it easier to apply, put the decoupage liquid in a bottle and apply it. You can cut the bottom of a paper cup or plastic bottle instead of a bottle.

Smooth liquid which is easy to apply with a flat brush.

6. Apply the Decoupage Liquid to the Tote Bag

Take a temporary flower pattern and apply decoupage liquid around the bottom.

7. Spread the Decoupage Liquid and Place the Illustration on Top.

Put the illustration on top of the fabric decoupage liquid. I didn’t apply the liquid on the bag to the shape of the flower, so I put a decoupage liquid between the cloth and the illustration to prevent it from peeling off. Apply the cloth decoupage solution on top of the illustration.

I thought, “It might be better to apply decoupage liquid on the back of the illustration.” so I put it on the back of the illustration without putting any liquid on the bag. Then…

When I applied the liquid from the top with a brush, it got ripped (crying), and it didn’t stick to the bag and floated immediately. After all, it seems to be a good idea to put liquid first on the fabric and apply the liquid on the paper over. Apply other illustrations in order and wait for the illustrations to dry.

8. Finish with the Top Coat Decoupage Liquid

When the decoupage liquid for cloth products applied to the illustration dries, apply the top coat.

This top coat decoupage liquid is a thicker liquid than decoupage liquid for cloth products. I will apply it on the illustration.

It’s a fairly white liquid, and I’m worried if it will become transparent. But I painted all the floral patterns. After that, let it dry naturally, apply the top coat for decoupage once more, and let it dry naturally, and it’s done.

9. Finally, Completed!! but…

The decoupage liquid is dry and clear, but there is a lot of air in the illustration and the white part around the flower illustration is clearly visible.

After that, when I tried to check if it came off, I turned over the illustration and it came off easily. Maybe the decoupage liquid on the tote bag was not enough.

Advantages and Disadvantages of decorating a tote bag by yourself

All you have to do is to cut the illustration and paste it with the decoupage liquid so it’s easy to make, but I needed some tips on how to apply it. First, I felt that I should apply the special liquid on the bag.

It might have been a good idea to mark around the flower pattern with a pen that disappears as time goes by. Next, I found out later that it is hard to wrinkle if you press it lightly with a wet tissue on top of the illustration and mix the liquid and the illustration.


You Can Use Your Favorite Illustrations

I am glad that I can decorate my favorite illustrations with decorating liquid.

Can be Placed Anywhere in the Bag

You can decorate anywhere you like by pasting illustrations on the whole or partially.

You Can Decorate it With Your Favorite Bag

Since decoupage can be made with almost all materials except silicon, you can enjoy decorating your favorite bag. You can also decorate the dirty part of your bag to hide the spot.


It is Difficult to Prevent Wrinkles

It is difficult to apply the liquid and it often gets wrinkled.

It is Hard to Cut and Paste Illustrations

When you want to stick a lot of small patterns, it’s hard to cut and paste.

Become Glossy

The special decoupage liquid can protect the illustration by applying several layers, but it is easy to make the illustration shiny, so it can be finished as “It feels shiny.”.

Do You Want to Make an Original Bag More Easily?

“I want to make an original bag with my favorite illustration, but I don’t want to make a mistake!” “I’m worried that it might come off if I wash it after washing.” You might want to ask professionals to make it for you.

Some professionally made items are processed after inkjet printing. So even if you wash it in the washing machine, the color doesn’t fade easily. Of course, it won’t come off, so you don’t have to worry.

This time, I was able to easily design the flower design that looks like it was made with decoupage!