Simple Decoupage Designs for Wooden Signs

From decorative postcards to modest rectangles or large collage posters, making a wooden sign to display as wall art is an easy, creative choice for almost any style of home decor. The technique is simple when crafting a quick and attractive design for a room.

The project is best for small items, but medium-sized poster designs are also possible for artists with patience and a preference for collage work. Small and large items can be prepped for wall hanging using basic picture hanging kits and small screws to secure them to the back of the corkboard or wood paneling.

For magazine or newspaper clip art, paint the back with a coat of black paint to prevent articles or newsprint from the other side from bleeding through when the item is decoupage.


Materials Needed:

  • wood surface (for decoupage) OR
  • corkboard
  • craft glue (dries clear)
  • printed images
  • scissors
  • paintbrush
  • craft paints

Decoupaging the Surface

The Steps:

  1. Size the wood or corkboard according to the image or images desired for decoupage.
  2. Lightly sand or clean the front of the paneling or corkboard to remove any debris.
  3. Cut the images to size using scissors.
  4. Brush the surface lightly with an even layer of glue, then press the image into place. Smooth to remove any air bubbles, making sure that drops of glue do not splash on the image and leave water stains.
  5. Working quickly to prevent water stains from the craft glue, cover the image with a generous layer of glue. Work in large patches and daub to spread into outlying areas instead of using brushstrokes.
  6. Allow the image to dry before displaying. Display using a picture hanging kit, sticky tack, or another appropriate adhesive.

Easy Postcard Designs

Create a basic postcard-sized design for permanent display using this technique; substitute thin wood paneling or veneer for a lightweight backing designed for banners or holiday ornaments. Heavier plywood choices (including quarter-inch selection) make good choices for creating large postcard tiles for securing to walls or using as wall border or trim.

For a quick design for holiday ornaments or garlands, substitute cardboard for the wood or cork backing. The same technique secures the paper image to the cardboard surface. For best results, paint the cardboard's sides and edges with a corresponding color before decoupaging the image in place.

Decoupage Poster Concepts

Decorating larger surfaces with simple decoupage techniques is more challenging than creating small, ornamental items. A large corkboard or message board makes an easy surface for decoration (especially if painted with a base color prior to the decoupage experience).

Securing large images in place is also difficult, since the decoupage glue often leaves water lines on the image or causes color ink to run from printed images. Use the technique to create decoupage posters of several smaller images, such as reproduction vintage postcards printed online or holiday images. Decorate one at a time with even layers of glue poured thickly over the image and swiftly daubed across the surface.

Some images may still experience runny ink or waterstains; but manufactured or mass-produced images should be from these hazards. The finished design, regardless of perfection, is a charming and decorative way to display plain paper images as wall art or ornaments.

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