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Decoupage Chest and Magazine File

Mask run-of-the-mill storage with a little trompe l'oeil magic. We transformed a boxy, unfinished dresser into a dressier rococo masterpiece by painting it and decoupaging the front with blown-up clip art.




Any image will do, but we loved the cheeky surrealism that comes from superimposing a picture of a bureau onto the real thing. "This piece could go anywhere -- in the living room, filled with silverware and linens, or in the hall to store hats and scarves," says deputy style and home editor Shane Powers. Apply the same concept to magazine files and boxes, and stately urns and first-edition books can line your shelves for less than the price of the glossies concealed within.


  • Image
  • Utility knife
  • Spray mount adhesive, such as 3M Spray Mount Artist's Adhesive, (optional)
  • Martha Stewart Crafts decoupage glue, at Michaels Stores 


  1. Step 1

    Choose an image that suits your style. Ours is from Antique Furniture and Decorative Accessories, by Thomas Arthur Strange ( Note: There are many themed clip-art books available, some of which include a CD of images in JPEG format.

  2. Step 2

    Take your image to a shop like FedEx, Kinkos, Office Max, or upload it to an online service, such as Print Center ( for locations). If your image is not already in PDF format, they will convert it for a small fee. Ask them to enlarge the image so it's smaller than the dimensions of the surface you're decoupaging. They'll show you a proof in 24 hours. Blow up the image in color on heavy-weight coated bond paper; it can be a maximum of 60 inches wide and any height. Images in black and white usually come only on 20-pound paper. Warning: It can tear more easily. The print will be ready in another 24 hours.

  3. Step 3

    Use a utility knife to carefully cut out the image. Place image on top of the chest and mark the tops and bottoms of any drawers. Where marked, cut straight across with a utility knife.

  4. Step 4

    Affix each piece of the image to drawer fronts (and the recessed surfaces in between) using spray mount or decoupage glue.

  5. Step 5

    To keep the image looking clean and protect it from tearing after mounting, apply a top coat of decoupage glue.

Blueprint, January/February 2008



Reviews (5)

  • Christineatdecoratedlife 28 May, 2012

    I love this piece - great decorative painting finish - makes this ordinary piece really stand out!

  • Mazaya 23 Feb, 2012

    How to you get the cream color? I'm assuming the bond paper used is white but it looks cream like the rest of the dresser.

  • lepinkowl 22 Sep, 2008

    I have decoupaged everything from fabric to yarn to paper. I'm fairly certain it will stick. You can always run a smooth sand paper to scrape off the gloss. As for the spray, I'm not a fan -I usually paint the 'podge' on the paper or fabric before placing it on the object then painting the podge again over the paper that is now on the object. rkaufman13, your boyfriend should know that crafts are always about trying and testing. Try it out, see what happens

  • carylanne 27 Jul, 2008

    I was wondering that as well?

  • rkaufman13 10 Jan, 2008

    Hi! I really want to try this project, but my artist boyfriend swears that the combo of coated bond paper and adhesive spray mount won't stick. How is your project holding up after a couple of months?