Collage paper napkins onto canvas with decoupage medium.

How to Decoupage Napkin Art Onto a Canvas

by S.R. Becker

Create custom art for your whole house with pre-stretched canvas and the designs printed on paper napkins. If you can make a collage, you can create your own artwork. Pre-stretched canvases with wooden frames, available in art supply and craft stores, save you the work of stretching and stapling your own. Decoupage medium, a form of white glue that dries clear, allows you to attach the napkin art to the canvas. Cover large canvases with many napkins or small canvases with a single square.

Cover your work surface with newspaper to protect it from drips. Lay the canvas face-up on the newspaper.

Paint the canvas with a small paint roller or large sponge brush. Use acrylic paint in white or a light color that coordinates with the napkins.

Separate the napkins into single layers and carefully cut around your chosen design with decoupage scissors. Lay out the design on a piece of white paper the same size as the canvas to organize the layers before gluing them down.

Coat the canvas with decoupage medium after the paint is completely dry. Use a sponge brush or paint roller to apply the initial layer.

Transfer the napkin design to the canvas, laying the pieces down carefully. Allow the first layer of decoupage medium to dry completely.

Apply another layer of decoupage medium over the napkin art. The napkins are fragile, so use a sponge brush and short strokes. Work outward from the center of the canvas.

Allow the decoupage medium to dry and apply two more layers, allowing each to dry in between, to seal the canvas.

Items you will need

  • Newspaper
  • Acrylic paint
  • Pre-stretched canvas
  • Small paint roller
  • Sponge brush
  • Decoupage medium
  • Decoupage scissors

About the Author

S.R. Becker is a certified yoga teacher based in Queens, N.Y. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has worked as a writer and editor for more than 15 years. Becker often writes for "Yoga in Astoria," a newsletter about studios throughout New York City.

Photo Credits

  • Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images