Decoupage Under Glass: Holiday Ideas

Decoupage Under Glass Using Holiday Theme Paper Napkins

Christmas Napkin Decoupage Under Glass Plate

Valerie inspired me to make a couple of decoupage under glass plates using holiday themed paper napkins when she asked How to Finish the Underside of Decoupage Under Glass.

The short answer is that it depends on the look you want. For my holly plate, I used no backing because the translucent finish helps the multi-lingual holiday wishes stand out. The snowman plate really needed finishing touches on the back.

Christmas Napkin Decoupage Under Glass Plate

Supplies for Holly and Snowman Decoupage Under Glass Plates

  • Clear glass plate
  • Christmas theme napkins – the snowman plate was done with just one dinner size napkin; the holly plate required three
  • Glass cleaning spray and lint-free cloth
  • Clear acrylic or artist fixative spray
  • Scissors – both large and small (a pointed tip manicure scissors with curved blades is perfect for getting into tiny curved areas)
  • PVA decoupage medium (e.g. Mod Podge, Liquitex, Golden)
  • Disposable foam brush
  • Wax paper

Decoupage Under Glass Preparation & Tips

1. Test for ink bleed. On a small area of napkin where colors meet, dab some decoupage medium and spread from one color to the other. If the ink smears, you need to pre-seal the image. Spray with a light coat of clear acrylic or artist fixative before decoupaging.

2. Paper napkins have two or three plies. The layer with image on it is usually thinner, softer and more delicate. Leave plies together as long as you can. You’ll see with the snowman plate, that I applied the entire image before removing the backing layers. Since the holly design required piecing to create a decoupage under glass design, I had to remove backing layers from the pieced sections before adding them to the design.

3. Carefully clean both sides of the plates with glass cleaner. Removing oils and dirt from the underside is essential for decoupage under glass. Cleaning the top side as well helps inspect for smudges.

4. Laying the plate upside down on wax paper assures that decoupage medium will not glue the plate to your work surface.

5. Check decoupage under glass for bubbles and wrinkles frequently while the decoupage medium is drying. Smoothing bubbles out of napkin paper is delicate work. Work very slowly. If you should tear the image a bit, it can be fixed. If you can get the torn piece flattened down, the tear will not show in the final decoupage under glass design.

Directions for Decoupage Under Glass Holly Plate

Preparing Napkin for Decoupage Under Glass

In order to use the lovely holly border, I needed three napkins for piecing the corners in order to achieve a seamless look on this decoupage under glass plate.

This corner of the decoupage under glass plate required three layers of piecing. The uppermost piece is a new holly leaf with berries so I could cut away elements which would have bumped into each other at awkward (obviously wrong) angles.

Decoupage Under Glass: Cut Out Holly

The larger bottom layer of the image keeps its extra layers until the assembled collage is glued onto the decoupage under glass plate.

The smaller pieces must be peeled off of their backing plies before adding them. CAUTION: the single ply moistened with medium is so delicate it might tear if you breathe on it. I may be exaggerating a bit – but not much!

When the collage is complete, apply decoupage medium to the underside of the plate. Position and smooth the image in place.

Decoupage Under Glass: Trim

Apply medium over the image and slightly beyond the edges of the plate. When dry, trim away excess paper from the decoupage under glass plate. Lay the plate upside down on the wax paper again and apply a second coat of medium to the back.

Additional Supplies for Decoupage Under Glass Snowman Plate

  • Black Pitt (or other non-solvent ink black pen – Sharpie pens have solvent-based ink and can bleed under decoupage medium)
  • White acrylic paint
  • Gesso
  • Green tissue paper

Directions for Decoupage Under Glass Snowman Plate

Decoupage Under Glass: Centering Snowman Image

The napkin design is not large enough to cover the entire round plate for a decoupage under glass plate design.

Decoupage Under Glass: Cut Out Snowman Picture

Cut the largest possible circle of image from the napkin.

Decoupage Under Glass: Draw Border Around Image

Use Black Pitt pen to draw a freehand black border around the perimeter.

Decoupage Under Glass: Cover Plate With Decoupage Medium

Apply decoupage medium to underside of clean plate.

Decoupage Under Glass: Peel Away Extra Plies

Position image, smooth into place and immediately peel away extra plies.

Decoupage Under Glass: Coat Entire Image with Decoupage Medium

Apply a coat of medium over the entire image and plate. Let decoupage under glass plate dry.

Decoupage Under Glass: Paint with White Acrylic

Two coats of white acrylic left a rough messy looking underside.

Decoupage Under Glass: Add Heavy Coat of Gesso

A heavy coat of gesso did a good job of smoothing the surface of the decoupage under glass plate. Let dry.

Decoupage Under Glass: Apply Green Tissue Paper to Back

Coat gesso layer with decoupage medium. Lay green tissue paper on top and smooth into place. Add a coat of medium extending a bit past the perimeter. When this coat dries, it is easy to perfectly trim away the excess stiffened green paper from the decoupage under glass plate.

Here are more Decoupage Articles.

The Artful Crafter - Helping Crafters to Be

About Eileen Bergen


  1. What a great tutorial, Eileen. I love decoupage so I’m bookmarking this 🙂

  2. cyndilavin says:

    Those look fantastic! I really love the translucent one with all the words 🙂

Thank you for your visit and your lovely comments. Moderation is enabled, so your comment will take a little time to appear.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.