Give a dinner set an uplift with napkin decoupage

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Napkins can be used to embellish a dinner set without anyone knowing that the beauty comes from paper. It is not dishwasher safe and will come off after a couple of washes or soaking.

Recycled items

  • Paper napkins (serviettes) with pictures

  • Plain dinner set

Also needed

  • Water-based sealant (PVA glue, Modge Podge or napkin sealant)

  • A small pair of sharp scissors or a craft knife

  • Cutting mat

  • Paintbrushes or sponge brushes

  • Damp sponge (optional)

  • Food varnish


  1. Make sure that the surface of the dinner set is clean, smooth and dry.

  2. Remove the napkin layers from each other until you have one thin layer left.

  3. Cut around the edge of the image on the napkin with scissors. For intricate patterns, you may prefer to use a craft knife and cutting mat.

  4. Decide how you want to arrange the images on the dinner set. Pictures can be in any design and can overlap each other.

  5. When you are satisfied with your layout, paint some sealant on the reverse side of your picture. Place it in position, press down gently and rub over it with your fingers (be careful, as the napkin can tear easily) to smooth away any air bubbles and excess sealant. Repeat this process with each image.

  6. Allow the pictures to dry overnight.

  7. The beauty of napkin decoupage is that if you do not like your design or layout, you can always re-do it before applying the final layer of varnish. To do this, just soak off the water-based sealant and image by submerging the object in water. Make sure the object’s surface is properly dry before you start again.

  8. When you are satisfied with your object, apply the final layer of food varnish over the whole plate. This serves to protect your decorative work from heat and water damage.

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