$5 Thrifty French Paper Decoupage Table Makeover

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Learn how to French paper decoupage….with tissue paper! It’s simple and gives a great look!

French Paper Decoupage....with TISSUE PAPER! So delicate and pretty! artsychicksrule.com #tissuepapercrafts #tissuepaperdecoupage #decoupagedfurniture #decoupagefurniture #decoupage #decoupageideas #frenchcountry #frenchcountrystyle #paintedfurniture #furnituremakeover

Hey friends!
Every month a few of my blogger friends and I get together and create a makeover around our chosen theme.

This month’s theme is DECOUPAGE.

You can see previous month’s themes here –> Themed Furniture Tour

I love decoupage and have done a few other projects with it.
This Butterfly Decoupaged Table , “Vintage” French Fruit Tray, Decoupaged Soup Cans and this OBX Latitude & Longitude Table.

For this one, I decided to do a French Paper Decoupage.

French Paper Decoupage....with TISSUE PAPER! So delicate and pretty! artsychicksrule.com #tissuepapercrafts #tissuepaperdecoupage #decoupagedfurniture #decoupagefurniture #decoupage #decoupageideas #frenchcountry #frenchcountrystyle #paintedfurniture #furnituremakeover

I paid FIVE dollars for this little table. Well, $5.25 to be exact.
But hey, close enough!! ;)

It was originally round with two extensions on each side (thank you to my wonderful Facebook friends for the help there!!)

I guess someone decided they didn’t like them and removed them before it made it’s way to me?
Oh well, it’s a super cute table anyway.

But missing side pieces did require me to do a bit of work to it though.
I started out by sanding the top lightly so none of the imperfections would show through the paper.

Then I screwed and glued the levers in on the sides so they’d be secure and smooth. (these went to the side pieces that were missing)$5 Thrifty French Paper Decoupage Table Makeover - Sealing Opening -artsychicksrule.com #decoupage #french

I used wood filler on the outside to make it seamless.
I had originally planned to paint the sides but really wanted those curves on the bottom to stand out.
I felt like they’d get lost if I just painted them all one color.

So I decided to use decoupage there too!! And I’m SO glad I did. :)

$5 Thrifty French Paper Decoupage Table Makeover - Small Side -artsychicksrule.com #decoupage #french

To begin, I painted the top a light color similar to the paper….Old Ochre Chalk Paint.

$5 Thrifty French Paper Decoupage Table Makeover - Old Ochre Top -artsychicksrule.com #decoupage #french

Did you know you could decoupage with tissue paper??
I wanted something really thin and found this paper at Michael’s.
Here’s one that’s similar.

Materials List


It’s very delicate so a lot of care had to be taken so as not to tear or rip this French paper decoupage when applying.

I used Mod Podge mixed with a very good amount of water. (no measurements…it just needs to be very fluid so it will be easier to work with under the thin paper)
Using a brush, layer a good amount over the entire top so it won’t dry too quickly when laying the paper down.

$5 Thrifty French Paper Decoupage Table Makeover - Applying paper -artsychicksrule.com #decoupage #french

I used my little squeegee thingy to oh-so-very lightly press it onto the top.
The paper was about an inch too short. Darn.
So I evened it out and added two other pieces on each side to fill in the extra space….. (see below)

$5 Thrifty French Paper Decoupage Table Makeover - Adding edges -artsychicksrule.com #decoupage #french

…but it actually worked out much better than I thought it would.

The paper is so thin it ended up with “wrinkles” and I LOVE them! They are perfect for the whole look I was going for here.
That’s so much fun when that happens. A project does something unexpected and you end up loving the effect!
I’ve had things go the other way sometimes (not loving it, lol) so when it’s a good unexpected thing, win!! ;)

You can see them really well in the photo below.

$5 Thrifty French Paper Decoupage Table Makeover - Showing 'aged' wrinkles -artsychicksrule.com #decoupage #french

Another close up….

$5 Thrifty French Paper Decoupage Table Makeover - Up Close -artsychicksrule.com #decoupage #french

Want to see some of these projects in “live” time? Hop on over and follow along with me on INSTAGRAM. I’m always sharing in my stories as I’m doing projects, finding new furniture, fun finds….just all the day to day behind the scenes.

Once it was dry, I used a piece of very fine sandpaper and lightly rubbed along the edge to trim the excess.

$5 Thrifty French Paper Decoupage Table Makeover - Removing excess -artsychicksrule.com #decoupage #french

It came right off! So easy.

(bet you can’t see where those little extra side pieces of paper are attached ;) well barely anyway)

$5 Thrifty French Paper Decoupage Table Makeover - After top -artsychicksrule.com #decoupage #french

For the sides I had to use an x-acto knife but that worked pretty easily too since I had a good edge to run along.

$5 Thrifty French Paper Decoupage Table Makeover - After Side -artsychicksrule.com #decoupage #french

The Old Ochre was the perfect base underneath this paper. (it’s under all areas that are decoupaged)

For the legs I had originally planned to used Graphite Chalk Paint but it was not black enough.

I remembered I’d bought some Lamp Black  awhile back.
I’d never used it but knew it was a true black color. Perfect!

$5 Thrifty French Paper Decoupage Table Makeover - Styled -artsychicksrule.com #decoupage #french

That black is just fabulous….so smooth in application and afterwards.
I very much loved working with it.

I painted another little table with from the same paint line awhile back and will definitely be picking up some more to try now.

For the top and sides (decoupaged areas) I put 2 coats (drying well in between) of Minwax Polycrylic.
I’m all over the place with products on this project.  ;)

Once the polycrylic and black paint was dry I applied one coat of Annie Sloan Clear Wax over the entire thing.

$5 Thrifty French Paper Decoupage Table Makeover - Top After -artsychicksrule.com #decoupage #french

Buffed it up …and done!

$5 Thrifty French TISSUE Paper Decoupage Table Makeover - Before-and-After - artsychicksrule.com - #decoupage #french

What a difference a little French paper decoupage and paint makes, right?

French Paper Decoupage....with TISSUE PAPER! So delicate and pretty! artsychicksrule.com #tissuepapercrafts #tissuepaperdecoupage #decoupagedfurniture #decoupagefurniture #decoupage #decoupageideas #frenchcountry #frenchcountrystyle #paintedfurniture #furnituremakeover

You know it’s a winner when your husband walks in at the end of the day and says it’s “the bomb”.
Thanks, sweet hubby! :)

Guess what….there are even more decoupage furniture makeovers for you down below.
Be sure to click on them to see the full posts. :)

Hope you have a wonderful week!

Be sure to check back later this week to see what I did to this!

UPDATE!!! See it now, here!!




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  1. Wow! This is very lovely and I am impressed. Seriously, It is hard to believe this is the same piece of furniture. If I tried doing this, my paper would be a mess and probably all torn up or on me. lol

    1. Hi Julie! :)
      Thanks so much! haha…no…you just takes a light hand! At first lay down of the paper I thought it was gonna go all wrong..but it didn’t, thank goodness! ;)


  2. Not only is that a great upgrade, but it would be perfect in my living room! Cool!

    I have a question about ascp Old Ochre. I bought some a while back, expecting the colour I see on your table… but when I tried it out, it turned out to be a cool shade somewhere between damp and dry grey potter’s clay! Is that crazy, or is your experience with Old Ochre similar to mine, and the table’s colour was changed by the tissue paper? If you can tell me, I’d really appreciate it!

    1. Hi Gabrielle!

      Thanks!!! :) I would say that’s pretty accurate description of the color. It’s sort of an off white color with more of a “putty” tinge to it.
      The tissue paper is so thin that I wanted a light (but not white) background. The tissue paper looks about like it does by itself over the Old Ochre..maybe a bit brighter.
      Hope that helps! :)

    1. Hi Melissa!
      I didn’t originally intend for it to be wrinkled but love that it naturally wanted to do that. Getting them out would have been impossible, I’d have ripped it all up! ;) So, it was one of those happy accidents!! I just love those! And yes, definitely give the GF a try!

    1. Hi Rose!
      Thank you so much! :) And thank you for taking the time to comment and the sweet words too.

  3. Girl you really hit the nail on the head with this project! Gorgeous!! One of my favorite pieces to date. How different is working with milk over chalk paints? I have some but haven’t tried it yet.

    1. Thanks Ellen! :)
      And it was a last minute makeover that just ended up coming together! I’d love to say I planned it all out but I usually don’t. Sometimes it works…sometimes it doesn’t! ;)
      This Milk Paint is not what I’d call a “true” MP. It’s not at all like Miss Mustard Seed which is typical Milk Paint. I’m not sure why GF calls it that. Anyway, to me, I’d describe it as a mix between latex and Chalk Paint..in a good way. Some of the nice properties of latex…and some of the nice properties of the CP. That makes for a very nice paint to work with! I will definitely be going over to pick up a few more cans/colors to try for upcoming projects. Final verdict will come later as I see how it “wears”. :)

    1. Thanks Christy!! And hahahaha….yes, gotta love the PC scraper, or squeegee thingy!;) I have used that little thing on more (other than dishes) than I can tell you!!! lol
      Too funny! xo

  4. Love the side table!!! Where did you fund such cute tissue paper…hobby lobby maybe?? And did you put a layer of the mod podge first then the paper and then smoothed it our? Thanks!! Have a great dau

    1. Thanks Sharon!
      I found it at Michael’s actually. :) Yep, the Mod Podge goes under the paper.
      Have a great day too!!

  5. Love the tissue paper effect. I think the wrinkles add something. Wondering if some printed tissues would lend themselves to tearing before decoupaging? Thanks for sharing your creativity. . .beautiful.

    1. Me too! I didn’t plan on those wrinkles but they ended up very much adding to the overall look. Love when that happens! ;)
      Yes, this was very thin paper so I had to take great care when applying it. I think if you go in with that in mind, and keep a very light hand, should be able to use any paper!
      Thanks so much for the kind words too :)

  6. You must have been reading my thoughts! I was searching for a decoupage tutorial, and then it linked here! I heard you can do it with all sorts of materials. I need a really sturdy material with hard finish on top (polycryclic). I saw someone did fabric, someone paper and now you did tissue paper. Does it matter as far as durability? And is basically modgepodge on the bottom and then on the top?

    Yea, I know, I’m like a little kid who needs her hand held…. lol

    Thanks Nancy!

    1. Hey Lilli!
      Oh awesome!! Yep, you can certainly use fabric too! I would think a wallpaper would give a nice hard finish. Although, once done and sealed (more coats for better durability) any paper, even tissue, should be very durable. I used Mod Podge under and Polycrylic on the top of this one. Two coats. It’s finish is hard and durable. I also put a layer of clear wax over that for extra protection.
      hahaha…no, that’s ok!! We are all learning something or other! ;)

  7. Wow! This piece is AMAZING!!! I don’t know why but I envision a fancy black tassel hanging on the front. I have a neighbor who loves Paris, she may want to do something like this, I will pass it on to her.

    I have a table very similar to this one, I think I will decoupage it in a similar way. Now the hard part-deciding on what paper to use!

    1. Hi Gwen!
      Thank you!! Ohhh, I just envisioned it when I read that and YES, I can so see that!
      No, picking paper is not the hard part, that’s the fun part! The possibilities are endless! ;)
      Have fun!!

  8. It is gorgeous! I was thinking about you the whole time I redid Denver’s old dresser. It’s from a set that his grandfather bought him when he was first born (he did NOT want to take it to his college apartment since it looked “Victorian” (it was the handles), but once he got there he realized he needed a dresser. So I came home and used glossy black spray paint over everything except the drawers. I pulled them and then decopauged torn up pieces of sheet music, books, and magazines to the fronts. I also spray painted the gold handles black and they would have looked fabulous on it, but he opted not to have me reattach them. It’s all black and white and very modern looking now and he really liked it. I failed to take a photo of the after, but you’d be proud of me! I need to get a pic next time I’m up there.

    1. Oh that sounds awesome Traci! And yes, that is mandatory…I need a pic! ;)
      Would love to see it!! (you saw what I did with one of those letter trays you gave me, right? I made a French fruit tray out of it…it’s here on the blog! And the trunk is on here too…I think that one came from the Free cycle you pointed me to)


      1. You know I think I remember a tray (was it blue/ of course it was), but I forgot that I had given you those inboxes. How does one search your site so I can go back and look? Do I just have to scroll and click a lot?

        1. Traci,
          Haha, most things are blue! ;) But this is one I did in tan-ish color with a French fruit decoupage. It’s here … https://www.artsychicksrule.com/2014/06/old-letter-tray-vintage-french-fruit-tray.html
          and the free trunk is here … https://www.artsychicksrule.com/2014/06/travel-trunk-chalk-paint-makeover.html
          To search things on my blog I have a search box on the right hand side column, or, you can click “DIY Tutorials” or “Before & After” in the above menu to see a page of projects with photos for each. :)
          No scrolling or clicking (except to click on the photo your are looking for! ;) )

  9. Oh, Nancy! I love it! That little table has to be one of my favorites of all the beautiful pieces you have done! And that’s saying a lot, because your creativity and ability never ceases to amaze me! I’m partial to black, so this one really “speaks” to me!

    Awesome job…… as always! xo, K

    1. Thank you Karen! So sweet!!! I’m loving the black! I used to have more black around the house but since switching my home over to a lighter, coastal feel I have none anymore! But I still love it and I think others love black too so will be doing more pieces with it to sell. :)
      Excited!! It’s so different from most of the things on my blog…gonna go a little out of my usual on future projects with color I think! It’s fun!

  10. You and I must share a brain girl! I have some tissue paper almost identical to that I am getting ready to put on a black dresser. I wasn’t sure how the whole tissue paper this was going to work but you showed me it does! I love that it’s crinkled! This looks absolutely beautiful!

    1. Thanks Jeanette! :)

      I know, haha, I wasn’t quite sure I wouldn’t rip it up all over! But it worked and I love the effect. Now I want to do more. ;)


  11. I love this table. This must truly be the month for decoupage, because I posted my latest decoupage piece and some inspiration pieces on my blog Lisa S Nance Furniture ReDesign just a few days ago. It’s amazing what you can do with paper and paste! Great job!!

  12. Wow! As always you knocked it out of the ballpark!! This is beautiful. love your paper choice too. Funny..I think I hve that table too..Just picked it up and it still has the sides on it . You’ve inspired me on your design!

    1. Thanks Wendi! :) Oh so funny! Must have been a popular table!! Can’t wait to see what you do with yours!


  13. WooooHooo! Great project! Ya know….I was just in Stein Mart last week and they are selling something very similar to this for $149.00! The look is so….chicky! Love how you worked your magic on this piece! Def. going to try! :)
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Kathy!! I know, you are so right, I had to have a VERY light hand! But I do love the effect!
      Gonna try it again! ;)


  14. This seriously looks like an expensive table at a fancy furniture store. You did a great job Nancy! I love that paper – and I’m very impressed you even used tissue paper, I know it can tear so easily! I try to use thick cardstock or wallpaper when I can. Bravo! <3

  15. Hi, I just love this and I hope that I can find this paper at our Michael’s in Canada. I love getting inspired by your posts!


    1. Hi Lynne!
      Thanks so much! And I hope you find it there! Oh and thanks too for the kind words…means a lot! :)


  16. Hi- The table came out absolutely beautiful! I’m wondering why you applied wax OVER the polycrylic?

    1. Hi Marsha,

      Thank you! :)
      I sometimes do that to “soften” the look of the polycrylic or add color as in dark wax. This time I did it to add a third layer of protection AND to match it up to the rest of the table since I was applying the wax to the black areas.
      Hope that helps!

  17. Oh now that is just fantastic! I have used white gift wrapping tissue paper on imperfect walls to create a wrinkled texture look. Once painted over it is the same color as the wall just textured. And I did this on a piece of furniture too. But I love what you did here! The tissue paper with a design opens up a whole new kind of fun! Really a great makeover!

    1. Thanks Michelle! :)
      And…what a neat idea to add tissue paper for the sole purpose of the texture! Love that idea.
      Thanks for that tip!

  18. This is beautiful!!!! I swear I had to look up decoupage…and I even took French lessons for what felt like forever. I would be so intimidated. It’s gorgeous!


  19. Hi Nancy!
    I have an old fashioned coffee table and end table set that I have been anxious to change up. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for! I love that you gave us step by step instructions and I love the idea of tissue paper! I’m going to try it and I’ll let you know how it comes out! Thanks so much for the great idea!

    1. Hi Joanne!
      Thanks so much and good luck with your project! :) I’d love to see it when it’s finished!

  20. You did an amazing job! I have just the right piece of furniture to try this technique myself!? Thank you for clear instructions and so many great pictures too!

  21. I don’t care how long ago it was that you did this make over, it’s absolutely stunning ! Have you done any others since this one that even compare? I would love to see them.

    1. Aw thanks Shirley!! :) No, not really but I’m thinking about doing another piece of furniture with tissue paper again soon! xo

  22. Adorable table. I’ve never used Mod Podge before., but now I think I have to.

    As a semi-new subscriber, I’m wondering about all the other older posts that I missed. I may have to do a deep dive. :)

    1. Thanks Lizzy! Oh yes, Mod Podge is great! And yep, you might have missed a few! ;) I try to bring up some oldies (that I think might get passed over) every once in awhile! xo

  23. So pretty! You’ve inspired me to do another decoupage project, they are so satisfying and fun! Someone else may have mentioned this (I know someone mentioned a tassel), but I think a pretty vintage drawer pull of some kind would be gorgeous on the front decoupaged area, but it’s also beautiful just as it is! I’m new to your blog and really enjoy your projects?

    1. Thank you Vicki!! And I’m so glad to hear that! Oh yes, a tassel would have been so great on this! Darn, wish I had thought of that. I’ve since sold this one. So happy you enjoy the blog and projects and a big welcome to you! xoxo

  24. I used your tutorial several years ago to decoupage a French tissue paper to a tabletop, then again recently to pretty up a clipboard, just because. Your instructions are perfect and I used the way you added tissue paper to the ends as a way to patch a tear. You can’t even tell I made a patch! Phenomenal! Both of my projects came out gorgeous and the wrinkles add so much character. I loved your tutorial when you first published it, and love it still nearly 4 years later. Thank you!

    1. Oh that is so great to hear Christie! And I’m so glad the tutorial was helpful to you! I am full of inspiration to tackle another tissue paper project now that I’ve revived this old post! ;) Hmm, my mind is rolling now!! :) xoxo

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