Thursday, 14 July 2016

Floral & faded wood tutorial - using napkins! (plus how to make a fire-pit table)




I absolutely love the old worn and faded ‘floral-pattern-on-wood' look, and I've been meaning to have a go at achieving it for some time. I finally got around to it this week and I'm so happy with the outcome. It's incredibly effective and so easy to do. You can achieve this lovely faded worn look on any wood surface, and it looks especially good on tables, drawers, chairs, welsh dressers and wooden trays. I'm going to try this on my welsh dresser next but first I wanted to give my copper fire pit a makeover. Since I have a small garden I decided to make use of space by giving the fire pit a dual purpose - so I had a piece of wood cut for the top of it, so when it's not being a fire pit it can be used as a table! this provided the ideal surface for my experiment!


decoupaging wood with floral napkins

A floral wood tabletop tutorial

How to make a fire pit table top


My cosy little seating area looks so pretty now, and if you're admiring my new Peru wooden deckchair loungers you'll find these at Homebase, and they cost £99 for a pair. I absolutely love them, they look so natural and blend into the garden perfectly, they're also incredibly comfy and come with a head rests! I also headed to Homebase for my varnish and hand-held sander (links are below.) You could use simple sandpaper sheets for this, wrapped around a wooden block but I love the smooth finish of a sander, and I’ve used it on a range of projects time and time again.  


You will need:

A table top - or cut a piece of wood to size
Pretty floral paper napkins - these were from eBay.
Mod podge glue - with matt finish
Ronseal exterior varnish - clear with matt finish
Hand held sander or sandpaper
Paintbrush




Step 1: 

Separate the very top layer from each napkin so your are left with just the patterned layer. 

Step 2:

Lay them out on your table so you can see how it’s going to look. I choose to lay them out in simple square form, but you can also tear them roughly and glue them one by one.

Step 3:

Now start the gluing process. Using your paintbrush spread an even layer of Mod Podge glue onto your table as big as the piece of tissue you’re laying.

Step 4:

Lay the napkin gently onto the glue. Then rather than smooth it down with the brush or your hand, lay a piece of clingfilm down first, then smooth the napkin through it with your hand. This seems to stop the tissue from tearing. 



decoupaging wood with napkins


Step 5:

Then gently apply another layer of glue over the top of the napkin. There will be a few wrinkles but don’t worry, this all adds to the ‘old and faded’ look. 

Step 6: 

Once all the pieces are in place, leave it to dry naturally. 

Step 7:

Once the napkins are completely dry, now you can begin sanding. Using a fine to medium sandpaper begin gliding the sander over the table section by section. Keep going until you are happy with he overall affect. Also don’t forget to spend a big of time wearing own the edges and sides.

Step 8: 

You’ll notice the wrinkles are now removed and the table is completely smooth, leaving behind faded cracks which just looks fantastic! If you’d like some extra protection now give you table a few coats of clear, matt varnish and allow it to dry in between each coat. This will protect it not only from the weather, but from coffee cups as well! Do bear in mind the sun could still fade the colour slightly so either put it in the shade or look for a marine / yacht varnish as that can protect colour, but  do bear in mind they are much thicker.



decoupaging wood with napkins


TADA! and thanks to Homebase for collaborating with me on this project. If you'd like to see the video tutorial for this project you can view it here.




JM x



Ralphy doing his Clint Eastwood impression 



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57 comments:

  1. KarenP (Wisconsin)Thursday, 14 July, 2016

    Love it!

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  2. Those napkins are the best napkins I have ever seen! I would never in a million years have thought to stick napkins on a bit of wood but it looks beautiful :)

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    1. They're gorgeous aren't they Susan?! I had no idea this was how that affect was achieved ... amazing what you can do with a bit of tissue and mod podge :-)

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    2. I will never look at napkins the same way again πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜

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  3. Love this Jodie - going to give it a go on a few bits of furniture that are not looking their best and could do with a makeover. xx

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  4. great effort great napkin great use and advice on how to preserve this is a wonderful example of this method x

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  5. Absolutely love it and thanks for the brilliant idea!

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  6. Hi Jodie,
    I just came across your post on Pinterest. I thought your tutorial was so easy to follow and I loved the photos that went with it. Your table is and absolute winner, you now have a new fan. So much so that I went a little crazy with the sharing on Pinterest.
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful craftmenship with us all, I look forward to reading and seeing more.
    HAPPY DIY
    Judith Sudulic
    curvyandcontent

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    Replies
    1. Hi Judith! thank you so much, I'm so glad you like it and thanks so much for sharing ... happy to have you aboard! :-)

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    2. Judith?? From St. Clair?? Such a small world!! Browsing pins on Pinterest, came across this awesome tutorial, read the comments and here you are!! Blown away! Hope you're doing well 😘

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  7. don't you need to use 3-ply napkins?

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    1. Most napkins are 3 ply but you need to remove the two at the back for this to work.

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  8. Sheer brilliance. I hope my projects are as inspirational as this. Very very clever x

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    1. Thanks Lynsey :-) I'm glad it's inspired you x

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  9. Great help, love Ralphy! X

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  10. I was searching for some decoupage ideas for the top of an old table/magazine rack. Came across your post and I absolutely LOVE it!!! Not only will I use this for the table but I see a new fire pit cover in my future! Thank you so much. You're so personable and your tutorial was very easy to follow. Lovely sense of humor:)

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    1. Aw thanks Lisa, that's so nice of you to say :-) so glad you liked it, do let me know how it goes! x

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  11. Looks great i absolutely love it!

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  12. There are dark seams showing....

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    1. Yes there are, they don't show as much wen finished and I didn't mind them, it gave it a 'tiled' affect. If you want to avoid the seems just be sure not to overlap the napkins.

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  13. Wow! LOVE it!! One of the best projects I've ever seen and I've seen A LOT!

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    1. Ah thanks very much, that's nice to hear :-)

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  14. Your instructions say "glue" but did you mean to use the ModgePodge?

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    1. Yes! I've just tweaked the instructions to make that clearer.

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  15. This table is absolutely lovely! Does the sanding help to minimize or eliminate the dark seams? Simply wonderful!

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    1. Thank you! Yes it does help, though if you'd like to avoid them altogether just try not to overlap the napkins ;-)

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  16. Love your napkin choice and BTW Ralph is a cutie too.

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  17. Can't wait to use this technique for some repurposing projects. Thank you for sharing. If that was you in the music on the video...love that also!!!

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    1. I"m so glad you liked the project, and my song :-) Thanks Pamela!

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  18. How lovely, thank you for sharing this and doing it in such an easy to follow way. Dog is cute too. Great music.

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    1. ah thank you! So glad you like it. Ralphy is a cutie, he steals the show every time :-)

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  19. Truly beautiful, you've given me so much inspiration!

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  20. Love it! I have used his technique on the paddles of a ceiling fan but need to take them down and do the sanding step. This works well on baskets as well without the sanding of course. The napkins fill in to the weave and makes a great textural statement

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    1. Oh I've never tried it on baskets! that sounds great, might have to try that. Thanks! ;-)

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  21. Is it just one topcoat of mod podge? I am amazed the sanding didn’t tear the napkins. I have always been fearful of using them - they seem so delicate. Your table is beautiful and can’t wait to give your technique a try - thanks for sharing !

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    1. Yes I just use one coat of Mod podge ... the sanding actually removes all of the napkin! When you glue the napkin it etches the colours / pattern of the napkin into the grain of the wood - which is why this technique wouldn't work on plastic / melamine etc

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  22. I've just found your site. Love this idea - yet another thing to add to the list of things to try! Thank you

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  23. wow! just found you , so inspirational :) have always wondered how to do this - now I am scouring napkins with a new respect . Ha! love the way you presented this and of course Ralphy - aka Clint . thank you ! x

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  24. I’m doing this on the risers on my stairs at the minute! keep your fingers xed it looks good! My husband was not impressed when I ripped the carpet up! xxx

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    1. Oh please post a piccie when finished! would love to see! good luck x

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  25. Have wanted to have a go at this for ages, but it always seemed tricky. Your video was really good and explained clearly and easily. I like that youve shared where to buy everything too. Some of the videos Ive watched, the people making them are secretive and wont share sources so you havent a clue after watching. And the dog is cute tooπŸ˜‰
    Thank you!

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  26. Do you think tissue paper used for presents would work I found a pattern that I really liked.

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    1. To be honest I've no idea - if it's single ply (one thin sheet) and the colours are bold and vibrant it should work but it may be worth doing a test patch so you're sure. Good luck!

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  27. Lovely 😍

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  28. What a brilliant idea so clearly explained and, I Do love your doggie, he is so cute xox

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  29. Hi there Jodie, I just now discovered You. I'm so looking forward to more of Your Beautiful Projects. I enjoy using the Napkins for so many of My Projects. You are Truly a Talented Women, and a Gifted Singer as well. Thank-You again for sharing. Laters, MJ♥

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  30. Absolutely lovely!!

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  31. I've tried this but used copydex glue.did I do wrong? Or maybe I need a rougher sandpaper?

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    1. I’m not sure to be honest, I’ve only ever used, and had success with pva glue - if the glue is too strong I imagine it would take the pattern clean off when sanded.

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  32. Can this be done on a small table that is weathered? Or do I have to sand it first?

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    1. As long as it’s bare wood, without paint or varnish it should take. Good luck!

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  33. Hi, I LOVE this but have tried it now 3 times and keep having issues - whenever I try to put a protective coat on top, all the napkins seem to get 'wet' again and start bubbling up making the surface really rough and then once sanded again just all come off .... have tried Mod Podge and a spray acrylic top coat and also tried to stain it so that the bits that had been sanded didn't show up too pale (as it has previously been stained dark) I have now sanded it all off several times and started again, but am still not winning. Any ideas as to what I might be doing wrong? The piece may have previously been waxed but with all the sanding now would have thought that may now have gone anyway? How would I get wax off a piece before starting if that was the case please?

    Yours desperately

    Rachel x

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    1. Oh no! Sorry to hear it’s not working for you. Mmm ok ... so once you’ve glued the napkin (and you’re def just using the very top layer right? As there’s always 3 layers and if 2 are used it won’t work) once you’ve glued them and sanded has it worked ok up to that point? Before the top coat? If so there’s obvs some chemical reaction between that and what’s been applied previous. What protective top coat are you using? Sorry, so many questions :-) hopefully we can get to the bottom of it.

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  34. Ahhh, I have watched again and actually what I have done is missed the fact that you mod podge, lay napkins and mod podge again ... I was letting the napkins dry before doing the layer of glue when all is still wet! I have ordered new napkins so will strip it off again and try by immediately putting the top layer of Mod Podge on again! Hopefully that was my issue and this time it will work!! Many thanks for a great tutorial though!

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    1. Ah yes! Gluing when dry would totally remove them again. Fingers crossed, I hope it works for you this time! Good luck and keep me posted πŸ˜‰

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  35. Nooooooo ..... doesn't seem to matter what I do, it gets stripped off when it gets sanded sadly. Have given in now! lol Such a shame as I loved your table :'( x

    I would add a picture but not sure how?

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    1. Oh Rachel! The only thing I can think of is the wood ... perhaps it has been treated with something that's stopping it from absorbing the napkin ink? Did you sand the wood to begin with? also are the napkin colours very pale? Yes do send me a pic ... ahandmadecottage(AT)icloud.com xx

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