Upcycled Bedside Cabinet Decoupage Tutorial

This post may contain affiliate links, view my disclosure policy for details.

Have you ever upcycled furniture? Ever tried decoupage?  Both are great fun and very gratifying to see something transform in front of you! Also why not re-purpose and re-use something you already have or have picked up cheap, rather than buying new?

I decided to upcycle an old bedside cabinet that my husband had in his room, when he lived at home with his parents! It came with us to our first house in a freshly painted green thanks to his mum’s first re-vamp!, and has moved to every house with us since, but over the years it has been abused! The boys thought it needed stickers!!! hence the striped paint on the front!

This is a good solid wood cabinet that has many years left in it, Summer needed one for her bedroom, so I decided to decoupage it!


You will need:

Sand paper (not shown)

Paint (not shown)

Paper {wrapping paper}

Scissors or Rotary Cutter

Cutting Mat

Quilters Ruler or Metal Ruler

PVA Glue {mixed with a dash of water}


Paint brushes

a protective mat or sheet

  1. SANDING ~ make sure you take your furniture outside to sand, this part can be dusty! I didn’t sand all the paint back! you can but I’m lazy!!! and as long as your surfaces are all smooth then you’ll be ok.

2. PAINT ~ I had loads of magnolia matt emulsion for walls, so I used this.  You can use any paint you like, matt, satin, gloss, chalk, it’s entirely your choice! I didn’t prime it either! again I’m lazy!  This really didn’t take as many coats of paint as I thought it would, I only gave the top and door 1 coat as these were going to be decoupaged, and the rest had 2 coats! it covered like a dream!!



3. DECOUPAGE ~ I used pretty wrapping paper to decorate the top and door.  You can buy special decoupage paper which comes in a wide variety of colours and patterns like this one from hobbycraft.  Tissue paper also works and fabric! In fact the little box inside the cabinet has been decoupaged with fabric that coordinated with Summer’s cot bedding.

Most decoupage is done by cutting or ripping the paper into small pieces, then layering onto your item and gluing down as you go.  As my paper already had quite a busy patchwork design, I just cut two pieces to fit the top and door exactly.


I used my rotary cutter and large quilters ruler to cut the paper on my cutting mat.

Then applied a thin layer of my PVA glue mixture to the top of the cabinet using a sponge brush and carefully placed the paper to one edge, slowly smoothing out and brushing the top with more glue as I went.  As this was in one whole piece, air bubbles were an almost certainty, but they can either be pushed out to the edges, popped with a pin to release the air or small bubbles can be left {some disappear when dry} Most papers can be lifted a couple of times before drying.  If you are cutting or tearing the paper, bubbles are much less of a problem!

Repeat for the door & varnish to seal.



Happy upcycling!!

2 thoughts on “Upcycled Bedside Cabinet Decoupage Tutorial

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *