How to add pattern to wood with a napkin

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Inside: A great tutorial for how to add pattern to wood with a napkin or tissue paper; this explains how to Mod Podge to transfer a pattern, picture or fabric onto wood surfaces.

Back today with another quick and easy furniture makeover tutorial. This time, it’s all about how to add pattern to wood with a napkin. Yes, you read that correctly. A napkin. If you want to add some serious vintage charm to a piece of wood – look no further. This technique can also be used to transfer a photo image onto wood (a piece of furniture or a wood block or canvas) and it can also be used with just plain tissue paper.

While you’re here, you might also want to have a look at these other posts with simple and stylish craft updates as well! This tutorial explains how to make your own DIY Lap Desk Pillow, and if you want to add pattern to your walls, why not try this $8 Sharpie technique or better yet, pick up some patterned paper and try wallpapering an accent wall!

Here’s a quick video breakdown of how to add pattern to wood with a napkin

*(read on for the full detailed tutorial)

Supplies to transfer pattern to wood with a napkin

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How to add pattern to wood with a napkin

The inspiration for this post was this sweet little wood and wrought iron bathroom shelf I bought at a yard sale. As soon as I saw it, I knew it would be a wonderful candidate for something bohemian and vivacious.

Patterned Wood Shelf BEFORE

Enter – The Paper Napkin Technique. This is one of the best methods I’ve found to add pattern to wood furniture – or anything else for that matter. It’s simple as can be. How to decoupage using paper napkins

Step One: You want to add a bit of your accent colour to your wood. I used a dry brush technique to cover the edges of my shelf in Twizzleberry Purple. No need to be precise, as it’s going to be covered up anyway. Just make sure that you drag your brush through the paint enough to eliminate any goopy bits or puddles of paint.

Patterned Wood Shelf Dry Brush Technique

Step Two: Then, separate your napkin. Paper napkins are typically three layers – a plain white layer and then two layers containing the pattern. You want to use the most colourful layer. So just peel it apart.How to mod podge a paper napkin to wood

Step Three:  Use your small paint or craft brush to apply a coat of Mod Podge to your wood. Smooth your coloured napkin down and push down any creases. Once again, this part doesn’t have to be perfect -though you do only have about 20 seconds to get it straight before the Mod Podge fully adheres.

Using the palm of your hand, rub the whole thing down a few times to really smooth the napkin. It’ll be more transparent in some places and in other spots, you’ll see the paint peeking through… that’s the whole idea! 🙂

Patterned Wood Shelf Decoupage

Patterned Wood Shelf Back side

I just folded the bottom part of my napkin onto the bottom part of my shelf and Mod Podged it down.

Patterned Wood Shelf Lay Flat to DryAfter letting it dry for a good hour, I flipped the boards and dry brushed more Twizzleberry onto the shelf bottoms to cover the seams and creases.

Step Four: Once THAT was dry, I took to the shelves with a light hand and some 150 grit sand paper just to soften all the edges and the creases even more.How to update wood furniture with decoupage

Step Five: A healthy couple coats of Polycrylic and then I reassembled my shelf. Voila!Paper Napkin Decoupaged to Wood Shelf

That’s how to add pattern to wood with a napkin!Patterned Wood Shelf TopI took a bunch of close ups so that you can see how it makes the wood grain show through 🙂 Patterned Wood Shelf AngledI’m really excited to experiment with this technique even more. I have a few ideas for other projects that could use a little pattern!

Other ways to transfer images and pattern to wood

Hello Creative Family has tested this method for transferring photos onto wood and she swears it’s the easiest she’s ever tried. You should see her trick!photo transfer to wood

The Empress of Dirt explains how to add an image to wood using specific transfer medium. The results of this are great. The detail she maintains on the wood piece is phenomenal. transfer medium photo on wood

And finally Persia Lou has an amazing tutorial for how to transfer your OWN art to a wood block… This tutorial has me stunned and wanting to try it RIGHT AWAY! transfer photo to wood

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