Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall…How to Decoupage with Paper Napkins

Are you looking for a new project to decoupage? How about trying decoupage with paper napkins!

I was looking for a project. Something useful, fun, creative, easy, and inexpensive.

This is often my mid-winter wish list for a project.

Nothing was popping into my head.

Then I remembered a mirror hanging in a guest room.

Yes! Let’s Go!

I gave this ho-hum mirror a HUGE makeover by decoupaging with paper napkins!

Decoupage is one of the fastest and easiest DIY craft projects out there. And, there is an unlimited number of fantastic paper napkin patterns to choose from.

You know how I like my craft projects…quick and easy!

I also like them to have impact and give me a “WOW!” moment when finished.

This one did that for me. (Be sure read to the end. There is a “WOW!” moment!)

Not at first…just being honest.

This was one of those projects that I thought might be headed for the dumpster.

Not because of the decoupage. And, not because of the paper napkins. (I could not love the color and pattern on these gems any more!)

My near-fail project was because I decided to decoupage a mirror with lots of curves and a teeny tiny inside lip that was a challenge for my (evidently too large) fingers!

Here is a before photo of the mirror.

Nice. Classic. And a little boring!

I marked the mirror with some tape so I knew where the hanger was located on the back.

But I kept on…and I learned a lot. So much that I have lots to share with you about decoupage with paper napkins.

First…the Supplies for Decoupage with Paper Napkins

You don’t need much, my friend!

  • Item to decoupage (In this case a classic but kind of boring round mirror.)
  • Mod Podge
  • Paintbrush
  • Paper napkins (SO many wonderful prints from which to choose!)
  • Scissors
  • Optional for this project: wool felt pom-poms and a glue gun

Before You Start Decoupaging…

A few tips before you even dip the brush!

Iron the paper napkins on low heat with a dry iron. No steam or you will have paper pulp!

I fell in love with the pattern on these Caspari paper napkins. You can see them HERE!

An iron taking the creases out of a paper napkin.

Most paper napkins have a textured border. If you don’t want this textured pattern showing, give each napkin a quick trim around the edges.

Scissors cutting the textured edge off a napkin in preparation for decoupage with paper napkins.

Peel the back layer away from the front. Depending on the ply of the paper napkin, you may have more than one layer to peel off.

Fingers peeling the back layer off a paper napkin.

Now, for the Glue!

I find that, when using the glue, it works best to decoupage in small sections. Pour a little of the Mod Podge glue onto your item…

…and brush it smooth.

Paintbrush applying the decoupage glue.

Place a small section of the paper napkin on the item. Using your fingers, press and smooth the paper.

This became tricky for me with the round mirror. For this project, the smaller the piece of paper, the more manageable it was.

I was also very grateful for the busy pattern of the paper as any spots that were hard to smooth became “texture” on the frame.

Texture is a good thing…right?

In this case, you bet!

Fingers pressing the paper napkin on to the decoupage glue.

Let dry for a couple of hours and then apply another coat of Mod Podge over the top.

It was this point that the project started to look like something I liked!

And then this happened…

As I attempted to trim the inside edge of the frame with a razor blade, the paper was not sufficiently adhered to the teeny tiny inside lip.

My fault for not pressing enough when it was wet.

Mod Podge to the rescue! Just a little glue with a small brush was all I needed to save the project!

Using a razor blade to trim the dried paper napkin from the mirror frame.

Then I had an idea!

Take It Over the Top

Why not take this project a step further (some might say over the top!) and add felt wool balls to the inside of the frame!

10 minutes with a glue gun was all it took!

Applying glue to a wool felt ball using a glue gun.

Talk about impact! Now the napkin pattern really popped!

Reflections in a pretty mirror are the best!

Double the beauty!

Close up photo of mirror made from decoupage with paper napkins.

A mirror placed by a window reflects the outdoor light and can make a room look twice as big!

A side view of a mirror decoupaged with paper napkins.

So glad that I had trouble with the inside of the mirror frame! The wool felt balls added to the paper napkin pattern is EVERYTHING!

Desk styled with mirror, faux tulips, and a lamp.

What started as a way to save a project turned into a workable detail that is whimsical and unique!

Decoupage with paper napkins reveal a completed mirror hanging on a wall.

I call this a “WOW” moment!


Decoupage with paper napkins like these with bold red and blue abstract patterns.

I have other decoupage projects that you should check out!

How to Repurpose Glass Luncheon Plates

Decoupage a Wallpaper Tray

9 Steps from Candle Lid to Coaster

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