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Madonna Decoupage

Christmas Customs

Nativity Decoupage Card or Icon

Pauline Weston Thomas for


Christmas Customs - Nativity Decoupage Card or Icon Picture

Decoupage is an old craft much liked in other eras and enjoying a revival in recent years. It's often used to make 3 dimensional cards. The card in the pictures below was made into a decoupage card.  I had a leftover pack of Xmas Cards bought from Cancer Research UK last year.  I am sure you could find something similar this year.  This card is very suitable for decoupage and you will need a minimum of 3 cards although I used 5 cards of one base card and 4 layers. Avoid using more than 4 layers of card as the card becomes top heavy and falls over more easily.  The 3D relief shows up better in real life.

Decoupage Christmas Craft Pictures

Jesus Icon

This is the basic Christmas card bought last year from a Cancer Research UK shop.  This card is especially good as it can double as an icon or a centrepiece and it also has an attractive glazed surface which means it's not essential to varnish the finished card.

This technique works really well with any simple shapes like Xmas puddings with holly leaves, candles with flames and Xmas trees.  Check to look for elements you can clearly cut out.

Stage 1


Take the card and trim away the outer edge very carefully.   Next use a black felt marker pen to darken the outer cut white edges of card. You may need to let the first felt pen layer dry and then do 2 or even 3 more coats. This black felt pen helps give a three dimensional effect and stops the contrast of white card looking unfinished. 

Now you need to glue it to the base foundation card.  There are several methods of doing this.

 How to make a decoupage

  1. You can use self adhesive sticky squares or spots called Buddies

  2. You can use proper clear acrylic glue or a glue gun which dries as clear blobs of glue and has the effect of elevating the card layers.  In many ways this is the best as it is virtually invisible from the side view.  But you may not have any of this glue or a glue gun!

  3. You can scout around the house as I did and find some leftover one sided adhesive draught excluder and a Pritt glue stick.  Low cost and almost always found in most homes.

Check the position of layer one and apply the sticky side of some pieces of draught excluder to the card. You can if you prefer, do it on the reverse side of the layer to be applied. Either way is fine.  But in the image above you can see the position of draught excluder cut pieces and the size of them.  Note the size required to support the larger areas of card at the top and bottom.

Now use a small applicator, cocktail stick, lollipop stick or old screwdriver to dig out a bit of glue from the Glue stick.  Apply it to the dry side of the draught excluder.  Now position your first layer on top of the sticky bits.  If you try to use the glue stick as it is you may find it drags the excluder off the card. Try a few ways to find the best for you.  This glue also makes it easy to reposition the pieces.

Stage 2

Madonnahow todecoupage 

Now cut the next layer of the Madonna and baby out.  Blacken all the outer cut edges with felt pen.  Just run the marker pen all round the edges of cut white card.  Then bend in the outer edges slightly so they curve under a little. This will be difficult to do and they look a bit crushed.  This latter technique is not essential, but is especially important when you want to get elevation and blend the edges more effectively.  I think it is important when doing flowers, leaves and round objects to make them seem more natural.

Now apply the draught excluder to the back of the card. you will probably need to trim the foam down a bit as I have done on the right so that it does not show too much sideways.  Apply glue and stick it all into position.  Move it about 1mm off position of the first layer so an elevation 3D effect shadow forms

Stage 3

christmas decoupage

Cut out the next layer and repeat the process of black felt pen along the edges, Then stick pieces of draught excluder on the card back. As the card layers get smaller the layer is the best place to apply the excluder as you can see where you are putting it.

If some areas have too much lift then shave away some of the draught excluder tape with a small manicure type scissors.

In this instance I used the head of the Madonna from the next stage to save wasting another card.  If any draught excluder seems to be visible reposition it or shave a little away.

Add the final layers as before. You can see the elevation from the side.  These images ABOVE were done without curving the edges under, but in the image below this text the edges were curved under to get a more seamless rounded blend which has more natural elevation.  To curve under the edges just press the edge of the card with your thumb and forefinger or roll it with a clay or sugarcraft ball tool on a suitable craft mat.

You can of course do all your cutting in one go and all the sticking in one go. Children may find it easier to work in stages.

You can use this decoupage technique to make all sorts of simple Christmas cards and pictures. The final image can also be varnished using matt or gloss clear wood varnish.  This card has such a good lustrous finish that it wasn't really necessary.


Page Added 20 December 2005

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