Decoupage is the art of decorating an object by gluing colored paper cutouts onto it in combination with special paint effects, gold leaf, etc.
Decoupage as a technique has lots of variations, (versions). It is time consuming and requires patience, persistence and requires several attempts before satisfactory results can be achieved.
The exact date of origination of decoupage is unknown.
As an art form it was first mentioned at end of the 15th century in Germany, where cuttings of pictures were used to decorate furniture. Decoupage as it is today appeared in the 18th century.
The golden age of decoupage is linked to Venice in the 17th century, where, at that time, fancy decorated furniture was very popular.
Carpenters using that kind of appliqué work imitated expensive oriental incrustations and inlaid works. These works were significantly cheaper and very popular.
Eventually in Italy this art form were called ‘Arte povera’, which means (art of the poor) .Nowadays this kind of furniture is extremely rare and expensive. However, the style is imitated by lots of modern furniture designers. By the middle of the19th century the passion to it become massive. Decoupage as a hobby was transferred from Asia to America. At the moment this antique technique is in fashion again and is widely spread over many countries. Decoupage is not copying. Cuttings used allow artist to create original pieces of art, it doesn't matter if it's a piece of furniture or a simple cardboard box. The level of decoupage is limited only by composition, ideas and imagination! Good luck!