de·​cou·​page | \ ˌdā-(ˌ)kü-ˈpäzh How to pronounce decoupage (audio) \
variants: or découpage

Definition of decoupage

1 : the art of decorating surfaces by applying cutouts (as of paper) and then coating with usually several layers of finish (such as lacquer or varnish)
2 : work produced by decoupage

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from decoupage

decoupage or découpage transitive verb

Did You Know?

Decoupage originated in France in the 17th century as a means of artistically decorating pieces of furniture with pictures. It took a few centuries, but by the mid-20th century "decoupage" became a household name in American interior decoration. The word is fashioned from Middle French decouper, meaning "to cut out." "Decouper," in turn, pastes together the prefix de- ("from" or "away") and "couper" ("to cut). Other descendants of "couper" include "coppice" (a growth of small trees that are periodically cut), "coupé" (a horse-drawn carriage for two with a driver outside and whose name is thought to be from French carrosse coupé, literally, "cut-off coach"), and the clear-cut "coupon."

Examples of decoupage in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Construction paper, decoupage glue, stickers, and glue sticks are other good things to have on hand. National Geographic, "Summer trips canceled? Keep kids inspired with crafty DIY postcards," 2 July 2020 Recently appointed the creative director of Ralph Lauren Home, Cotton was raised in a Federal-style house in Burlington, Vt., and his first job was with the decoupage artist and East Village shopkeeper John Derian. Tom Delavan, New York Times, "A Farmhouse Fantasy Tucked in the Woods of Upstate New York," 27 Feb. 2020 Here, Rufino mixed high-end pieces (John Derian decoupage, Ralph Lauren Burleighware) with more affordable finds (like Crate & Barrel's red-rimmed dinner plates). Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "Your Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Stunning Thanksgiving Tablescape," 25 Nov. 2019 Artist Sally Markey will present sock animals, painted wood items, new decoupage ornaments with all manner of interesting themes, original watercolors, prints and cards., "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 22 Nov. 2019 Leave the gourds to your butternut squash side dish this year and take them out of the centerpiece, swapping in decoupage plates (that look good enough to eat) instead. Sara Rodrigues And Robert Rufino, House Beautiful, "3 Instagram-Worthy Table Settings That Are So Perfect for the Holidays," 8 Nov. 2019 Jodi Harvey of Colora creates book sculptures using techniques from decoupage, papier-mache and paper cutting. Kathi Santora,, "This Cecil County artist will turn your favorite book into a sculpture made from its pages," 11 Nov. 2019 These decoupage clay dishes are a gorgeous way to keep your accessories close at hand. 5. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "10 DIY Ways To Upgrade Your Vanity," 18 July 2018 Known for his love of decoupage (his paperweights are a go-to for designers), Derian owns four charming home goods shops in New York City. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "John Derian's Decorating Secrets for the Chicest Home Ever," 13 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'decoupage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of decoupage

1946, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for decoupage

French découpage, literally, act of cutting out, from Middle French, from decouper to cut out, from de- + couper to cut — more at cope entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about decoupage

Time Traveler for decoupage

Time Traveler

The first known use of decoupage was in 1946

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about decoupage

Statistics for decoupage

Last Updated

8 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Decoupage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on decoupage

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with decoupage Encyclopedia article about decoupage

Comments on decoupage

What made you want to look up decoupage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!