DIY home: art book decoupaged coffee table


i have been meaning to DIY spruce up this coffee table that we found on the side of the road, for months now! i was using it in its ‘before’ state for so long because i couldn’t decide what to do with it. finally, in a fit of madness, i decided to decoupage it – much like the table i did for the Nate Berkus Show here – but this time i used an artist sketch book on the human body and spray-painted the legs metallic gold!

NOTE: i have had this book for years and i honestly never use it, i figured it was more eco-friendly to use the actual pages from the book to decoupage the top as opposed to photocopy new ones. plus, i’ll look at and enjoy them a lot more when they’re on my table everyday!

the process…

the after…

DIY Artist Sketch Decoupaged Coffee Table with Gold Legs

watch the video above for the full tutorial

Prep It:

  • coffee table
  • modge podge or white glue
  • foam brush
  • book pages or photocopies, etc. of what you want to use as your table top – **don’t use printed images from an ink-jet printer because the ink will bleed, use laser copies or book pages.
  • spray paint or paint color of your choice for your table legs
  • spray paint primer
  • sandpaper
  • coffee – optional if you don’t want to age your paper
  • tub or bowl of water
  • polyacrylic protective finish – i used the satin finish from Minwax
  • paint brush – for your polyacrylic
  • exacto or razor blade
  • drop cloth


  1. prep your table for painting and decoupaging with a light sanding to remove any wax or varnish seal – you want a matte finish to your table when you’re done, you don’t have to sand to the bone.
  2. spray your table legs with white primer spray paint so that the color shows up really well – you can skip this step if you’re doing a darker color.
  3. after your primer dries, spray or paint your table legs with your color.
  4. prep some coffee in a tub with water and tear images or pages from a book or photocopies that you want to decoupage. let them soak in the coffee liquid for a minute or two until soft and stained but not too long so they fall apart.
  5. using your foam brush, paint a layer of modge podge on the back of your piece of paper and lay it down on the tabletop. you can also paint directly on the table and place your image down.
  6. then paint another layer of glue over your piece of paper on the tabletop **make sure to smooth out any air bubbles under the paper – i used my fingers – prepare to get a little messy.** use ample amounts of glue, it will dry clear so don’t worry if it looks messy as you go.
  7. continue step 6 until your entire tabletop is covered. don’t worry about the edges, let the paper hang over, you will trim later – just make sure they’re not stuck down anywhere you don’t want decoupage.
  8. once the decoupaged tabletop is fully dry, use your razor blade or utility knife to carefully trim the edges.
  9. paint 1 to 2 coats of polyacrylic protective finish over your tabletop to seal in the design and make it totally durable for everyday use!


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Love it! I'm going to do this to my coffee table 🙂

Julia Hermandung

I need an old table to do this! It looks amazing!


Wow this is really an amazing idea. Love this DIY table.
Love to watch your video's.
xo, Petra


Would this work with Photographs??


I love this table! And I love your Mr. Kate moustache throw pillow... is that another DIY project? I want my own Mr. Kate moustache pillow!


I'm so doing this! I have an older wicker-topped table I've had for years and am so sick of. I was going to buy a new table but this is so awesome... I'll just strip off the wicker.

Julia Hermandung

Just wanted to let you know I mentioned this DIY on my blog!
Take a look 🙂



Love it!! and you!


lol. that table was really cute. then you ruined it.


Hello...I have just discovered your page, while surfing on the internet for decoupage. I would like to ask...I want to use this this technique on my coffe table, but since we use it for eating, drinking cofee etc, it gets dirty very frequently and i clean it by using a klinex spray and a wet wettex.This polyacrylic substance is it solid enough or my cleaning routine will destory this upper layer....?thanks in advance....


It's her coffetable tooo. She telling about it in the video.. (-:


Woop! I have a pretty decent coffee table for my new apartment, but it's so boring! I've started carefully cutting out comic book heroes/heroines/villains to decoupage it! This should be brilliant. Thanks for the simplicity. It will make a grand piece.


I've discovered your blog yesterday and may I say I LOVE IT!!!!
You are AMAZING! Love your videos and you are so funny and cute! From now on I'm going to follow you, but don't worry, I'm not a stalker (who stalkers admits it anyway?)! 😛
You've done a great job with your table. I was thinking of doing something similar too, so now is my chance! Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work!


if i can find a girl as pretty as you who loves art as much as i do i would die happy on this miserable world. i cant even find a girl who drives or has a job let alone does something like this. i found this page because im buying a house and plan on designing the entire thing wall to wall with drawings and art everywhere. as you can tell i have no future or a wife or kids anytime soon. awesome page


I am going to attempt this with a beat up Ikea table top that I use for my desk. For images, I'm going to use all of these art images I've been saving from old calendars and also extra postcards I've been hoarding. Since I paint and draw at my desk, I thought to do an art theme.


sounds like it will look awesome! post photos when you're done!


Your table looks so amazing. Can a thin printed fabric be used instead of the paper to cover the table top?


Thank you so much!! Yes, thin fabric will work too, but it will have a different texture! Thanks for commenting! XO