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How To Make A Distressed Napkin Decoupage Lamp

If you love the distressed blue and white vase trends this spring, I can’t wait for you to see how I made a napkin decoupage lamp that has a distressed look.

I’ve been seeing these vases everywhere including online at Magnolia. Since I love the look, I ordered some of these napkins to make my own version of these vases.

Blue and White trending vases as inspiration for the lamp

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However, before I could find the vases I wanted, I found this lamp at the Habitat ReStore for only $1.00.

I liked the shape and decided it would make a great napkin decoupage lamp.

$1.00 thrift store lamp

Distressed Napkin Decoupage Lamp

The first thing is to prepare the lamp to assure the napkins would adhere to the lamp base.

Begin by taping the metal parts of the lamp that you don’t want to paint.

I recommend using a this textured spray paint to paint the entire ceramic base of the lamp.

Once the textured paint is dry, secondly, paint that same area with Old White Chalk paint.

In addition, you can paint the metal trim areas with an antique brass paint.

Add Napkin to Lamp

Next, you are ready to add the napkin to the lamp.

Begin by separating the layers of the napkin and then cut the top layer of the napkin into smaller sections using razor edge scissors.

This will allow the pieces to wrap around the curved edges of the lamp without folding.

Cut the napkin into smaller pieces to apply to lamp

Next begin adding napkin pieces randomly to the lamp base using Gloss Mod Podge.

Brush mod podge onto lamp with a paint brush in the areas you want the napkin to be applied.

Napkin Decoupage Lamp by randomly placing the pieces of napkin on the base with mod podge

Add the napkin to the top of the mod podge and then brush an additional layer over the top to adhere.

Add napkin decoupage to lamp until covered

Continue until the lamp base is sufficiently covered.

Napkin Decoupaged Lamp base

Distress Lamp

Finally, to distress the lamp, use a mixture of black and brown craft paint and add distress marks to the base in random areas.

Apply some broken spots and some smudged areas as you can see in the photo below.

Add distressed marks to the decoupage lamp

Finally, apply a mixture of 3 parts mod podge and to 1 part chalk paint over the entire surface of the napkin decoupage lamp base.

Note: Test a small are before covering completely to assure that the mixture isn’t to heavy. You are wanting a milky coverage not completely white.

Allow the mixture to cover heavier in some areas to lighten the pattern which will add to the distressed appearance.

Yield: 1 Lamp

How To Make A Distressed Napkin Decoupage Lamp

How To Make A Distressed Napkin Decoupage Lamp

Easy way to transform a cheap thrifted lamp into a trending decor accessory.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Active Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost 8


  1. Use painters tape to cover any areas you don't wish to paint.
  2. Spray the lamp base with textured spray paint to add a ruff surface.
  3. Paint over the textured paint with white chalk paint
  4. Then paint the metal areas with Antique Gold Paint
  5. Separate layers of the napkins
  6. Cut top layer of napkin into smaller pieces with razor edge scissors
  7. Apply gloss mod podge to small sections of the lamp base.
  8. Press the napkin sections onto the mod podge.
  9. Then apply another layer of mod podge over the napkin to adhere.
  10. After the entire lamp base is sufficiently covered, use the brown and black paint to add distress areas. Paint some cracked spots and add some smudged areas randomly on the napkins.
  11. Finally, mix 1 part white chalk paint with 3 parts gloss mod podge and brush over the entire lamp base. Allow a heavier coverage in some areas to enhance the distressed look.
  12. Note: Test a small are before covering completely to assure that the mixture isn't to heavy. You are wanting a milky coverage not completely white.
  13. Add new lamp shade and ta da!


You can apply this same technique for vases or bowls

Choice of napkins and paint colors are optional

Recommended Products

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Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Finished Napkin Decoupaged Lamp

To finish the lamp, a new shade was added.

Upcycled Thrift Store Lamp

The lamp works perfectly with the other blue and white accessories added to the master bedroom last Spring. You can see how I updated the bedroom here.

Trending Distressed Blue and White Decoupaged Lamp

Since I have napkins left over, I’m collecting some thrift store vases in similar shapes as the Magnolia versions. I can’t wait to use this technique to add napkins to them as well.

Did you know that this bedside table is a thrift store transformation? You can see how to transform a cheap chest into this industrial style versions on this post.

Lamp in bedroom

Be Sure To Watch The Full Video Tutorial Here.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I look forward to sharing my next adventure with you.

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Wednesday 3rd of August 2022

This lamp is gorgeous! You described the process precisely & eloquently. I am going to the thrift store and hunting down lamps and napkins to do this project for my guest bedroom.. Thank you so much!


Wednesday 3rd of August 2022

Gina, I'm so glad you found this post helpful.


Sunday 12th of June 2022

Lovely, I have an ugly old lamp like that I was going to give away. I have changed my mind and am going to give it a new life with this technique. Thank for the shar


Sunday 12th of June 2022

Thanks Sandra, I’m sure it will turn out great!


Sunday 12th of June 2022

The lamp is fabulous! I'm hoping to do a similar treatment to the tops of a pair of side tables... would you have any tips on how/what to use as a topcoat for that kind of surface?


Monday 13th of June 2022

Patti, I could use a clear polyurethane to protect the design. Thanks for stopping by.


Sunday 12th of June 2022

The lamp was beautiful until you distressed it. I thought it ended up looking dirty. Great idea, though.


Monday 13th of June 2022

Debra, My inspiration was the distressed vases that are so popular this spring from Magnolia. Thanks for your input.

Kim | Shiplap and Shells

Saturday 23rd of April 2022

This is the best idea Rachel. I can't wait to try this on one of my older lamps.


Monday 25th of April 2022

Glad you like this Kim.

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