DIY Watering Can Makeover with Decoupage and Napkins

Give a watering can a sprinkle of blooms and butterflies using napkins with decoupage! This easy and fun technique works on any surface that you want to refresh and give a spring or blooming makeover.

Watering can makeover with decoupage and napkins | © #diy #craft #garden #wateringcan

Happy Thursday! I hope you’re staying sane while sheltering at home. I’ve found that having some projects to keep your mind and hands busy helps. We’ve been busy gardening and I’ve been puttering around the Potting Shed.

Potting Shed | © #pottingshed #garden #flowers

Gardening is good for the soul and you get flowers. . .🌼

With extra time on my hands these days I decided to give a couple of watering cans a makeover using napkins, adding some blooms with a sprinkling of birds and butterflies! I found my napkins at Tuesday Morning back in February with the intention of using them to decorate Easter eggs, but never got around to it. Maybe next year as I only used 2 napkins per package.

Watering can makeover with decoupage and napkins | © #diy #craft #garden #wateringcan

If you’re a reader of my blog, you know I have a *slight* watering can addiction.  ;-) I had two watering cans that were in a sad state and decided to give them a fresh coat of paint before I began decoupaging, using leftover green chalk paint from a couple of garden projects. On the watering can on the right, I sanded the rusty areas before painting, removing any loose paint chips.

A toothpick was an easy way to keep the holes on the rose of the watering cans from sealing closed from the paint. If painting first, allow your project to thoroughly dry at least 24 hours before decoupaging.

Watering can makeover with decoupage and napkins | © #diy #craft #garden #wateringcan

In addition to napkins, you’ll need some Mod Podge which will act as a glue and sealer. I used a matte Mod Podge as the gloss Mod Podge would highlight the wrinkles and my decoupaging imperfections.

Watering can makeover with decoupage and napkins | © #diy #craft #garden #wateringcan

Some napkins are 2-ply and others are 3-ply, mine were 3-ply. To start, separate the napkin layers and discard the white layers so you’re working with the top patterned layer. If you have trouble separating the plys, cut or tear your designs first which will make it easier to separate them.

Watering can makeover with decoupage and napkins | © #diy #craft #garden #wateringcan

I started cutting the napkins and decided I liked the look of the torn edges better and found it much quicker than cutting. The torn edges also made it easier to separate the layers and remove the middle ply of the napkins that were really stuck.

Watering can makeover with decoupage and napkins | © #diy #craft #garden #wateringcan

It’s been years since I decoupaged anything! I found a couple of helpful tips and videos on YouTube to help reduce the wrinkles.

Technique to reduce wrinkles when decouping with napkins | © #diy #craft

One method is lay your napkin face down on a piece of plastic wrap.  I started with plastic wrap and then switched to a clear binder sleeve I had that wasn’t as flimsy. Take a smooth bristle brush and gently brush enough water on your napkin design to carefully smooth out the wrinkles.

Technique to reduce wrinkles when decouping with napkins | © #diy #craft

Flip the plastic over and place your design where you want it.

Technique to reduce wrinkles when decouping with napkins | © #diy #craft

Transfer the wet napkin by gently peeling it off the plastic and the onto the surface of the watering can.

Technique to reduce wrinkles when decouping with napkins | © #diy #craft

 You don’t have to worry about placing a layer of Mod Podge on the can first using this method. The wet tissue of the napkin clings to the surface of the can and the Mod Podge will transfer through the thin tissue when brushed on top, gluing it to the can. I only used this method for the larger design areas of the napkins that I wanted to keep whole and intact.

Watering can makeover with decoupage and napkins | © #diy #craft #garden #wateringcan

With the smaller pieces of napkins, I brushed the Mod Podge onto the area of the can where I wanted it and then applied the pieces onto the Mod Podged area.

Watering can makeover with decoupage and napkins | © #diy #craft #garden #wateringcan

I covered the sides and tops of the watering cans to create a collage with the torn pieces of napkins. Layout your design on the surface of your project beforehand so you have an idea where you want them to go before applying the Mod Podge.

Watering can makeover with decoupage and napkins | © #diy #craft #garden #wateringcan

There’s a bit a learning curve if you haven’t done this before or if it’s been a while since you’ve decoupaged. The best tip I have is to take your time and not rush. . .easier to do these days. ;-) Smaller pieces are easier to apply and keep wrinkle free. Smooth your torn pieces of napkin out from the center to help reduce wrinkles. Allow the undercoat of the Mod Podge to dry at least 15 minutes before applying a top coat. I switched from a foam brush to a smooth bristle brush which reduced tearing and didn’t ‘grab’ the napkin like the foam brush did.

Watering can makeover with decoupage and napkins | © #diy #craft #garden #wateringcan

If you tear your napkin while brushing, don’t panic. Unwrinkle it as gently as possible with your brush or remove the piece while still wet and start over. If you’re covering the surface completely as a collage, allow it to dry, then cover and patch your tear with another piece of napkin.

Watering can makeover with decoupage and napkins | © #diy #craft #garden #wateringcan

After your design is complete, apply a top coat of Mod Podge to the entire surface and allow to dry. Brush it on using thin, even strokes. Allow it to dry completely (about an hour) before applying a second coat. For additional durability, spray your finished project with an acrylic sealer and to reduce any tackiness.

Watering can makeover with decoupage and napkins | © #diy #craft #garden #wateringcan

You can use this technique to decorate any surface…flower pots, birdhouses, furniture. . . the possibilities are endless!  I plan on using my watering cans decoratively indoors but if you plan to use your decoupaged item outdoors, remember to spray with several coats of acrylic sealer to protect it from the elements.

Watering can makeover with decoupage and napkins | © #diy #craft #garden #wateringcan

A craft project that keeps your hands and mind busy while you’re stuck at home can be good for your mental health!

Watering can makeover with decoupage and napkins | © #diy #craft #garden #wateringcan

As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you purchase anything through an affiliate link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Watering can makeover with decoupage and napkins | © #diy #craft #garden #wateringcan

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 Between Naps on the Porch

  80 comments for “DIY Watering Can Makeover with Decoupage and Napkins

  1. Ruthie Miller
    April 23, 2020 at 7:44 am

    This is so gorgeous!!! I have those napkins! I have Mod Podge but alas no watering can. I will keep it in mind though for when we can get out. You did such a great job with it. Beautiful. Made my day.

  2. Rita C.
    April 23, 2020 at 8:08 am

    That’s really pretty, Mary. You did a great job, and provided great tips. I’m pinning this one. I had a watering can like one you’ve decoupaged (I think I gave it to my sister), but I still have a few more. The possibilities are endless. This is a great hop to visit.

  3. April 23, 2020 at 8:15 am

    Good morning Mary, I love the watering can makeover. I have seen so many bloggers decoupaging during the pandemic. As a young bride, I took several craft classes and one of them was decoupage. I made myself and my mother the cutest box purses. I wish I hadn’t thrown mine away years ago. I had already decided to try my hand at decoupage once again and you have convinced me after seeing your lovely project. Happy Thursday! ♥️

  4. April 23, 2020 at 8:36 am

    These are gorgeous and I have a nice stash of pretty napkins. I love the way you tore the napkins for an overall vintage look. Looking forward to trying this.

  5. Wren
    April 23, 2020 at 8:47 am

    I have a slight obsession with Michel Design Works Napkins and have quite a collection. I’ve decoupaged a few things but I really need to do more. You’ve inspired me to do something this weekend.

  6. Alice Genzlinger
    April 23, 2020 at 8:49 am

    I love this idea. Old watering cans are ideal. Just waiting for Hobby Lobby to open.

  7. April 23, 2020 at 8:51 am

    Very sweet, I have collected napkins for years with these very projects in mind, but without a greenhouse I never get around to it! My life has been on hold for years, I can’t start roses, seeds, cuttings, crafts, I need my little glass room for full frontal fun! Love yours, darling as ever!

  8. Cindy Moore
    April 23, 2020 at 8:56 am

    After 20 years as a paraprofessional in an elementary I was crafted out. BUT your project may force me to try to duplicate your accomplishments! Thanks… I think.

  9. April 23, 2020 at 9:11 am

    Good Morning Mary,
    Isn’t modpodge the best product we can we have in our arsenal of crafting materials!
    Love the napkins you chose and this wonderful watering can too.
    Spring has sprung for you!
    Great to share in the crafting blog hop with you.
    Stay safe.

  10. April 23, 2020 at 9:15 am

    Love this idea! Decoupage is one of my favorite ways to craft and I have a watering can that can use some attention like yours.
    Nice to be blog hopping with you :)

  11. Deb
    April 23, 2020 at 9:30 am

    The cutest watering can ever! The flowers in it make it come to life! Just Beautiful Mary!

  12. Chas
    April 23, 2020 at 9:56 am

    I love decoupaging and making things for outside. This is so lovely and perfect for spring! Thanks for sharing.

  13. April 23, 2020 at 10:03 am

    Hi, Mary. Our Tuesday Morning closed, and I so miss the wonderful paper goods they offered at reduced prices…when you only want a few for a project. Great tutorial for those who have never used this very versatile product. I love the result, too! Thanks for always inspiring! Sandi

  14. April 23, 2020 at 10:04 am

    Too adorable Mary!! I LOVE the way your can turned out! I love to play with Mod Podge, in fact I have some supplies laid out to do some bottles today :) I appreciate you sharing the tips and tricks you learned…oh, the dreaded wrinkles! I have found they are much less noticeable after it decoupage dries…this hop has got my mind whirling with inspirations, now I wish I had a watering can! Sooo pretty!

  15. Jane
    April 23, 2020 at 10:15 am

    Mary, you make your projects look easy…..
    So bright and cheery
    Love them both.

  16. April 23, 2020 at 10:27 am

    Hello! Happy Thursday! Wait… is it Thursday? These days are all the same. But when I saw your watering cans it made Thursday much more brighter! These are beautiful! I may have to give this a try. Once again… thanks for the inspiration!

  17. April 23, 2020 at 10:34 am

    What a beautiful napkin to use on your watering can. I love how it turned out. Your garden looks wonderful as well.

  18. Clara
    April 23, 2020 at 10:42 am

    Mary, the watering cans are so pretty! What a wonderful makeover. Great idea! Will be pinning.
    BTW, I made the “doctor the box” spice cake. We’re enjoying it this week. It’s delicious and a nice change from what we’ve had for dessert recently. Enjoy your day! Clara ♥️

    • April 23, 2020 at 10:44 am

      Thank you Clara! So glad you’re enjoying the cake. We all need a sweet treat these days. ♥

  19. Cyndi Raines
    April 23, 2020 at 11:07 am

    What beauties they turned out to be! Those napkins are the perfect choice with the sweet birds, colorful flowers and butterflies for your watering cans. Will pin as I don’t have any modge podge glue, but would like to try this in the future. Still enjoying my special soaps you showed us how to make. Don’t want to use them as they are so darling, lol. Craft on! 🐦🦋🌹

  20. Ellie
    April 23, 2020 at 11:10 am

    So thought all the ideas, recipes, crafts, deco – EVERYTHING you share with us.

  21. April 23, 2020 at 11:10 am

    Mary, I’ve said this so many times, I sound like a broken record, But is there anything you can’t do? The watering cans are charming. They remind me of the one I have that I bought several years ago at Target, full of colorful blooms! I don’t have the number you have, but they do multiple here!
    I love seeing your potting shed any season! The clean windows remind me I need to wash the windows in the sunporch!
    Happy Spring!

  22. Ellie
    April 23, 2020 at 11:11 am

    So LOVE

  23. Dr. Mary
    April 23, 2020 at 11:16 am

    Wow! How lovely! I have not done Mod Podge since the 70’s when I did Holly Hobby pictures. Love this! Going to order some Mod Podge today!! Have you ever done the Elmer’s glue with additional water homemade Mod Podge?

    • April 23, 2020 at 11:20 am

      Thank you Dr. Mary! No, I never have, I’ve always used Mod Podge. Do you like the results as well as with the store bought brand?

  24. Gail Marie
    April 23, 2020 at 11:35 am

    Love that idea!! I have some of the same napkins, will try that soon!

  25. Gail
    April 23, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    Very pretty

  26. April 23, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    That is so stunning; what a great idea! I’m going to be on the lookout for napkins now so I can embellish my own watering can too.

  27. April 23, 2020 at 2:02 pm

    Mary!! This is beautiful! I have decoupaged using napkins on May things but never thought to adorn a watering can! Love, love this!! I’m adding this to my list of projects after the boxes disappear!!
    Have a great week!!

  28. YVonne Shafer
    April 23, 2020 at 2:04 pm

    Love this project, Mary! Now I wish I would’ve kept my watering cans. Thanks for the inspiration!

  29. Susan Beninato
    April 23, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    Mary, the watering cans are beautiful. The flower and bird images are simply gorgeous. I wanted to decoupage Easter eggs, but I couldn’t buy Modge Podge anywhere – they were sold out. Maybe now that we’ve all been home a few weeks, the supplies are back in stock. I do miss going to Hobby Lobby and Michaels, but will try the online store again. Thank you for sharing your beautiful ideas with us, they always brighten my day!

  30. April 23, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    I love everything about these watering cans! You did such an artistic and amazing job on that decoupage, too.

  31. April 23, 2020 at 3:29 pm

    Totally transformed! They turned out great Mary-enjoy:@)

  32. Kitty
    April 23, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    Your watering cans turned out so beautifully, Mary. My mom and I used to love doing Mod Podge projects back in the day. I did a pumpkin not that long ago, and it turned out pretty cute. We need our projects to keep us busy.

  33. April 23, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    What an awesome project! I just recently started using Mod Podge and love playing around with it. This is a perfect craft for spring – especially since you love those watering cans. Love it! Hope you are staying safe and healthy!

  34. Bonnie Morgan
    April 23, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    I love the watering can with the birds. You did a great job and provided a great tutorial. I really like it as I love birds.

  35. Linda Bell
    April 23, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    Absolutely beautiful! Love it! I have a collection of watering cans too and some need an update. Think this will be a nice technique. Thanks for sharing!

  36. Sue
    April 23, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    Your finished project is beautiful! I’m inspired and thanks for the many helpful tips.

  37. April 23, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    I love this idea and how it turned out!! It’s so pretty!!!

  38. Dorinda Selke
    April 23, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Mary ~ these are over the top ! I love them. I am thinking about crafting a flower pot for my daughter for Mother’s Day and plant some faux succulents in the pot. I do have a question for you. Can you use a clay pot for this ? If so can it be used naturally or does it need to be painted ? Thanks for such a great inspirational post

    • April 23, 2020 at 7:35 pm

      Thank you Dorinda! You would want to give the pot a coat of paint first. Any 2 oz. bottle of acrylic craft paint would cover the pot. If you have a Michaels near you, they have curbside pick up. :)

  39. Chloe Crabtree
    April 23, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    Mary, You have made these watering cans into amazing works of art! You did such a beautiful job of fitting the images around one another and NO wrinkles!! Lovely, lovely! The idea for the toothpicks was brilliant! I know I have a watering can around and now I really want to transform it!! Thanks so much for hopping with us!

  40. Nancy Brantley
    April 23, 2020 at 8:09 pm

    I love this! Never used Mod Podge but will try now. You are the AMAZING CRAFTING MARY!!

  41. April 23, 2020 at 8:31 pm

    Mary, I love everything about your gorgeous watering can makeover — the color paint, the images you used, and how you collaged them. Wonderful! A great tutorial too, with lots of helpful tips and advice (clever use of toothpicks!). I haven’t decoupaged since I was a kid. It’s a craft that seems to be seeing a resurgence. I just ordered some Mod Podge for a project to be determined — thanks for the inspiration. I’m looking forward to trying something old, new again.

  42. Michele M.
    April 23, 2020 at 9:10 pm

    WOW! That is so amazing – and I have two out of the 3 of those napkins, haha. Love Tuesday Morning stores!
    Liked so much I showed my husband – and I have a watering can in mind to make over. Thanks for the inspiration, Mary. This is one of your best yet.

    Hope you are staying safe and healthy.

  43. Ellen
    April 23, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    Haven’t decoupaged in years!! I’ll be trying this on some flower pots!! Thanks for the reminder!! ♥️🌹

  44. April 23, 2020 at 11:27 pm

    Your watering cans are gorgeous!! I’ve not had success with decoupage, but the matte might work better for me…. and I’ve only tried eggs and Christmas ornaments. Maybe I should start with some flat, or large like this. I love your pretty napkins.

  45. April 24, 2020 at 1:16 am

    Your project came out beautifully and all your tips were super helpful. So fun hopping with you!

  46. April 24, 2020 at 2:12 am

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post!!

  47. April 24, 2020 at 9:52 am

    Mary, this is absolutely stunning! You used the perfect napkins to transform the watering can! Happy to be joining you for this creative hop! Blessings, Cecilia @My Thrift Store Addiction

  48. April 24, 2020 at 10:44 am

    Well, you know I absolutely love this project. Are we all falling in love with decoupage again. You have some good tips that I will try on my next project. Your napkins are beautiful. I love the idea of covering old watering cans.

  49. april
    April 24, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    Simply adorable and no need to wait for stores to open. If we don’t have napkins, we can also order them online I’m sure!

  50. April 25, 2020 at 8:46 am

    Oh, the magic of Mod Podge! Your watering cans look gorgeous. I love that you painted them green first. The birds, butterflies and flowers are the perfect motif for watering cans. It was fun hopping with you, Mary!

  51. Virginia
    April 25, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    Mary, Such a beautiful and brilliant idea. I have always loved the paper goods at Tuesday Morning and tend to stock up when near one. Thank you for sharing another creative idea. I am making goats milk soap today and thank you for the inspiration for that project. I have gotten tired of cleaning silver and since we are encouraged to wash our hands often I decided to make pretty soap and give to friends and neighbors.

  52. April 25, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    This is so beautiful. Makes me feel all nostalgic and happy. So glad to have been a part of this blog hop with you!

  53. Heather
    April 26, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    Love the watering can idea. I have been wanting to try this. You have inspired me.

  54. lynnemyfamilythyme
    April 29, 2020 at 10:41 am

    This is so beautiful, Mary! I love decoupage and usually do these types of projects with my students. You have inspired me to create some spring decoupage projects at home. Pinned!

  55. Debbie
    April 29, 2020 at 11:56 am


  56. May 14, 2020 at 1:51 am

    That is just beautiful!!

  57. Liz
    May 15, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    It’s lovely!

  58. May 31, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    So glad I came across this post as I need to do something with one of my watering cans that the painted flowers have faded. This will be perfect!

  59. June 16, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    These look so great. I saw them in another post of yours and thought, man she is so creative! Now I know how to tackle a project like this and must try decoupage one day definitely.

  60. August 15, 2021 at 1:10 pm

    WOOW its really amazing , you made my day .
    You write a great blog of this .
    I really like your effort .
    Thank you so much for this .

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