Napkin decoupage is not for the perfectionist. Wrinkles are unavoidable. If you don't mind a little imperfection in your art, using napkins is a great way to get some color and a large variety of images onto your surface.
I chose to use plates, because a) they're cheap, and b) I have a ton of them. In fact, I bought a bunch of second–quality Fiesta salad plates several years ago with the intention of hanging them across my kitchen walls. In that batch were three white plates.
They just didn't go, but in my napkin stash I found a fabulous fruity design with the colors of my plates.
Napkins are layered to help with absorbency. You'll only need the top layer for decoupage, but it's easier to cut the napkin when it is two layers thick. You'll peel the top layer off after everything is trimmed.
I decided to use the pear in the center of all my plates because my attempt at cutting and placing tiles failed miserably. It was easier to cut one side out and slap it on the plate. You can use varnish or thinned craft glue to paste the napkin onto the plate. The only rule is the brush must constantly be wet. A dry brush will drag across the wet napkin and possibly tear it. NOTE: You will not get all the wrinkles out of the napkin.
Since you're pasting a flat piece of paper onto a slightly curved surface, you need to snip the edges of the napkin to add ease. In my case, you can see where the snipped edges overlapped a little after I pasted it down.
I used varnish to paste up my plates. I started in the middle and worked my way out. For the edges, I was able to paste squares into the empty holes. I let the edges hang over the side and trimmed them when the plates were dry.
The final touch was several thin coats of Rustoleum Crystal Clear Enamel spray. It added the shine needed to mimic the other Fiesta plates. I figure that no one is going to be looking for wrinkles in the plates, so I'm not going to point them out.
Now I need to bribe my son to help me line up all these plates on the wall near the ceiling. I am the shortest in this house, and I need all the help I can get.