This is a common question we hear most days in Busy Brush Cafe, so I thought I would answer it for you in detail.
Decoupage is the craft of cutting out pictures from magazines or Decoupage manufactured paper and sticking them onto items like paper, furniture or boxes. With Decoupage, a layer of varnish is added with each new layer to seal the piece. The glue works on wood, paper and fabric. Some Decoupage projects use to have 30-40 coats of varnish! This was usually used in conjunction with different effects created by paint, metallic leaf or gems. These images can also be made 3D whereas Decopatch is always 2D. The 3D technique requires finding images of varying different sizes and sticking them on top of one another with a thin foam wedge between them. This is similar to the pyramid technique, which requires many images the same, cut smaller and smaller, stuck on top of one another to create a pyramid shape effect.
Now, onto the background. Decoupage comes from ‘decouper’ the French for ‘to cut’. Although the word is now said to originate from France the actual art of Decoupage began in Siberia. It was a craft used to decorate the coffins/tombs. By the time the craze reached China it was being used to decorate interior items such as lanterns and decorative storage boxes. The craft had been thought to come to Europe in the 17th century so its been here for quite a while! Yet it is still so easy to get the two crafts mixed up. Decopatch originates from Decoupage, it's just a company name for a brand that has slightly changed the craft itself.