Tag Archive: Collage

I dont know about you guys, but I always get a real satisfaction from creating something out of nothing.

Ive always loved to recycle stuff and create items from scratch, I find it very rewarding working with items which would normally be condemned to the bin. Waste not, want not; thats my motto!

For this challenge we are going to revisit probably one of the very first craft techniques we learned at school! Which is of course….Papier Mache!

How many of you remember blowing up a balloon at school and covering it with newspaper and glue to make a lovely handmade bowl for mothers day or easter?

I used to be fasinated by papier mache, amazing isnt it how by applying layers of newspaper and glue and allowing it to dry you can create an unique handcrafted piece of art!

For this challenge we are going to use basic papier mache skills to create a simple or intricate frame using papier mache and cardboard.

Once finished the papier mache frames can be used as shrines, or to hold photographs, atcs, artwork, certificates – just about anything really!

You are welcome to follow the basic steps outlined here on this site, or go ahead and make your own thing! This is only meant as a guide to help springboard your ideas…

Read on for details on how to get started…..

Step 1

For step 1 of the challenge we will concentrate on how to create the main frame using cardboard and papier mache.
Supplies needed for the first step are:

  • Card Board
  • Newspaper
  • White Pva Glue
  • Water
  • Plastic Container
  • Paint Brush
  • Craft Knife (optional)
  • Scissors
  • White Acrylic or Gesso

Additional Information On Supplies:

Card Board – For this challenge all you need to get started is a simple card board box! You can recycle any card board, I found that the heavy duty variety is best but this is not essential as you can make it more sturdy by adding double layers to it.

Newspaper – For each frame you need approx 2 large sheets of double spread newspaper torn up into smallish pieces.

White PVA Glue – This is basic cheap white school glue, you can use brand names if you prefer such as royal coat or modge pod but the cheap variety works just as well. I use Anitas brand, in the US you can use Elmers.

Water – This is for watering down the glue when you come to add the papier mache layers.

Plastic Container – For mixing the glue and water in; I used the cut off bottom of a 2 litre pop bottle.

Paint Brush – or a plastic spoon to mix the water and glue together with.

Craft Knife – If you want to create a hole in your frame you will need to use a craft knife to cut it out. Dont worry if your shaky with your knife cos you can get around this!

Scissors – Essential for cutting up card board and building up 3-d layers on your frame.

White Acrylic or Gesso – For priming your papier mache frame once it has dried ready for painting.

Making The Frame:

Theres a number of ways you can create your frame, it all depends on the basic shape you want it to take. To make any of the frames shown on this page just follow the instructions beneath each photograph (or make your own style frame!)

  • Frame 1 – Basic Frame:

Frame 1

  • Instructions For Frame 1 (above):

Take 3 sheets of card board all cut the same size, set 1 sheet aside for now, using glue, stick the other 2 layers together to create a double sandwich. Now using a craft knife cut out a hole in the centre of the double layer of card board to make a frame. The hole shown above is the same size as an ATC, I placed an atc in the centre of the cardboard and cut around it allowing a small border. Once you have made a hole in the 2 layer cardboard, glue them both onto the 3rd sheet of cardboard (the one which hasnt been cut) to create a back cover. Allow glue to dry.

  • Frame 2 – Archway:

  • Instructions For Frame 2 (above):

Take 2 exact same size long rectangular sheets of cardboard and glue them back to back to create a sandwich. Next use a round plate or a cd as a template, place it at the top of the cardboard and draw round the shape, then cut along the circle to create an archway. Using the plate you drew around to create the archway; create another circle from a scrap piece of cardboard, and cut it into a small border, glue over the top of the cardboard base. Cut 3 long strips of cardboard and glue them down as shown in the photo above to create a border for the archway. Dont worry about being neat as you will cover this up in the next step. Finally to create depth I added an extra strip of card to the base of the archway to make a step. Allow glue to dry.

  • Frame 3 – House:

  • Instructions For Frame 3 (above):

As before, take 2 sheets of cardboard the exact same size and glue together to create a sandwich. Cut the top of the board into a triangle shape to create a house roof, if your worried about cutting it wrong, make a template first using scrap paper and use this as a guide. Cut another triangle shape from spare cardboard, and affix it to the front of the roof to make it more 3 dimensional. Attach another strip of card below this. Cut out 3 long strips of card (dont worry about neatness) and glue them down onto the left, right an bottom parts of the house to create a border. Now cut 3 thinner strips and make a bordered interior as shown in the picture above and glue down. – I cut the strips down a little as a time until they slip in the spaces easily kinda like a jigsaw. Let glue dry.

  • Frame 4 – House 2:

  • Instructions For Frame 4 (above):

Frame 4 is a slight variation on frame #3, this time I opted for a tall thinner version and used less strips inside it.

Applying The Papier Mache:

Once you’ve got your basic shape of your frame, its time to start adding the papier mache layers!

To make your papier mache you need to water down your white glue – use equal parts water to glue (depending on the thickness of the glue) You want the consistency of milk.

Tear the newspaper up into small strips – variate the sizes of the strips – long thin strips are idea for wrapping around the edges and smaller strips are perfect for slipping inside the nooks and crannys.

Dip the newspaper into the glue and water mix and slap it onto the cardboard, you want to completely cover the surface of the cardboard. How many layers you add is completely up to you, you can add more or less.

As a guide I used roughly 3 complete layers of torn newspaper on each frame. I added more layers to the edges and the joins to create a perfect seam.

Adding more layers in different areas creates texture and built up areas so exxperiment as you add your papier mache.

Once you have covered the board, set it aside to dry overnight.

You should then have something which looks a little like these below:

Preparing The Frame For Painting:Once the glue has dried on your papier mache frame it will be rock solid! I just love that! Now its time to prime it and get it ready for painting and decorating!

To do this I apply 2 layers of either white acrylic paint, or gesso. If you dont have white paint or gesso – dont worry – any light colour acrylic paint will do!

Paint it on and let it dry ready for Stage 2 of the challenge – or if your too impatient…go ahead and paint it anyway!

Once primed your frames may look like these:

Step 2

Once you’ve prepped your papier mache frame you can decorate it any way you choose!This is the REAL part of the challenge! Think of ways you can decorate your frame!

These frames will take pratically any type of paint or ink so experiment! Use acrylics or gouche paints or even inks! You can add textured paints too! I added interest using 3d fabric paints to draw on lines and squiggles which I painted over once dry. Another way to add interest is to stick on silver tape and add colour with alcohol inks! Or cut up pieces of unwanted cds and glue them on the frame using diamond glaze. Its up to YOU!

Heres some examples of what I did:

Using Cd Pieces:

I painted the frame with black acrylic, then cut out a cd to make a mosaic around the frame. Colour was added to the pieces using alcohol inks, finally I added german scrap stars to finish. The hole in the centre of the frame is large enough to house an artist trading card which is what I am going to use it for.

Using 3d Fabric Paint:

First of all I added dimension using 3d glue and drew on dots and swirls. Then I painted it maroon acrylic, next I dry brushed over in gold acrylic, then finally added the cut out picture and the stamped quote to finish.

Silver Tape:

First of all I drew blocks using 3d fabric glue, when it had dried I covered the frame with silver tape. I brayered over to make the rigdes appear through the tape. Then added colour with alcohol inks and added german scrap highlights to finish.

3-d Tag Box Art – New Ways With Tags!

I love to use tags in my artwork, and am always thinking of new ways to use them and new avenues to explore. This got me thinking; why don’t we ever see any 3 Dimensional Tag Art?

Then it came to me…why not use tags to create boxes with! And that was how this idea came about!

Its a really fun technique; once you try it you will be making all your tags into boxes! The best thing about it is that you can make your boxes as big or as small as you wish!

Better yet your not restricted to just tags you can use any die cut shapes to make them into mini boxes of art!!

General Tag Box Making Supplies Used:

  • 4 Shipping Tags Or Sizzix Die Cut Tags: must be all the same size.
  • Black Stazon Inkpad (Tsukineko)
  • White Card Stock
  • Pencil and Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Paper Scorer Tool
  • Double Sided Tape or your preferred gluing medium.
  • Gold Paper Brads or Eyelets (optional)
  • All Rubber Stamps Used By Ma Vinci’s Reliquary

General Tag Box Making Directions:

First of all I am going to walk you through the instructions on how to make the very basic Tag Box, it is a lot easier than it sounds in the written instructions.

To make it easier I have drawn a diagram in a program so that you can get an idea of the basic structure of the box base.

Once you have mastered this; you can make boxes using more tags or even baskets! Read on for more details..

First things first you need to measure the width of one of your tags, this is the shortest bottom edge of the tag itself. This will be the measurements you need when creating the box base. Let us assume for the sake of this technique our tag is 5 centimetres wide.

1. Using the pencil and ruler, measure and draw a square onto the white card stock; each side of the square must be 5 centemetres long.

2. Next draw a parallel line approx 1 centimetre from the square all around the outside edges of the square.

3. Using the ruler draw small ‘flaps’ within the 1 centemetre border you have just created. For a better idea see the RED lines in the diagram below:

4. Cut along all the red lines as shown in the diagram above.

5. Fold and score along the actual black lines shown: This is the actual 5 centimetre square you first measured out.
6. Now if you hold a tag up to one of the flaps you will notice that it fits perfectly along the base of the tag. Your box base is ready but first you need to decorated your tag!

7. Stamp your tags and add colour using any method or technique of your choice. I stamped in black ink and added colour using dye inks and ‘Direct To Paper’ technique.

8. Now apply a small amount of double sided tape to the bottom of each tag on the REVERSE. And affix each tag to each of the 4 flaps of the box base. You will now need to make a strip of card to enable the tags to join together and make a complete box as it is just a flat cross shape at the moment! This step is easy!

9. Measure a strip of card approx 2 inches long on a sheet of A4 card stock *the strip may need to be smaller if you are using small tags.

10. Remember the dimensions of the widths of your tags? We said 5 centimetres for these instructions; so measure 5 centimetres along on the strip of the card, and score just UNDER the 5 centremetres mark approx 1 mark on the ruler. So that the fold is slightly less than the 5 cms.

11. Using the first fold as your guide, concertina fold the strip of card until you have folded the entire strip. You want 5 folded sections in all. If there are more; cut off excess.

12. Fold the strip back round so it resembles a box shape, and using double sided tape; stick it together.

13. Slide the box shape inside the tag base, and affix a tag to each of the 4 walls to assemble the box itself.

This bit only SOUNDS tricky until you have the actual pieces infront of you. Once you have your pieces it kinda all ‘falls in place’. Your tag box is complete!

As an embellishment to add a little JAZZ to the boxes, I like to split paper brads through the holes of the tags. This is optional. You can leave your box as it is, use it to hold candles or slip tags or notepaper inside or use as a gift box. Or simply as a work of art!

Once you have mastered the basics you can begin experimenting!

Arched Die Cut Boxs

Instead of boxes I used Arch die cut shapes to make a box, you can use any die cuts so long as they are all the same shape and also have a flat base. These are perfect for creating candle holder with! See scans below:

Milk Carton Tag Boxes

This is a favourite of mine, I like to do is make my tag boxes into Milk Cartons!! These are really easy to create. Follow the instructions above, then once your box is assembled; tuck 1 flap right inside the box shape, then tuck another flap over the top of that. Then finally use a paper brad to secure the 2 remaining flaps together to resemble a milk carton. See scans below for a better idea:

Milk Carton Side ViewMilk Carton Side View Milk Carton Front Milk Carton Back

Tag Art Baskets These Tag Art Baskets are a little more complicated to make, but once you’ve mastered the basics of a basic tag box they should be pretty easy to understand and make!

Instead of using 4 tags, for the baskets you need 12 tags in total, all the same size. For the baskets you need to use smaller tags, the Sizzix die cut tags are perfect for this as they are just the right size.

Tag Art Basket Making Supplies Used:

  • 12 Small Tags Or Sizzix Die Cut Tags: must be all the same size.
  • Black Stazon Inkpad (Tsukineko)
  • White Card Stock
  • Pencil and Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Paper Scorer Tool
  • Double Sided Tape or your preferred gluing medium.
  • Gold Paper Brads or Eyelets (optional)
  • All Rubber Stamps Used By Ma Vinci Reliquency

Basket Front As before measure the width of the tag, let us assume for these instructions that the width of the tags are 3 cms wide.

1. Times the width of the tag by 3, giving you the total of 9, measure 9 cms onto the middle of the A4 sheet of card stock. This will be the longest side of the basket base.

2. Now times the width of your tag by two; giving you the total of 6cms. Measure a line 6cms down from the line you have just drawn on the card stock. This will be the shortest side of the basket base.

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 above to draw in the rest of the rectangle basket base using a pencil and ruler, refer to the diagram below for a better idea.

4. Now as with the basic box shapes; draw a parallel line all around the outside edges of the basket base approx 1-2 centimetres from the actual base itself. And draw in ‘flap’ shapes at every 3 centimetre interval. For a better idea refer to the RED lines in the diagram below.

5. Cut around all the lines marked in red in the diagram below.

6. Score along all the black lines shown above and fold all the flaps upwards.

7. Stamp and decorate your tags using your chosen method.

8. Affix a tag to each of the 10 flaps on the basket base using double sided tape as above.

9. Now is the tricky bit! The best way to do this is to tackle it a side at a time, I find it best to work with the sides with the 3 tags on first:

Basket Back

    Basket Assembly Instructions For Side With 3 Tags:a. On the reverse of the left hand tag place double sided tape or your chosen glue method to the top right hand side of the tag. Lift and affix the lefthand tag over the top of the middle tag; allowing it to overlap. See pictures for a better explanationb. Repeat this step using the right hand flap; affixing double sided tape to the reverse top lefthand corner. And assemble over the top of the middle tag. Repeat steps a and b for the other side with 3 tags.

For the remaining 2 sides with 2 tags on, the assembly is straight forward; just place a strip of double sided tape to the reverse of either tag on the top corner and overlap to assemble.

See pictures for a better explanation

10. To add strength to the basket interior I measured a long strip of card the same width as the tag shapes (3 cms), then placed double sided tape on one side of the strip. Next I slipped the strip of card inside the basket, and pressed it inside the basket and moved the strip around until it had gone around all the edges. If you want to disguise the card strip interior at this point you could add a tissue paper lining using glue or tape.

11. Next I placed a paper brad in each of the tag holes to add embellishments.

12. The final touch was the basket handle. To create this I stamped 2 tags with the words ART on each and DTP’ed colour to them both.

13. Next I took a strip of card 3cm wide, and used double sided tape to stick both tags to the card to join them together. Trimmed off excess card.

14. Finally I applied double sided tape to both edges of the tags, and slipped them inside the tag basket to form an handle. See pictures below for a better idea. The Tag Art Basket was complete!

Basket Side View Basket Side View Basket Handle amd Top View

This technique shows you how you can create fantastic looking collage cards using the humble craft punch!

What You Need

Craft Punch: I used squares and tag shaped punches
White Card
Masking Tape
Dye or Pigment Ink Pads for DTP
Black or Brown Memories inkpad for stamping
Rubber Stamps of Your Choice
Double Sided Tape
Card for Layering
Card Blank

How To Create

1. Using your craft punch, punch out approx 10 shapes from the white card stock.

2. Take a strip of masking tape, de-tack it first onto a piece of fabric, and then place it on your work surface sticky side up.

3. Position one of the craft punch shapes onto the top half of the masking tape, taking care to leave a small strip of masking tape exposed at the bottom of the punch shape.

4. Next position the second craft punch shape underneath the first, lining it up exactly with no gaps.

5. Continue for the other craft punch shapes.

You are lining up all your craft punch shapes next to each other, without any gaps along the entire strip of masking tape. At this point you can add as many or as little punch shapes as you wish, adding more rows too if desired.

6. Once you have your rows of punch shapes you are ready to stamp! I stamped using a memories inkpad, stamp various images to a specific theme across the entire blocks of punch shapes. Allow ink to dry.

7. Once ink has dried, apply inks from inkpads using a sponge direct to the card shapes to ‘direct to paper’ the background. You can add further detail using watercolour pencils if desired. Allow ink to dry.

8. Once ink has dried, carefully remove the stamped craft punch shapes, and assemble them onto card using double sided tape (or glue if you prefer). Leave a slight border between each block as you assemble.

9. Layer onto a single fold card blank, your Punch Art Collage is complete!

Punch Art Collage Gallery

Ive finally stamped! And Ive made my first creation of 2007 so naturally I am feeling very happy!

Im really into collages right now, Im not saying Im any good at them, I just enjoy making them, particualry on streched artist canvases. The canvas below Ive christened ‘Play Time’ and it uses my current favourite colours.


Materials Needed:

  • Square Artist Canvas
  • Credit Card For Applying Paint and Gesso
  • Brown Acrylic Paint in 2 shades
  • Scrap Patterned Paper
  • White Gesso
  • Brilliance Moonlight White Inkpad
  • Text Background Rubber Stamp
  • Collage Rubber Stamp
  • Black Memories Inkpad
  • Piece Of Mountboard
  • Purple & Yellow Dye Inkpads (Big & Juicy Used)
  • Cosmetic Sponge for applying inks
  • Strip Of Ribbon
  • Pva Glue
  • Glossy Accents
  • Button
  • 3 Metal Teaspoon Charms
  • P L A Y Metal Letter Tabs (Making Memories)

How To Create:

1. Squirt 2 shades of brown paint onto the canvas and use the credit card to cover the board, take care not to mix the colours together as you want the 2 shades to be blend with one another, yet be visable enough to create tones. I used a dark brown and a teddybear brown for this. Let paint dry.

Heres what the blank canvas looked like before I did anything to it:


2. Next, stamp the handwriting rubber stamp using the white brilliance inkpad along the left hand side of the canvas to create an interesting border.3. Glue ribbon onto the right hand side of the canvas using pva (clear drying glue)

4. Take a large torn piece of patterned paper – I recycled a sheet of Christmas gift wrap for this. And glue it approx in the centre of the canvas with glue. Allow to dry.

5. Onto a piece of mountboard (or stampboard) scrape a little amount of white gesso with the credit card. Do not completely cover the card. You want little gaps and blank areas to create interest. Allow the gesso to dry or heat with heatgun if your impatient.

6. Take the cosmetic sponge and 2 colours of dye inkpads – I used yellow and purple. Drag and sponge across the mountboard covering it with ink. You will notice the gesso-ed areas create a kind of cool background resist. See close up below for detail:


7. Now stamp the board using the collage stamp with black memories or any permanent dye inkpad of your choice. Let dry.

8. Glue stamped mount board onto the canvas collage in the top right hand area.

9. Affix the 3 gold metal teaspoon charms to the canvas using glossy accents. Let dry (prefably overnight)
10. Affix large brown button to the bottom of the ribbon using glossy accents, let dry.

11. Finally finish off the collage by affixing the self adhesive metal alphabet tabs to spell out the word P L A Y.

Artists Canvases or stretched canvases as they are also known as are perfect for altering and painting. You can buy them quite cheaply these days from pound and dollar shops.

For this challenge we are going to start work on a small canvas, this way we wont feel out of our depths with a huge imposing blank canvas looking at us. So what size should you get? Well thats up to you, but seeing as we are going to have a swap; I figured a mailable size! Ie something that will fit through your letter box! As a guide approx HALF the size of a standard piece of printer paper (or smaller if you wish!)

If you cant get hold of stretched canvas you can use canvas board, or even acrylic paper. Alternatively you can use the cover of an hard back book instead (you will need to paint it white first to prime it or use gesso)

You might prefer to practise painting onto canvas paper before applying your paint onto the actual canvas to build up your confidence.

The Altered Collage Canvas Project will be broken down into easy steps to allow you to follow them at ease.

Step 1

For step one of the Altered Canvas Challenge we will concentrate on how to add colour onto the blank canvas.

I chose ordinary crafters folk art acrylic paints, because they are cheap, cheerful and colourful. Plus they are very easy to work with and are made for using with canvases.

There are other mediums you can use if you dont have acrylic paints, some examples are poster paints, artist inks, watercolour crayons, oil pastels, glazes, watercolours, adirondak colorwash sprays; infact anything at all!

If you wish to follow the adding colour steps of this challenge below then you will need the following supplies:

  • Stretched Canvas -or- Canvas Board
  • Folk Art Acrylic Paints
  • Decorators Paint Brush
  • Plastic Lid
  • Credit Card
  • Newspaper

Additional Information On Supplies:

Folk Art Acrylic Paints – I used Anitas brand, other types of brands are Inscribe, Jo Sonjas or Plaid.

Choosing Colours -To create the sample shown in this tutorial I used 4 different colours of acrylic paint: Yellow, Red, White and Purple. You can use any colours you wish, however make sure the colours you choose compliment one another. I recommend that you choose 1 light/pale colour, one dark colour, one bright colour and white.

Decorators Paint Brush – Use a wide bristled cheap decorators brush as they are easier to slap the paint on with

Plastic Lid – Use an icecream or margerine lid or even a plastic plate, this is for mixing your paint onto.

Credit Card – I use those free store cards or mobile phone top up cards for this. A plastic knife or fork will also work as a subsitute.

Newspaper – This is used to protect your work surface, especially if your a messy painter (like me!)

Directions For Painting Canvas Background:

Before You Begin:

You are going to apply the paints ‘wet on wet’; this means you do not allow the different layers of paint to dry, you are applying one layer of paint directly on top of a wet layer of paint. This is known as the wet on wet technique and allows the paints to naturally interact with one another and blend.


For the base coat I used YELLOW, if you wish to chose an alternative colour then opt for any pale light colour such as; yellow, pink, light blue, light green, tan or similar.

Squirt yellow paint onto plastic lid, dip paint brush into the paint, and tap the brush onto the newspaper to remove some of the excess paint; you dont want your brush to be too wet. Quickly rub the brush and transfer the paint roughly across the canvas, dont apply an even coat. You want some canvas background visible through the paint. See example below:

Step One

For the second coat I chose RED, if you would like to use a different colour then pick an alternative bright shade such as purple, blue, magenta, green, orange, brown etc.Squirt some red paint onto the plastic lid, dip your brush, rub off the excess paint from the brush so that it is almost dry, and drag it across the canvas. Move your brush in different directions. Again do not completely cover the surface, you want some yellow visible. See the example below:

Step 2


For the 3rd coat I always use white, white is neutral and acts as a binder which will bring your two previous colours together.

Squirt the paint onto the plastic lid, again dip your brush and tap off excess and gently use the brush to sweep across the surface and gently blend the 2 base colours together. Do this step with a light touch and apply the paint sparingly. See example below:

Step 3

FINAL LAYER – Highlights:For the final layer I used both white and purple together, if you wish to use an alternative colour then opt for any dark colour paint, examples: green, blue, brown, black, maroon.

The final layer is for applying highlights to the paint only.

Squirt a tiny amount of the purple onto the plastic lid, squirt some white paint next to it so that they are touching each other. Use your brush to lift up the paint, tap off excess onto newspaper and apply the purple and white blend randomly over the canvas to add interest and highlights.

Next use the credit card to scratch into the paint to lift and remove little areas of paint. Because the paint is still wet you can use the credit card to reveal the previous base colours on the canvas and create depth and dimension.

Use the credit card to scratch out patterns into the paint too, experiment! If you go wrong you can simply remove the error or cover it up with more paint! See exaple below:

Step 4

Once you are happy with how your canvas looks put is aside to dry.

More examples of painted canvas backgrounds:

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3

Example 4

Step 2

Now we are ready for Phase 2!

This time we are going to start adding highlights and enhancements to our painted canvas backgrounds.

Theres a number of ways we can do this, Step Two will concentrate on the different methods in which you can add interest and texture to your canvas collage before adding the main image.

General Supplies Needed For Adding Background Elements:

  • White PVA Glue
  • Dark Acrylic Paints
  • Plastic Lid (for mixing paint)
  • Decorators Paint Brush
  • Torn Text Printed Papers
  • Craft Papers
  • Credit Card
  • Patterned & Alphabet Rubber Stamps (optional)

Additional Info On Supplies:

PVA Glue – This is cheap white school glue, it dries clear, it is also known as Elmers Glue in the USA. I use the Anitas brand. You can use any brand such as Mod Podge, so long as it dries clear.

Dark Acrylic Paints – I use Black, Purple, Maroon and Grey – if you dont have many dark colours of acrylic paint you can mix a tiny amount of black to your lighter colour to achieve a darker shade. Experiment with colour mixing and combo’s.

Torn Text Printed Papers – I used pages torn from an old hard back book, you can use papers from magazines, books, newspapers, catalogues – anything! If you prefer you can use printed text scrapbook paper.

Craft Papers – In any colour, you can use patterned too if you wish but do not choose a pattern that is too bold as you are going to use it as a backdrop for your main image later on. I used Brown Kraft paper and Gold Kraft paper as they are both muted and not too ‘in your face’ – you could recycle brown envelopes for this if you dont have Kraft papers.

Patterned & Alphabet Rubber Stamps – If you have any large alphabet stamps or pattern stamps then these are ideal. Dont panic if you dont as there are other ways to get interest onto your canvas!

Suggestions For Enhancing Your Canvas Backgrounds:

Before you begin, you do not have to follow these steps at all, you can add whatever enhancements to your canvas your heart desires. You also do not have to follow them in any order, feel free to interpretate these steps and use them in any shape of form you wish!

Torn Paper Strips –

Tear strips of printed text paper and position and glue it onto the canvas – you can glue it anywhere on the canvas area. Bear in mind that it will be used as a kind of border for the main image.

You can also glue down torn strips of coloured craft papers too, or patterned papers.

Dont use gigantic pieces of paper as you dont want to cover too much of your lovely painted background either!

Alternatively you can add torn strips of craft papers too, experiment with different paper strip widths and lengths to achieve different effects.

You can water down some acrylic paint and use it to paint your torn paper strips before you glue them on so that you have different colour papers. Try layering different colours of painted papers together to add interest.
See one of the examples below:

For this canvas I tore strips of text paper and painted them with watered down acrylic paints, I highlighted the edges on the larger piece using black paint to give the paper a grungey feel.

Phase 2 Canvas

Rubber Stamped Highlights:

You can use large alphabet rubber stamps to paint on background elements. I used a set of foam stamps by Making Memories – I picked out random letters or numbers and used paint to ink them up and stamp them. I also used a making memories pattern set with large harlequin stamps in them to add background detail.
If you dont have any foam stamps; you can use ANY patternrubber stamps!

I used a ‘Scratches’ stamp by the Tim Holtz Line, I painted it with purple and white paint and stamped it randomely across the canvas.

Important: When using acrylic paints with ordinary rubber stamps remember to clean them up straight away so that the paint doesnt dry on the rubber.

If you are using a larger stretched canvas you may find it harder to get a good impression in the centre of the canvas because there is no wood to support it. There is a way to get round this; you can slip a clear acrylic stamp mount under the canvas in the place where you want to stamp and use it as a support rest. When you stamp you are stamping onto the block underneath and therefore it helps you get a good image. You can also do this with a hard backed book.

See example below:

The canvas below was first randomly stamped across the surface using purple and white paint, I used the Tim Holtz Scratches stamp for this. When the paint was dry, I glued on a strip of torn text paper. Next I stamped on the numbers 4 and 2 using black acrylic paint to finish. This canvas is all ready for the final stages of its transformation!

Phase 2  Canvas

Painted Highlights:

If you dont have rubber stamps to use, there are other ways of adding dimension to your canvas backgrounds.

Punchinella Detail:

You can use Punchinella (sequin waste), use this as a stencil and brush on paints through the holes, move it around and stencil small areas across your canvas. You can also use the punchinella to stencil on the torn papers as well as the canvas.

Credit Card Scratches Detail:

Dip the edge of a credit card into acrylic paint, and use the edge of the card to paint and draw random abstract lines across your canvas – dont worry about being neat as you want to be totally random.

You can also use the credit card to make ‘cross hatch’ patterns too. See examples on this page for more info.

Brush Strokes Details:

Dip a brush into dark paint and scrape off the excess paint onto scrap paper, the brush is almost dry but not quite, use this to ‘dry brush’ across the surface of the canvas to add dimension. You can also dab brush strokes across the edges of the canvas to create little fleks.

Dont be afraid to experiment with brush strokes to add pattern detail. Remember if you make a mistake you can use a damp sponge or baby wipe to remove your errors!

Have Fun!

Basically the general rules are…there are none! Use stamps, brushes, credit cards to paint and add dimension and interest to your canvas. Tear off strips of papers and glue them randomly. Dont worry about placement and how they look at this point as you will be covering some of these up in the final Phase 3!

Have FUN! Just play with the paint and the papers.

Canvas Background Element Samples:
First of all I randomly created scratches on the canvas using a credit card. Next I made a border using punchinella and black paint to stencil the pattern across the edges. Next I stamped the numbers using purple paint, and finally I stamped the harlequin backgrounds to finish.

Phase 2 Canvas

On the example below, my first step was to make credit card scratches across the canvas using white and purple. Next I glued on a piece of torn brown kraft paper. I took a strip of torn text paper and painted it purple, then stencilled on black punchinella holes over top of it, finally edged the paper with black paint and glued it overlapping the brown kraft paper. The numbers 8,2 where stamped using purple paint, then I roughly stamped the Harlequin stamp on purpose so that I didnt get a perfect image.

Phase 2 Canvas

On the canvas below I painted the edge of the left with purple paint to make a border, next I glued on a torn strip of walnut ink stained paper, I over lapped this with a strip of brown kraft paper which I had punchinella stencilled. Finally I overlapped this with a torn strip of brown kraft paper. I added credit card cross hatches using black paint. Harlequin was stamped in grey, the letter G was stamped in purple, the border on the right was created using the number 0 stamp repeatedly. I then used a credit card to draw a line across the harlequin pattern.

Phase 2 Canvas

Torn text paper glued on first, then I painted 3 random blocks across the side of the paper. Next I stamped on the number 5 and used the harlequin to off stamp on the edges.

Phase 2 Canvas

Torn text paper glued on, credit card scratches and brush strokes added to add detail and finally stamped with harlequin border to finish.

Phase 2 Canvas

Dry brushed the left hand side with black paint first, then I glued brown kraft paper, then glued punchinella stencilled text paper over the top of this. Finally stamped the letter W on the canvas to finish.

Phase 2 Canvas I stencilled randomly across the canvas using punchinella and maroon paint first. Then I tore off a large piece of gold craft paper and glued it down. I glued a strip of text paper over the top of this, then layered over a torn strip of punchinella stencilled paper to the left hand side. Finally I added a long thin torn strip of brown craft paper. I then stamped the letter A, and harlequin background, then used a credit card to add scratches on the brown kraft paper to finish.

Phase 2 Canvas

Step Three:

Now for the FUN part of the Altered Canvas Challenge….adding and gluing collage bits and pieces!

Heres a run down of what you need:

  • Collage Images
  • Glue
  • Glue Applicator
  • Rubber Stamps
  • Tissue Paper
  • Embellishments

Additional Info On Supplies:

Collage Images:

First of all before you begin you need to collect collage images, I cut pictures out of magazines and catalogues for this purpose. I also printed out vintage images from an image disk I have. If you dont have any Vintage Image resources then theres a fantastic site where you can get them for free!

Check out:




Another good source for collage images are book pages, printed napkins, catalogues, junk mail, newspapers, magazines, wine labels or even printed scrap book pages, take a look at your stash as you never know what you will find!

Using Magazines For Collage & Copywrite Issues:

If you dont intend to sell your work then you have nothing to worry about and can use any source from magazines for your collaging. If you do however plan on selling make sure you use copywrite free images!

Types Of Glues To Use:

PVA, Royal Coat, Mod Podge, Elmers or good old fashioned white gloopy school glue. I use the Anitas brand which is inexpensive, this type of glue dries clear and is perfect for both collages and canvases.

Tools For Applying Glue:

I use a piece of sponge, you can use a brush if you prefer but I find a sponge works better for me and spreads the glue around more. I also so a credit card to flatten the images down when I glue them to remove air bubbles.

Adding Stamped Images:

If you have used a canvas board or canvas paper then you can stamp directly onto your canvas using Brilliance, Stazon, Memories or any other arhival inkpad. However if like me you have used a stretched artist canvas this is a little more difficult. All is not lost! You can either place a clear acrylic block under neath the canvas where there is no wood support and use this to rest on as you stamp…0R Use TISSUE PAPER!

Stamping With Tissue Paper

Using Tissue Paper is my favourite method, but before I begin let me tell you that all tissue papers are not made the same! Some tissue papers have a glossy coating on them and they are not really suitable (but you can still use them).

The best type of tissue paper to use is the stuff you get packed inside your new clothes – I always save mine to use as it is so soft and delicate. You can also use the unprinted ply from a napkin as this too is very soft or tissue paper used in dressmaking. You can stamp on tissue paper using a good permanent dye inkpad such as Memories or Stazon.

When you glue the soft tissue paper or napkin paper onto the canvas with white glue it dries almost transparent, as if by magic it dissapears! Which means you dont have to add colour to the tissue paper as it will take on the colour of your canvas background.
If you cant get your hands on this soft uncoated tissue paper, all is not lost! You can use any tissue paper, but you will need to add colour to it before you stamp it. Or you could use coloured tissue paper which cuts out the need for colouring all together! One way of adding colour to the tissue paper is to add a transparent wash to it – use acrylic or watercolour paints watered down with a lot of water and brush gently over the tissue to stain it. Once dried you can stamp the tissue with a permanent inkpad then glue onto your canvas.

Lettering And Words:

You can add quotes or comments to your collage using quotes printed from your computer or you can cut out letters from magazines or newspapers to assemble your own. You can stamp quotes too or use printed tape from a Dymo gadget – its up to YOU!

Collage Embellishments:

You can use anything at all to embellish your canvases, you dont have to think ‘flat’ like you do with cards – go for a real 3-d feel and use nice big bellies! Ideas for embellishing are eyelets, brads, metal charms, florist silk flowers (affix them with eyelets or brads), fibers and ribbons (pierce holes in the canvas). Also metal embellishments, doileys, cake trimmings, typewriter keys, gems, punchinella…inface anything at all! If you can glue it you can use it!

Slap Em All Down!

Once you’ve assembled all your supplies you are ready to get collaging! Dont worry about things being perfect – this is art!

Also when using collage embellishments I find that if you use odd numbers it is more pleasing on the eye – ie use 3 or 5 embellishments instead of 2 or 4.

You can tear or cut your images out – its really up to you! If you want to create a seamless type collage you can add a little paint to the edges of your images to finish it – this step is not essential as I didnt do this but I know a lot of collagists like to.

And remember the most important thing is to have fun! There are no right or wrong ways to do this! Just *YOUR WAY*….

Collage Canvas Examples:

Heres the collages I did for this Challenge along with notes and info for each:

5 Star Boy Canvas:

The image was a vintage printout I had, which I glued to the canvas, I next stamped the quote you see onto tissue paper and glued it, I used the soft type mentioned earlier – I love how you can just about see it, yet you cant effect it has. I then glued on 3 golden stars to embellish.

Canvas Collage

Innocence Canvas:

Before I glued on the collage bits I added some more stamping to this canvas, I used Moonlight White Brilliance and a swirl stamp to add a border on the far right. I then glued on the little girl picture (a printout), and stamped the LOVE words and Hand onto tissue paper and glued those onto it. I then decided it needed some hearts on it, so I found 3 heart embellishments in my stash – the gold corrugated die cut at the top left, the silk heart at the bottom with a red button in the centre. The middle embellishment is a recycled tag from a gift set I got at Christmas, I pricked 2 holes into the canvas and threaded the cord on the embellishment through the holes then used brads to secure it. Finally I added a cut out flower from a garden catalogue, then added the Inspire card embellishment to the centre to finish.

Canvas Collage

Strike A Pose Canvas:

I printed out the same woman in a bathing suit image 3 times, each time a different size and glued to the canvas. I then added the words Strike A Pose using letters and words cut from magazines!

Canvas Collage

Golden Era Canvas:

The 2 women pictures are vintage images I had in my stash, I glued that on, next I glued on a section of gold paper band I had for decorating cakes. The vintage key was a scrapbooking embellishment. I made this collage to fit the words ‘Golden Era’, which was cut out of a magazine a while ago and saved.

Canvas Collage

Romancing The Rose Canvas:

Another Vintage image was used of the lady in the collage, next I glued an image I found in a magazine of pink floral jewelry on the left hand side, I then glued a section of paper lace doiley over the top of this. The cameo is a button I had, I removed the shank and glued it back together then onto the canvas. I then added the ‘romance’ dictionary definition (it was cut from a sheet of scrapbook paper) And finally added a picture of a rose and 2 vintage buttons to finish.

Canvas Collage

Gentlemans Journey Canvas:

I stamped the chap onto tissue and glued it on the left. Next I glued on some of the gold cake trim across the top of the canvas. Then I added 3 metal number embellishments I had over each of the harlequin prints. I then glued down several tickets, overlapping each, and added the key embellishment, watch picture and the scrabble words ‘remember’ to finish.

Canvas Collage

Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend Canvas:

I first stamped a border across the top and bottom using white brilliance and swirl stamp. I then cut out various images and words from magazines, catalogues and print outs. I stamped 2 women images onto tissue paper and glued them down first. I then assembled the various other images across the canvas as shown. For embellishments I used faux gem stones and flower beads.

Canvas Collage

Angelic Harmony Canvas:

I didnt do much to this one as I struggled! First I added a stamped border on the left, then I stamped a design onto tissue paper and glued it down, I then used a magazine image of a golden cherub. The fabric tag on the left is one I recycled from a T-shirt I bought! The bow at the bottom of the canvas was cut from Cosmo magazine.

Canvas Collage

Perfect Reality Canvas:

This is another I struggled with and dont really like it! But I wanted to show it as I believe you can learn a lot from your own mistakes as well as your successes. All the images came from magazines apart from the 2 faces which are stamped onto tissue paper.

Canvas Collage