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How to Collage the Artsy Way

by Sara Naumann

Imagine your creative journey into a new type of paper craft. A way to stretch and grow your skills and talents. A chance to play with papers, paper art and three-dimensional embellishments. Join us for a very special creative journey into the world of Artsy Collage.

What is this new style of collage? you might ask. Picture a square wooded box, a journal, or a dress form, each collaged with torn papers and three-dimensional embellishments. You decide upon a themewhether thats Travel, Nature, Asian or something elsethen cover your surface with background papers. Youll add paper art images, three-dimensional embellishments and embossed charms. The result? A beautiful, functional piece of art.

And while we know the process of a creative journey is often the most fun, we also know it helps to know a few shortcuts along the way! Collage artist Teresa Nelson shares her techniques below. Come along!

Teresas Favorite Collage Supplies (and Why)

Artsy Collage Decoupage & Collage Gel
Crafters Pick Craqueleur Art Sealer
Artsy Additions 3-D Collections:
Each pack contains a color-coordinating assortment of embellishmentsso I have a variety of embellishments to choose from! says Teresa.
Artsy Additions Embossed Paper Charms:
Theyre small, lightweight and add just a touch of shine to a project.
Artsy Collage Paper Art:
These little books are designed for collagetheres a book of Textured Backgrounds, plus four themed books of collage art. No more hunting around for paper art!

1 foam brush
scissors: Small, sharp scissors are best for cutting out paper art.
waxed paper or disposable paper palette
E6000 Adhesive for gluing heavy 3D embellishments

Teresas Basic Collage

  1. Select a surface and choose a theme. This can be a wood, papier mache, glass, metal or cloth surface. Choose a surface that relates to your theme: for example, a papier mache dress form for a romantic, feminine theme or a wood box to store treasures from your travels.

  2. Choose faux texture and patterned papers for your background. Teresa suggests a variety of tone-on-tone papers (patterned with different shades or tones of the same color) so the paper art and embellishments stand out.
  3. Cover your surface with the background papers. One option is to tear the papers into small pieces, overlapping them as you glue them to the surface. Teresa offers this suggestion for tearing papers: The smaller your surface, the smaller the torn pieces should be. It allows the individual patterns and textures to be distinguished and makes it much easier to collage around small corners. Teresa uses Artsy Collage Gel to collage: shell pour a small puddle of the gel onto a piece of waxed paper, apply the gel to the backside of each piece of paper with a foam brush, then place the paper on her surface.
  4. Add the paper art images. These are individual paper images that support the theme of your design. You can cut each image out with scissors before adding it to your project, or you could tear around each imageor cut around one portion of the image, then tear around the rest. Add quotations or single inspiring words too. Simply glue on top of your collaged background. Place them in clusters or individually. Seal your surface with two coats of Artsy Collage Sealer.
  5. Add three-dimensional embellishments. Heres where you can really explore your creativity and express the theme of your design! Three-dimensional embellishments just seem to add that extra touch!

Teresas Tips for Choosing your Embellishments:

Choose by theme: Feathers, cork and fibers are perfect for designs with an outdoorsy feel; a fused pearl strand is beautiful for a feminine theme; Chinese coins are great on travel themes and of course, sea glass and flat marbles are a great match for just about any theme.
Choose by color: Select items that match the colors in your background papers and paper art, or choose items that contrast.
Choose elements to highlight the words or quotes youve collaged onto your background: Position a flat back marble on top of a word to magnify it. Drape a feather to arch around an oval-shaped quote. Journal or place a photo on a tag, then add fibers to attach it to the project.

How to arrange them on a project:

Three-dimensional embellishments look great when grouped as a cluster. Remember the design principle of placing in threes: three flat-backed marbles, or five beads, for example. You can also place them in a more linear fashionfor example, glue seashells along the bottom of a journal to create a border. Paper accents, like tags, look great when overlapped and attached with an eyelet.

Teresa suggests you experiment with the three-dimensional embellishments before gluing them to your project. Play with the placement, she says. Arrange your embellishments, then walk away from the projectmake a cup of tea or simply take a short break. Then come back and look at your design with fresh eyes.

Any final tips from Teresa? Just one: when youve completed your design, take a bow! Youve created a unique, one-of-a-kind piece of art! Congratulations!

Information from Part not in database (may have been discontinued): #2315. The book contains more information on collage techniques, plus papers and instructions to make 14 collage projects.