Monday, January 10, 2011

creating artwork collages - part two- assembling your artwork

Once you have your collection of things you want to put in your collage, there are a few things you need.
You need a frame.  I of course, love vintage, chippy frames and keep a collection of them on hand at all times!  
Measure the inside back of your frame to get the dimensions of your working space.
If your frame doesn't have glass you will need these dimensions to get glass cut.  
No big deal, your local hardware store will cut you glass for cheap.  You also need matte board in your desired color.  I usually chose a black or a neutral color - chose yours depending on what you are displaying and where you are displaying.  It could be fun to use a pop color too!
Cut your matte board to size - you can do this with an exact-o blade and straight edge, a matte cutter , or have your art store cut it (easiest way:)  You will also need glazier points to keep the matte board and glass in place, picture hanging wire - get these when you are at the hardware too.

 This one is a combination of pictures, stamps an old funny story and some rippings from books.

 This one is some old advertising, a state fair ribbon and some things that had inspired me when we named the farm.  I like the pop of red from the old school milk ticket and I like to add a four leaf clover to most of my artwork.
 This is just a collection of four leaf clovers my kids found - they have "the eye" to find them.  They can walk outside and come in with handfuls.  They learned it from a friend of mine.  
I paired it with a ripping of an old ledger dated March 13, 1837.

 One of my favorites.  This was a vintage photo of a pet cow.  I bought it on etsy.  I paired it with a children's game piece from piggeldy wiggeldy about a cow!
This was one I made for my husband from things from his grandfather.  This was his grandmothers high school dance card.  I think this might have been the beginning of their courtship.  He is listed just as his first name Joe - 4 times.  The others have first and last names.  
How sweet is that !???

So, lay your matte board down and start playing with layout.  If you don't have enough stuff, look around you, rip a page from a book, add a piece from a newspaper.  Anything goes.  Scraps become part of the presentation.  The mundane becomes art when it is paired with things that mean something.   Allow spacing around all four edges to "matte frame" your artwork.  I usually use rubber cement or an archival glue to set these in.  That way if you want to retrieve them out you can.  If you get your glass and matte board tight enough you may not even need.  Some of these that I don't want to glue I just place in.
With glass, artwork and matte board in place push glazier points all around the matte board into the frame to hold securely.  Add picture hanging wire to the back and you are ready to display your artwork.
They look really pretty grouped together like an art gallery.  I also like mixing vintage and modern frames together for an eclectic look. 
Have fun!!!

We might offer a class on creating artwork collages this spring.  Stay tuned!


  1. Thanks for the tips. I'm never sure which I enjoy more - the "gathering" phase or the assembling!These look lovely.

  2. Lots of inspiration here! I have items that belonged to my parents and have been thinking of displaying them somehow. I love how you did yours!~Hugs, Patti

  3. Linda , All that ephemera looks great in your framed collages! You've collected such neat stuff. I bet you're staying busy readying yourself for a spring sale, right? Sure hope so! I'm still organizing and purging. I need to sell all my furniture and start anew. LOL the husband things I'm nuts. But I'm ready for all new! I usually am pretty lucky getting rid of all of it at my yard sales or thru word of mouth. But that's in better weather than now- and I'm chomping at the bit to get things done NOW! LOL

  4. Love the 4 leave clovers, and the cow one??? To die for!!!