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Friday, April 27, 2012

Collage Wall Art: Make Your Statement Extra Personal

So - my sister is moving - again.  And while I admire the fortitude it takes to move across the country once more, I am green with envy over the possibilities she gets to decorate different homes every couple years.  With that thought in mind, the next few blog posts will be about making your own home decorations - the (of course) artsy girl way!

While I admit that just buying your new decorations would be much easier - and I'm sure Diane would think so after spending hours upon hours unpacking boxes and cleaning her new home - I just can't get my arms around spending the money.  It could be my inherent frugalness...or I could just enjoy the challenge of making something new.  Either way, we have to start somewhere - so let's start with something fun and easy to do. 

I started by asking myself what would make the biggest impact - but look really artsy/cool.  Walls came to mind.  Now, I admit the easiest way to decorate a wall would be to hang some pictures on it - - but where is the fun in that!  Let's make something that tells a story.

I started with some pieces of heavy cardboard (used boxes for those of you who haven't figured it out yet!), that I then cut (with a razor blade) into irregular shapes. I traced the edge of one piece, onto a second so that they will fit together like puzzle pieces.  I then took some leftover paint I had laying around and applied a couple of coats to each piece, making sure it was nice and even. 

While it was drying, I looked through my boxes of extra pictures, funny cartoons, interesting arty business cards, etc....anything that looked interesting and that expressed something about your subject matter. Mine, of course, was all about me (lol) but you could do (Diane are you listening) each house that you've been in (hint hint), special trips you've taken or even one puzzle piece for each member of your family.  You choose.

After the paint was dry, I began to lay out the items in random patterns, overlaying some, trimming others into odd shapes, anything that suggests systematic randomness (is that even a phrase?).  You get the gist.  I cut out words from old newspapers and magazines to add to my creation.   Once my basic layout was complete - I broke out the Modge Podge and a sponge brush and started gluing the pieces on the cardboard.

Once I had the entire piece covered, I let it dry, then put another thin coat of Modge Podge over the entire piece.  I put it aside to let it dry completely while I worked on the other puzzle pieces.  Once they were all dry, I could really have some fun!  What could be more fun than this you ask?   Just wait!

Out of my magic box of craft supplies came squeeze bottles of dimensional paint, glitter, flat back rhinestones, googly eyes and a variety of findings, gear pieces, washers, miniature mirrors and anything else you could imagine.  With my hot glue gun ready to aim, I started with the paint and drew artistic lines through and around all the puzzle pieces, connecting them together without the use of glue.  I added sparkles with crystals, rhinestones and glitter on some, with more industrial hardware on others.  My mixed media art pieces took on added dimension.  Way Cool!

So - once the front dried - I wanted to give it some added dimension and raise it off the wall.  I had some foam blocks left over from an egg project which I cut and hot glued to the back of each piece in a number  of places, making sure that each piece was level, but not necessarily even with each other.  I hammered little nails in the wall and slide the foam pieces right over them so that each puzzle piece appears to float in the air.

Try it - it's a fun project for the whole family - and a definite conversation piece for any room!
~ Dani

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