“She’s Got Heart ” Mixed Medium Collage

June 22, 2017

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Dear readers,

In the process of cleaning out the junk in my home, I found this little gem from a few summers ago. Some sort of half interesting/half tacky Pinterest fail I probably did not know what to do with. Under the dresser it went! I was very organized back in the day… working on fixing that these days!

Two years pass, and I’m looking for a wall art project to do with Squeak that won’t take too long or be too complicated, lo and behold I remember this canvas. I wanted to concoct a fun mixed medium collage that would be fail-proof. What do I mean by fail proof? Is there such a thing? No there isn’t, sadly, but I like to invent projects that use messes and mistakes to their advantage! A perfect mixed medium collage mentality right there.

Listed below are the materials that I used. Feel free to change up the paint colors or canvas size to what suits you and your child best!

Apple Barrel Lime Tree

Apple Barrel Purple Iris

Apple Barrel Candy Pink

Apple Barrel Key West

Krylon Colormaster Watermelon Spray Paint

Ripped up pieces of black and white newspaper

Mod Podge

One 8 x 10 canvas (you can re-purpose an old one or buy a new one)

Round sponge brushes

Paint brush (does not need to be new)

Blue pen or extra fine Sharpie

Before I start in with the step-by-step process, I want to explain what this little collage means to me.

The term “mixed medium” means that many different visual art media was used. Aka I used a lot of “stuff” to make it. Through-out this tutorial, you will see that I used pen, newspaper, canvas, paint, stencils, and more. Some people will add other items to these collages like sticks, leaves, photos, or jewelry. I kept it simple because I wanted my 4 year-old to take part in this with me. The idea of super glue, jewelry, and my child makes me shudder! I think a mixed media collage is a great art form for family projects because it’s symbolic of life and its many quirks. We all know that to be true, not just the ol’ single mama.

I wanted to use two hearts in the collage somehow, to symbolize my daughter and I. I had many different ideas, but I ended up going with a little heart inside a big heart.Who knew you could love some one as much as your own child? I remember my life pre-Squeak and how I never wanted children, and though I totally get it, I couldn’t be happier with how my life turned out!

Anywhoo, back to the tutorial.

The first thing I did, which I did not take a picture of, was rip up a lot of black and white newspaper advertisements. We normally use junk newspaper ads (and mail) to start up a fire in the backyard, but they can also be used for papier mache projects and covering up hideous Pinterest fails.  If you like to do little at-home projects pretty frequently, I suggest just keeping a ton of ripped up newspaper in a bag stored somewhere. I have a plastic bag in my basement full of ripped up newspaper… my boyfriend (occasionally referred to as Mr. D or Mr. Davison) actually tried to throw the bag away once. I explained what I used it for and he didn’t think I was weird. Guess he’s just the best.

Second step, using Mod Podge and paper scraps, cover the entire canvas. I also Mod Podg-ed newspaper down the sides of the canvas so it didn’t look unfinished. I had to do several layers to keep the paint underneath from showing through the newspaper. Mod Podge dries pretty fast, but I would definitely give it a little time in-between layers so you don’t end up with a big gooey blob of newspaper you have to scrap off.

I let my newly covered canvas sit overnight, just to make sure everything was dry and ready to be painted the next day. I’m always looking for outdoor projects for us to do in the spring and summer. Turns out, most projects can be an outdoor project! Imagine that! Usually anything with paint we do in our backyard, the sunshine and breeze works to our advantage when drying the paint (as long as it isn’t too hot or breezy that is).

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Step three, day two, lunch time first. Mmmm watermelon. I searched on Google Images and found a big heart stencil and a smaller heart stencil, there are a ton out there ready to be printed. I printed them out on regular paper, then cut them out. Then I stenciled them again onto a thicker type of paper so that the stencil wouldn’t be compromised by all the paint my daughter and I were planning on sponging on the canvas. I cut the stencil out on an old manila folder that was sort of lingering around my office. What else would work? Cereal box, cardboard, and even construction paper. Anything would probably work better than regular printer paper.

In step four, which you can see in the above image, I stenciled the smaller heart into the bigger heart. There is lots of cutting and stenciling involved in these two steps, but it’s by no means difficult. Depending on the size of canvas you have, I think it would also be awesome to have two hearts right next to each other as well. Lemme know if any of you decide to take this route, and post pictures!

Step five! I taped the stencil onto the center of the canvas and lightly sprayed some of my watermelon-licious Krylon Colormaster Watermelon Spray Paint on the canvas as a base layer for Squeaker to sponge color onto later. I think white would also work well. This tutorial is fun because you can mix and match different colors  to give your mixed medium collage a different effect each time. These collages can also can make very meaningful gifts if you have a friend or family member that likes custom or unique wall art.

Let the spray paint layer dry completely. It won’t take long. Also, do not remove the stencil! You won’t be taking this off until the very end, after all the paint is dry.

Step six. Sponge on all the other colors! This is the step Squeak really enjoyed, and it didn’t take that long. To avoid having the colors mixed together too much, I tried to monitor her painting a little bit. It was not easy. I TRIED to have her slow down and do one color at a time. That never really works when you have a kid that loves paint. But hey, that’s what mom touch-ups are for later right? I’ll admit, I did go back through after the paint was dry, and add a little more color to the spots that ended up a poopy brown color from too much paint mixing together. Judge me if you will! Mostly in the center of the middle heart. If you look closely you can still see some poopy brown paint under the hot pink paint. Ha! Memories!

Step seven! Almost done ladies and gentlemen. Wait for the paint to dry. Wait overnight if you have too. Wait until all your touch-ups are done. Then add a thick outline to your hearts. I swear this is the LAST heart you will have to draw for a long time. I like the outline because it defines both hearts against the busy Mod Podge background and makes them stand out. It also adds another level of cool to the collage.

Don’t forget to sign it and date it!

So what do you think?! There were lots of steps but nothing too terribly difficult I hope? Post some images of your finished projects below, I’d love to see them!

From my heart to your heart,

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All photos edited with love and Pic Monkey. Click my link below and start your free trail!

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