Rose Collage Piece


Today I want to show you an easy technique that has never let me down. I use it in art journaling, collage pages, on ATCs and I am pretty sure I could even do this in Bible journaling. Hmmm. That might be an interesting thing to try. Anyhoo. Let me walk you through collaging with a napkin. Yep. It is easy.

I was making an ATC with the theme of rose for the Letter R. I had the perfect dinner napkin and I wanted to use a small portion of it. You can see in this photo – and you can imagine – the dinner napkin was much larger than the 2.5″ x 3.5″ area I had to work with. I only needed a portion of the artwork on the napkin. My plan was to gesso adhere a couple of the roses to the ATC paper. Hand cutting this was not an option for me. Too time consuming and too tedious. First of all was to prep the napkin. Most napkins like this have several layers of paper. This particular napkin had three. All I needed was the top layer, so the first step is to gently peel that top layer of napkin away from the rest of the underlying papers. It really is easy to do. The second step was to isolate the part I wanted to work with. I took my water brush that was already filled with water and outlined the area I wanted to incorporate with water. And went over it again. You can see that water line at the top of the flowers.

Once that line is wet it is easy to just separate the paper with your fingers and pull out the section you want. In this picture, you can see on the right hand side and the bottom where I folded over the part I pulled away from the design.

And this is what I had to work with. It was more than enough for the size of the ATC. I wanted this piece to wrap all the way across my ATC and fill the entire area.

I began by coating the ATC with a layer of clear gesso then placing the napkin paper down onto the ATC. Next I spread a layer of clear gesso all over the top as well. There are other products you can use for this step – I just happen to like Dina Wakley’s Clear Gesso because it isn’t gritty to the feel and it doesn’t interfere with any of the other colors I use. Napkins will wrinkle and crinkle if you leave them to dry on their own. So I dried this right quick with my heat gun. Only took about 10 seconds.

Lovely, isn’t it? Hahahahaha!

I trimmed all the excess away with scissors and now people will look and wonder how I made that fit! Hahahaha! It is just like magic! Poof!

A couple years ago I picked up a Korean dictionary on Amazon, I like to use it for collage work. No idea what that says. Hopefully it isn’t something obscene. Eek! Used the same gesso to attach this piece with a coat underneath and over the top. Then trimmed away the excess.

That dictionary section was a little bright and needed some toning down. I used another one of the Joggles Itty Bitty Stencils that I am using in my Taking Back the Studio project. That sponge came from the top of an Opal Polish jar. The bottles won’t fit in my drawers with the sponge toppers on – so I took them all off. Hahaha! They work great for things like this. I used that spun sugar and inked a little rose piece over the Korean dictionary page. Just lightly.

I thought that top area could use a little help, too. Hahahah!

And I still thought the dictionary section was too light, so I used another stencil to layer in some darker brown. I also used that mint color from Dyestress to ink the edges and scruff across the surface in a few places.

For the top right section – I hand tore a small section of sheet music from a piece of scrapbook paper and adhered it in place. Totally forgetting that the mint colored ink I used up there wasn’t permanent. So it got a little green minted tinted. Hahahaha! I figure that just helps date the piece a little. So that was my new direction. I tell you I changed directions several times while making this.

I had these really cute little stickers from awhile back and one had a rose on it! Score! And it totally covered up some of that mess that used to be Korean script.

And this was how the ATC looked at that point. I still wasn’t happy with it even though I’d changed several things, added several things, messed up a couple things. And I had one last idea.

Cheapo craft paint from Walmart! Yep! Hahahaha! Fifty cents a bottle.

First I made white splatters . . .

. . . then I made pink splatters and sat it aside to dry.

And here it is completed. Is it perfect? No. Do I like it? Yes. Is it 100% different than I envisioned when I started? Absolutely! And that is ok. When your art takes you in a different direction than you had planned – think about what you can do to salvage it. How can you change it to make it work? I had several changes I had to make before I even arrived at the first step I showed you here. Life doesn’t always work the way we want it to, the way we plan for it to. Life has a way of making its own path. Sometimes we have to adapt. And that is what I did to make this rose ATC work. I adapted.

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6 thoughts on “Rose Collage Piece

  1. This is LOVELY, Alice! From the first photo to the last, the change from paper napkin to vintage art is amazing. In particular, I just love the scrap of sheet music. <3

    • thanks, jan, I wasn’t sure this piece would actually work. I kept changing things and ideas but I really like it in the end. so thank you for the comments – they make me feel better about this one. <3

  2. The napkin technique looks absolutely fabulous & I know people use it for Bible Journalling. The antique green & rose colours work beautifully with the napkin colours – what I call Victorian Rose or Antique Rose. Fascinating to see how all those layers sort of melded together too. The number of times direction changed when I was making cards.

    • I actually started with a different ATC that didn’t work out . I saved it and am trying to think of some way to save because I really like that napkin and that was the end of it.

    • I used that color tool that I can never remember the name of. that rubber thing – color spreader – shaper! that thing, color shaper! then dry it immediately

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