DIY Design

Sometimes it’s more fulfilling to create an accessory for your home all on your own. Which is exactly what associate art director Lisa Summerell opted to do when she visited her sister (who is expecting twins this October) in Australia. Instead of purchasing artwork from a major retailer for her sister’s nursery, they created a decorative collage (see opposite, below) that we thought was so great we wanted one of our own. Here’s a guide to creating your very own collage for your kids’ rooms, kitchen, bedroom, and more.

What You’ll Need

  • Frame with pre-cut matte
  • Illustration or matte board
  • Paper (at least five different patterns)
  • One sheet of transparent stencil film
  • X-acto knife
  • Scissors
  • Self-healing cutting mat
  • Double-sided foam tape
  • Thread
  • Scotch tape

How to Make It

  1. Choose a shape for your collage. (We chose a teapot and finished it with a teacup for a fun twist.) Draw your own shape or find an image to trace. Cut a template using the transparent stencil film.
  2. Decide on a color palette. (We used shades of green and blue and sprinkled in a few neutrals for variety.) Find multicolored papers at craft shops and specialty stores. You can even use wrapping paper.
  3. Determine how many collage pieces you need (we used twenty-five pieces for an 16-by-20 frame). Position the templates on the paper, trace, and cut out the shapes using scissors and an X-acto knife and cutting board, if needed.
  4. To construct your thread grid, measure your collage shape and then space it out evenly from inside edge to inside edge of the frame’s original matte board. Mark the inside of the matte with a pen, then tape thread at the marks to create a grid (see below).
  5. Cut the illustration or matte board to the same size as the frame. Place the grid on top of the illustration board and use it as a guide to place your paper cutouts.
  6. With thread grid in place, attach each collage piece to the illustration board using a small piece of the double-sided foam tape (roughly 1/8 inch). Lift grid and, voilà, perfectly spaced pieces without any pencil marks to erase!
  7. Finally, assemble finished collage board and frame. Hang. Admire your work. Have a cup of tea.