I’ve had this vision bubbling up in the back of my mind for a while now: a vision of collages that blend the ordinary with the fantastical. After digging up some old magazine clippings and a sketchbook, I decided it was time to create an art journal where I could play with different mediums and methods. This floral self-portrait was my very first entry, and it was so satisfying to make something with my hands!
I think this would be a great project for kids, too. So much room for creativity and personality, and the final product looks so cool!
It was super simple and relaxing to put together. I’ll walk you through what I did!
- Sturdy paper or art journal
- Black and white photo
- Craft knife
- Mod Podge (matte or paper)
- Paint brush
- Magazine pages
After getting my supplies together, I picked out a photo of myself and opened it in Photoshop to make it grayscale, touch up the lighting, and remove the background. (Removing the background wasn’t really necessary since I would cut it out anyway, but it saved some ink and made it easier to see where I would need to cut!)
Once I printed it out, I used scissors to cut around the outside, then a craft knife to trim up the details.
The Fun Part
Then it was time for the fun part: adding the flowers! After I cut out some of my favorite flowers from the magazine pages, I moved them around the page behind my portrait until I found an arrangement I liked. (I took a lot of photos to compare how I liked different arrangements!)
Sticking it Down
Once I had decided for sure where everything would go, I started gluing everything down. Starting with the pieces on the bottom, I used a foam brush to apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the back of each piece and pressed it down onto the page, smoothing out any bubbles or wrinkles. Once all of the flowers were glued down, I glued my portrait down on top. (You can see in the pictures that I also played with the idea of layering the flowers both under and over the portrait.)
I finished the page with a layer of Mod Podge on top of everything, making sure to seal down any loose edges. And here’s the final product!
This was so much fun to make, and barely took any prep time. I loved having a hands-on, screen-free project that kept me engaged and off of my phone. So often, even during creative projects, I find myself looking for inspiration online. Inspiration definitely has its place, but sometimes you just gotta make something from scratch.
That said… if you make a collage portrait of your own, tag me on Instagram so I can see your creation and cheer you on!