Today’s tutorial is from the super-fabulous Heather from Dollar Store Crafts. I’ve been a fan of Heather’s for a long time and am thrilled to share her tutorial today on how to turn junk mail into eye-catching wall art! – Becky
I love the idea of mosaic art, but I am WAY too lazy to pin hundreds of little paper squares to a canvas. So, I figured out a way to simulate mosaic (sorta), and recycle some junk mail and scrap paper into some interesting abstract wall art. With a few on-hand art supplies, this project is basically free. Oh, and it’s so easy.
- Canvas or thrifted painting, on hand or $1 and up
- Assorted scrap paper, junk mail, magazines, etc., on hand
- Paper punch, on hand or $5 and up
- Mod Podge, on hand or $5 and up
- Foam paintbrush, on hand
- Scissors, on hand
Total cost: FREE and up
About the supplies:
Canvas: I used a black canvas I had on hand — I have a cupboard full of blank canvases because I am a craft hoarder. If you don’t have a canvas, pick up an unloved canvas at your local thrift store or dollar store. If you want to, pre-paint the canvas with a solid color (black or white are nice, but any shade of acrylic paint will do). Or, this project will have a really cool effect if you just let the old art show through the holes. It’s up to you!
Paper punch: I used a 3/4″ square punch I have on hand. If you wanted to get a similar punch, you could find one starting at about $5 at the craft store. You can often find small craft punches in various shapes at the dollar store as well. Again, a different shaped punch will give you a completely different look for your art, and that is just fine.
Paper: I wanted to focus on mostly bright colors, so I used a couple of neon flyers I had on hand, as well as a renewal card from a magazine. I threw in a drab kraft paper scrapbooking paper because I wanted to counter-balance the brightness of the neons. You can use any paper you want – including magazine pages, newspaper or book pages, or even one of your child’s extra drawings.
Mod Podge: Mod Podge is a decoupage medium that is a glue and sealer in one. It is better than plain white glue because it doesn’t deteriorate over time. It’s easiest to apply Mod Podge with a foam brush.
1. Punch holes out of assorted papers. I did rows of squares along the edges of rectangular pieces of paper, but you can do anything you want. There is no wrong way. Feel free to rip or tear paper, punch erratically, or leave a large amount of paper un-punched.
2. Arrange paper on canvas and then Mod Podge in place. Or, you can just start Mod Podging and see what happens. Both ways are equally valid.
I just turn the paper over on top of the canvas and brush the whole back of the paper with Mod Podge, making sure to get the edges and each little skinny section of paper between the punch holes. Then, I pick up the paper and quickly brush the canvas with Mod Podge, then stick the paper down on top of it. Smooth the paper out gently from the center of the paper outward to eliminate bubbles.
Brush a coat of Mod Podge on top of the paper and let it dry.
3. If you like, Mod Podge strips of your punched paper to the edges of the canvas.
When the Mod Podge is dry, your art is done. Unless you want to keep adding to it! You can brush paint over it, ink it, stencil through some of the leftover punched paper with paint, add other embellishments, etc. It’s done when you say it’s done!
Other Junk Mail Art Inspirations:
- Typography Junk Mail Collage at Mod Podge Rocks
- Boy Caught Thinking Collage at Michele Made Me
- Pocketbook Sketchbook at Craft Leftovers
Heather Mann is chief editor of Dollar Store Crafts, a daily craft blog; she specializes in transforming inexpensive materials into stylish and simple DIY projects. Her love of crafting compelled her to start several other craft sites including CraftFail, where crafters share failed craft projects and Pinterest projects gone wrong, and DollarStoreMom, which focuses on providing inspiration for being the best mom ever on a budget.