Tuesday, February 28, 2012



Oh, don't you just love collage art, especially when you can simply sew fabric scraps, ribbon, lace and any embellishments from "the stash" to make a work of art?  Whether just making one small collage as a gift, pairing a couple to fill needed spot or grouping several canvases together for a large impact, everyone will admire your creativity.   I made these six small canvases simply and rather quickly, but have in mind another set filled with beads and embellishments to my hearts content.  

I purchased 8” x 8” canvases on sale at a local craft store and I used some scraps from my Wing Study fabric from my Botanika Collection for Michael Miller Fabrics as my central theme, but there are plenty of other fabrics that will do the trick.  


6 -  8” x 8” artist canvas
½ yard for main fabric or scraps
Fabric scraps
Ribbon scraps
Double sided fabric tape (I used *Sealah tape) 
Sewing machine
Cotton thread to coordinate
Buttons, beads, etc. (optional)
Heavy Duty Stapler and staples


Lay all your fabric pieces, ribbons, etc. out on a large surface so there’s plenty of room to play.  Try different combinations or use the diagrams I provided as a guide.  Don’t cut fabrics yet.  Here are some thoughts on how I go about creating collages.


1     Before you start keep the end in mind: How many canvases do you want and what is the placement on the wall?  Vertical; horizontal?  Two rows of three each; three rows of two each; Two or HELLO...8 total? 
2       Try breaking things up into 3’s on each piece as a basic rule; it just feels balanced.  However, this is ART and shouldn’t look too predictable so playing is mandatory.   A larger overall print balances out a dark color so consider combining the two for a perfect balance.

3       Notice the direction of the objects.  The images, etc. should not all be facing the same way. 

4       Mix up the placement of the objects.  Don’t line up all like images, patterns, etc. in the same row.

5. Vary shapes, sizes.  Mix lights and darks.

6. Add interest by placing images off centered, or turn a butterfly sideways.

7.      Step away and come back later with a fresh eye.


8.  Once you have decided on fabric placement it's time to start cutting out  the fabric pieces and begin constructing.  Each completed square will need to be 12"x12" to allow for seams and wrapping around the back of the canvas. 

 Now here's a really handy tip for piecing:  When sewing random patchwork, always sew straight pieces together.  No turning corners.  If you are new to patchwork/collage piecing I am adding a diagram to show you how sewing in straight lines is the only way to go.

I made lines and numbers for you as a guide only.  In the first collage if 
you were to sew and 3 together then you’ll have to squeeze 2 in and turn  
a corner and it won’t be pretty.  Do you see what I mean?

9.  Turn the fabric pieces over so the wrong side of the fabrics are facing up     and begin piecing together using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Press the seam  toward the darker of the two fabrics.  When finished flip over to the front side and press.  I added layers of scraps on some of my pieces and could have sewn beads and even attached additional ephemera such a key, but figured I could add those later.


10. Place the assembled collage square wrong side facing up on a work surface and center the front of the canvas on the fabric.  Staple the fabric to the back of the frame, stretching the fabric evenly and folding corners.  

11.  Add ribbon or lace, stretch around to the back and staple. 

    A note about why I like using Sealah tape:  I find that this tape is easily reposition-able until you add pressure and then it stays!  It's washable which is great for adding embellishments onto clothing and home decor.  I'm sure there must be other similar products but Sealah tape is my go to fabric tape.  

    I hope this gets your creative juices flowing and would love for you to share what you make using this tutorial.   


  1. Your collage is lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  2. So pretty Paula! My mom will be thrilled beyond words that you used Sealah Tape!!

    Kay Ellen

  3. Gorgeous Paula! Botanika is still one of my all time FAVE lines! xoxo

  4. They're so pretty! Love the colors!

  5. I love this, and your last tutorial! We will be relocating across the country this summer, possibly into a much bigger home, and I'll be looking for lots of ideas to turn our new house into a home with style quickly, easily, and relatively inexpensively. Thank you for the inspiration!

  6. So amazing that you chose to do a project with my most favorite of your fabrics this far! Very inspirational.

  7. Paula, this is an inspired idea, I can't wait to see what is next. Thanks for sharing



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