DIY Art: Paper Mosaic
Before I get to today’s post, I want to share a few house updates! We are finally making some visible progress around here and it’s not just fixing leaking dishwashers and washing machines, which let’s be honest are necessary, but not exactly fun house projects! My dad and I have finally started PAINTING!!! I have been dying to get started, but I found that trying to choose colors and plan out a color scheme was so overwhelming especially when every.single.room needs to be painted, not to mention all the prep work of spackling and sanding that we have to do first. Last month I bit the bullet and I painted my office and…drumroll please…my dad PAINTED THE BUILT-INS in the living room!!! I am working this week on putting them back together, but let me just say that they are a game changer for the living room. Another HUGE update to our living room, is that over the weekend, my husband and father in law put in FRENCH DOORS that lead to our back patio!!! For the last two months we have been using a slider that didn’t really slide and had no screen, which in a house without central air was frustrating to say the least. The new door is gorgeous and beyond awesome. Once we get the door all trimmed and the built-ins put back together, I will certainly be back with some updated photos!!! If you missed what the living room and the rest of the house looked like when we first moved in, you can check out the full house tour here!
Now that we are finally making some progress on the aesthetics of the house, I can start planning out how I want to decorate, which pretty much is the BEST part. I love when you can bring more personal touches into a space through your decor. Pieces that you have collected because you truly love them, or because they are from your travels, or because they are from people who you truly love. I am lucky that we have quite a few “creatives” on both sides of our families and that I have been able to collect a few pieces of legit artwork from people who really mean something to me. I also have a few pieces that my son has made that I would love to see matted and framed, and although I have never considered myself an artist, I am hoping to DIY a few pieces of my own for this new house as well. There is something about a piece having a back story or that you created with your own hands that just makes it that much more meaningful and can add such a personal touch to your space and make it really feel like home, especially if it has only been your home for 2 months (photo below is from our old house).
A couple of years ago, I was struggling to find the right artwork for our living room. I needed it to be a certain size and preferably a vertical/portrait layout, and I was really hoping to find something that would pull my color scheme in that room together a little more. I couldn’t find what I wanted at a price I could afford. I knew I wanted something simple and geometric, and figured how hard could it be, so I attempted my first piece of art, outside of a couple of high school and college art classes, and I am so glad that I did! I love working with scrap-book paper, so I attempted a paper mosaic on canvas! I had so much fun making this piece and I surprised myself with actually liking how it came out as well, so of course I have to share a little how-to here!
There are really only a few supplies that you need to make pretty much any paper mosaic. (affiliate links highlighted)
Any size you want, I used 18″ x 24″. You can sometimes find them pretty cheap at Michael’s or you can find any old piece of canvas art work from a thrift store and make this artwork right over it!
- Scrap Book Paper
You will need an assortment of colors, and the number of sheets depends on the size of your canvas. They are usually sold in 12×12 sheets ($.25-$2/sheet) and you can find it at any craft store. I think I used 1 sheet for each color.
- Large Hole Puncher
I used a 1 1/2″ square hole puncher, but you can get creative with a different shape as well.
- Mod Podge
One of my favorite of all crafting supplies. Mod Podge is literally the glue that holds it all together. I used gloss finish Mod Podge, but there are all different finishes that they sell now.
- Foam Brush
I prefer the foam brush, but a paint brush would work as well.
For my piece, I worked with various shades of purple, turquoise, and lime green, which are the 3 colors that I was really wanting to bring into my room. I patterned them into a bit of an ombre chevron pattern. I admit that both ombre coloring and the chevron pattern are super trendy, but I have had the piece for a few years now, and I still really love it. Trendy or not, make what you love.
I started by using a square hole puncher and punched a bunch of squares out of the scrap-book paper that I chose (if you don’t want to buy a hole puncher, you could use a paper-cutter or of course scissors). I played with various layouts and just kept moving them around until I found a color pattern and a layout that I liked. I then marked the center of my canvas with a series of dots where each square would line up and marked out a line to the left and right where each peak would fall. These grid lines would help keep my spacing and centering on track as I worked through my pattern so that it wouldn’t get shifted or lopsided.
I basically started at the top of my canvas and worked my way down (although the photo above makes it look the opposite). I painted the back of each square with a foam brush and Mod Podge and individually lined up each piece. Once the first zig-zag line was completed and straight, I used that and my grid lines as a guide for lining up the rest. I did use enough squares of paper so that they would wrap around the canvas on all 4 sides. I love when the artwork curls right over the edge rather than stopping at the corner.
Once the entire canvas was covered in my design, I let it fully dry. Then I took my foam brush and Mod Podge again, and carefully painted over the entire thing. Depending on how much Mod Podge you use, you can actually create a bit of a texture with the brushstrokes. Don’t panic when the Mod Podge covers your canvas in a milky white color, it will dry completely clear. I did mine with a gloss finish Mod Podge, but they sell matte as well, and even glitter! Which I still can’t believe I haven’t tried yet.
Once it dries completely, hang it up and admire your art work! I can’t wait to figure out where I am going to hang it in our new house!
You can really use the technique that I use here to make an endless variety of pieces in different colors, patterns, or with different shaped hole punches. Get creative!
Has anybody else tried their hand at some DIY artwork? I’d love to see what you made! The most amazing this about art is that really anything goes. Nobody can tell you that you are doing it wrong! Take some inspiration from here or from literally ANYWHERE and give it a try. You just might surprise yourself!
Tip: If your hole puncher starts to get a little dull and isn’t punching your shapes as crisp as you would like, punch a few holes through a piece of aluminum foil! It will sharpen those edges right back up!