Found Materials, Fabrics, Old Books = Mixed-Media Art Love

Have you heard the news? We have two exciting announcements. The first is our brand new look for your favorite mixed-media art resource, Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. The content of the magazine hasn’t changed, but we’ve updated the design to create an exciting new experience. We added more of what you love: texture, color, depth, appealing patterns, and fonts and lettering, so you can completely immerse yourself in the pages. See it here! We’re very happy with the new look, and think you will be, too.

Second, we have an exciting new opportunity for you to get your mixed-media art published–and win cash prizes! Enter the Mixed Media Excellence Awards: Think collage, painting, assemblage, stitch, printmaking, jewelry, art journaling, handmade books, and artful doodling. Your work can be flat or dimensional, as long as it incorporates a variety of media–and captures our imagination.

In addition to this exciting news from Cloth Paper Scissors, we’d like to share a glimpse of the March/April issue, which debuts our new look.

Mixed-media art by Cas Holmes |
Pin this mixed-media art by Cas Holmes (

Preview of “Stitching a Story” by Cas Holmes

Creating your own stories or narratives can be an interesting challenge for a textile artist. Using found materials, fabrics, old books, and images that have personal meaning or are about a subject you are interested in can help inform the content and nature of your mixed-media art. Old cloth, paper napkins, and collected papers can be reminiscent of family stories or a favorite place visited.

I come from Norfolk in the U.K., a part of the world known as Poppyland for the abundance of poppies that grow in the region. For this project I used this simple motif to create a folding book form that combines pasted layered collage with machine and hand stitching, allowing the story of the poppies I collected as a child to unfold.

Step One: Compose the base piece.
1. Gather the fabrics and papers and determine which ones work well together. I used some old textiles belonging to my family.

2. Lay out a rough composition of fabrics and papers onto the large sheet of drawing paper, or lay it on your work surface. The finished piece can be any length, but keep the width 4″-6″. This piece will form the pages of your folded book. Start with the larger pieces of your collage, or use a whole piece of cloth cut to size for a base.

Mixed-media art by Cas Holmes |
“In this piece I cut out a few poppy images from a napkin and added them to the composition,” Cas says. “I also created a stencil of a poppy and stenciled the design with paint and a paintbrush on the newly collaged surface. At this stage you may want to add your own drawing, small images, or pieces of text to various areas with the paste.”

3. Layer the paper and textile pieces, being sure they overlap each other by at least 1/4″ and leaving no gaps. This allows for better adhesion when attaching the pieces. Vary the angles, widths, and shapes of your pieces as you layer them, and combine torn and cut edges for variety and texture.

4. Add some text or images to your collage for more interest. This piece focused on the poppy, a symbol of remembrance, and I incorporated related book text. Take a photo of your layout to check the design as you progress. ~Cas

Follow the rest of the steps for Cas’s article in detail in the March/April 2016 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors, where you’ll discover more ways to incorporate stitching in your mixed-media art. This issue also features articles on making faux porcelain jewelry, a unique sewn garland, a playful art journal page, and so much more. See the table of contents here and get your copy today!

Happy making,


Learn new mixed-media art techniques in this free eBook when you join our newsletter for daily tips, special offers, and more!


Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques, Paper Art and Zen Doodle

One thought on “Found Materials, Fabrics, Old Books = Mixed-Media Art Love


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.