How One Curious Artist Used This To Create a Collage

Have you ever had a moment when you were in a store that sold nothing art-related, and found yourself inspired with new ideas? If so, you’ll be able to relate to Roc Nicholas, who was in a store with her husband when she suddenly had an idea to use Contact® paper in her mixed-media art. “I was so motivated by this idea that I could hardly contain myself and began explaining my plan to my husband,” she says. “Though I’m not sure he actually got what I was talking about, he gladly accompanied me to the kitchen section and helped me look for clear Contact paper. I couldn’t wait to get home and get started. I found the more I experimented with this idea the more enamored I became with the whole process.”

In Cloth Paper Scissors Gifts magazine, Roc explains her colorful and versatile technique. Here’s what she came up with.

“Pin” this collaged gift bag by Roc Nicholas so you can easily refer back to this article.

Contact Paper Collage by Roc Nicholas

1. Cut the Contact paper to the size you want to work with. However, keep in mind the larger you make it, the more cumbersome it will be to maneuver when you begin sewing. Cut two pieces the same size.

Figure 1 (left); Figure 2 (middle); Figure 3 (right). Artwork by Roc Nicholas

2. Carefully remove the Contact paper backing (release paper) from one of the cut pieces. Lay the contact paper on your worktable, sticky-side up, and begin placing the scraps of paper and collage items onto the contact paper in a random fashion. (above, left)

3. Cover the entire sheet of Contact paper with paper scraps and collage items. Use a light application of glue to adhere any areas where the papers overlap.

4. Add some paint, write or draw with markers, or do some rubber stamping. Do as much or as little as you like. Be sure to let the paint and ink dry before proceeding.

5. Carefully peel back the release paper on one edge of the second cut sheet of Contact paper, approximately 2″. Line up the edge of this second sheet over the edge of the finished collage piece and rub the contact paper in place along this edge.

6. Continue to remove the release paper, pressing the Contact paper evenly in place over the collage. Do your best to avoid wrinkling the Contact paper. Don’t worry if you don’t get an exact match on the edges.

7. Use the bone folder to smooth out the areas around the images and anywhere the paper thickness differs to guarantee it adheres well.

8. When you feel everything is firmly attached, trim all of the edges with the scissors or paper trimmer. I always check the front and the back during the trimming process to make sure I’m not cutting away something I really want.

9. Set up your sewing machine for free-motion stitching and stitch all over the Contact paper collage. Keep in mind that a contrasting thread color will show more readily on a busy collage. The Contact paper is sturdy, so don’t be afraid to roll it up to maneuver it more easily when machine sewing.

This article is included in a special gift wrap kit, in which Roc includes additional tips for this collage technique and ideas for using it for gift bags and art journal covers. This exclusive kit from Interweave includes washi tape, ribbon, stencils, spray inks, kraft paper, rubber stamps, Washi Tape Christmas by Kami Bigler, PLUS three magazines and a download from the Cloth Paper Scissors team!

Have you ever used Contact paper in your mixed-media art? I haven’t…yet. Share your experience with it by commenting below.

Happy wrapping,


Blog, Collage, Mixed-Media Techniques


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