How to Make a Collage: A 6-Step Demonstration

Consider the various pieces of your life that make you who you are. Your past, your family and friends, your job and home, the foods you eat, and the music and art you enjoy are all part of this tapestry. Now imagine weaving symbols from these facets into beautiful and unique collage art.

Artist Roxanne Evans Stout did just that, and using her creative collage ideas (featured below), you too can make a mixed-media collage that is all you. Roxanne’s work is featured in Tracy Verdugo’s book Paint Mojo: A Mixed-Media Workshop, which includes more how-to art lessons and inspirational examples.

Collage art by Roxanne Evans Stout

Tell My Story, a Tapestry Collaged by Roxanne Evans Stout

I’ve always loved the way tapestry rugs look as they age, or how they look when they are overlapped in a room, each square or portion telling a different story. When I was in New York City a few years ago, I saw a beautiful rug that seemed to be made of squares from different rugs. It was all sewn and pieced together, creating beautiful color combinations and patterns.

What You Need For This Collage Art Project:

decorative papers
fabric scraps
matte medium
needle and waxed linen

paintbrush and water
paper clips and small mementos

twine or wire


1. When I began this project, I knew that I wanted to make a two-page spread in a book. I found the papers that I would be using for the background and tore them to the size that I wanted, so the purple page was a little larger. To tear the paper, using a ruler as a guide, I painted two lines of water down the line that I wanted to tear. Then I carefully pulled the paper apart so the edges looked the same as the original deckle edges. I learned and modified this method from artist Bee Shay.


2. I laid out various papers and fabrics that I wanted to use in this collage. I moved them around, playing with the design until it worked for me.


3. After I adhered the papers with matte medium (and when they were dry), I folded them and poked five holes into the fold line with my awl.


4. I stitched the book together with a needle and waxed linen, using a modified pamphlet stitch.


5. I then attached the smaller pieces of art with paper clips—a tab, a small book and a metal piece—all things that I wanted to add to the collage.


6. I pre-poked holes and sewed the pieces to the book pages using twine or wire. Then I attached some small beads in some places. I had a rug in the back of my mind when I created this piece. In the piece, I am telling my story. I am sharing my love for warm and rich colors, for old patterns and textured papers, for fabrics and metal, and I am sharing my love for the natural world.

Alone each piece of this collage tells a story, but together all its parts become a whole—a tapestry of who I am. Roxanne Evans Stout

Paint Mojo has been such a hit that it actually sold out! The Interweave store has more available, so you can order your copy today. Here’s what one reader had to say: “Having been a follower and fan of Tracy Verdugo’s work for the past few years, I was thrilled to finally get a peek into the process and thought behind her vivid paintings. I follow her images on my Instagram and Facebook pages, so I was curious as to how she creates these beautiful and provocative canvases, filled with elephants, animals, abstract shapes, and colors. I was delighted and surprised to find other artists’ contributions in the book, many with whom I am already familiar. I highly encourage the beginner as well as the seasoned artist to delve into this book and immerse yourself in the luscious gift Tracy has so graciously given us.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself! Between the artwork and the lessons, you’ll want to keep Paint Mojo nearby for a constant stream of ideas.

Live your bliss,

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Blog, Collage, Mixed-Media Techniques


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