Note to Self: Make a Symbolic Collage | Collage Designs and Ideas

Do you ever make a note to yourself to remember to do something? I often type up a note or jot one down on paper to keep me from forgetting tasks. When I discovered the “Notes to Self” sprinkled throughout Storytelling with Collage: Techniques for Layering Color and Texture by Roxanne Evans Stout, I felt like an artist friend was watching out for me. Roxanne helps you think ahead, so that when it’s time to create your collage designs, you’ll generate collage ideas that are meaningful. She also shares a step-by-step project on how to add a handmade book to a collage in this downloadable Art Lesson (you’re going to love it!).

Collage designs | Roxanne Evans Stout,

Here’s one of Roxanne’s notes: “Create art from something repurposed. I found a tic-tac-toe board and carved out the spaces because I wanted to straighten out the curved corners. Then I sanded and stained it, and soon each space was home to an old piece of jewelry or a small door hinge. This assemblage/collage became a homage to the little town where we buried my father’s ashes. There is an amazing antique store there, and an old flour mill. I found many of these items there, and now it reminds me of how I took care of him the last few years and what that did for me personally.”

What a beautiful way to remember her father in a way that’s both symbolic and personal.

Using handwritten notes is another way that this mixed-media artist pays homage to her father in a collage. You’ll find that in addition to the “Notes to Self” feature in Storytelling with Collage, there are also tasks assigned to you, to help you come up with new collage designs and ideas.

Collage designs | Roxanne Evans Scott
Collage art by Roxanne Evans Stout (Pin this!)

Roxanne’s Collage Art Idea: “In the collage above I added some of my father’s handwritten notes. He used to scribble this sloppy but expressive writing in notepads when he listened to classical music. Do you have an old letter from your mother or father or someone you have loved that you would like to preserve on the pages of an art journal? Even a grocery list or a recipe would work! Try to build a collage around this. This is a wonderful way to include your own personal history in your artwork.”

Collage art by Heartjoy |
Collage art by community member Heartjoy

Cloth Paper Scissors community member Heartjoy shared her collage designs in our Member Gallery. In this example (above), she used scraps of handwritten notes to add a layer of depth. The page on the left reads, “If I don’t know where I’m going / how will I know when I get there?”

Collage and handmade books | Roxanne Evans Stout,
Click here to download Roxanne’s Art Lesson on how to add a book to a collage!

I think we can all relate to that question. If I were to make a note to myself regarding this question, the note would be: Just keep going.

Storytelling with Collage can help you on your artistic path to expressing your visions. In addition to the notes and tasks, Storytelling with Collage includes chapters on making collage designs with fabric, stitching, photos, found objects, wax, metal, and papers. You’ll also find guidance on using color and working with materials from nature. Now might be a good time to make a new note to self: Get a copy of Storytelling with Collage and download Roxanne’s Art Lesson. 🙂

Stay creative,


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