Reader Challenge

Cloth Paper Scissors Reader Challenges

Art by Dina Wakley (Photo by Sharon White Photography)

Mark your calendar!

  • Send a low-res image of your “Jaw-Dropping Journal Pages” artwork pasted in an email by August 25, 2018.
  • Finalists will be posted on September 1, 2018.
  • Artwork must be in our offices by September 22, 2018.

We have featured a number of artists’ techniques for creating unique art journal pages in Cloth Paper Scissors. For this challenge, we invite you to create and share with us an art journal spread that incorporates cutting-edge techniques. Working in a handmade or ready-made journal, add a tip-in or pullout, create a door or window, insert a pop-up, or show us something new. Create an artful mixed-media spread, adding to and subtracting from the pages to spice things up. Looking for inspiration? Check out Suzanne McNeill’s journal pages in the July/August 2017 issue and in her 2018 Art Lessons, or Dina Wakley’s article in the January/February 2018 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. Both of these artists push boundaries by cutting into and adding to their pages in clever ways.


1. Create a mixed-media art journal spread, then add or remove elements to make it unique. The journal must be no larger than 8″ high, and must be able to open and close. You are welcome to use any and all mixed-media materials and techniques on the spread (no glitter, please).

2. Your artwork must be free of images or text that are protected by copyright, unless you have the expressed written permission from the person or institution that holds the copyright and you provide that written permission with your submission.

3. To be considered for this challenge, paste a low-res image of your piece into the body of an email and send it to by August 25, 2018 with “Jaw-Dropping Journal Pages” in the subject line. Be sure to include your name, shipping address, and a brief description of your artwork in the email.

NOTE: One submission per person.

4. Your journal must weigh 1 pound or less, and arrive in a box or envelope sturdy enough for its return trip to you.

Note: The journal does not have to be complete. We are only interested in the spread you designate for this challenge.

5. Challenge finalists will be posted on September 1, 2018 at Please be sure to check this post, as artists will not be notified directly.

6. Finalists’ artwork must arrive in our office by September 22, 2018. At that time a flat return shipping and handling fee of $12 U.S., $15 Canada, and $25 for all other international entries will be due.

Be sure to put your name on your artwork and, for safety, place your entry in a plastic bag before packing it for shipping. All artwork will be returned by late October.

Shipping address:

F+W Media/Cloth Paper Scissors
ATTN: “Jaw-Dropping Journal Pages”
2 Mill and Main Place, Suite 610
Maynard, MA 01754

We will feature some of the finalists’ artwork in the first issue of Cloth Paper Scissors in 2019 and/or on our website.


  • All funds must be in U.S. dollars and made payable to F +W Media.
  • If you have any questions, contact Barb Delaney at
  • By submitting your reader challenge entry, you are authorizing F+W Media to publish your project in upcoming publications and promotional materials, on our websites, and in our other e-media, as well as to possibly display it at shows.
  • F+W Media will not be held responsible for loss or damage due to circumstances beyond our control.

Previous Cloth Paper Scissors Mixed-Media Art Challenges

These challenges are officially closed, but are still available for your inspiration (so you can feel free to bend the rules for your own project!). Make your art, then share it with us in the Member Gallery! Click here to view the finalists of previous reader challenges.


Mixed-media artist Chris Cozen has truly motivated us in her 2018 Cloth Paper Scissors series Exploration: Painting, where she presents techniques and art inspired by master artists. We invite you to show us how a particular artist has inspired you. Create a piece of mixed-media art, reflecting that inspiration. Is it Seurat’s pointillism that sets your heart aflutter, Van Gogh’s brush techniques, the collage of Jonathan Talbot? Share that inspired art with us.


Inspired by Ailish Henderson’s Stitched Collage Portraits in the January/February 2018 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors, we decided to challenge our readers to create their own mixed-media portraits. Your portrait can be of anyone you like, real or imagined: a famous person, a mentor, your best friend. Though Ailish’s portraits were collaged, you are welcome to use any and all mixed-media materials and techniques. Dive into your stash, and let’s see what you can come up with.


What is it about cityscapes that captures our attention and has us grabbing our cameras? We’d like you to show us what gets your attention. Choose one of your favorite cityscapes or skylines, or create one from your imagination. Recreate the scene, using your preferred mixed-media materials and techniques, plus stitching. The stitching can be done by hand or machine, but it must be a key element. The stitching can highlight special sections, add dimension and light, build layers—or maybe all of those things— inviting us to see what makes that place so special.


Encouraged by “The Art of Food” art in our November/December 2017 issue, we decided to challenge readers to create recipe-inspired artwork, using an original recipe that evokes special memories. Think about that entree, dessert, or snack that has evolved over the years and become a family tradition, or a new favorite recipe you just developed. Create a piece of art that showcases its ingredients and meaning.


Fascinated by Samantha Quinn’s cut-paper frame in her Paperology article in the July/August issue, we decided to challenge you our readers to create some paper-cut art. Though it may look challenging, it’s easier than you think. Once you’ve created the cut-paper art, dive into your stash and add some media. Paint, stitching, collage, colored pencils, and more are welcome additions. Just make sure your cut-paper art is the focus of the piece.


Welcome spring by creating mixed-media flowers. Because you, our mixed-media artists, love to create and play with a variety of media, the flowers can be created using any of your favorite techniques and materials. It can be a painting, a dimensional piece, a collage, or created with fabric, stitching, stencils, encaustic, and more.


We invite you to create a mixed-media piece that you can use to organize materials and tools in your studio. Think ephemera or collage paper storage, pen or paintbrush holder, tool tote, ink pad holder…you get the idea. Start with a holder you have and art it up, or make one from scratch. Mix your media! Make a fun addition to your studio, something you look forward to using.

This storage accessory can be up to 8″ x 8″ x 8″, but must weigh 1 pound or less and arrive in a box sturdy enough for its return trip to you. Use a variety of mixed-media techniques and materials, including but not limited to collage, paint, found objects, wire, fabric, and doodling.


We invite you to create a mixed-media wreath with lots of flair. It can be a holiday wreath, an everyday wreath, or something for another occasion. Just be sure to mix your media and techniques, and listen to your muse.

Create a 6″ – 18″ wreath using a variety of mixed-media techniques and materials, including but not limited to papers, fibers, found objects, beads/buttons, and paint. You can make the wreath yourself, or use a purchased wreath as your base. Use the holidays or anything else as inspiration.


Artists often look to nature for inspiration for their work, whether it’s a park in the midst of an urban jungle or a desert landscape. Inspired by this influence, we decided to invite you, our readers, to create a mixed-media collage using items from nature.

Create an 8″ x 10″ collage using items from nature: grasses, sticks, acorns, stones, feather, shells, leaves, and more. Use a variety of art media to enhance your collage, including but not limited to paints, stitching, markers, papers, and pens.


Stencils can add dimension and texture to any piece of art. Use paint, molding past, ink, or even stitch to render the image and make a stenciled design the center of attention. We invite you to make a hand-cut stencil, using your own inspiration and design. Imagine the possibilities.

1. Create a hand-cut, 4″ x 4″ stencil using an your own original design. You can cut your stencil from Mylar®, cardstock, or any other sturdy material you prefer.

2. Once your stencil is cut, use it in a piece of art. Please use a 6″ x 6″ flat substrate for your artwork and make sure we can see the stencil design in the completed work.

3. Incorporate mixed-media in your artwork. Use paint, ink, stitch, pastels, molding paste, stitching, pencils, and more to create your stenciled art. Again, please be sure the stenciled image is evident in the completed piece.


The trend in taking selfies shows no sign of slowing down. People are planning them, taking them, posting them, and sharing them everywhere. We’re inviting our readers to express their artistic self in a mixed-media selfie.

Your selfie can be of you alone, or include friends and/or pets.

Transfers, collage, stitch, and altered digital images are a few suggestions for materials and techniques, but we welcome all mixed media. Dig into your stash, add your spin, and send us your best “shot.”

1. Create a 5″ x 7″ mixed-media selfie. Include just yourself, or you plus friends, pets, and/or interesting settings.

2. Though there are no exclusions on materials, your selfie must include a variety of techniques and materials to be considered for publication. Use fabric, paint, transfers, stencils, stamps, ephemera, and more.


Let’s start the New Year right with a custom personal planner. We invite you to create a mixed-media planner for 2016, and we want to see it all—create a cover that tells us a little something about your style, and then add pages that will inspire you throughout the year.

1. Create a 6″ x 8″ book for your planner. It can have a stitched binding or you can use ribbons, rings, or another favorite binding method.

Note: Alternatively, you can use a blank sketchbook to create your planner, but commercial planners are not allowed.

2. Though there are no exclusions on materials, your planner must include a variety of techniques and materials to be considered for publication. Use fabric, paint, found objects, transfers, stencils, stamps, ephemera, and more—show us what you’ve got!


Be a part of our Mixed-Media Mini Garland reader challenge. We are looking for some fun, colorful, unique mini garlands to inspire readers to embellish whatever holidays they celebrate. Dig into your stash and make a mixed-media garland you’d be proud to hang . . . or to give.

1. Create a mini garland that’s at least 24″ and no more than 30″.

2. Though there are no exclusions on materials, your garland must include a variety of techniques and materials to be considered for publication. Use paper, fabric, fibers, paint, found objects—show us what you’ve got.


Gone are the days when you’d get in trouble for doodling. That technique now has a whole new respect. Whether you call your artwork tangles or doodles, we’d like to see you feature it in some jewelry. Encase your designs in resin; etch them in metal; doodle on pendants, bracelets, and earrings in paint or ink. Show us what you’ve got.

The Challenge: Create a piece of jewelry with doodling as the focal point. Make a pin, a pendant, earrings, a bracelet . . . your choice. There are no exclusions on materials, but your jewelry must be wearable.


We invite you to create a mixed-media map of something in your life: your home, your neighborhood, your favorite hiking trail, where you came from (literally or figuratively), your goals . . . just about anything can be mapped!

Use any media in your art arsenal, including tangles, stencils, stitch, collage, paint, stamps, and more-and don’t forget embellishments.

The Challenge: Create a mixed-media map using paper or fabric as a base. Your entry must be two-dimensional.


We all have ideas for clothing or styles we’d love to see on the runway. Now’s your chance! Express your fashion sense . . . in miniature. Create mixed-media clothes¾ fancy, casual, or whimsical, for any age group. Have fun with your materials and supplies, and show us your runway-worthy best.

1. Create a miniature mixed-media wearable using paper as a base. Your entry can be flat or 3-D. Think every-day attire, bridal, garden party, vests, cocktail party, business wear, ball gowns, and more.

2. There are no exclusions on materials, and your piece does not have to be assembled with stitch, but your miniature wearable must include some hand and/or machine stitching.

3. Though we always welcome the use of recycled papers, your mixed-media piece must be free of any obvious text or images that are protected by copyright, unless you have the expressed written permission from the person or institution that holds the copyright and you provide that written permission with your submission.


Artists have transformed retired books into journals, turned them into altered books, and used their many pages to make textural collages. We invite you now to take a book and create a sculpture, using your mixed-media tools, techniques, and supplies. We encourage you to use books destined for the recycle bin. Make it whimsical, utilitarian, or just plain fun; just make it in time for our challenge deadline. Check out Paper Art magazine and the summer issue of Pages for inspiration.

The Challenge: Create a mixed-media sculpture with a book and your favorite supplies. There are no exclusions on materials.