How To Create a Collage on Scrapbook Paper

Do you know the feeling when you’d like to create something but don’t quite know what to do or don’t have much time? Or, worse, feel like it’s too difficult, you don’t believe in yourself. This is a short tutorial, maybe more like an inspiration and reminder, how to create something beautiful without trying too much.

I wanted to create something quick and pretty and have fun. So, I picked a photo (of my cousin, permission asked), printed it on thick paper, and started crafting. Here’s how I did it. 

First, I’ll list everything I used, and then you can choose and use what you have and what suits your purposes. I’ll mention the product and brand names I used, if there happen to be something you’d be willing to use, too. (Oh, and all the Prima Marketing Inc mediums are of Finnabair line!)


You’ll need:

       A printed picture on thick paper, 250 g/m2

      Cardboard piece

      scrapbook paper: 7 Dots Studio 12” x 12”


      Soft Matte Gel: Prima Marketing Inc

      Heavy Gesso: Prima Marketing Inc

      Glue: Aleene’s Always Ready Quick Dry Tacky Glue 

      Heavy Body Gel: Prima Marketing Inc

      Stencil: Prima Marketing Inc, Doily #2

      Modelling Paste: Prima Marketing Inc, Opaque Matte

      Stamps and Ink: Stampendous

      Palette Knife or silicon brush: Prima Marketing Inc


              o  Flowers: Prima Marketing Inc, 49 And Market

              o  art pebbles: Prima Marketing Inc, Mélange Art Pebbles 

      Lace ribbons

      Cheese cloth

             o Prima Marketing Inc Metallic Paints – White Pearl, Ancient Coin
             o Prima Marketing Inc Opal Magic Paints – Yellow-Blue, Pink-Blue, Rose-Gold, Green-Gold

      Optional: Heating tool (Ranger Heat It Crafting Tool)


Choose your photo, and print it, preferably on as thick paper as possible. (I used 250 g/m2.) This is because the photo will be coated with mediums, so the thicker the better. (Please, don’t get your printer stuck, though, by trying too thick paper.)

Find a cardboard box or other sturdy material and cut it in the same size your photo. Use soft matte gel for attaching the photo on the cardboard: apply an even layer to the cardboard, press the photo on it, and apply another layer on top. Let it dry, or use a heating tool if you are as impatient as I am. Then add a smaller piece of the cardboard beneath it and glue it with either tacky glue or heavy body gel. This will make your photo to pop out nicely, in 3D fashion.

Using very dry gesso (see the previous tutorials, how to use your hand as a palette here, or then use paper piece, but your brush must be dry, so your gesso in it!), paint the edges and corners of the photo, this will blend it to the work better. Let it dry.

Choose your scrapbook paper (preferably 12” x 12”), and test what would be a perfect spot for your photo. Try to avoid putting it in the middle. If you like to stamp your paper, this would be the time for it. I used Stampedous writing texture stamp with gold stamp ink, as the 7 Dots Studio paper I used was quite plain. Let it dry again. 

(You might like to do as I did: after test arranging the embellsihments, add some more stamped images if needed.)

Decide the spot you’d like to add a stenciled texture on, and use either silicon brush or palette knife, and apply the modelling paste. Remember that most of it will be covered with embellishments, so use a large(ish) stencil. Let it dry again.

Use heavy body gel or tacky glue to attach your photo on the scrapbook paper. Then start testing how you’d outline your decorating. I played with flowers, art pebbles, cheese cloth, and lace, and decided the outline of my decoration. Start gluing with cheesecloth on the bottom, remember to rip it a bit so it’d look a bit more textured. Then add flowers, ribbons, leaves, art pebbles… Don’t think too much, just play and have fun! 

Add pieces of lace and cheese cloth among the embellishments, to give it a dimensional look. After gluing them all, let it dry again.

Remember to add embellishments on the edge of the photp, this will tide the photo to the collage.

I used quite neutral coloured embellishments here, as I happened to have some. But you can use whatever you like, and just paint them over. I wanted some of the original colours to be seen, so I didn’t paint them completely over, just added some colours here and there.

Then I finished the look with gesso, using very dry brush I added a gesso veil over the embellishments, and here and there, on the scrapbook paper, too. Finally, I protected the photo with a piece of paper, and with a very wet brush, added paint drops. (I used white, gold, and blue paint.)

It might sound complicated, but actually it’s quite straightforward, when you know what mediums you’ll need for what purposes, and forget your high demands, just have fun. Remember that it’s not that serious if you make mistakes, you live, and you learn (and at any rate, you learn, as Douglas Adams said). It’ll look beautiful, it will, it comes from your heart!


Tutorial: IG @harvinaisenkauniselama
Photo credit of the bride photo: IG @annimaija and @ferdeferfoto

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