Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Stenciled Magazine Collage

Hi everyone, it's Gwen here today with a new project using some of the awesome StencilGirl text and number stencils. While browsing around on Pinterest, I've seen several versions of a cool type of collage art that I really wanted to try - they use strips of magazine pages layered together for this really awesome look. Of course, I wanted to try and do something similar but I didn't want to spend a ton of time and effort finding magazine pages and cutting out pieces to use in my art. The solution? Paint and stencils, of course!

To get the look I wanted without using solid magazine pages, I started by laying down stripes of paint on my paper (I used a piece of 18"x12" cold press watercolor paper - 140lb.)

Next, I pulled out my stencils and an ink pad and blending tool and just randomly layered words that I liked the look and shape of until the whole thing was pretty full. I didn't worry about whether or not the words made sense or were in any order because I knew a lot was going to get covered up. Of course, you could always pick a theme or go with words that mean something to you if you wanted to make it extra special :)

These are the stencils I used in my piece:
Once that was done, I went through some magazines and tore out words and phrases that I wanted to use; I used some that had a bit of a seasonal feel. Then I went and pulled out pages of images that spoke to me, making sure to get a variety of colors. I tore around the words and put those down with gel medium, then tore the magazine pages into strips and started laying them down around the words, making sure to let some of the background show through.

I like to save the dried paint skins off of my palette and I keep them in a piece of folded wax paper - they make great additions to your collage pieces. I went through and pulled out a few pieces and then added them to the collage here and there. You just adhere them with gel medium - both underneath to glue it down and then a coat over top to seal it in place.

I went over the top with a very light coat of transparent yellow fluid acrylics, and voila! Finished!

If you wanted to do a collage like this, you could do it on a board, cardboard, a cradled panel or a canvas and then just hang it. I did mine on paper because I think I'm going to cut it up and make a book cover or some cut out shapes to use in another project. So many options! 

Here are a few close-ups of some of the areas so you can get a better look at all of the different elements:

If you didn't want to stop here, you could keep going with more layers on top and use this as a background for something else; you could also create "windows" on a top layer, or cover up any parts you don't like and make a new design on top where the background can peek through

I hope you enjoyed today's project and that you're feeling inspired to break out those text stencils!

Until next time,


  1. This is very cool, Gwen. I love the depth you have achieved. Layers, baby!!!

  2. So cool! I've seen this technique but never knew how to do it. This is something I'll put on my list to try for the New Year. I have tons of word stencils and tons of magazine words and images that I'll never use unless I use them like this. Thanks for another great technique, Gwen!

  3. OH I love this... Def. want to give this a try! Thanks so much for sharing!!
    Janelle R

  4. Beautiful vibrant colors and layers, Gwen!
    What a great and fun idea!!


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