Thursday, May 2, 2019

Upcycled “Story Quilt Collage” with Cathy Nichols

Hello StencilGirl® friends! I love sharing my process for creating artwork from my StencilGirl® collection. Today I’m excited to show you how to create unique hand-made paper out of left-over scraps from other projects. I use paper like this in many of my art pieces as well as in the oracle cards I design as part of my Create Your Own Oracle Deck e-course. It is so much fun and a great way to upcycle while getting into your creative flow!

1)      Begin with a pile of scrapbook paper, old book pages or any other pieces of colored paper you have on hand.

2)      Gather about 3 different color families of paint as well as neutrals for your palette. I used a favorite bracelet for color inspiration. For this project, I used acrylics, a make-up sponge and my monoprinting set up (gel plate & brayer), but you can use any stenciling media that makes you happy.

3)      If you’re using a gel plate, apply 1-3 colors of acrylic paint to your gel plate.  
Roll it out with your brayer to mix until you get a pleasing color combination.

4)      Then position a stencil on top of the gel plate color. I used my Kilim Stencil. Next, place a sheet of paper over the stencil face down. Rub on the back of the paper with your brayer.
When you lift the paper off the gel plate, you will have transferred the stencil design to your scrap paper.

5)      You can also apply the paint using a make-up sponge. I used bright pink with my Kilim Stencil.

6)      I love creating stories in my artwork, so I added indigo paint with a make-up sponge to the little houses and trees from my City Stories Stencil.
 I cut these out leaving some of the paper as a background for collaging later.

7)      I also created this sweet little couple from my Love Story Stencil by stenciling on top of a sheet of poetry using magenta and light purple. Elements like this help me to come up with stories for my larger collage.

8)      Repeat this process using a variety of stencils and papers. Then cut up your work into smaller pieces so that you have a bunch of ‘patches’ that can be make into a collage quilt. If you cut out your smaller design elements, this gives you a lot of room to explore design within your quilt. You can put the little houses on top of the landscape or within it!

9)      Finish your composition with hand-drawn elements using markers or your favorite paints!

10)   Enjoy this little video & time-lapse snippet of my composition process:


  1. Love this, Cathy! I 've enjoyed my coffee AND this post so much! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Claudia x

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Love your delightful story quilt, Cathy. Thanks for showing us how you do it!

  4. Thank you Cathy. Great ideas.


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