Painted Paper Collage

Use hand painted paper collage to create a portrait of your room, or, any room where you live.


Utility Knives & X-Acto knives are extremely sharp and it’s really easy to cut yourself by accident!  Always wear a kevlar glove on your hand which is not holding the knife to prevent injuries. 


NeilHelenCroo, Anna, Staley


Part 1 — Paper Preparation

Step 1

Mix acrylic paint on a sheet of freezer paper.

Mix paint into many different colors.

Step 2

Cover entire sheets of the mixed media paper with a base color or gradient, using a wide brush. Make sure your paper isn’t too thick so you can cut it easily later. It’s okay if the paper warps. 

Paint at least five different tones of paper. Paint some papers with thick paint, and paint some with paint that has been watered down. Allow the papers to dry. 

Step 3

Paint patterns over the first layer of paint. 

Experiment with different kinds of marks using combs, rubber stamps, palette knives, and more.

Step 4

On other papers, paint graphic, repeating patterns with a brush like zigzags or triangles. 

Allow the papers to dry. 

Part 2 — Composition

Step 5

In your room, find a point of view you want to recreate. Take a photo and print it out for reference.

Step 6

On a large piece of Bristol board, using a pencil, loosely sketch the composition of your photo. Block in all the walls, floor, ceiling, and large objects, and don’t worry about details.

Extend the edges and corners of the walls, floor, and ceiling through any objects in the way, as if the objects were transparent.

Part 3 — Collage

Step 7

Organize your painted paper into groups of light and dark pieces.

Step 8

Using scissors or an x-acto knife, cut the painted paper to match the shapes you drew on your Bristol board

Look carefully at your photo and make a note of whether those shapes are light or dark in the space you are working from. 

You want to cut your pieces bigger than your objects. You can always cut your pieces down smaller, but you can’t add the paper back once it’s gone.

Step 9

Lay out the pieces of painted paper on your Bristol board. Glue the big pieces on the Bristol with a glue stick.

Step 10

Cut, layer, and glue smaller shapes on top of the big shapes.

Step 11

Paint a thin layer of  Mod Podge to make a cohesive surface.

All done!