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Do-It-Yourself Art: Travel Collages

Real, no-one-else-has-it art imbues a home with the kind of visual poetry that reproductions never could.




Buying art can be quite intimidating, not to mention expensive. It is possible, though, to have all the benefits of owning an original without any of the drawbacks: The secret is to make your own art.

You don't need to be a master at drawing or painting; with basic supplies and everyday technology -- a camera, a photocopier, a computer, a printer -- you can capture beautiful images at little cost. And since you're the artist, you dictate the shape, the size, and the color that will complement your interiors perfectly.

Translate objects from your travels into art. We took items that may seem boring or incidental (a plane ticket, a hotel business card) and enlarged them to create these arresting Warhol-like collages. Consider all the bits you collected on a trip as possibilities. Foreign food labels, candy wrappers, menus, maps, and packaging will remind you of the tiny delights you experienced abroad -- the taste of a new spice, the thrill of being lost on a winding road.


  • Utility knife
  • Decorative paper
  • Double-sided tape
  • Frame


  1. Step 1

    Sort through your memorabilia, and pick your favorite bits and pieces. We scanned and enlarged them, and printed them out in color. You can also use a color photocopier, but you'll need to trim the white edges with a utility knife.

  2. Step 2

    Cut a sheet of decorative paper to the size of a poster frame, and affix enlarged mementos to the paper with double-sided tape. We arranged ours in a grid pattern, but feel free to be creative. Layer small ephemera on top, and affix with double-sided tape. Write the place and year of your travels on a strip of paper, and tape it along the bottom edge of the decorative paper.

  3. Step 3

    Put the collage in the frame, and hang. Now you have an intriguing collage of memories that will be a great conversation piece, as well as a "scrapbook" you can enjoy at a glance.

Martha Stewart Living, May 2004



Reviews (19)

  • debrabelmudes 22 May, 2013

    What a wonderful idea and an alternative to creating a "traditional" scrapbook. I'm going to use this idea to display memories from my dream trip to Italy!

  • fireflytea 3 Jul, 2010

    love it! would also like to do something similar with my grandmother's and great grandmother's old hand written recipes any suggestions? thanks!

  • CarolynRubenstein 8 Nov, 2008

    such a cute idea -- excited to try :)

  • frenchmom 13 Jul, 2008

    could also be a nice idea to present a gift, voucher or money for a future trip

  • joynifer 12 Jul, 2008

    Lovely idea. Will try with tickets and stuff that I collected from previous journeys.

  • sweet67 11 Jul, 2008

    Wow! This is so nice! I have a lot of little things from my napkins, photos and tickets from San Miguel de Allende in I kow what to do with them... thank you :)

  • kathydupuis 11 Jul, 2008

    LOVE IT! Combines my love of travel with my love of art.

  • cmarlow41 11 Jul, 2008

    The great thing about photocopying or scanning is that you can make it to your own size can be 5X7, 8X10, or 16X20. Great idea for all those little pieces of memorabilia that end up in my suitcase!

  • vikki88 11 Jul, 2008

    Uhhh...Great idea, but please make sure that you are displaying your "art" properly -- The Chinese characters in the top left-hand corner of the poster on the right are UPSIDE-DOWN!!!

  • TriciaJay 11 Jul, 2008

    Nice idea!

  • hazen 11 Jul, 2008

    You could do it this way, or you can have your very own poster made and you create it yourself (or your consultant can do it for you) by uploading your photos and create your memories that you can frame or not. You can even use the scrapbooking artwork that comes with the FREE account or subscribe to the Premier account and get over 30, 000 Scrap girls Art work. No cutting and pasting, or driving to a store. Check out:

  • quackmehard 11 Jul, 2008

    I think photocopying the pages is the way to go, as you won't have to search for archive-quality adhesives and papers.

  • BEARSJUSTB-CLAWS 11 Jul, 2008

    What a wonderful idea. There are so many possibilities too.
    Thank you.

  • ATCastro 11 Jul, 2008

    This is awesome! I'm definitely going to try this.

  • jillmurtagh 11 Jul, 2008

    A word of warning: if you expect your memorabilia to last, be sure to use archive-quality adhesives and papers and UV-resistant plexiglas.

  • karabeth626 11 Jul, 2008

    What a smart idea, enlarging the items make it much more interesting and artistic.

  • ccc917 11 Jul, 2008

    What a great idea! I lived abroad for a little while and would love to be able to display that part of my life in my home now.

  • susanajg 11 Jul, 2008

    I did it with my honeymoon travel. We are from Spain, in Europe, and went to NYC. Beside the photos and tickets from museums and hotels, we also put some leaves from Central Park (that we kept some time between paper sheets under a lot of books). We also did it with our last trip to London, adding some leaves from Hyde Park. It's interesting how they are conected by the "leaves" and make a nice place to sit and have some tea...
    Everyboby finds it amazing, but the truth is that it's very easy

  • cutehousedesigner 3 Jul, 2008

    This is so amazing!