Project

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.

Do-It-Yourself Art: Travel Collages

Photography: Thibault Jeanson

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2004

Introduction

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.

materials

  • Utility knife

  • Decorative paper

  • Double-sided tape

  • Frame

steps

  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. 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. 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.

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