3D Collage Canvas With Deco Art Media


I have a lot of scrap paper from other projects left over in my studio and I'm always looking for ways to repurpose those scraps.  I found that in addition to adding them to my art journals or canvases, I can also collage them onto 3D objects!  It's super easy and fun and you only need a few things you might already have or can easily find at your local art store.



  • A few of your favorite acrylic paint colors (I've used DecoArt Neons in Sizzling Pink and Thermal Green, DecoArt in Blue Chifon, Vivid Violet, Ultra Blue Deep, and DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics in Cobalt Teal Hue)

  • Substrate (canvas or canvas board--I used an 8x8" Ampersand Gessobord)

  • Decopage (or other adhesive that works well with paper--I've used the Decopage glue/sealer/finish in Matte )

  • Spray inks (I've used DecoArt Media Misters in Primary Cyan, Carbon Black, and Primary Magenta)

  • Decopage Paper (or other tissue paper)

  • Your favorite stencils (I've used the 12x12" DecoArt "Mandala" and "Split Angles" stencils)

  • Foam brush (for gluing the paper) and water cup/jar

  • Paint Spreader/Scraper/Texture Tool (I've used a 3M Paint Scraper and a Plaid Decorater Tool.  You can also use an old gift card or make your own texture tool with cardboard)

  • Make-up sponges (for applying paint through stencils)

  • Paint pallette (I've used a recycled plastic tray.  You can also use paper plates or plastic lids)

  • Wooden cut-out shapes  (I've seen some at the craft store or you can order them on Etsy for a few dollars)

  • Various collage paper scraps (you can also make some great collage papers of your own.  Check out my tutorial HERE on how to quickly make your own)

  • Exacto knife & cutting mat

  • Heavy Gloss Gel Medium (or other strong craft glue or adhesive--something that can adhere the wood shape to the canvas board)

To get started, you want to get your canvas or surface that you'll be painting and collaging and adhering your collaged wooden shape to.  I've used an 8x8" Ampersand Gessobord which is a flat panel canvas board that is already primed (meaning it is ready to be painted on).  I chose this shape because it best fit the 6x6" wooden bird cut-out that I'll be using.  Also, Gather 2-3 paint colors, and your scraper and/or texture tool

Step 1: spread 2-3 colors of paint onto your canvas

Spread your paint around the canvas using your scraping tool.  Just dip the edge into the paint and scrap over the surface.  It's ok if colors overlap a little.  Try to get a good balance of color across the canvas.  Here I've chosen the teal and pink for my main colors and then I've added the green as little pops of color.  Also, drag your texture tool through the wet paint in some areas.

Step 2: Add texture to your canvas with stencils

In this step, we're going to use our stencils as stamps to get a reverse image.  Take your stencil and lay it over a scrap paper (mine already has lots of color and layers) and apply the cobalt teal fluid acrylic with a sponge, then flip the stencil over and place it on top of your canvas.  You can repeat this step as you see necessary. It's just a nice way to add subtle color and pattern to the background.


Do the same using another stencil with the Mister in Primary Cyan, spraying through onto another sheet of paper and then using the wet side of the stencil as your stamp onto the canvas.  

Then when that is dry,  apply Ultra Blue Deep acrylic paint with a sponge through the stencil onto the canvas.

Use the Carbon Black Mister to add more pattern onto the background with the Mandala 12x12" stencil.  Think about creating a "frame" for your bird, spraying around the top right and bottom left corners, leaving the center fairly empty.

After that dries, I've also sponged a little bit more paint through stencils with Vivid Violet and Blue Chifon in a few places, just to kind of blend everything in (you can see it a little better in the photos below). 

Step 3: Use the spray ink to add drips

Spray the Primary Magenta mister along the right side edge of the canvas, making sure to get a enough ink to pool so that when you tilt the canvas it will drip down (as seen in image below).

While the canvas is drying, you can now go onto the next step which will be to collage the 3D wood cut-out . In this example, I've chosen a 6" bird to decorate and add to my canvas.  I found mine on Etsy, but you can also find some at your local craft store.

Step 4: Add collage to the 3D wooden bird cutout

Next, you're gonna want to collect some of your favorite collage paper--it can be paper you've made yourself, scrap paper leftover from other projects, tissue or decoupage paper, old wrapping paper--the list is endless!

Use your sponge brush to add decoupage matte glue to the surface of the bird, then rip a piece of the collage paper and add it on top of the glued area.  Use your sponge brush (still a little damp with the glue) and smooth out the paper over the surface (I also like to use my finger at this point, so I can feel where there might be air bubbles and I can smooth out any wrinkles).  You want to work a little quick so that the glue doesn't dry or the brush doesn't harden.  Once you've layered a few pieces of the paper (I've alternated collage paper and the decoupage tissue paper), go over it with just a very light coat of the glue to smooth out the overall surface.

When dry, cut as close as you can to the bird to remove any overhanging paper (as seen below).  Then flip it over onto a cutting mat and use a sharp exacto knife to cut away any remaining paper.

Step 5: Glue the bird to the canvas

At this point, you can also use a little bit of dark paint (black or blue) to the edges of the bird just to make it stand out a little bit.  Once everything is dry on the canvas and the bird, use the heavy gloss gel medium to give a good coat onto the back of the bird then immediately press down on top of the surface.  You can give it some pressure for a few seconds to make sure that it attaches evenly.

And voila! You're done! Step back and admire your beautiful work of art!