Monday, January 16, 2012

Trisha Too: Serendipity-style mixed media background for collage, atcs, twinchies, etc

This is, undoubtedly, one of my all-time favorite, tried-and-true techniques. It's easy, it's fun, the results are great, and guess what?? It uses your stash, your scraps, whatever you have on hand -- perfect for this round of challenges!

First, you need something for the base--I usually choose an old piece of 12x12 scrap paper--plus your favorite adhesive, and, of course, your scraps. I keep mine in a (okay, yes, SEVERAL) collage boxes. AKA as old shoe boxes, but that's beside the point . . .

Ready to dig in?

Start gluing scraps all over the base. Don't worry about lining things up just right, and don't fret about color combinations--don't think, just glue! Sometimes it's helpful to continually turn the base as you glue, to prevent a discernible "top" or "bottom" to the background.

If you have some pet pieces you want to remain in the picture, be sure to save
them until last, because you really . . .

should COVER the base. At this point, you could stop and use your background piece as it is, but I generally try and unify the colors somewhat.

Here, I'm using a light acrylic wash, first in a blue, and now with a pink.

Once again, you may want to stop here, but why stop when you can STAMP???

Randomly stamp images all over the background--again, don't think too much, just stamp!

Finished? Whatchya gonna make? Time to CUT:

Here are some twinchie (oh, did anyone mention the Gingersnap Twinchie art exchange??) and atc backgrounds, all ready for some main images and embellishments!

If that's too pastel for you, go bright like I did in this background:

Squirt paint over the top of your background, and then smear it around,
making sure the paint is thin enough that the images show through.

And there is always the option of MORE paint!

Here, I printed with found objects.

Some other serendipity backgrounds:

Have fun!



  1. Wowza! Fantastic, Trisha - love these backgrounds, and they look so fun to make. Great tutorial!

  2. fabulous stuff - right up my street

  3. Great stuff, a brilliant idea for using your scraps.

  4. Well, I made some of Petra's paper and now I guess I'll make some of this. So much fun, thank you!

  5. I always love seeing background techniques! I love your take on this one :)

  6. So cool! Love this revisited technique, and yours are wonderful!

  7. wonderful tutorial
    thanks so much

  8. FUN,FUN,FUN! I have lots of white 12 x 12 I removed from albums as I replaced them with my scrapped pic. so I have plenty of base to get started.....Thanks for the great tutorial.

  9. Thank you, everyone! I hope you all have as much fun as I do with this technique!


  10. Great post -- and great inspiration, too! I love your backgrounds and am ready to try my own ones now. :)


Thanks for your wonderful words!

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