How to: Make Mixed Media Art

I love the look of mixed media art because it incorporates many different materials.  For a person like me who can never decide what embellishments to use in a project, mixed media art is a great niche to get into.  If you’re a bit scatterbrained like me, or you just like to use a variety of materials in your crafts, try mixed media art to express your creativity to its fullest.

Think of mixed media art like a salad of the crafting industry — it includes a little bit of everything.  From buttons to scraps of paper and tin foil, mixed media art encourages you to combine several textures to make a delicious — or in this case beautiful — result.  So how do you make mixed media art?  That depends on the type of look you’re going for!  Personally, I love to make mixed media journal covers and wall hangings.

Here are a few ideas to get you started and inspired.

Journal Covers and Projects

There are a lot of awesome journal covers and pages out there that utilize mixed media art.  Depending on the vibe you want your creation to have, there are projects that use heaping amounts of modeling paste for texture, and others that simply layer bits and scraps together for a lighter, delicate look.

Here is one of my favorite journal cover projects from FaveCrafts.  This project uses Excel Mat Board and clean cut pieces for a refined look.

Leaf Journal Cover

If you want a more edgy looking journal, try layering more rugged-shaped objects to a page.  These make great wall hangings when they’re completed.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide for making a journal wall hanging.


  • Blank canvas or old book cover
  • Buttons or other embellishments (I love skeleton keys)
  • Gesso
  • Ribbon and lace
  • Paint or stamp pads
  • Mod Podge
  • Glue
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Personal mementos (plane tickets, movie stubs, pictures, etc.)


  1. Figure out what you items you’d like to include in your collage and set them aside.  These items can be whatever you like, but the best ones are those that have some kind of symbolic or personal meaning.  When I made my first mixed media page, I included train tickets that my fiance and I used when we visited London together.
  2. If you plan on painting your canvas first, use Gesso to prep it.  This will help the paint to stick.  If you want to use an stamp pad to color the canvas, Gesso isn’t necessary.
  3. Paint the canvas until desired color is achieved.  If using a stamp pad,  take a make-up sponge and smudge it in the pad to cover it with ink.  Make sure to blot the sponge on a piece of scrap paper to get rid of any access ink that could smear the canvas.  Cover the canvas with ink until the desired effect is achieved.
  4. Decide what items you want to glue onto your colored canvas and arrange them accordingly.  Glue in place.
  5. Write down your favorite quote, thought or memory on pieces of scrap paper and paste them onto your canvas.  Or if you wish, leave our any writing — it’s your piece of art!
  6. Once you’re happy with the layout and textures, just let it dry and enjoy!

For a simple wall hanging idea, check out this video that explains a simple way to achieve the mixed media look by using a hot glue gun, foil and spray paint.

Have you ever made mixed media art projects?  How did they turn out?

Happy crafting!


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