In the previous Artuta Art Tip, I showed you how unwanted scrap paper around the house can become art. This time I’ll show you how to make a collage using security envelopes which usually come in the mail, often as bills. In my personal art practice, I tend to collect paper from my mail that has special qualities to it. It could be the color of the paper, the texture, or pattern. Often, I will save these scraps of paper until I think of a good way to use them.
For this project I dipped into my security envelope collection, as you can see they come in a variety of patterns. If you’d like to start your own collection, make sure your folks don’t need the envelope for mailing bills!
Some materials and tools I used for this project are:
- Security envelopes
- Crayons (or color pencils)
- Glue stick
Since the envelopes come in standard sizes there is a limit to the size of your artwork. This is a good project to plan out or have a general idea of what you would like to create.
I already had an idea in mind that I wanted to make, so I sketched out my image. The sketch served as a guide for this collage, it does not need to be extremely detailed, as the patterns in the security envelopes will help with that.
Next, I took a look at the assortment of patterns and colors of envelopes and tried to imagine which patterns would best interrupt my design. This may take some trial and error. Have fun! There really is no right or wrong, it’s all about what you prefer. You can use your scissors to cut the edge of the envelope to get as much patterned paper as possible. Ask for help if this is a bit hard for you, I’m sure your parents won’t mind assisting.
After I decided on my pattern choices, I used my drawing as a stencil to cut out the shapes. You can refer to our previous Artuta Art Tips to read about how to create your own stencil. As you can see, I have cut out each part of the design using different patterns from the security envelopes.
After cutting out each part of my design, I colored them using crayons. You can use other coloring tools if you like. I chose Crayons since I have a big box of them and there are more colors for me to choose from. After coloring the different parts, I piece them together using a glue stick.
Along with the crayons, you can use the color of the patterned envelopes to color your design. If you notice, the inner ear of the cat and the top of his head are of a similar pattern, but slightly lighter. You can play around with the shades of the envelopes and patterns to create the look you want. How many different patterns do you see? Is everything patterned? :) I drew in some freckles for my cat friend and later I filled in his pupils to make them darker.
Here is the end result! I made another cat using the same technique. Can you see the different effects from the various patterns? There are multiple ways to use patterns and reuse materials that are all around us. Keep your eyes open for materials that can become a work of art!
Lastly, if you’re interested in joining an Artuta class, check the link for more information.
Hello! My name is Jessica. I am a collage and soft sculpture artist based in New York City. I am originally from East Los Angeles, California. I love making things and believe that art is an extension of yourself. I am always excited to see what Artuta students create!