Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How to Create a Memory Collage (4 yourself or a Loved One)

     Are you someone who saves mementos like movie stubs, matchbooks, and sand from that special beach?  I am!  This project is wonderful because it allows you to use these things in a work of art that can be seen often.  The memories these "treasures" hold will not be locked in a box or hidden inside a page most often unturned.  It is also a great piece to make for a loved one, be it husband or best friend, as a tribute to the fun times you have shared.
    Simply begin with a base.  Here I used a piece of framed art I was tired of.  I just removed the frame and painted a base color over the print beneath.  Wah-lah!!  A nice fresh start with a frame to boot! This piece was too 3-D to replace the glass but it is not needed.  Now it's time for the fun part..
   I made this collage for an "old flame".  I never gave it to him.  Yay for me, because it is one of my favorites ever and now I can share the technique with you:)  The basis of this was mementos from times spent in Memphis, along with times in L.A. , along with a small bit of painting.  If you are not a "painter"-- fill in the gaps with solid color, words, or maybe a piece of poetry.  Hand-painting is not necessary to end up with a cool design.
     Here is a closer look at the things I chose to commemorate the memories:

UPPER LEFT:  a matchbook, often the center of our "ice-breaker" jokes, sand and shells collected while beach-combing in Los Angeles, my bag claim ticket

UPPER RIGHT:  Kroger receipt for our dinner cooked together, bowling wristband, painting of us kissing to fill space

BOTTOM LEFT:   another matchbook (from a Mexican restaurant we shared a great meal at), a photo of my writing on the wall "January & Keith" at an LA dive (which happened to be Charles Bukowski's fav hangout back in his day)..
Cheesy, but hey, sometimes cheese is good..Especially on pizza:)

BOTTOM RIGHT:  coaster from a bar, movie ticket bedazzled with cheap "jewels" and gold trim taken from a Chambord bottle.  I painted behind the ticket using white paint and then used a knife to cross-hatch texture and evoke a light, feathery feeling and add dimension. 

CENTER  (or more appropriately, OFF CENTER):  a flyer from B.B. King's where we shared a night of singing the blues

     I hope this has inspired you to do something fun with all those things you're significant other laughs at you for saving.  Haha:) 
     Have fun with it!  Above all:  don't try to strive for perfectionism.  It's the love behind the work that makes it beautiful ..   


  1. I like the mixture of things you used. Most people wouldn't realize the significance in something like a receipt, but those are the things that help tell the stories of our everyday lives. This is something anyone could make if they let their eye see potential in things that might seem ordinary on their own.

  2. Aww, Audra! You are so sweet to read and comment on all my posts!! I feel so loved:)