Trade School

Trade School session #9-Mod Podge Collage


Happy June, everyone! June is by far my favorite month for so many reasons:

1. It means school is out for the summer

2. The weather is warm, not too rainy, and beautiful

3. It’s my birthday month

4. It means free concerts, farmers markets, and festivals

But, now back to the main event—Trade School.  Today we have a quick and easy project that reminds me of my teenage years.  I used to make inspiration collages all the time, and I also discovered Mod Podge then.  Ahh to be young again Winking smile .

I’m super grateful for our teacher today.  Kirby from Kirb Appeal stepped in at the last minute to “substitute” teach for another blogger friend. I’m so grateful she did!


Hey! My name is Kirby and Sarah has kindly asked me to teach something at Trade School today. (In real life I am also a teacher, so this might make some sense. But generally I’m just trying to teach recalcitrant 8th graders some literature, so bear with me.) This is my first guest post, and I am thrilled!

Today, I’d like to show you how I make some cool collages. It’s a pretty inexpensive project, and can be used as personalized artwork. It’s a GREAT project to do with kids…tweens love it. They get to create a message and illustrate it. Plus, Mod Podge is pretty nearly the most fun stuff ever.


an art canvas of any size

a little bit of acrylic paint

a smallish paintbrush

some stick-on letters

a Sharpie (I used black)

a pair of scissors with a good edge

many magazines and catalogs

the aforementioned Mod Podge

(note…I primed the canvas with Gesso, which can be expensive. You can get the same effect by using a little white acrylic paint as a primer.)

*1: Using the sticky letters, position your message on the canvas. Don’t stick them down until you’re happy with the placement. For subway art, you can tape off lines for placement, but for this attempt, I wanted it to have a free-form feel.

*2: After sticking the letters down really well, brush on the paint of your choice. I love Granny Smith green, so that’s what I used for this attempt. I made sure to get into the nooks and crannies between the letters.

*3: A second coat after the first dries. Let that second coat dry well, and then peel the letters off carefully.

*4: For the subway art, I left my letters white, touching up with the white paint where any of the acrylic bled. For this collage, I knew it didn’t matter, because I was going to fill in the letters with the black sharpie. I wanted it to have a scribbled-in quality.

*5: Once I was done coloring in the letters, I went to my handy-dandy box where I keep magazine pics I have cut out. (I go through magazines before I put them in the recycling bin and rip out pics and recipes. I have over a hundred recipes I HAVE NEVER USED. I am thinking I just need to dump them all into the recycling bin, but I am under the delusion I will eventually really cook something.)

*6: For the pictures, I looked for things that are representational of what folks take inspiration from: music, books, pop culture, travel, décor, nature, numbers, and (in my case) alcohol. (I’m just kidding. Sort of.)

*7: I didn’t have enough of what I needed, so I ended up cutting out some more. It’s always good to have a lot of things from which to choose.

*8: I played around with the placement of the pictures until I found something I liked.

*9: Finally, it was time to get out the Mod Podge. I smeared the back of the pictures and started sticking! I placed the bottom layer first, then layered smaller photos on top. I generally Mod Podge with my fingers, which I didn’t include in my list of materials. If you do not own a finger, you will have to borrow one. I covered all of the photos with a thin layer of Mod Podge, as well.

*10: As the final step, I painted the edges of the canvas to give it a little depth.

I have a lot of fun doing these little collages, and I hope you take a little inspiration from this and have some fun with Mod Podge this summer!



How fun, Kirby!  I think this project would be great at a birthday party, youth group, or even in a craft room for extra inspiration. 

This homework should be easy for you all to do, so I hope some of you will do it!  If you do, you get a gold star.  Just email me a picture of your Mod Podge collage and I’ll feature you.  Easy peasy!

gold star button

9 thoughts on “Trade School session #9-Mod Podge Collage

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