My neighbor’s baby shower is on Saturday and I REALLY wanted to create an elephant painting for her baby boy, but I hadn’t got to it yet. This morning I decided to try a collage painting. This project is easy enough for someone with very little art skill and has enough possibilities to hold the attention of a highly trained artist. (The verdict is out on exactly where I fall on that scale.)

What you will need:
– A canvas, any size (white is fine, mine was painted blue but didn’t need to be)
-Mod Podge or another acrylic varnish. (Elmer’s glue may also work, but water it down a bit.)
-Paper to collage with. (I used the end papers of an already cannibalized copy of Where the Wild Things Are. Scrapbook paper and/or wrapping paper/tissue also work well.)
-Paint brushes. (Don’t use anything nice for the Mod Podge. It will gum up the brush. I always use a cheap foam brush.)
-Acrylic paint for background color
-A drawing or stencil for “cut-out” image

1. Tear paper and adhere to canvas with Mod Podge a piece at a time. You will need a thin layer of Mod Podge both under and over the torn paper to get a good seal.

2. Collage around the edges of the canvas. (I ended up doing this step later, but wish I had done it here.) Let dry.

3. Lay your drawing over a piece of press board (like a cereal or graham cracker box) and cut out with scissors. This will make a reverse stencil.

4. Place reverse stencil on your now dry canvas.

5.Hold stencil down and carefully dab or paint outwards around image. If the paint runs under your stencil, don’t panic. When you lift the stencil, you can use a slightly wet q-tip to remove the excess paint. I had to do this around some of the edges. Just be sure to do it while your acrylic paint is still wet.


Paint in details as your design calls for (ie. eyes, ears – you can use stencils) and coat the rest of the canvas surface with paint. I added the heart as an after-thought. I just waited for the blue paint to dry and mod-podged the heart over the top of everything. I like the “recessed” look of the elephant, but this technique is very forgiving if you want to add or layer.


“Remember: You Are Loved!”

The Greeting Card version is currently available at Card Gnome: Click Here to View

Other great Mod Podge projects can be found at: