Alternative Collage Surface Inspiration

I think part of what makes a piece of art great is; 1). The artwork itself and 2). The way that the work is matted, framed or displayed.

For me, a great image can be ruined by poor presentation and alternatively, a great presentation can make a great piece of art ever better!  So as artists, our job isn't done once the image itself is created. We have to find ways to really showcase our work in the best possible way.

I recently completed the piece below titled, "She Insisted That They Bring the Mushroom Umbrella on Their Walks", and I thought I would show you how I found the plaque that the collage was created on. It's really quite simple actually!

I find the plaques and frames that I use in my work in thrift stores, craft stores and discount stores. Stores that are quite common and stores which you probably have in your neighborhood.

The big secret here is to look at an object for it's potential and not for what it actually is or in some cases, it's intended purpose (I will discuss using mirrors as potential frames and bases for collage work in a later post).

Here I have taken a picture of a plaque that I found, which has been untouched. Another plaque that has a base coat of paint and papers and then the third, which is the completed piece.

The original, untouched plaque as you can see, has an image already on it. But what is so great about collage is that I can cover just about any surface that I desire.

I loved the metal detail at the top of the plaque and I loved the rectangle shape, and I was sold.
I look for interesting shapes and details; the bones of the piece, and I create my work over top. This way, essentially every object becomes a potential base for a collage piece.

I encourage you to find interesting objects and ways to present your own work. Also, if you have a specific question about collage, or a issue or problem you are having with a piece, let me know and maybe I can help.


  1. Hi Sarah, I must thank Google first for leading me to your site. I can't tell you how excited I am. Your blog covers so many questions that I wanted to ask. Plus I read some of your tutorials and comments from other viewers and yourself. Together all of this information has given me courage to go ahead and dig in to mixed media projects that I pictured in my mind but did not know the way to get there. Thanks so much love your "animals in clothes" especially the rabbits.

    1. So glad to hear that! Happy creating!


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