Saturday, August 16, 2014

Adobe Photoshop Elements & Mod Podge Picture Collage

Another year has flown by and Anna Maxine is already 2! After last year's shadowbox I was ready for another challenge. The picture collages I have investigated involve pictures printed, cut and assembled on a base template with Mod Podge. The base is usually a flat template and I would guess the multiple layers of Mod Podge may still result in an uneven finish due to the spliced and pieced pics. In creating Anna's collage, I decided to use a 3-D base (paper mache initial) with the goal of a smooth (no piecing) finish. I combined technology -  Tera (my supersized computer) and manual crafting - Mod Podge for the best of both worlds. Oh yeah babee!

Of course, a flat template would have been  much easier, but this Jedi is up for the challenge of all those extra sides, bottoms and top. Hmmm, do or do not -  there is no try!

The long sides and top were the easiest to assemble.

Added a simple "quilt" label on the back to finish it off.

Want the scoop on creating your own?

1. For the front, I scanned in a basic traced "A" template into  Adobe Photoshop Elements and used it as the initial layer.
2. I modified each pic to a gradient hue of black/gray and cropped as necessary. I also
removed the gradient hue from the "Anna" text in the hat pic exposing the original pink color.
3. Then added all the pics in separate layers onto the base "A" template to ensure adequate coverage.
4. For the sides, tops and bottoms I created new files with canvas sizes equivalent to the   measurements of each. Then followed steps 2 and 3 above.

I had read many articles about Mod Podge bleeding images from inkjet printers. And I tried different mediums for printing. I really wanted a canvas look, but found canvas and matted paper resulted in poor quality images. So plain old copier paper worked best, and I experienced no issues with ink bleeding when applying the layers of Mod Podge. I printed 11" x 17" pages on my trusty Epson Photo R2000 to get a nice flat surface with no piecing required. The front required several tries of prints and cuts to complete, and was the most difficult part.

Just remember - Mod Podge each section and let it dry completely before starting another. And always start with clean hands. I found out the hard way that any trace of sticky Mod Podge on your fingers touching another wet portion will result in pulling up finger sized holes of your print - uff da!
My method reduces all that cutting and piecing until the final assembly. Time to grab your own scissors and trim your template pieces for that perfect collage!



  1. This is such a neat idea! Thank you so very much for sharing it. It will make a great Christmas or Birthday gift for my grandkids!

    1. I'm glad this inspired you to create your own masterpiece. I know your grand kids would cherish your gift for years to come!

  2. Hey - check it out - I was featured on! Coolie Moolie!