Part 2 : 100 1″ Collage Squares w/ Tutorial!

Yippee! Another batch of 20 1″ collage squares are complete..
Missed This? Read about it here..

 100 1

Well, Whatcha think?

I’m both stunned and touched at the enormous response I’ve received to these, and all the questions asked about my process for them… so here’s a mini tutorial, for these adorable mini squares.

NOTE: I’m rushing through this, and don’t feel like fighting the HTML gods when it comes time to publish this, so excuse the lack of formatting.. I’ll revamp it when I open The Altered Abbey,
and add it there.. to make it printer friendly.. include extra details.. & just be easy to read at a glance..

1″ x 1″ Collage Squares – A Mini Tutorial, For Mini Art ..

* On 140 lb Watercolor paper.. Create any kind of painted background you desire! Randomly add stamped images, text scraps .. it doesn’t all have to look cohesive, just aim for texture, and color..

* Using a paper cutter, cut this entire sheet into 1″ x 1″ squares ..

* Stack them in groups of 10, then ink all edges in brown, or black ink. ( Some may not take, it’s ok.. you’ll need to re-edge some later anyway)

* Go through your images, cutting out small ones — mini faces, birds, an eye, a profile.. think bold.. don’t try to cram a ton on these.. look for one element of a photo, that can stand alone..

* Adhere images with a quality glue stick.. on all your squares..

* Look in old books (the indexes are fabulous for these) .. for small print.. start cutting away phrases, and words that suit your images..match them up with the square you’ll place them on.

* Color your text, or somehow integrate it into your piece.. I like Distress Inks for coloring, and Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens (brush nib) .. edge the text if you have the patience…adhere it to the piece.

* Now have fun! Add hand drawn elements, shadow your images, embellish with mini gems, rhinestones, flowers and more..!

See? It really is simple.. I found that doing it in stages, is much faster than one square at a time.. these really do rock, and I’m trying to keep mine to the same standards I hold my other art too!

— Hope you enjoyed! – Chrysti

31 Responses

  1. Hi Chrysti. I haven’t commented before but I feel that I just have to. I am in utter awe of your work, your style is fantastic and very inspiring, I love the depth that you are able to achieve and also how you take the time to explain the different stages and techniques. I came across your blog just before you went on your vacation and I just coudn’t wait until you came back and posted some of your beautiful art.
    I have read about the difficulties that you suffer from on a daily basis with your health and I think that you are an amazing woman. I too have daily health issues and at times find life pretty tough, but it is people like you who give me strength and encouragement. Like yourself, I also believe that art heals. I love nothing better than to ‘throw’ myself into a piece, it is fantastic therapy even if the finished piece is never shown to anyone.
    Anyway, hopefully I haven’t rambled on too much….I’ll be popping back in for some more inspiration!
    Keep smiling :)

  2. Very interesting contemporary style of work. I like what you do. It speaks of depth. Its inspiring to see other artists doing well. I encourage you to keep up with what you do because as i know its hard to be an artist. I wish i could live off my art. I cant at the moment but i still must create create create. You are an inspiration. Cheers C

  3. Those are lovely. I would like to put a link to them from my site. Can I please take the above photo and put it on my site? Of course I will say it is from you.

  4. These are just fantastic, Chrysti! I saw some on Zorana’s blog and there was a link to you. I love teeny tiny things and I SO have to try this out! Great technique! :o)

  5. ur art inspired me alot…..

  6. I love these and I really appreciate your explaining the technique!! I love your work and will look for more from you! I haven’t tried any teeny tiny things yet – maybe I will!! Thanks!

  7. I thought making 4″ x 4″ pieces for fatbooks was working small! WRONG! I absolutely love these, and think I may have to give some a go. Thanks so much for the tutorial!

  8. I have joined a swap of these and was sent the link to see your tutorial. I am amazed! I already have made 50 lil squares, but they are nothing like yours! I can only hope that they can be considered as well as the others in the swap.
    Great job! Keep up the inspiration!

  9. Chrysti – I’ve looked at other people’s art squares are yours are by far the best. They’re all just darling.

    You’ve inspired me to try and make my own. Perhaps 100 is too high a goal to set for myself, but they’re painted and cut and ready to go. Thanks for the tip about the paper cutter. Believe it or not I was prepared to do it by hand. Ack!

    Can I ask you a question ? Those tiny images… where do they come from? Are they all originals or do you have images you scan (if not digital) and then shrink down in Photoshop?

  10. Mmm. I thought I made a comment here but perhaps it got lost somewhere between here and cyberspace. ;)

    I was wondering about those wee pictures of people! Do you cut up orginal materials or scan regular stuff and shrink it down in Photoshop?

    I’m fixin’ up to make a batch. I’ve done the background and cut 100 pieces but I don’t know where to begin!

  11. Some are scaled down, when i print images — i print a variety of sizes — for any kind fo project … also, i use my full size pictures, but just a part of them!

    Hope it helps!

  12. […] a great tutorial here.  Her’s are absolutely […]

  13. hey.
    i just found the link to this page and i’m so inspired by all i see!! i’m a mailartist and i often swap 1*1 inch squares for mini art calls and this site is lovely!!
    you’re very inspiring.

  14. These R amazing. I just purchased a diecut that cuts out 12 one inch squares at a I will HAVE to try some of these….

  15. Hi, what a wonderful way to express oneself on certain issues. It is similar to a mandala but squared off. I am thinking of trying this out my my young students. The kids have such a wonderful way when it comes to expressing themselves in art.
    Thank you for sharing. Goes to show you, less is more!

  16. Hi, what a wonderful way to express our thoughts and feelings on certain issues. It is similar to a mandala but squared off instead of circle. I am thinking of trying this out with my young students. Kids have such a wonderful way when it comes to expressing themselves in art.
    Thank you for sharing. Goes to show you, less is more!

  17. Hi, what a wonderful way to express our thoughts and feelings on certain issues. Your one inch squares are similar to a mandala. I am thinking of trying this out with my young students. Kids have such a wonderful way when it comes to expressing themselves in art.
    Thank you for sharing. Goes to show you, less is more!

  18. oops sorry folks didn’t realize each time I corrected my comments they would be showing. My last corrected entry is the one I prefer to leave in. So Chrysti would you please remove the other two. Thanks

  19. Thanks for the tutorial.

  20. These are fab you have inspired me to have a go with these tiny collage squares

  21. […] Art by Chrysti’s 1″ Collage Squares Tutorial […]

  22. Thanks for simplifying this!

  23. Hi Chrysti!

    Your work is truly beautiful. Looks like something I would enjoy doing. I was just curious, after you glue everything you want onto the square do you seal them with anything? I am going to hang out in here a while and look around…….ahhhh therapy!!

  24. Christi,I loved your tutorial on inchies, as a person with disabilites in their hands, here is a tip, I would find it easier to ink the sides of the sheet of paper before I began any of the other prep work such as painting the paper,stamping images or adding of text or such before I cut all of them , and would find inking each individual inchie very tiresome. Thank you so very much for your tutorial and showing of your beautiful art in minature. I hope to see more works of art on your blog.

  25. Thank you so much for providing this tutorial! You actually make it sound simple enough that maybe even I can try it! Thanks for being an inspiration – and thanks for the materials you posted for use on Flickr. I just looked, haven’t used, but I am grateful for your generosity and sharing – and I support your terms of use on that, too!

  26. Your work is absolutely stunning. penny

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  31. […] want to try to make some Collage squares (see tutorial here) right now. Lia is in love (I recognize the feeling of when I started to make atc’s). Also, I […]

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