A Patchwork Collage Mini-Journal Project

Guest Post By Artist Nichole Rae

I have been creating since I was young. I first started collaging shoe boxes and over time that led to sketchbooks and then into old books. Over time my process has been refined, often laying out my pages before I glue the papers down. To honor my creative spirit I have been yearning to try the “wild collaging” that I use to do when I was young–taking a piece of paper and gluing it down and repeating. Last weekend I had the opportunity to do just that at my first workshop. A beautiful evening of 80+ college students collaging in mini blank journals. I decided to “wildly collage” in a journal and then share this project with you.

Here is what you will need to begin:

  • a blank softcover/paperback journal
  • old book/s
  • random scrapbook + paper scraps {maps, book pages, music notes}
  • misc. rubber stamps ( birds, music notes, flowers, etc)
  • masking tape
  • oil pastels or crayons, colored pencils
  • glue stick
  • paper clips
  • ink pad

Blank Paperback Journal


Old Book, Scrapbook Papers, Glue Stick


Oil Pastels, Rubber Stamps, Ink Pad, Scissors, Paperclips

Begin with your blank journal. Open to the first 2-page spread.

#4 {Note: We are going to skip the first blank page, you can then come back and create on that page, as well as the cover. If you would like to create the cover first and or inside first page go ahead and do so.}

Then collect your miscellaneous scrapbook papers, book pages, maps.


If you have large sheets of paper, tear them into smaller pieces {random square + rectangle pieces}.


Glue your small pieces of paper down anywhere on the page.



The beauty of this project is to create a patchwork design on your page. Take the next page and glue that down. Keep gluing pieces of paper down, exploring different sizes of papers from larger to small, wide or thin strips. Here we are creating the “patchwork” part of this project.



Keep tearing paper and gluing it to your page.


#12 {Note: When collaging your page, you can also use just a few small pieces of paper and leave white space }

Once you have collaged your page we will then use our rubber stamps to stamp on top of the patchwork design.


After you stamp your first image, take the stamp and repeat this image all over the page. If you do not re-ink the stamp the ink will lighten as you apply it all over the page creating a unique pattern.


After adding your rubber stamps use your oil pastels, crayons or colored pencils and add vertical and horizontal blocks of color on your page. Using oil pastels will allow you to smudge and soften the color. {See below}


We will then add accents to the page using masking tape and paper clips.


When using masking tape, I tear the masking tape down the middle creating a thinner piece. This also creates a unique ripped edge.

#20 Once you have added your accents we will finish the spread by cutting words from the old book you have collected. This can be one word or as many words as you would like. When looking through a book I choose the words that catch my eye or call to me.

#21#22 I have selected this part of the page and am going to be using the words “beautiful” + “true.”


Here is a gallery of pages I have created in my patchwork journal.

Be inspired.








I would love to connect with you, find me at artistnicholerae.com and connect with me via facebook or instagram.

Nichole Rae is a mixed-media artist who has a passion for documenting her life through books arts, photography, writing and typography design. She resides in Minnesota and is the author of the book Art Journal Art Journey: Collage and Storytelling for Honoring Your Creative Process. Visit her website artistnicholerae.com.

Art Journal Art Journey_160Find out more about Art Journal Art Journey here.


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