Travel Art: DIY Souvenir

As I have been travelling around the world, I have collected little tickets, maps, coasters and more.  I wanted to memorialise my adventures with an art project. It didn’t seem to make sense to try and fill my suitcase with mementos but instead just pieces of paper that I could easily mail to my parent’s address. Now I did keep some things like seashells from Cadiz, pieces of the Blue  City from Morocco, a ring from Romania and more. But I wanted to make something that encompassed my experience in a more complete and personal way.

I made a canvas with the papers I had collected from two years of travelling.  I didn’t have enough for all 12 countries to fit in but I put in as much as I could.

What you need:                                                           Cost:

  • A large canvas (mine was 24X36)                              $20
  • White glue                                                                  $2.99
  • Paintbrushs                                                                 $3
  • Modge Podge                                                  $5
  • Acrylic Paints (I used two colors)                                  $7.99

Step 1: Figure out what you are going to put on your canvas.  I took my maps and ripped out the important areas.  I wanted a fringed look not a perfect cut.  I looked for small tickets and things to put on as well.  Then, I organised it on the floor.

Step 2: Glue it on.  I mixed water and white glue so it was a good consistency for the paintbrush.  I brushed on a coat of glue then put it on the canvas.  After I finished gluing everything I let it dry for about 20 minutes.  Make sure you wash the brush with soap and water immediately after so you can use it again.

Everything is pasted on but there’s still more work to do.

Step 3: Now take your canvas outside with newspapers or a matt.  Don’t forget sunscreen and bug spray too!  Get a brush with a long tip.  I put the paint on a paper plate, like a palette and began flicking the paint on the canvas.  The trick was to not put globs on the paint brush because then it would just leave globs on the canvas.  I would lightly put paint then wave the paintbrush quickly and for a count of 10 so that the paint splattered in flecks.  This process took awhile about 30 minutes maybe more.  I did yellow then let it dry, did orange, let it dry then did it again, let it dry.  I let this dry over night because by then my hands hurt from the paint flicking.  I didn’t want to put too many colors of paint because then it might cover up some of the places.

Everything is pasted on but there’s still more work to do.

Step 4: I used a Matte Modge Podge and used the same brush I used for the glue.  I painted on the Modge Podge in thin coats using an up and down motion to keep the texture consistent.  I would paint a coat, let it dry for 15 minutes then paint about for a total of 4 coats of Modge Podge.  The Modge Podge is important to keep the paper from getting damaged or aging.  It was important that I make something that could live a long life.

Step 5: Show your friends and family and have them guess which map is what city! Enjoy!

All done!

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