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.

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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.

IMG_5728
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!

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All done!

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