Artist Lynn Giunta teaches us how to create cut paper collage

You may remember Hallmark artist Lynn Giunta from her cut paper desktop wallpapers a few weeks ago. Today, this kid at heart is sharing her process for creating her cut paper masterpieces with all of us…after she did the same for her fellow Hallmark creatives in a cut paper workshop. Read on!

DIY CUT PAPER COLLAGE with Hallmark artists | thinkmakeshareblog.comDIY cut paper collage with Hallmark artists | thinkmakeshareblog.comDIY cut paper collage with Hallmark artists |

Cut paper collage is a great craft project for all ages. (That said, kids do need to be old enough to use scissors and a brush!) You can collage almost any kind of paper onto any kind of object. Some ideas: Use old maps, magazines or real pictures.  Paste them onto a frame, box or a heavy piece of cardboard.

For this workshop we used MDF board. (You want the object you are collaging to be thick enough to handle the wet glaze, otherwise it will buckle and warp.) We painted it white (acrylic or gesso), and then we used tissue paper to collage. Tissue paper works great because it is really thin and transparent—you get all kinds of unexpected surprises when colors overlap. The patterned tissue paper that Hallmark sells works really well.

DIY cut paper art with Hallmark artists |

I like to cut my design out with scissors first. I think a lot about composition, about using different sizes, and what my color palette will be. Here’s the key to success with collage: Don’t try to be perfect. The more willing you are to let happy accidents occur, the better off you will be. The fun is in discovering something that you hadn’t planned!

DIY cut paper collage with Hallmark artists |

Once I have my design figured out, I start to glue it down. We used Mod Podge, but you can also use matte or gloss medium or make your own glaze with equal parts water and white glue. I usually pour my glue into a little dish with my brush nearby.

Start with the part you want on the bottom and work toward the top layer. I paint a layer of the glaze onto the board first. You want it wet underneath and on top—it’s messy. I use my fingers a lot as I paint the top glaze to push out wrinkles and air bubbles. Really big pieces are harder; it’s easier to cut them into two smaller pieces. Start with a corner and work toward the other side. You can’t really pick the tissue up once it’s down, or it will tear. Better to just leave it and move on. The glue goes on white but will dry clear. You don’t want too many layers on top of each other—it looks muddy. Almost always, simpler is better. When you’ve got it all glued down, go back with one final coat over the top of the whole piece in case you missed a spot. You can always go back and add more later if you’re not sure whether you’re done or not.

DIY cut paper collage with Hallmark artists | thinkmakeshareblog.comDIY cut paper collage with Hallmark artists |

And voila! You have a fun piece of artwork that only took a couple of hours to create. Wash out your brush, clean up your scraps, and you’re on to your next project.

Check out this great video tutorial of Lynn’s process!

Photography by Pat Bush. Video by Kevin Sizemore.

Share your collage creations with us on Instagram @think.make.share.


Leave a Comment

  1. 9.9.15 | Reply
    iHanna wrote:

    I LOVE collage and have a special place in my heart for tissuepaper for sure. This looks so much fun!

  2. 9.9.15 | Reply

    I have just discovered this blog and I love it already! Very inspiring to know that I can do this on almost anything.

  3. 7.11.17 | Reply
    Jennifer D wrote:

    Is the mdf primed?

  4. 9.25.17 | Reply
    Nancy wrote:

    Can this be done on a tile?

    • 9.25.17 | Reply
      Think.Make.Share wrote:

      Yes, it sure can, Nancy!

  5. 2.6.18 | Reply
    Eve wrote:


  6. 7.8.18 | Reply
    B. J. Berlo wrote:

    Great tutorial! Short and sweet but covered all the “need to know”. I’m going to give it a try! Thanks for sharing.

    • 7.9.18 | Reply
      Tobe R. wrote:

      Love to hear that, B.J.! Please share on Facebook or Instagram when you give it a try!

  7. 9.14.19 | Reply
    Linda J wrote:

    I love collage and in recent years have gotten into SoulCollage. Your video was helpful in that it reminded me not to try for perfection and keep it simple. I want to try the tissue paper.

  8. 7.18.23 | Reply
    Marisa Kenney wrote:

    Love this!