Your Source for Creative Plastic Films.

Altered Canvas

Project Description: Learn how to alter a canvas to create a custom collage to display using Computer Grafix.

Designed by: Tami Sanders

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging


  • Computer Grafix Matte Adhesive Backed Inkjet
  • Clearsnap: Mix’d Media Inx” Mossy, Leather, Patina, Denim, Stormy, and Indigo, ColorBox Stylus & Tips and Color Blender
  • Hampton Art: 7 Gypsies: Distressed Words, Weathered Background, and Harlequin Background Wood Stamps
  • Artemio: 10001176- Clear Swirl Stamps
  • Michael’s: Artist Loft: 8 x 10 Canvas
  • Beacon: 3-in-1 Glue, Crop-o-dile, or Anywhere Punch
  • Vintage buttons
  • Scissors
  • Heat Gun

View Video

Note: Be careful to keep the heat gun moving from area to area and at least 3” from your project to avoid lifting or warping the matte film.

Steps to Make This:

  1. Start by selecting and editing your photos in a photo editing program on your computer.
  2. Then scan and save ephemera for your collage or find items matching your theme online by doing an image search.
  3. To create your collage, open a new document in a desktop publishing program like Microsoft Publisher, or use a free digital scrapbook site like Smilebox. Then set the size of your document to 8 ½ x 11 and the margins to .5 at left, right, top and bottom.
  4. Add your first image and adjust the size and arrange the photo as desired.
  5.  Continue adding photos, re-sizing, and arranging the photos until you like their placement.
  6. Then begin adding ephemera; adjusting the size and arrangement.
  7. If you want you can add a text box or boxes.
  8. Add a background to your collage if you like.
  9. Save and print your collage on Computer Grafix according to the package directions.
  10. Trim the excess border from around the images.
  11. Distress edges of the trimmed collage sheet using Leather Ink applied using a Stylus &Tips.
  12. Center collage sheet on canvas and lightly pencil around the edges.
  13. The area outside the pencil lines is the portion of the canvas that will be inked in the following steps.
  14. Begin inking the edge of the canvas using Patina Ink applied using Stylus & Tips.
  15. Add areas of Stormy and Denim Inks around the edges of the canvas.
  16. Use Color Blender to blend edges of inks.
  17. Then use the Heat Gun to heat set the inks.
  18. Begin stamping design around edges of canvas using Mossy Ink.
  19. Use the Heat Gun again to set the inks.
  20. Continue adding other designs, heat settings after each.
  21. Distressed pattern using Stormy Ink.
  22. Begin removing the backing at the corner of the collage sheet.
  23. Tack a corner of the collage sheet to canvas, checking alignment before adhering the corner.
  24. Slowly remove backing smoothing the sheet as you go.
  25. Work your way slowly, smoothing sheet to avoid creases or air bubbles.
  26. Stamp swirls in Leather Ink to bring canvas and collage sheet together.
  27. Use the Heat Gun to heat set the swirls.
  28. Arrange Gypsy photo turns and mark placement with a pencil.
  29. Then punch holes in the marked areas.
  30. Insert the Gypsy brads to attach photo turns.
  31. Arrange and adhere buttons on the canvas.
  • Grafix
  • Your Source for Creative Plastic Films
  • 5800 Pennsylvania Ave.
    Maple HeightsOhio 44137
  • Phone: 216-581-9050
  • Fax: 216-581-9041
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