Make an Embellished Day of the Dead Collage

comments (4) October 29th, 2014     

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susanstars Susan Beal, contributor
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Make this glittery collage with Day of the Dead imagery, sparkling rhinestones, and charms of your choice.
I used these materials to make my Day of the Dead collage.
After I painted my canvas and glued down my image, I sealed it with decoupage medium sprinkled with glitter.
I arranged and rearranged my rhinestone accents onto the canvas before gluing them down.
After gluing down the sparkles, I added larger decorations with hot glue and added jump rings to the top and bottom as well.
This candleholder was part of the central arrangement on my altar two years ago.
Make this glittery collage with Day of the Dead imagery, sparkling rhinestones, and charms of your choice.

Make this glittery collage with Day of the Dead imagery, sparkling rhinestones, and charms of your choice.

Photo: Susan Beal

I decorate an altar for Day of the Dead every year to honor my family and friends who have passed away-and this year, I thought I'd make a glittery, fanciful collage to adorn the shrine that I could keep year-round in my house as well. If you want to make one for yourself, you can use family photos, original drawings, or found imagery as your central design-or use one of Crafty Chica's lovely inspiration cards, as I did.

You'll need:

  • Acrylic paint (I used the blue in the Little Chica pack) and brushes 
  • Small canvas (mine was 4 by 6 inches)
  • Sharp scissors 
  • Imagery or photos of your choice (if you use original photos or other precious pieces, I suggest color-copying or scanning them and using the copies instead of the only one you have)
  • Craft glue
  • Glitter
  • Decoupage medium
  • Flat-backed rhinestones (I used round and marquise shapes)
  • Larger embellishments of your choice (I used a vintage flower piece and two buttons)
  • Hot-glue gun
  • Jump rings (two large, one small)
  • Charm

1. Apply two coats of paint to your canvas, letting it dry in between coats. Meanwhile, cut out the image or images you're interested in spotlighting and set them aside.

2. When your canvas is dry, arrange the images on it as you like, then glue them down with craft glue. Let it dry completely.

3. Mix glitter into your decoupage medium, and paint a coat of it over your image and canvas to seal it. Let it dry and add a second coat over the first.

4. Now it's time to have fun with the embellishments! Arrange and rearrange your rhinestones around and over your imagery until you like the pattern. Pick one up at a time and glue it down with craft glue, working from top to bottom or one side to the other.

5. Add any larger pieces with hot glue, like the central flower and buttons I used, and add any last rhinestones with craft glue. When the design on the front is finished, turn the piece over and hot-glue the two large rings at the top and the bottom of your canvas, so the outer half of each one appears beyond the edge of the canvas. The top one will make it easy to hang your piece, and the bottom will join a charm to your canvas.

6. Open the smaller jump ring and use it to connect the charm to the collage. Close it securely.

Note: The paint, glitter, decoupage medium, and central image I used were all from Kathy Cano Murillo's wonderful Crafty Chica collection, available at Michael's and independent craft stores and on Amazon.

For more inspiration, don't miss Kathy's posts about her Day of the Dead altars and celebratory crafts. You can also see many more photos from my shrines-here's mine from last year and the year before.

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posted in: paint, embellishment, rhinestones, decoupage, glitter, sparkle, collage, crafty chica, day of the dead, kathy cano murillo

Comments (4)

roundbisciut writes: The glue gun gets everything done! And yes, wish we celebrated Day of The Dead like that here - with lots and lots of colours!
Posted: 8:42 am on August 7th
genalorainne writes: Where do you acquire the rhinestones from?
Posted: 12:03 pm on April 14th
granitatogo writes: This is lovely and imaginative. Here in Greece photos of those that have passed, saints and personal altars have a special place in homes. Also I learned last year that Greece, too, has a Day of the Dead with special foods. I hope this summer I will be able to use your guide to make our own Day of the Dead collage with a Greek flavor.
Posted: 11:43 am on October 31st
Sister_Diane writes: This is so pretty! I love crafts that are infused with meaning.
Posted: 11:34 am on October 26th
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