Collage Techniques #2

Using a cropping template to find backgrounds

This is my special trick for finding great backgrounds, mostly from magazines but from all sorts of materials as well...AND, it is FREE this great little tool will be included with all orders from this site that total $15.00 or more before shipping.

I call this my ATC "Background Cropper". It is what I have use to select sections of magazines, etc. to use for Artist Trading Card Backgrounds and the same tool I used to make all the background cards for a recent challenge swap. Over 300 samples of ATCs done with this style background are in the Bmuse Galleries. The Cropper gives you a little window to see exactly what the background will look like before you cut it out and allow you to quickly test a section of magazine for how it will work as a background. AND it is FREE with any purchase of $15.00 or more (before shipping) from this site.


This is a Simple, but very useful technique that allows you to easily "see" how an image or portion of an image may work as a background for your ATCs.

So here we is exactly how I use it...

Step One

Using an Exatco Knife or sharp scissors cut out and remove center along the dotted lines. If are using scissors it is easier to first rough cut a smaller section out of the center and then use that open space to give you better leverage with the scissors.


Step Two

To extend the life of your "cropper" reinforce with masking or artist's tape on the back


Step Three

Now it gets more fun...get a pile of magazines and start moving the cropper over the pages...particularly those pages that are so pretty or interesting but just not much you can actually cut out and use for images..well they have great backgrounds!!


Step Four

Using a Ball Point pen draw the outline of the background and cut out from the magazine. You will notice that your background is actually slightly larger than the standard 2.5 x 3.5 Artist Trading Card. There is a reason for this. It is MUCH easier to trim off a bit after you have glued it to the card than to try to exactly align the background and card.


Step Five

Create a permanent bond using Rubber Cement. Brush a thin coat on back of the background you cut out and the pre-cut ATC blank taking special care that the corners and edges are covered with glue. Center and place the blank card down on the back of the background. Use a brayer or your fingers to be sure a good contact has been made over the entire surface.

You can also run the pre-cut card thru your Xyron machne and achieve the same effect. I don't know of any other adhesive that will give you a nice smooth card without curling or wrinkles.

NOTE: It is best to use Rubber Cement only in a well ventilated area.

Pre-cut Artist Trading Card size card stock in different weights are available on this site. See the Artist Trading Cards Supplies page.


Step Six

After a few minutes the Rubber Cement will be dry enough to trim off the excess background

Then the REAL Fun begins...Collage, Embellish and most important HAVE FUN!!

Stamp Credit: Hero Arts. Embossed with Bmuse Polished Brass Detail Embossing Powder.


For more collage techniques and ideas see Collage Techniques page #1

Don't limit yourself to just are some other examples of materials that work well with this technique.

Section of a map
Section from a piece of junk mail
Section from a sheet of scrapbook paper


Section of Wrapping Paper
Section of a page from an old dictionary


The embellishments and cutouts used to create these cards are typical of items included in Bmuse Collage Ephemera Packs and materials from the Bargain Ephemera Page

there is no limit to what you can do with this technique ...

this site sponsored a 6 week swap where Bmuse provided the backgrounds and 67 different artists finished over 300 Artist Trading Cards which have been uploaded for you to see - Galleries

for current updates and discussions on this and other swaps check

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