Fauxto Collage Art

My fathers birthday was this past month.  I love him dearly, but don’t like purchasing a gift for him.  It’s not that I don’t want to do something nice for him on his special day – really it’s the opposite.  I want desperately to find him the ‘perfect’ gift.  Unfortunately he’s challenging to buy for.  Anything he would want that falls in my price range he most likely will just purchase.  High tech items?  I’m not even gonna try!  (I’m hoping I’m not alone here…)  Then of course there’s always the ‘needed’ items on the list – clothes, gloves for yard work, batteries – sorry, but that’s no fun.  My philosophy on giving gifts is it should be 1. something the recipient will enjoy and 2. something the recipient isn’t likely to do for themselves.

After much contemplation of what to get him, the answer was found after stumbling across an amazing idea at Home Sweet Homemade.  Inspired, I took my dads two favorite things in life and combine them into one project: Porsche’s and pictures.  A self-proclaimed amateur photographer, his photo supply of Porsche cars is endless.  Carefully sneaking into their house, I burned a copy of his car pics and brought it home to get to work.

Here’s a little background info on the collage:  My dad belongs to a car club.  Kansas City Region Porsche Club of America (KCR PCA).  This club has a lot of fun gathering for various social events throughout the year.  My parents hosted one of the gatherings at their home, so those were the pictures I decided to use.

Materials Needed:

  • Paper Cutter or Scissors
  • Tape
  • Glue Stick
  • Flathead Screw Driver (To Disassemble/Reassemble Frame)
  • Computer and Printer (To print off letter templates)
  • 6 4×6 pictures ($.19 each at Walgreens)
  • 3 5×7 pictures ($1.59 each at Walgreens)
  • Frame ($1.00 at Garage Sale)

Total Cost: $6.91 + tax

Here’s a step by step guide to complete this project:


Create Letters:

1. Pick a frame, and measure opening for picture.

2. Determine what message you’d like for your collage.

3. Choose a font.  The font used for this was Allstar.  You want to take the width of the letters into consideration when choosing your font, and how much of the image you would like seen.

 3. Adjust letters to desired size, print, and cut out.

4. Select photos you’d like to use and print.  The size of the letters I used were just under 2 inches wide, and I was able to cut two letters from two pictures woven together.  Six 4×6 photos were used to create all 6 letters.

 5. Decide which pictures will be woven together – one will be cut length wise, the other width wise.  Working with one pic at a time cut into strips.  Strips can be as wide or as narrow as you like.  Honestly, they don’t even need to be consistent.

 6. Lay a piece of tape sticky side up. As each strip of the image is cut, gently lay the tip on the tape to help keep cut pieces in order.

7. To weave, use picture with cut length wise and adhere one end down to work surface.  At the other end, tape every other strip down to work surface.  Using a separate piece of tape, lay the remaining ends on it, and fold tape over.

8. Using photo cut width wise, one strip at a time weave into other photo.  Lifting length cut strips on tape not adhered to work surface, place short strip down.

 9. Again using long strips connected through tape but not adhered to surface – lower them down, and allow some slack.  This will allow the next short strip to insert through the top.

10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 until pictures are woven together.

11. Tighten weave by sliding strips of photos closer together.

12. Place tape on entire backside of woven photos to create stability.

13. Continue steps 5-12 until the amount of woven pictures will be enough for the letters of your message.

 14. Trace letters onto back of photo weave, and cut out.



Disassemble Picture Frame:

Here’s my garage sale bargain – I picked it up for $1!

1. Carefully remove backing from frame.

2. Using a flat head screw driver, fold staples back.  If a flathead screw driver is not handy, you can use pliers to remove them.

3. Remove contents from frame.

4. Remove mat from picture.  This one happened to be a real booger.  The picture and mat were glued together.

5. I was in the kitchen, so a spatula was handy.  Carefully wedging it between the two pieces I then slid it around the edges to loosen them.

 6. And they did come apart – just not what I was expecting.  Son of a gun!  This is seriously the most stubborn picture to disassemble from its mat!

 7. Fine, moving on to an exacto knife.  Use it very carefully to insert between picture and mat.  With great caution slide it down the edge.

 8. Finally, you should be able to remove enough of the picture the edge of the mat should now be visible.

 Uh… I’m working on something that’s supposed to look good, right?

 9. With the picture backing ending up in shambles, I used a hanging folder to back the new image.  If you happen to encounter a similar problem, just cut folder to size.

Create Background Image:

1.  Choose photos to use for background.  Print enough to cover entire background area.  For the background of the letters, I used 3 5×7 photos. They were all the same to provide a small amount of consistency to the overall end appearance.

2. Alternate the cut of the background photos: every other one cut into strips lengthwise, remaining cut width wise.  As each strip is cut from a picture, secure its tip gently to a piece of tape.

3. Arrange strips close together.  I used a bacon press to hold them in place until I could tape the back.  (Can you tell I’m working on this in the kitchen?)  After strips have been adjusted into place, tape the back to keep in place.

4. Trim excess tape from edges.  (Looks like a sushi mat, huh?)

5. Adhere images to backing (er – hanging folder in this case).


 1. Determine spacing of letters.

2. Adhere letters evenly spaced atop background image.  Attach to back of mat.

3. Allow adhesive material used to dry – you may want to place under books over night to help flatten it a bit.

 4. Insert into frame, secure, and hang.

I promise you this whole process does not take near as much time as you might think!  But, it’s a sentimental gift from the heart that can fit anyones budget!


This also was my first guest post, {Yeah!} and can also be found @ A Law Student’s Journey.

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