L'amour d'une Maman - the making of a fabric mixed media collage

Some days ago I promised you a making of or DIY or tutorial if you like
of my collage L'amour d'une Maman.

I know some of you really don't need a tutorial like this
because you're masters in making collages yourself.

But I thought it would be nice to share with you how I did it because we all have our own ways.
And I warmly welcome every tip and trick you can share with me!

So here we go...

~ L'amour d'une Maman ~
The making of a mixed media collage

Materials needed:

an image as your center piece
a piece of thin cardboard
gel medium or a similar adhesive
distress ink (I used Ranger's Vintage Photo)
and ink applier
a canvas board of any size you like
several fabrics matching your image in colour
a paintbrush if you like (or your fingers)
acrylic paints (I used raw sienna, olive green deep and white)
see-through fabrics (I used a light and a dark colour for contrast)
(old) laces and lace appliques if you have any
embellishments (charms, buttons, chains, whatever you like)
some string to hang your collage with like a cord, twine, rope or chain
needle and thread (matching the colours of your fabrics and laces)
sewing machine (if you have one)
a drill or an awl and hammer

How to make the collage:

1) drill holes and paint the edges of your canvas

First drill two holes in the upper part of your canvas for the hanging.
I didn't have a drill at hand so I used an awl and hammered it through, lol.

Then roughly paint the edges of the canvas, the first layer.
Make it uneven, like it's weathered and tattered already.
It's perfectly fine if you let some blank canvas come through.
I used my fingers to apply raw sienna (brown) and then added white.

Let dry.


2) Prepare your image

Glue your image on a thin piece of cardboard.
I used a muesli package.

I then place the image under a pile of heavy books for a while
so that the image will dry flat and neat.

When dried, cut the image out.
And distress the edges.

At this point I also chose my lace appliques to surround the image.

3) Cut your background fabrics and sew them

Make sure you leave the edges of the canvas uncovered.
(Also the holes.)

Add several layers in contrasting colours.

Sew them together.
Again, roughly and uneven is perfectly fine.
If the fabrics move a little bit out of place, that's fine too.

4) Sew see-through fabrics and image on background fabrics

Now place the see-through fabrics roughly on the background fabrics
and the image on top of that in the center.

You can use a little bit of gel medium or another adhesive
to glue down the middle of the image if you're afraid it will move during sewing.
Make sure you let it dry for a while then.

Sew all layers (image, see-throughs and background fabrics).
You only need to sew on the edges of the image.
Leave the rest of the see-throughs un-sewed at this point.

5) Paint a second layer on the edges of the canvas

Your canvas is dry now
so you can add a second layer of paint.

I added some olive green and sienna and white.

Let dry.

6) Stitch the see-throughs, laces and embellishments by hand

Choose your embellishments and laces and see where you'd like to place them.
Meanwhile see how you'd like to curl your see-through fabrics.

When satisfied, take your needle and thread at hand.

Add little stitches roughly here and there to curl and wrinkle your see-through fabrics.
Just do whatever feels right and natural to you.

Make sure you stitch your laces down as well at this point.

Work around the image,
going from corner to corner,
side to side
till you're satisfied with the result.

You only need little stitches where the fabrics touch the background.
And don't worry, no one will ever see the back of your sewing work so go make a mess.

Stitch the embellishments down if possible.
Otherwise use your best glue so they won't come off.

8) Add the hanging part and glue your fabric collage on the canvas

Do you know the strings that you can find in newly bought clothes
that help the clothes staying on the hangers?
I used one of those to hang my collage.

But of course you can use other things, like twine, cord, chains, torn fabric strings, ...

Anyway, get it through the holes of your canvas.

Then glue your fabric collage to the canvas.
(I used gel medium for this.)

And tadaa... your beautiful handmade collage is finished!

Ready to be seen and shown.


And if you'd like to use the image I used,
here it is...

It is painting by Pompeo Batoni

Happy crafting to you!

xx Wen


  1. Wendy thanks for sharing this tutorial, so inspiring, now I know what I will make on my pages in a new book I have on my worktable.

  2. What you have made is beautiful!Thanks for the tutorial!AriadnefromGreece!

  3. Dear Wendy,
    how very beautiful , and a wonderful idea with the way you add the seethrough material, and then curl it after...it looks so lovely, and the image is just adorable, thank you sweet friend...and thank you for your wonderful tutorial!!

  4. Wat ben je toch een geduldige lerares Wen ;-) Perfect uitgelegd, kon niet beter! Weet je dat het plaatje aanvoelt als stof? Heb jij soms een speciale printer of zo, ha ha! Ben er nog zo heerlijk van aan het genieten, zulk verfijnd werk, top gewoon! Nogmaals dank dank, je bent een schat! Dikke kus, Ira xox
    Ira’s Crea Corner

  5. Anonymous23:10

    Hello Wendy
    A moment ago I was visiting sweet Ira's blog and I saw this stunning creation you gifted to her and also the bounty of French inspired laces and images - such delights, as I said to Ira, I had a swoon LOL.
    A beautiful, heartfelt creation.

  6. Beautiful collage and thank you for sharing your technique. Creative Lace Bliss...

  7. Thanks again for sharing your techniques Wendy. It's such a beautiful piece and I'm going to sit down and do my own in the next day or two, as long as I can find the time in this very full week of mine! :) ♥

  8. What a gorgeous creation! I love the Mother and Child image as subject matter. Thanks for sharing the process of how it was created!

  9. Oh Wendy somehow I missed this follow up tutorial. This is such a favorite image of mine too and I enjoyed reading your version. We can always learn a new little technique. Thank you so much for devoting the time to create this post for all of us!
    Big warm hugs,

  10. Anonymous17:18


  11. Wen, Thanks for sharing this tutorial. What a beautiful image. I love seeing how artists approach their work...


Thank you so much for leaving me a sweet message, I love reading your comments. Hugs and happy day to you! xx Wen