Mark Making Techniques for Your Collage Paper Toolbox

Transform everyday household nails into stunning collage papers.

Why buy expensive art tools when nails and old book pages can do the trick? In this video, I share how to use household nails to create abstract designs on collage papers. All you need is whatever nails you have on hand, along with copy paper and old book pages. It’s all about experimenting with what you have on hand!

You start by dipping your nails in acrylic paint, making sure that you remove the excess paint to make your nails easier to work with. One of my favorite parts of this technique is how each different nail creates a unique print. For instance, I have one long nail that creates lovely ridges, and another, which might technically be a screw, produces double rings. Each one creates its own signature design.

What’s fun about this is that you can build your designs with the nails on top of each other and making them as complex as you’d like!


Subscribe to my YouTube and get notified every time I go live for my Tune in Tuesday art demos!  

Supplies Used

Variety of nails, smallish sizes
Copy paper, 28 lb 

Drawing paper 80 lb 

Glass petrie dishes 


Acrylic paint

*Some links are affiliate links which pay a small commission to support the production of this art demo series, while not costing you anything more.

Sign up for my FREE Studio Insider Newsletter

. . . and receive a weekly email full of art demos and open hearted inspiration, subscriber only discounts, and early access to new collections.

Plus, I'll also send you the ...

33 Art Resources

I Can't Live Without

holding brushes home page

2 thoughts on “Mark Making Techniques for Your Collage Paper Toolbox”

  1. Thankyou Catherine, you have opened my eyes to all sorts of different ways to make new collage papers and set my mind spinning with new ideas.


Leave a Comment

All artwork is the sole property of Catherine Rains and is held under copyright, even after purchase.The images, artwork, and contents of this website may not be copied, collected, or used for personal or professional gain without the written permission from Catherine Rains. Images on this website taken by Laura Thompkins or Catherine Rains.