Simple Ways to Use Thread and Paint to Create Collage Papers

See how adding a little thread can revolutionize your mixed media projects

Here’s what I love about this technique… it’s so simple, but the results are out of this world. The process begins with selecting the right type of paper. Mixed media, watercolor, or Bristol paper are ideal. Avoid using copy paper; it’s too weak for consistent results. Next, choose your paint. I prefer Nova acrylic paint, but inks can work too. The key is to find a medium that absorbs well into thick threads like embroidery or upholstery thread.

Then make magic happen! Saturate the thread with paint, but not too much. By experimenting, you’ll discover the right amount of paint to add for the type of paper and paint you are using. Drag the thread through the paint and remove excess. Lay the thread in interesting loops on your paper, and press another piece of paper on top. Add some type of weight, then carefully pull the thread out to reveal the design.

This can take some trial and error to find the perfect balance of paint and weight, however I promise that it will be worth your time.

And there you go—a simple, fun method to make your own collage papers with thread!


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Supplies Used

Mixed media paper 108 lb. 
or another heavy weight paper like water color
Old books
Heavier thread like embroidery floss 

Acrylic paint (I use Nova brand)

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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.