Introduction: Blackout Poetry

About: Chickens: gotta love 'em. I've recently gotten into journaling and crafting, and am looking forward to graduating high school soon! Then, it's on to living life. Let's go!

So recently I've been interested in making a smashbook out of an actual book, and that left me with pages I had cut out from the book. In searching for a way to use these pages, I came across blackout poetry, where you keep only the words needed for your poem. Cool, but traditional blackout poetry is boring. I wanted something pretty to decorate my journals.

This is where this instructable comes in. It's simple, cute, and chances are you have all the materials already.

*Update: Just now I realized I could have gotten the same (or very very close) result by just snipping out the words and pasting them to the magazine clipping, like a multimedia collage. Yeah, but that's not as cool 8D

Step 1: Materials

For this instructable, you will need:


A pencil and pen (preferably a permanent marker that isn't too thin)

Clear tape

A book page / article with a lot of choice words

A picture that fits the entire page*


Xacto knife

Transparent paper (tracing, parchment, wax** should all work)

*I just took an image from a magazine and cut it to size

**While I did use wax paper, it ruined two of my fine tip sharpies by coating on them in wax. Pen also didn't work. I settled for using my pencil and a thicker sharpie. You have been warned

Step 2: Create Your Poetry

Look at the pages you have. Do any words or phrases stick out? Do you sense a theme you can build around? A specific mood? Perhaps you can see a pattern in the words. Alignment is just as aesthetic as to meaning.

Use the words you have to create your poetry. There's really no wrong way to do this! Once you have your poem, lightly underline the chosen words in pencil.

Step 3: Making the Template

Cut out a piece of translucent paper the exact size of the page. Tape the edges together so that both papers are flush with each other. Make sure the wax/parchment/tracing paper is on top. With the thick sharpie, box the words you underlined in the previous step. Remove the tape and separate the papers.

Note: ignore all the boxes on the picture. I had been trying out a different method and let's just say it didn't work :) The image is just for reference

Step 4: Transfering the Template Onto Your Picture

Just like you aligned the clear paper onto the book page, align it onto your picture and tape into place. Using the pencil or the sharp tip of the pen, go over the box lines you made with sharpie earlier. This should create an indentation deep enough on the picture that you can easily trace over with your xacto knife later.

You can see this in the second photo. I flipped over the magazine sheet where it was easier to see where to cut and scored it lightly with the knife.

Step 5: Cutting the Photo

Once scored, the boxes can be cleanly cut out of the main picture with your xacto knife. You might want to check that you've aligned things right by periodically slipping the book page under the fresh cuts.

Step 6: Finishing Touches

All that's left now is to glue the picture to the book page. Make sure to not get any glue on the words that you'll have showing. If you do, no biggie, just wipe it off with a finger. I used Elmer's clear glue, but since it's water based my magazine got wrinkled a bit. I'd advise using a glue that won't wrinkle, like Tacky glue or something. Of course, that's probably unnecessary if you have your picture printed on a thicker paper. Now let it dry and you're done!