Wild at Heart – Picture Collage Wall Hanging



We took lots of pictures over our summer vacation and wanted to display them in a very special way. My kids and I love to scrapbook and create one-of-a-kind crafts, so we came up with a way to show off our pictures of our wild adventure this summer. We titled it Wild at Heart, we are such animal lovers!

It may look a bit complicated but its actually pretty easy and a lot of fun!

Step 1: Come Up With a Theme and Gather Up Items Needed

First, come up with a theme. We titled ours Wild at Heart. Next, and probably my favorite step is finding all kinds of different fabrics, ribbon, fringe, buttons, yarn, string, twine, feathers, flowers, jewelry and any other special treasure you can find to embellish your wall hanging. Think outside the box, you can use just about anything that can be sewed or glued to fabric. Get creative!

Before you start sewing, cutting or gluing lay your items out to get ideas, match colors and see the big picture. Lay out your pictures as well to see where you want to put them in your collage. Use different sizes and even cut them into different shapes. Now that you have a basic idea of what you want to do, its time to start!

Items you will need:
Background Fabric
Decorative embelishments
Fabric Glue
Hot glue Gun
Decorative Cut Zig-Zag Scissors
Needle and Thread
Sewing Machine

Step 2: Lay Out Your Background Fabric

Work on a large flat surface. Lay out your background fabric, everything will be sewed, glued and attached to this fabric. Make sure there are no wrinkles, iron if needed. I used an animal print pillow sham as by background fabric. Im adding this brown see through scarf, to give it a cool effect with the animal print showing through the scarf. Since the scarf is a very sheer fabric and can be difficult to sew without stretching and puckering. I placed it on my background fabric smoothing out any wrinkles and using fabric glue tacking down the corners and the middle of each side. I sewed a few stitches in the embroidered flowers on the scarf using a very similar color of thread; this is just to keep the center of the scarf close to the background fabric.

Step 3: Let’s Start Decorating With Layers

Think about which item needs to be attached first, then which comes next on top of that, like layers.

Top Border:
For the top border I first sew on the black and white fringe. The next layer would be the shinny copper fabric with beaded fringe (would you believe this was an old curtain tie back). I sewed the top edge and glued the bottom part above the beads. Using an old belt I cut pieces to the length of the sides for the top border, glued them on with fabric glue. The final top border piece is sewed on with fringe over lapping the copper fabric.

Bottom Border:
Down to the bottom piece, I sew on a feather fringe. With the remaining belt I used on the top border, I use it to conceal the sewn edge of the feather fringe and glued it on with fabric glue. Wait to attach the side borders until last.

Now lets decorate and embellish the center of the collage. I chose a couple of shinny wide ribbons. Starting with the animal print ribbon I decided to place it in the center across the collage. Cut it to length and glue the ends down with fabric glue stretching it taunt but not too tight. Dont worry about the glued edges they will be covered up with the final border fringe. Do the same thing with the copper ribbon but this one I angle it from the left corner to the top right of the animal print ribbon. You will use this same technique with the yarn and string that criss-crosses the center of the collage. Cut to length and glue the ends down this time use a hot glue gun. Start from the top and string to the bottom and from one side to the other. This is to give the collage a little interest and texture; there is no way to mess this up so have fun.

Step 4: Embellishments - Create and Creative Uses

Using the animal print ribbon (wire-edged) cut a piece of about 12 inches long. Push wire out of one end and do the same on the other end. Pull the wire out gathering the ribbon in the center to form a circle to about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Twist the wire tight a few times and cut off the excess wire. Form a heart shape with the center wire. I used a pair of decorative cut zig-zag scissors and cut off the outer edge of the ribbon removing the outer wire. Cut a heart out of a piece of black fabric. Place the heart ribbon in the center of the black heart; sew a couple of stitches around the wire part of the heart. Finally sew a button in the center.

Cut or break twigs to the size of your picture. Hot glue the corners and then criss-cross tie the corners for extra support. Embellish it with twin with the edges frayed and yarn tied in a bow.

I cut out two triangles out of the animal print fabric for picture corners for a 4x6 photo. I used a piece of cardboard (so you do not get glue on your photo) that was 4x6 to use as a guide on where I needed to glue down the fabric corner pieces. Glue only the outside edges so you can side your photo edges in the fabric corners.

Trace the letters, WILD at, onto animal print fabric. Cut them out carefully and use the fabric glue to glue them onto the top border along with the ribbon heart, dont forget to dot the i with a button. Are you feeling Willd at Heart about now?

Creative uses:
The feather and yarn embellishment at the bottom is simple; I took two artificial feathers held the ends together and tied yarn around the stems and hot glue it on.

The little wooden fan in the top left corner is done the same way. Tie a couple of different types of yarn, an artificial feather and an extra bead from one of the fringes and you have a unique embellishment.

In the bottom left hand corner I used a beaded braded necklace as a picture holder. Just hot glued the ends at a diagonal so you can side the picture in.

Hot glue all your embellishments onto your wall hanging, make sure they are all secure. Now it time to glue on the side border fringe to frame in your master piece. :)

Step 5: Ready to Hang and Display

I cut off two tabs from an existing tab curtain I no longer use (this made it easy). If you dont have a curtain to cut up you can easily make these. I placed the tab about 1 inch from the side edge and about 2 inches down from the top edge. Sew or glue them in place, I chose to glue them, just make sure they are very secure. You only want to fasten down one side of the tab to the back of the background fabric. Attach Velcro squares to the inside of the tabs so they fasten together. I glued the center of the backs of the Velcro squares and pressed them into place. Wait a few minutes for the glue to dry and un-Velcro the tabs and sew just the corners of each Velcro square. This will allow you to unfasten and move yet is sturdy enough to hold the wall hanging.

You are ready to add your photos! For a decorative edge, cut the edges of your photos with a pair of decorative zig-zag scissors.

Hang it and display it! :)



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    3 years ago

    Wow love this idea and the pictures i am also a great animal lover :)