Picture collages can transform a plain wooden tray or crate into a personalized work of art. You can also make your own wall art with picture collages and an artist's canvas. Decoupage medium will work on all three of these projects to help you protect your pictures and create a collage that you'll enjoy for years.
Create your own wall art with an artist's canvas available from your local craft store and a selection of your favorite photos. You can use decoupage medium to apply the collage to the canvas and to add a shiny topcoat. You may prefer to paint the canvas with acrylics before you begin to add your pictures; remember to paint the sides as well. Once the paint is dry, add a layer of decoupage medium to the canvas with a disposable paint sponge, press the pictures into place and finish with another layer of decoupage medium. Decoupage glue is available in a matte or glossy finish, so you control the shine on your collage. The glue goes on white, but dries clear in about 20-minutes.
Decorate the inside of a wooden tray with a picture collage that you can use it to serve breakfast in bed, as a small crafting station or as part of your home décor. You can find unfinished wooden trays at your local craft store, or you can rework one from a yard sale or a thrift store. Sand unfinished trays and previously finished trays with fine-grain sandpaper before you apply stain or paint. Turn the tray over so you can spray the back and outside rim with polyurethane before you add your picture collage. Polyurethane will help protect the tray's finish from moisture and stains. To make your picture collage, consider making cutouts of the shapes of people or places, rather than simply laying the entire picture on the tray. This will allow you to use more images in your collage and the result is much nicer than a group of the same sized pictures laid out on the inside of your tray. Decoupage medium will hold the pictures in place as well as provide a protective coating for them on the tray. Apply at least two layers of decoupage glue to the top of your collage, letting the layers dry in between coats.
Look for an unfinished wooden crate at your craft store or local grocery and transform it into a cool place to store any type of supplies, movies or CD's. These crates also make the perfect storage solution for teenagers and college students. As with the tray and the canvas, paint the crate inside and out before you add the decoupage glue and your pictures to make the collage. The slats on the side of the crate are narrow, but you can still add small images, stickers and cutouts for a personalized crate to help you stay organized.