How to make a mixed media collage art doll

Create a whimsical paper art doll using collage scraps in your stash!

How to make paper art dolls using collage and mixed media techniques

You know those old art journals, back from when you were just starting on your art journey, that you keep hidden away in a dusty corner because looking through your initial attempts at painting feel cringe?

Pull those out. Flip through them. Feel the cringe. And then feel the satisfaction and pride of seeing how far you’ve progressed!

Take a walk down memory lane with me: Flip through my very first art journal

I found my very first art journal while cleaning up my studio a while ago. As I flipped through that journal, I felt a bit of cringe, but more than that, I felt such an immense surge of love for past me, who pushed through all the shade her inner critic threw her way and kept on trying to learn anyway.

I could see pages that were inspired by YouTube tutorials, others that I learnt through generous artists sharing livestream lessons in their Facebook groups, and some pages that I did from the very first art courses that I hesitantly purchased.

And within those pages, I could find tiny elements that still find their way into my art. And I could see the progress I have made over the years, which is so very comforting to observe and remember in such a tangible manner, especially on the days when I feel disheartened with my art.


Looking through that journal also reminded me of one of my favorite inspirational art books, the one I used to pull out regularly, to pour over the sketchbooks of other artists and try to figure out how they created those pages they shared.

Flipping through Artists’ Journals and Sketchbooks by Lynne Perrella, I was struck, too, by how much the overall art scene has changed and evolved. Some of those pages now look childlike and simple. Art these days has become more complex, more loose and free, more layered and textured. But many of those techniques are still very much in use today.

How to make mixed media paper art dolls: Video tutorial

Going through my old journals and through Lynne Perrella’s book inspired me to create my very first mixed media art doll. I drew inspiration from a few of the pieces of art in Artists’ Journals and Sketchbook, and combined those with my own style in a manner that I found pleasing.

I used some of my own painted papers to create this art doll, but you can use collage fodder that you’ve made yourself, underpaper from previous art projects, palette paper, or magazine pages and scrapbook papers. The options are endless!

Before we get into how to make collage paper dolls, take a walk down memory lane with me, as I share a flip through of my very first art journal. If you want to jump right into making a collage art doll, start at the 5:00 minute mark to see how I drew inspiration from Artists Journals and Sketchbooks by Lynne Perrella to create my art doll, or jump to the 6:55 minute mark to get started with making your own collage art doll.

And keep an eye out for part 2 of this project, where I will show you how I added this mixed media art doll into my art journal!

If you enjoyed this tutorial, you may also enjoy this tutorial on using washi tape in your art journal.

Add to your washi tape stash! Use code Modern10 for a 10% discount at The Washi Tape Shop

How to make a mixed media collage art doll

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and the flip through of my first art journal, and will try making your own mixed media collage art dolls!

Let me send you letters

Musings on life, creativity and/or spirituality; along with exclusive access to the secret Wanderers Library, which is filled with lovely ebooks, art prints and more!

Posted in Art tutorials and tagged , , , .

I’m an artist and art educator, podcaster, tarot reader, and writer. I share my discoveries along the path to inspire you to live a more creative, soul-centered life. Receive my love letters for more of my musings on life and creativity. P.S. I love Instagram - join me there?


  1. The end result looks so pretty. I have seen similar art on instagram have always wondered how the artists get the texture area fit so well within the body of the person. The collage would look great in journals. Thank you for the process.

    • I’m so glad you found the process helpful! There’s a second part to this too, where I show you how I used this in a journal! The post is live now; I’ll add a link to the post too, soon.

  2. You are right, Shinjini. Going through our old creations invoke mixed feelings. I can’t read my older blog posts without cringing at the same time a wave of pride embraces me at the knowledge that how far I have come. Most importantly I admire the courage I had shown when I didn’t know what I was doing. That’s the most valuable quality than anything I feel. Kudos to you for taking the steps and creating artwork all these years, Shinjini. You have inspired many of us so far. Keep creating and sharing.
    I took a quick glance at the video. It’s so nice. I will come back to this and watch peacefully soon. 🙂

    • Yes, that courage to keep showing up and keep at our creative practice is what helps us slowly improve at our chosen craft. So glad you’ve continued to write and share, Vini! It’s always a pleasure to read your words.

Leave a Reply