Hidden Message Paper Collage

Here’s a fun and inexpensive idea to make some art for your home with a hidden message collage.

Just choose a favourite quote, then grab some craft punches and some colourful paper. I recycled some old envelopes.

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I had a pile of punched out paper shapes and letters on my desk, left over from another thing I was doing and they just looked so pretty in a big old heap that I wanted to turn them into a little bit of art for my notice board. As the letters were hidden among the other shapes I had the idea to make a bonkers bit of art, that looks just like a random pattern at first glance but that has a message hidden in it. As with all art projects the basic idea morphed and changed a little as I went along.

I chose the quote “The small victories are just as important as the big ones” but you can choose whatever quote you like.

To make your own hidden message collage you will need:

  • A piece of white A4 card

  • Colourful paper, i recycled some old envelopes

  • Paper glue - I used Pritt Stick but you can use whatever you have

  • A selection of flower punches, I also used a circle and a heart

  • Something to cut out letters

I have a little QuicKutz Squeeze Die Cutting Thingy with a set of alphabet dies so I used that. If you have any kind of cutting machine you should be able to cut out little letters and the shapes too. If you don’t have anything like this you could draw and cut your own with a craft knife, use stickers or maybe even just write letters with a coloured pen or pencil.


Start by prepping your letters, and punching or die cutting LOTS of shapes. You see how many are in the photo below - you need about twice that much!

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Start by playing around arranging the letters on the shapes, when you are happy stick them down. The time to double and triple check your spelling is BEFORE you glue them down of course.

Making a hidden message collage

You could just leave your art like that, a pretty quote to pop on your noticeboard.

Because I fancied the idea of hiding the message in a mass of pretty paper cut outs, I moved on to step two - adding all the other shapes.
It’s easy, you just stick the shapes down. BUT I cannot pretend this is a quick job. This took much, much longer than I thought it would!

There is no right or wrong, just stick whatever you like wherever you like until it looks pretty full.


This is another point that you can leave it and call your art finished if you like.

But you know me, I often just don’t know when to stop with my art ideas. I thought a little doodling might make this bit of collage art even better. To be honest, I think doodling quite often makes everything better, I do love a good doodle! (A few years ago this flower smashing idea was totally saved by a bit of doodling)

If you want to add a little more to your hidden message art just grab a black fineliner and start doodling. I outlined the letters and added a little cross hatching. This did make the message a little bit less hidden which contradicts everything I said earlier about the hidden message idea but I’m just going to call it an artistic decision, you can’t argue with them right?

Doodling on collage art

Add some middles to the flowers, some extra flowers, some dots, whatever takes your fancy. All really simple. Stop when you think it’s enough.

Doodled collage quote art DIY

The background it’s against really affects the colour balance of the photos, here against a black background is probably the closest to the actual colours of scrap envelopes that I used.


That’s it, an easy, inexpensive (but not especially quick!) way to make a pretty quote for your wall. You can do any quote, any colour scheme and make it as busy or as simple as you like.

Do you prefer the version with the doodles or the one without? You can tell me, I won’t be offended!

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I’ll be sharing this idea at these link ups

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