Practicing Creativity

Beeswax collage "Revue de la Mode" for Inspired by Stamping June Blog hop and a tutorial

The Inspired by Stamping June blog hop theme is vintage. As a lover of all things vintage and shabby, I just had to participate. I decided to make a collage using Inspired by Stamping stamps, paper from my vintage ephemera stash, and one of my favorite collage mediums...beeswax! Beeswax is perfect for a vintage look! And since beeswax isn't a material you see everyday, I thought a little tutorial was in order. Scroll down for step by step instructions on creating a beeswax collage and for more info on the blog hop.

"Revue de la Mode" beeswax collage tutorial

This is the final collage. I used a small 10 cm square (4") canvas.

First off, let's start with a materials list.

Beeswax collage materials

  • Versafine black pigment ink
  • 100% natural beeswax pellets. This is VERY important. This technique is NOT to be used with paraffin, candle wax, or chemical compound waxes. I like natural beeswax, which gives this honey color, but if you prefer, you can use bleached beeswax. I also prefer the pellets, which are much easier to use.
  • Yes! stick flat glue and a brush to apply it
  • A natural fiber paint brush. You will NOT be able to use this brush for anything but wax ever again, so do not use a favorite one. A cheapy one will do.
  • A small electric crock-pot. I use one of the old potpourri crock pots, remember those? Like your brush, you will NOT be able to use this for food or potpourri afterwards so make sure you want this to be your wax crockpot! There are other ways to melt wax, but since wax has a low flashpoint, I don't recommend them. An electric crockpot on its low setting is your safest option.
  • A small seam (quilting) iron
  • A heat gun
  • Tweezers
  • Wax crayons
  • Vintage paper ephemera and embellishments of your choice
  • Kraft paper.
  • 10 cm square canvas (4" square)
  • Non-stick craft sheet

And now, let's have some fun!

Step 1

Place a 1/4 cup (a small handful) of wax pellets in your crockpot. Put your crockpot on its lowest setting. Cover, and let the wax melt. When you're through with your current project, turn off your crockpot, let the wax harden, and you're ready for your next project.

The top photo shows the wax in my crockpot before melting, the second shows it starting to melt and liquify. 

Step 2

Plan your collage. Decide what stamps you want to use and stamp them on blank vintage paper. Choose what vintage ephemera and embellishments you want to use. The end pages of old books are an excellent source of old blank paper. If you can't find old paper you can use new, but it won't be quite the same. Old paper is unpredictable and can become transparent with wax. What's on the back, will probably show through. This is what I like about it. Hint—save all old blank paper you come across in a file. It gives your stamped vintage projects an authentic touch.

Step 3

Fussy cut your stamped images

Step 4

Glue kraft paper to your canvas using Yes! stick flat glue. Yes! is my favorite glue for paper crafting. It does not buckle and this is important; you want your paper smooth.

Step 5

Take your collage elements and arrange them on the canvas. Move them around until you get a collage you like. Carefully study what goes where. You can make notes, or even take a photo and upload to your computer, just so you don't forget.

Step 6

By now, your wax should be starting to melt. Take all the elements off your canvas in preparation for gluing them back down.

Step 7

You're going to glue working back to front. Take the background elements of your collage and apply Yes! glue to the back of the elements with a brush. Another good quality to Yes! is that it doesn't dry right away, so you can slide things around a bit to get them in place. You will not glue all of the elements, just the bigger background pieces.

Step 8

Make sure you protect your work surface. Put a non-stick craft sheet under your canvas. Brush on a thin layer of wax. It will dry quickly and probably not look like you want. Don't panic! I realized at the very end of my collage, that I had missed photographing some crucial steps—my bad—but this photo, and photos under Steps 9 and 11, show you how it will look.  

Step 9

Use a small seam iron to thin out your wax so that you can actually see your images. There really is no substitute for one of these irons. Be careful! The iron and the wax are hot!!! Rub the iron against the wax. It will start to melt. Using the iron, you can scrape off excess wax and smooth out thick areas until you get the look you want. This takes practice and is not easy, but once you get the hang of it, the results are worth it. 

Step 10

When you have this first wax layer the way you want, start to apply your other elements to the collage by brushing with thin layers of wax and using the iron to melt away excess. If you make a mistake, use a heat gun to melt the wax and with tweezers, pick up and move the paper. Do not touch the wax with your fingers!!! It is hot and can burn you.

Step 11

Add color to your canvas with wax crayons. Melt the crayon against the edge of the iron. Use the iron and the crayon edge to create the look you want. I made a border for my collage with black crayon and applied a drop 'splash' to one corner.

Step 12

Adhere bulkier embellishment pieces such as these coins, last. Dab on a thick amount of wax where you want the coin embellishment. Press the coin into the wax. Let that dry a bit, then remove excess wax with the iron.

Things to keep in mind—it goes without saying, (but I will) this isn't a project for children. Also, don't expose your masterpiece to heat after you've finished—heaters, direct sunlight, etc.—it can melt. 

And there you go! A vintage shabby beeswax collage! 

If you love vintage, I hope you'll participate in the blog hop for a chance to win a $25 gift card to the Inspired by Stamping Store! It starts today, June 20th, at 7 p.m. Brisbane time, and lasts for 2 weeks; so you have plenty of time to participate. See Joanna's blog for more details.


  1. Great collage tutorial! Will be in Paris July 3 for vacation!

  2. This is absolutely gorgeous! Fabulous tutorial and an amazing mixed media project! I'll have to scale my project down a bit, but definitely taking pointers from this! THANK YOU! :)

  3. Thanks for the great step-by-step tutorial. Fabulous project!

  4. WOW!! this is stunning!!!

  5. Just amazing and what a beauty!!!

  6. It looks Fabulous! I do not like to get messy, so I will leave the waxing to you, my talented friend!

  7. I would love to try this! I dont have the iron or the melt pot, but maybe one day!


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