Last week's Photoshopping marathon left me with a pile of pictures to use on my gone but not forgotten dog Red's new copper memorial urn: Red at Salmon Creek Beach; Red harvesting tomatoes in Santa Rosa; Red playing Yahtzee in Tempe. My current mission is to use as many of them as possible in a teeny-tiny space.

The can was 10" tall. To leave a decent amount of copper showing at the top and bottom of the band, the collage could be no larger than 5" tall. To wrap the can horizontally, it must be 12.75" long. My cutting mat came in handy, as it ingeniously has a measurement grid printed on its surface. I laid out the images in a 4" x 12.75" section. After some switching and swapping they fell into place.

I planned to adhere the images to vellum ($1/12"x12" sheet) with glue and attach the whole thing to one of the fancy printed papers I purchased ($.75/12"x12" sheet). I brushed a thin layer of Golden Self Leveling Clear Acrylic Gel ($12.00) to the back of some test images and applied them to the vellum, quickly realizing this was not going to work (the vellum immediately started to curl and pucker). Instead, I decided to glue the pictures directly to the paper. I cut a sheet 5" x 12.75," which allowed room for a 1/2" top and bottom border. I drew a pencil line delineating the borders within which to contain the photos.

To make the collage dimensional, I picked a few of my favorite photos to back with glitter mat stock ($9). I cut pieces of mat stock about an 1/8" larger than each image attached them with Acrylic Gel.

Ready...set...GLUE! I applied Acrylic Gel to the backside of each image (including the three glitter-edged shots) with a paintbrush, and pieced the collage into permanence. I let it dry for half an hour, then brushed a thin layer of gel across the top of the entire surface to provide a layer of protection and a shimmery sheen. (This also sealed any edges I missed in the glueing down stage). I left the collage to dry overnight.

Next Week: Details, Details, Details

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