Inexpensive Pattern Art

Pattern Art

Here’s a little project that is relatively cheap and easy to do, and could be done with so many different variations to suit your mood or preferences. You basically need only two contrasting papers — one solid and one patterned — and a shape stencil of your choice + a frame.

Pattern Art


  • a patterned paper you love (I used an old calendar of William Morris prints)
  • a picture frame (mine was a teeny gold 3.5″ x 5″ frame I already had)
  • a contrasting solid paper (I used a large paint chip! / Glidden’s ‘Peacock Blue’)
  • a simple shape to use as a stencil (I printed a bold graphic “&”)
  • optional – foam 3D sticky dots
  • Pattern Art


    First, decide on the shape you want to fit in your frame. I experimented with a leaf shape, animal shapes and various letters before I decided on an ampersand, just because I liked how it looked. *You can also download my “&” file below.

    Print out your shape on a piece of plain white paper and get ready to cut it out. (I printed outlines only to save toner.)

    Pattern Art

    This will be your stencil. You could also just use a ready made stencil instead.

    Now you will need to carefully trace around your stencil onto your pattern. Hold it down and gently trace around the edges. You may find it helpful to trace onto the back of your pattern so your lines won’t be visible when you cut it out. I wanted a certain section of pattern I couldn’t see on the back, so I just risked it here. If you are careful, you can trim slightly inside your tracing line with your scissors.

    Pattern Art

    Now you have to cut this one out too!

    Next comes the optional but very neat little tool: 3-D adhesive foam dots. You could simply glue the shape down, but these little guys gently push the shape forward and give it a little dimension.

    Pattern Art

    Carefully adhere your cut out patterned shape to the center of your solid paper. If you use the foam dots, (I used tiny ones) try to place them in a way so that they will be sort of balanced on each side of your shape so it lays evenly. Be careful when you lay it down, they are very sticky.

    Pattern Art

    Pattern Art

    And there it is.

    The only thing I had to buy for this project was the foam dots. Everything else I already had on hand. I think I might do more of these….

    * Download the Ampersand as a 3.5″ x 5″ PDF or as a scalable EPS file.

    Psst…if you like this project, please consider sharing it with others!

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.