How to create a collage of hands

Hey Messians. It’s Nina here with a fun and simple idea for your next art journal spread.

Since we’re in the season of Gifts I thought it only appropriate to make this piece about ‘giving hands’. In light of everything that’s going on around the world and all the hurt we share between us it’s becoming ever clearer that we can’t expect the world to ‘be better’ – we must be better ourselves. So what do you have to give the world? And how can you interpret that in your art journal?


The main idea for this work is to create an art journal page that exudes the sentiment you’re trying to convey. I have a tendency to lean a bit emotionally dark in my art journaling so I wanted to make absolutely sure to bring the joy in this one.

First off I drew around my hand twice, slightly overlapping to convey ‘giving’ and human interaction. Then I put my art journal aside and starting painting my own patterned paper for collaging using watercolors and later adding pen details.


And while the pattern was drying I added a bit of watercolor to the art journal spread too. A nice joyful yellow and my favorite Payne’s Grey.


These colorful fineliners added the perfect punch to my pattern.


After finishing the pattern – and taking a few deep breaths – I drew around my hand once again but this time on top of the pattern. I wanted to insert the pattern into one of the hand outlines in the art journal.


Not gonna lie – cutting into that pattern was sort of nerve wracking. But it was totally worth it.


The cutout wasn’t completely identical to the outline in the journal so I had to cut the hand in two and adjust a tiny bit. This doesn’t bother me one bit. In fact it only enhances the collage feel.


I’m not a Messian for nothing so after gluing the pieces down I went back over both hand outlines once again with a black pen. Can’t have it looking too neat, am I right?


I then added my journaling and that was it.

I truly enjoy the optimism in this piece and it’s always really satisfying to work so much watercolor into a page.


“Nothing real can be threatened.” First said by the great Eckhart Tolle and later by my other spiritual guide Beyoncé.


“True love breathes salvation back into us.”


Very fittingly this was the last page in this particular art journal, and my last inspiration post as a creative team member for Get Messy. It’s been a complete joy to be part of the team for a second year and I’m happy to see a lot of fresh new faces – and a bunch of my beloved fellow OGs – take the baton in 2017.

I hope you enjoyed this idea and feel compelled to make something. What will you give of yourself to others? Do share. I’d love to see.


Nina is a self-­employed graphic designer from Denmark. She’s always been way into paper, paint and crafts but totally neglected it during her teens and early twenties. When she had her daughter in 2010 Nina discovered scrapbooking and suddenly realized that inky hands and paper play isn’t just for kids.


  1. Katie Smith

    This is such a fun idea!

  2. Melody Willoughby

    Quotes are my favorite way to express myself when the words just will not come. I love the idea of using hands in an art journal. It is sad to see you go and hope still to see your work around get messy.

  3. Natalie Strong

    I’m looking forward to trying this.

  4. Natalie Strong

    I just completed this page, and I enjoyed it a lot. How can I best tag it on Instagram to link it up with others who’ve tried it? Thank you, Nina!