Scar Tissue: creating collaged hands of forgiveness

Hey everyone. Tiffany here with my very first post on the Get Messy blog as a Creative Team member! I’m so excited to begin sharing with you all different ways to approach the seasons through various ideas, prompts, and techniques!

For the Season of Kindness, we are exploring ways in which we can bring more kindness into our lives. Whether that is spreading kindness to others or being kinder to ourselves, a lot of what it means to be kind comes from a bright, positive outlook on life. Yet, sometimes the journey to that positivity comes from facing the dark negative bits and offering acceptance and forgiveness. For this prompt/tutorial, I’m going to encourage you all to face a few of these dark negative bits and try to accept and forgive, if you can.

Together, we will be making two “hands of forgiveness.”

scar tissue creating collaged hands of forgiveness

I want you all to take a moment and think about all of that which needs your acceptance and forgiveness. Maybe it’s coming to terms with a few past mistakes or things you regret? Maybe it’s forgiving someone for something they did to you? Or forgiving yourself for something you did to yourself? Have you come to terms with any of these things? Or do you still feel guilty about them? Write them all down, even the ones you’ve already accepted and forgiven.

A lot of self love comes from forgiving ourselves and others of all the things that make us feel bad. Sometimes we have to learn how to accept things and forgive them in order to be kinder to ourselves and to others. Yet, all of those things—those people, mistakes, regrets, and experiences—don’t entirely go away. They happened to us and are engrained in our being like wounds that have healed over into scars that tell our story.

For this tutorial, we’ll be using our hands as a stencil. Remember being a kid and tracing your hand onto a piece of paper? Yup, that’s exactly what we’ll be doing! If you want to get real messy, you can even use your hand as a stamp. Either way, we will be putting our hands down on paper in order to document all that has been or still needs to be accepted and forgiven.

scar tissue creating collaged hands of forgiveness


  • 1-2 pieces of paper separate from your journal
  • Any collage mediums of your choosing. I used:
    • Washi tape
    • Washi stickers
    • Old book pages
    • Paper doilies
    • Rub ons
    • Acrylic paints
    • Modeling paste
    • Stencils
  • String
  • Pen/pencil
  • Scissors
  • Adhesive

Note: You don’t have to create collaged hands. If you wish to draw or paint your papers for your hands instead, by all mean do that. But I’ll be using different mediums to create my collaged hands and if you’re up for the challenge of doing something new, I encourage you to try!


I do hope you find the process to be straightforward, helpful and just a little bit healing. When creating your collage, feel free to approach it in a very mediative or intuitive way. Have all that list you wrote down in the back of your mind, but give yourself release and free yourself up to play with the different mediums you pulled out to work with. Nothing is more kind than meditating on all that you let in then releasing it.

scar tissue creating collaged hands of forgiveness

Action Steps

Create your own collaged hands of forgiveness. Experiment with different mediums when creating your collage or do whatever’s comfortable for you. No need to copy my collage and use all the same things. Feel free to substitute materials. For example, use staples instead of string for your stitches.

Create an additional collaged hand of forgiveness and leave an affirmation of forgiveness or acceptance on the back of it to leave someplace for a stranger to find. Consider writing things like “I accept you for who you are,” “you are so loved,” or “you are forgiven.”


Tiffany is an artist of many trades living in New York City with an absolute passion for documenting her everyday life. A traveller to the core, she loves documenting her various journeys around the world in thick handmade travel journals bursting with photos, memories, and travel ephemera.


  1. Kelli CRESWELL

    Love this tutorial and your spread is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing, Tiffany!

    • Tiffany Julia

      Thanks! I’m so glad you like it!

  2. Patricia Shimozo-Allen

    Wednesday’s are my new favorite! Cant wait to try this Tiffany 🙂

    • Tiffany Julia

      Wednesdays from here on out are going to be epic on the blog, just saying 😀 And I can’t wait to see what you create!!

  3. CIndy Jacobs

    You’ve created a great spread Tiffany! And I think the process is going to be really healing. Hugs!

    • Tiffany Julia

      Thanks! I really hope you find the process healing once you do it and I can’t wait to see how your page turns out!

  4. Miriam Gault

    Great tutorial. Loving the pastel backgrounds. Always nice to learn new ways to do journaling that can be hidden. Thanks so much.

  5. Robin Lyday

    What a beautiful process…thank you Tiffany

  6. Jan Mancey

    Wow! This is wonderful; thank you!

  7. Divyam Bernstein

    Thank you for a really beautiful tutorial, Tiffany! I am in the middle of making my page right now and really loving it. It feels very healing too. Just what I needed! xxx

  8. Lea Betty

    SO great. Thanks Tiffany!

  9. Rex PG Foster

    Looks fantastic Thanks for sharing.

  10. TC Larson

    I think this whole process is just beautiful inside and out. I’m trying to stretch myself to use pastel colors (not because I HAVE TO but because it’s good to try different things and your use of pastels is inspiring) so we’ll see what happens.

  11. Melody Willoughby

    I love the way you made the hands. It had me thinking about others shapes to cut out of pages. Thanks sweet girl.

  12. Maura Flood

    Tiffany, thanks for sharing this beautiful way of combining art and self-reflection.