HOW TO ǀ Collage a Daisy

So I thought I’d start off my blogging career with a straight forward ‘How to’ tutorial. I saw a great image very decently (I’m talk more about that in my next article I think) and I felt super inspired to do a study of a daisy.

We let our lawn go wild for the past few weeks (100% inspired by Green Squirrel's #saynotothemow campaign,) so I have plenty of daisies in the garden to use as reference. Both the tiny, pink flecked daisies and the larger ‘daisy daisies’ -which I think was in a meadow seed mix I planted about 3 years ago,  thought they hadn’t done so well, but clearly they pulled through and we’ve been mowing them before they could even pop up. Classic.

Anyways, whether you’re using a real daisy as reference, or an image of one, which can some times be really helpful, as the subject has already been ‘flattened’ into a 2D image.

So grab a magazine, some glue, scissors and a pencil.

Step 1

I always start off with a couple of sketches just to get myself to really look at the subject/ image. Look at the shapes of each part, the petals, stamens and leaves. Really analyse their proportions, size and colour. Pay attention to how the different striations and surfaces hold and reflect the light. It’s these tiny details that will make your collage look anatomically correct. Think about how the petals are positioned in relation to you, which ones look furthest away? Do the closer petals look bigger?

No need to go crazy here, we’re just warming up and getting a feel for form. TIP: I would suggest drawing a simple outline of each form as a cutting guide.

TIP I would suggest drawing a simple outline of each form as a cutting guide

Step 2

Next is the fun bit, grab your magazines or scrap paper and start working out your colour ‘palette.’

I have a busted up accordion file with 12 or so dividers that I use to organise colour stash. The file is full of scraps that I have saved ‘ for that next piece,’ but it can be really freeing to flip through any old magazine and not worry about ‘saving’ it.

So do that.

Make a few piles, in their colour groups, in this case, white, yellow, green and then maybe a few bits of pink and orange. Look at some off whites or taupes to use as shadows. Plain, patterned, crunched, matt, glossy- grab it all! If I think there are too many colours on a swatch I squint at the image and pay attention to the most prominent colour, you’ll be surprised how all those random colours will really make it sing!

If you want, make a few mockups and play with the textures and colours, ready for the real thing.

Step 3

I use cheap children’s scissors- usually the 3 packs from Ikea, but basically anything I can’t do too much damage with! I never use scalpels as I find if they’re not razor sharp the can pull at the paper and leave ugly tears.

To give you an idea of scale I do almost all of my collage in an A5 sketchbook, sometimes in an A4 if the subject is particularly detailed. Daisies aren’t too complicated, but maybe work larger for this first one, just so you can be a little freer with the cutting.

Now look at outline shapes you drew in Step 1 and use them as a reference. Better still, draw them to the actual size and use them as templates to cut out with magazine paper.

Add details, shading, ridges and shadows if you feel able. If not, that’s cool to, you’ll be surprised at how effective simple shapes can be- especially if you bust out some patterns and textures.

Step 4

Arrange for as long as you like, does it look a little sparse? Add more? Not keen on the white petals on stark white background? Grab some coloured paper and see how that looks. Why not use a heap of torn magazine pages and patchwork them together to make your own back ground?

Try and be spontaneous here, there really is no pressure. This magazine was going to be thrown away, you’re doing a great thing by even attempting to give it a second life! So well done you!

Once you’re happy get it all glued down, because trust me, it is no fun crawling around on your hands and knees look for ‘that perfect’ bud you just made.

I almost always use pritt stick, it doesn’t wrinkle the paper at all, but make sure you go over all the edges evenly, we don’t want any pesky bits peeling up.

Step 5

Sit back and admire. I hope you’re feeling pretty chuffed.

Now it’s usually at this point that I scan the daisy into Photoshop and cut away the background to keep on file, but for this first dip into collage we’re going to frame this up and feel impressed!

Look at it! You made that.

If you have followed along, let me, know@ j.d.pepp, I'd love to know if this was at all helpful.

I’ll tell you all about the daisy inspiration in the next blog.


See you later!



  • Check out Green Squirrel (@bemoresquirrel) to find loads of tip on growing veggies, sustainable DIY'S and a peak into the awesome community work they do.

  • Take a look at that pencil in the first picture. It’s from Sprout, 100% sustainable and has a seed ready to plant in the end of it. Once they’ve sharpened it down to the end, you can plant it! So clever.