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Tuts+ Community Journal Project: Junk Mail Mosaic!

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

The Tuts+ Community Journal Project challenges you to use everyday equipment from your office and design tools, to get creative and log it in a journal of your choosing.

In this challenge, we're asking you to make something out of that pesky junk mail which comes through the letterbox.

What You'll Need

You'll need the following things in order to create your own mosaic. However you're free to use alternatives where you feel you can:

  • Journal
  • Junk mail (alternatively you could use newspapers, magazines, food labels)
  • Scissors 
  • Glue
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
Equipment youll need

Challenge Overview

For this challenge, you're essentially recycling materials many of us have coming through the door. Alternatively you can use magazines, newspapers and food labels around the home.

The challenge is to cut your junk mail into squares or tiles, and then glue them onto a sketch to create a mosaic or collage. How you approach this challenge is completely up to you. It doesn't matter if you've created a masterpiece or a hot mess, as long as you're exercising your creative side!

To help you in this challenge, I'm going to show you what I did with this task.

1. Cut the Tiles and Sketch

Thankfully this year is an election year, so I have a great range of coloured flyers being posted through the door. However you can also include textures which are of a similar colour. For instance, if there is a flyer with pizza or even a grassy field, you can great a pile of coloured tiles from that.

I've then organised my tiles into a gradient. I started this task without a clear idea of what I was going to be creating. I decided to just see what colours I had available first and then gain inspiration from there.

So I've decided in this instance that I'm going to create a gradient rainbow stripe across the middle of my page. With the pencil, I draw a band down the middle as a guide.

Sketch and Tiles

2. Glue Those Tiles!

I'm using a colour magic Pritt Stick, so you can see where I've placed the glue. It goes on blue but dries clear. 

I start by adding a colour that I have most of, so red in this case, as it will be the beginning and end of my rainbow. I then use a dithering technique to blend the colours into each other.

Tip: add a little bit of glue onto the tip of your pencil to pick up your tiles quickly and easily. 

Adding tiles to the journal

3. Create a Frame

I've finished my gradient and I've decided to frame it with long pieces of white paper from the junk mail, to clean up the edges. 

I then cover the entire rainbow and frame in glue to give it a polished sheen and to ensure everything is glued into place.

Frame and glue your design

Rainbow Gradients Are Always Awesome!

With that, I'm done! I think the whole task took a little under an hour, although this included taking photos to document it. 

You don't need to spend too much time on your mosaic—only enough to make you feel you've stretched and exercised your creative muscles.

Final Gradient Mosaic

Want to Join the Tuts+ Journal Showcase?


  • Upload a clear shot of your journal art to the comments section in order to be included in the community showcase. The deadline for submissions to be included in the showcase article is June 14th, 2015. However you're free to continue putting together your journal after this date.
  • For the best results: Try to shoot your pictures using ample lightingNatural/outdoor lighting works best! 
  • Traditional media only. Because we all have to get dirty from time to time!
  • When you publish your artwork on this article, you agree that the graphic can be included in one or more articles on Tuts+ and perhaps shared with other readers on the Tuts+ network via social media. 
  • Submit and have fun!
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