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Stickin’ With Sticky Note Art

Sticky note art is, well, exactly what it sounds like- pieces of art made primarily or entirely out of sticky notes. Using the various colors and designs the notes come in, creative souls have found ways to make objects, celebrities, and even animations. And all of them are made using mostly pieces of paper with a bit of adhesive on the top.

sticky notes corkboard

These collages can take anywhere from a few hours to months to create, depending on the complexity of the finished project. They tend to be on the smaller size, although larger examples exist. Unlike other art forms, there’s no need to visit a museum to see them. College campuses (at least in our experience) tend to be havens for sticky note artists. Dorm windows do make a wonderful canvas and easily display the resulting art to the masses.

Pixelated Prowess

Due to the nature of sticky notes, one of the more popular options is recreating video game characters. Early gaming systems featured 8-bit graphics and limited colors. The blocky designs and smaller palette make it ideal for aspiring artists to recreate. Pac-Man, Mario, Mega Man- all of them and more have been immortalized in paper form. These gaming icons also don’t need a background, compared to portraits of real-life people. No need to hide the harsh edges when they were already present in the pixelated version!

Some sticky note fanatics take it a step further. Photos circulate across the internet of a typical American living room… but instead of wallpaper, it’s sticky notes. The swap is admittedly brilliant. Wallpaper is a hassle to prep and put up and can potentially lead to damage. Sticky notes are comparatively easy to install and remove. If the pattern gets old, it’s easy to swap around. And if the kids decide there’s not enough color on the walls, at least it won’t damage the paint underneath. (Also- plenty of place to put down reminders, if you want to use them as originally intended.)

For the more advanced artists, there’s always 3D art. By folding and cutting the sticky notes, people have found ways to create papercraft versions of 3D objects. Roll them into a tube and use the adhesive side to keep them together- you have the perfect building material for a sculpture. Assembling four together can fashion a passable (if flimsy) cube. How about a pinata? The non-sticky bottom half of the note already resembles the streamers and papier-Mache used to create the Mexican decorations.

The Japanese Influence

If you’re feeling really daring, you could always try origami. Origami, specifically kusudama, is particularly popular among sticky note artists. Unlike modular origami, kusudama features folded pieces of paper that are sewn together. A variation involves using glue or adhesive, which is where sticky note art comes in. This differs from modular origami in that, while multiple pieces of paper are used, they are held together using nothing but the paper itself. While some purists hesitate to call kusudama “true” origami, it still falls within the broader definition of the craft.

sticky note cubes
Image credit: Krokotak

Those hoping to get into sticky note art are in luck. Many sites and forums have cropped up over the years with step-by-step tutorials, both for wall art and 3D art. The official Post-It note website even has a section dedicated entirely to creating crafts using their products. There are guides for pixel art, paper flowers, pinwheels, and even Halloween costumes. It’s a good place to start for those hoping to pick up a new and creative hobby.

Sticky note art is a legitimate art form that requires thinking outside of normal logic. Working around the size and existing adhesive adds an additional challenge to crafts that are typically easier. But it’s also an easy way to spruce up your home or inspire your kids to give art a try. Or write down whatever they want at the grocery store- multitasking is an art in its own right.

Follow our world of creation where “what if” becomes “what is.”