Free Images for Altered Art

Dana Hinders
Altered art enthusiasts have a variety of options when selecting images for their projects.

Whether you're decorating an old composition book or designing a unique centerpiece for your home décor, there are a variety of ways to find free images for altered art projects.

About Altered Art

The process of creating altered art involves transforming ordinary objects into items that are decorative and/or highly functional. Altered art fans often base their creations on thrift shop finds, although it's possible to purchase blank mirrors, picture frames, keepsake boxes, and other items to alter from Hobby Lobby or any similar large craft store.

Finding Free Images for Altered Art Projects

When searching for free images for altered art projects, you have several options to consider. Clip art and stock photos make great sources of inspiration for a variety of projects, as do magazines, newspapers, and junk mail. Of course, for a special personal touch, you can always choose to incorporate old family photos and memorabilia into your design.

Clip Art and Stock Photos

The Internet is full of websites offering free clip art for crafters to use in their projects. For example:

If you're looking for realistic photos of people, places, or household objects, a website specializing in stock photography may be a better source of images for altered art. For example:

Although online resources can be a great way to find free images for your craft projects, it's a good idea to read the terms of use carefully if you plan to sell your creations. In some cases, the artist or photographer may only be authorizing free use of his/her work for personal enjoyment. Selling a project featuring images obtained under these guidelines sets you up for a charge of copyright infringement.

Magazines, Newspapers, and Junk Mail

If you're passionate about altered art, it's time to start looking at your magazines, newspapers, and junk mail in an entirely new way. Instead of automatically tossing these items into the recycle bin, look for interesting images that you can incorporate into your altered art projects. Since typography is an important element of advertising, you may also find words and phrases printed in fun fonts that are a perfect match for the theme of your project.

If you don't get much mail at your own home, ask your friends and family to start saving interesting magazines, newspapers, and junk mail brochures for you. Another great way to find free images for altered art is to ask your local library if you could have some of its outdated reading material.

Family Photos and Memorabilia

Family photos and memorabilia can be used to add a uniquely personal touch to many different types of altered art projects. Adding photos of your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and siblings to your project will help you create a design that is both beautiful and full of personal meaning. If your project is a gift for someone else, including photos and memorabilia will further enhance the thoughtful gesture of giving a handmade gift.Of course, since altered art projects are often created using materials that are not acid-free and archival safe, you'll want to make copies of your photos and memorabilia before including these items in your project. Even if you're an experienced crafter, it's never a good idea to cut or glue an irreplaceable family heirloom!

Project Ideas

Are you having trouble deciding what to make for your next altered art project? Consider one of the following great ideas:

Free Images for Altered Art