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Collage – 3 Steps to Start Making Beautiful Things

Collage Art for the Win!

You can start making collage art with some basic materials and a few easy steps. Here’s a list of my favorite materials and check out this video to find out more getting started.

Sufaces, adhesives and cutting tools

There are so many good options for collage surfaces: a page in your art journal, heavier sheets of paper like watercolor paper or mixed media paper, canvas boards or frames, and even upcycled cardboard. Use what you have and experiment…

Then you have to be able to stick stuff down. Many artists use permanent adhesives like bookbinders glue, Yes! Paste, gel medium or permanent UHU glue sticks. It’s always a good idea to test your adhesive with your image materials to make sure they work together.

Last, you’ll need something to cut your images but you can also tear your papers for a lovely distressed look. A good pair of paper scissors is important and you might also want to use a tool with a blade like an X-acto knife or rotary cutter and mat. These tools can allow you to cut very small and precise shapes.

Build a Library

Check your stash, old magazines, old books, old photos, recycled papers, printable collage sheets, drawings/paintings of your own. This is where you can really make your collage your own creative expression. Start with available imagery and alter it.

Plan Your Layout

Take advantage of the flexibility of collage and layer and move things around until you like it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try focusing on one element at a time. Choose images all in one color family or one theme: blues or doorways. Limiting choices is a time honored way to open creative doors. Big Tip: Use your handy phone to take photos of your layouts so you can remember how to put it back together when it’s time to glue it down.

Are you sticking stuff down? Go ahead, try it and let me know how it goes – I’d love to know!