Materials and Supplies for Collage and Using Digital Collage Sheets

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Surfaces for Collage:

For the support, I often use Mixed Media Paper  because it’s sturdy and stands up to the glue and additional layers. If I’m making a larger piece, I like canvas board panels or stretched canvas frames. Upcycled cardboard is a great choice for junk journals and found art pieces.

Cutting Tools:

Scissors Almost any scissors will do to get started if they’re sharp and don’t fray the edges. A set of papercutting scissors does make the cutting easier and more enjoyable, but the exact ones are very much an individual preference.

Rotary Blades and X-Acto Knives These will give you the cleanest cuts and with the small knife, the most detail. Be sure to use a cutting mat to protect your work surface!

Brush Markers Use a marker in a complementary color to your print for edging the cut paper.

Bookbinders Glue This is my all-time favorite glue for paper. It has good body, sets up fast, dries clear and flexible and is archival if that’s an issue.

Gel Medium Another incredibly useful material for adhering and sealing your images to the surface it’s heavier and holds even the chunkiest elements securely. It comes in gloss and matte finishes and I generally choose the matte for versatility.

Matte Medium This medium is a little lighter than gel medium and not as secure as Bookbinders glue. It comes in handy when you’re going to put more layers on top later.

Glue Brush A revelation! This is the best glue tool I’ve found to apply a perfectly thin layer, let the glue dry in the brush and then peel it right off. Amazing! I liked it so much I made a short video review, watch that here.

Collage Papers:

This is your chance to build your own library of images. Check your stash, old magazines, old books, old photos, recycled papers, printable collage sheets, drawings/paintings of your own. I believe the best way is ot start with available imagery and alter it to make your collage your own creative expression.

To get started, I like to use patterned scrapbook paper of all kinds and I’ve collected some of my own favorite images into books especially for collage. They’ll give you a great starting point:

Art Journaling Paper Play Book, Cut and Collage – Vintage Edition for vintage imagery

The Paper Play Book – Strawberry Edition: A Cut and Collage Book for original watercolor strawberries and patterns

For Digital Collage Sheets

These are the additional materials and supplies that make printing and using digital collage sheets easier.

White Printer Paper, 8 ½ inches x 11 inches, or A4 Plain paper is a great place to start.

Photo paper, 8 ½ inches x 11 inches or A4 Photo paper in satin finish is the choice for the most vibrant colors and a photographic look. Photo paper comes in glossy or satin finishes so check that when you purchase. This paper should be sealed well to prevent the ink running with subsequent layers.

White Cardstock, 8 ½ inches x 11 inches or A4 Again, the brighter the better for good color rendering. If you’re printing a vintage style sheet, you might like the softer look of printing on ivory cardstock.

Printer If you’re considering investing in a printer, think about a photo printer for brighter, more beautiful images. I use a Canon Pixma series and have been pleased with it.

Spray Sealer Sealing is a must for most home printers to seal the ink and prevent the dreaded ink run. If you’re using commercially printed sheets, test one first with a damp brush but you generally don’t have to seal those.

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