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Collage Guide

Collage Elements Kit & How To Guide
Collage Elements Kit & Guide #4000

"Collage is an artistic composition of materials and objects gathered from everyday life"

The word Collage comes from the French language, "Coller" meaning, to glue.  In the early 1900"s Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque glued scraps of printed paper to their canvas and charcoal drawings.  This new technique brought a texture and material other than paint to the surface, which has evolved into what we know as collage today.

Why Collage

There are no rules or boundaries, in Collage anything goes!

Many Factors Can Affect The Outcome Of Your Collage

Texture and patterns in a paper or found object can create movement and mood.  Vertical and horizontal lines are quiet, while diagonal lines bring activity into your picture.  You can vary these elements to bring interest and activity to the composition.

Colors can intensify each other, red works with green; blue sets off orange and violet makes yellow pop.

Alternating cut edges with torn ones, coarse textures with smooth and heavy papers with sheer ones and old images with the new.  The contrast will help you create variety in the overall composition of your work.

Design Hints

Squint at your composition; this simple trick isolates the light and will let you know if your arrangement appears balanced and / or the colors are working well together.

Experiment with different papers by moving the various elements around before gluing them down.  Note that your eye naturally moves from the bottom left of a page to the top right corner.

Creative Suggestions

choose a theme - introduce a new element - add texture - turn it upside down - use layers take your time - squint at it - be playful - use the back side - take a deep breath - combine elements - have a sense of humor - pre-visualize - create a new focus  - flip it over - take a chance - change the order - be impulsive - add color - create movement  - limit materials

Alter your own papers in a bath of tea or coffee to age or use bleach (follow all precautions) or wet papers and let them dry naturally with wrinkles and curled edges.


cut - fold - roll - crush - paint - rub - scratch - glue - pulp - tear - sand - pierce - weave  layer - wax - shred - pleat - wet - emboss - stain - burn - score - wrinkle - tie - scrape - nail - stitch   (try them all)

Create A Mock Deckle Edge

Place your metal ruler on the paper where you want to create a soft deckle edge and dip a clean brush in water and paint a line along the edge of the ruler.  Watch as the water line become translucent, then while holding the ruler in place you can tear the paper away from the ruler, up towards you or across your hand to create three different looks.  When you come across a tuff fiber, just use a Xacto Knife to release it.  If your ruler has a cork back, make sure the cork is up so the metal side of the ruler is in direct contact with the paper for better control.  It's easy!

Found Objects to Gather

Collage does not require expensive equipment. You can probably find what you need in your own home, local thrift store and yard sales to get started. 

tickets - matches - labels - sticks - shells - game pieces - newspaper - stamps - cloth - string - wire cork - marbles - toys - photo's - tin boxes - linens - books - magazines - wrapping paper - boxes - greeting cards - art reproductions - bills - wicker - receipts - punch cards - bottle caps - felt - bones - packing material - keys - pins - reeds - catalogs - playing cards - glitter - thumbtacks - plastic bags - rings - tissue paper - doilies - plastic - fans - lace - ribbon - glass - dried flowers - twigs - cards - mirrors - envelopes - weeds - aluminum foil - wire -mesh - drift wood - nuts - bolts - nails - screws - wax paper - clock parts - gears - paper bags - wallpaper - blue prints - doll parts - animal teeth - wine label - slides - dress patterns - gloves - peeled paint - tassels - computer parts - posters - metals - charms - old tools - letters - ceramic tiles - lead type - sand - crayons - powder - corrugated paper - cheesecloth - rags - bar codes - crossword puzzles - figurines - leather - bark - fish net - film strips - metallic foil - jewelry - sheet music - stones - tags - book pages - old documents - foreign documents - wood scraps - coins - maps - puzzles - buttons - beads - feathers - chains - dice - cook books - foreign money.

A System

You will very quickly need to contain all your found treasures in groups of patterns, colors and styles.  The best thing to do is create file folders for paper and boxes for objects with category's so you can find that perfect item again without the frustration of looking through mixed up bits of this and that.

Basic Working Tools

self-healing cutting mat - Xacto knife - paper knife - metal edge cork backed ruler - deckle ruler - brayer - scissors - deckle scissors - staple gun - Uhu® glue stick - Rollataq® glue - P.V.A. glue - wheat paste - rice paste - rubber cement - glue brush - glue gun - masking tape - sandpaper - bone folder - hole punches - grommets - eyelets - tweezers - pencil - eraser - toothpicks - gesso - watercolor paints - inks - watercolor pencils - charcoal - bees wax - pastels - acrylic paints brushes - metallic pens - permanent markers - old toothbrush - rubber stamps - water - dish sponge - wash cloth for glue fingers - brick wrapped in paper for weight - scrap paper to glue on.

Cool Things To Make

journals - cards - boxes - book arts - bottles - ornaments - picture frames - alters  jewelry -envelopes - book marks - tags - photo albums - trays - glass candles - lampshades - art

"Discover a world of possibilities with Collage"

You will be amazed at the wonderful images and items you can make from found objects and scraps of paper.  Everyone has there own unique style and interests and yours will develop as you experiment in Collage.  For more inspiration, check out the works of: Pablo Picasso, Kurt Schwitters, and Joseph Cornell.

"Keep your eyes open, 
 when you walk down the street,
 for bits of paper, 
 that swirl around your feet".         C Grey

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Collage Elements Kit & How To Guide #4000 can help you get started...