Friday, October 30, 2009


The word collage comes from the French word ‘coller’ which means 'to glue'. A collage is made by gluing items onto a base. You can use a variety of flat items such as magazine pictures, fabric, photographs, and junk mail. The base used is usually paper or canvas. Collage is usually more of a two-dimensional art. Once you start adding more dimensional items to your collage, you are dabbling with sculpting. Art involves a lot of interpretation though, so what I call a sculpture another person might call a collage.

Pablo Picasso enjoyed doing collages, but you don't have to be a famous artist to do a collage. Collage can be as basic as cutting pictures you like out of a magazine and gluing them onto a piece of paper. You can use one type of medium, such as magazine pictures, or combine several together such as tissue paper, magazine pages, tin foil, or fabric. The process can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.

Making a collage in not something you need step-by-step instructions for. There are, however, a few basic procedures you should follow to make a collage:

1. Choose a base for your collage.

The base for your collage can be as simple as a piece of paper. Using a heavier paper is a good idea as you will be using a lot of glue to make you collage. For the base of your collage, you can also use poster board, cardboard, canvas, empty picture frame, or any other flat item.

2. Collect the items to glue onto your base.

You can use almost anything you like to create your collage. A few commonly used items are magazine pictures, photographs, or fancy paper. Go through your craft cupboards, magazine racks, and even your junk drawers to find unique items you can use. There are plenty of other mediums you can use that you might not think of, check out this list of creative collage materials2.

3. Decide what glue to use.

The glue you choose to use for your collage project will depend on what items you are using in your collage. In some instances you might use a couple different kinds of glue in your collage. Follow these glue guidelines3 and choose the glue that works best for you.

4. Create your collage.

Once you have your base, the items you will use to create your collage, and the appropriate glue, you can start making your collage. You can try to plan it out a little bit by arranging your collage items on your base before you glue it down. You can also just start gluing them down all over the base. You can use a scissors4 or utility knife5 to cut the items you are using into the desired shapes and sizes. You can also experiment with tearing your items. Once your collage items are all in place, set it aside and let it dry.

If you need a little inspiration to get you started, check out some of these free collage projects6. Do one or two and then create your own masterpiece. Remember, collage is more a matter of experimenting with different mediums, colors, and images than following step-by-step directions. The more you play around with making collages, the more ideas you will get. There is now right or wrong way to do it; in fact, one of the nice things about collage is that if you don't like the way something looks, you can simply glue another item on top of it. So, what are you waiting for? Go have some collage making fun!

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