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How to make a collage board

Updated on April 18, 2013
Kurt Schwitters, Das Undbild, 1919, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
Kurt Schwitters, Das Undbild, 1919, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart | Source

History of Collage

Collaging and examples of collage date back many hundreds of years. The word collage from the French means to glue. Collage can be made into a work of formal art, used in scrapbooking or just for fun and pleasure. I use collage in therapy with adults and children and for my own personal development.

Collages can be made from an assembly of newspaper clippings, a texturalized assembly of different papers including tissue, photographs or pictures from magazines, fabrics, buttons ribbon and re-claimed items from the recycling box.

Collage made a dramatic re-appearance in the early 20th century as an art form of novelty and became a distinct form of modern art in the beginning of the 20th century. See Georges Braque; Pablo Picasso and modern art.[2]

Examples of Collaging for family fun

Hanaas' "Things I Like" collage
Hanaas' "Things I Like" collage
My "Life's a Journey in Progress" collage
My "Life's a Journey in Progress" collage
Painted Hummingbird and flowers collaged onto painted canvas.  Lizam1 2010
Painted Hummingbird and flowers collaged onto painted canvas. Lizam1 2010
Safias' "Field of Flowers" Collage
Safias' "Field of Flowers" Collage

Starting your Collage

Collaging is a fun way to work with different materials and oftentimes you will create amazing and frame or wall worthy pieces that surprise you. To start it's important not to over think the process - let the materials select themselves and choose where they go.

1) Assemble papers, magazines, fabric etc. scissors, glue sticks, glue guns. You can also use artists medium as an adhesive (I prefer gloss) when working with tissue.

2) Select a backing for the collage - bristol board, card board, canvas and heavy weight paper all make excellent backings. If you are making a fabric collage choose a heavy weight fabric to glue the other pieces to.

3) Start to cut or tear the papers or other materials and let them place themselves on the backing. Begin to glue. Keep building until you "feel" finished. If you are not completely happy with your collage leave it and come back to look at it later. What is it telling you? Consider adding more things to the collage or starting a new one and keeping the first as step one. Like writing, or painting, oftentimes the first step in the process has to be re-created many times.

4) If you "think" you don't like your collage, consider whether your thoughts are historical and belong to the collage or are about something else, such as "I'm not good at art" or "it's not perfect." I will discuss this aspect of collage making in a later hub about what is art therapy.

5) Enjoy, post or photograph your collage and share it with others.


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    • Lizam1 profile image

      Lizam1 5 years ago from Victoria BC

      Carol7777 I hope you enjoy creating your collage. Thanks for the read and comments.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      These collages are lovely and you explain well how to achieve interesting effects. I am thinking of doing a collage and decoupaging it. I like your ideas here. Thanks for sharing.

    • Lizam1 profile image

      Lizam1 6 years ago from Victoria BC

      Thanks Peggy. I love torn paper the effects are so pretty.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I have made some torn paper collages and really liked the results. Might have to do more sometime! This hub may inspire others to try their hand at it. Voted up and useful.

    • Lizam1 profile image

      Lizam1 6 years ago from Victoria BC

      Glad you like it Michele. Thanks. I hope you too will have some fun collaging.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 6 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Wow, those are lovely. This is a wonderful hub. I have no experience when it comes to this, but would like to try it. Thanks for this hub!