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Collage Ideas and How to Make A Collage

Updated on July 1, 2014

You Will Find Some Great Collage Ideas Here!

Collage is a fun easy way to use your creative talents. Once you have made your first collage the world will be your oyster!

I have recently updated this page for 2014, collage is timeless and I hope you enjoy it.

There is such freedom in the art of collage. Basically you can do whatever you like. There are no rules, you just go for it!

If you have never tried to make a Collage then now is the time. Its such fun. I have also included links to many FREE collage sheets that you can use. All you need to do is just scroll down a little.

This picture is my own original collage copyright Di McDonald 2013-2014

Go In The Directions Of Your Dreams - One of my original collages

Grab my favorite paint pens now....they are the BEST!

Sanford Sharpie Water-Based Metallic Paint Markers, Assorted, 3 per Pack (1783278)
Sanford Sharpie Water-Based Metallic Paint Markers, Assorted, 3 per Pack (1783278)

My favorite pens for working on my collages. These metallics are just yummy

Sharpie 36967PP Water-Based Poster Paint Marker, Fluorescent, 3-Pack
Sharpie 36967PP Water-Based Poster Paint Marker, Fluorescent, 3-Pack

You just MUST have the yellow medium and the other colors are fabulous.

Sharpie 37371PP Oil-Based Paint Markers, Fine Point, Assorted Colors, 1 Blister Pack with 5 Markers, Total of 5 Markers
Sharpie 37371PP Oil-Based Paint Markers, Fine Point, Assorted Colors, 1 Blister Pack with 5 Markers, Total of 5 Markers

The Oil Based pens are great if you like to use watercolors or paint over your pen work.

Sharpie Extra Fine Point Poster Paint Marker-White
Sharpie Extra Fine Point Poster Paint Marker-White

You can never have enough white paint pens:-)


A fantastic Flip though... - Wonderful Collage work

Collage Making Ideas

One of the best ways to start a collage is to gather a number of magazines together. I love the very arty funky art magazines and the Oprah magazine is very good for collecting text. As with all creativity its best to be very relaxed and not over think things.

I have a lot of people writing to ask me what are good topics for collage. Well any topic is just fine, but its even better,

to start with no topic at all.

What you do is get those magazines and go through them looking at the pictures. Every now and again for no reason you will want to rip one out and you need to do this. There seems to be some attraction to certain pictures when we are in creative mode. I can't really explain it but to say that you will know. You will just know! Keep ripping till you have been through all the magazines and you have a pile of pictures.

The next step is to look through the pics and just rip around the parts of the pics you like best and glue them onto your collage backing one by one. You may choose to use two or up to twelve pics together. You can overlap them or keep them apart, whatever you want to do is fine.

Once you have all your pics in place ( and I must mention that even if they make no sense to anyone it is still fine.......they were what your creative instincts were telling you to use.) It is now time to find some text that will work over the pics or around the pics. If you like you can cut each letter out separately, or you may decide to cut out words and paste them together. Use different sizes, shapes and colors because they look great all mixed up.

If you can learn to let go and trust your creative self, you will be amazed at what you come up with. It feels very satisfying to finish a collage intuitively. Have fun.

This is the Cover Of My Collage JournaL - Original Collage Created By Di McDonald

I covered the front and back covers with clear tape to protect the collage.

Inspired By Nature Video - Incredible "must See" collage work

She Stood In The Storm by Di McDonald

I just LOVE this quote by the late Elizabeth Edwards, so I had to do a page about it.

Make Your Collage Pictures Unique! - ANother Original Collage by me *******Di McDonald

When you are collageing, you need to remember to disguise your pictures, especially if they are from magazines. Faces are the most important to change around as they may be of famous people or models. This could be a copyright issue.! The best thing to do is to alter the eyes or mouth and add some kind of different hat or hair. I like to cut out some eyes from another image and paste them on top of the collage eyes I am using on the page. You can also do this with a mouth. It gives the collage a really funky look and no one will know the face.

Sometimes I like to add eyelashes or make the mouth bigger with pens. Some people actually add some animal parts to the face. Feel free to do whatever feels right at the time. You can always cover it up again if you don't like it. That's the fantastic thing about Collage.

THis picture is of my own original collage, it is copyright Di McDonald 2012

Papps By Di McDonald - This collage is about the paparazzi

Fabulous Art Collage

Girl with a Grape in Her Mouth by Di McDonald

TIP: Make sure you brush medium or glue over the complete magazine image otherwise a few months later her nose will look like the one of this collage:-)

Beautiful Like You! by Di McDonald - Strange how art works out.

This collage was about the fact that everyone has their own beauty, we are all unique and we are all beautiful no matter what.

I used one eye that had heavy black makeup on it.

It was only later that I worried that people would think the woman had been beaten up. It was never intended to say that its ok to be way!!!

When you make art you can never know what the outcome will be:-)

So You Want To Know How to Make a Collage?

Here Are Some Tips on One Way of Making a Collage

1: If this is your first time I would use a page of cardstock the same size as a piece of copy paper. Later on when you are confident you can upsize to canvas's or whatever you like.

2: Decide what colours you want to use for a start. I usually chose 3-4 colours as the main features.

3: Gather all your materials together and wear some old clothes.

4: The sorts of materials you need are PVA white glue, water it down 1 part glue to 1/8th Part water.

Scrapbook and handmade paper ( little bits)

Tiny scraps of glittery fabric.

Acrylic Paints, rubber stamps and stamp pads, some magazine or photocopied pictures that you love and some words, you can cut the letters out separately from magazines or buy letters to stick on from scrapbook shops..

5: Start by ripping the pictures out and instead of cutting them rip them all the way around so they have lovely uneven edges.

6: I start by coating my surface with acrylic paints or Lumiere Halo paints. Let this dry.

7: Start ripping out small pieces of decorated papers and gluing them on the card with the pva glue. Also brush over the top of them while its all wet.

8: Glue on your pictures and cover them with glue also.

9: Add in little pieces of fabric.

10: Now start gluing down another layer over the top. At this point I love to use coloured and printed tissue paper as it is nearly transparent when dry and gives a wonderful look.

11: Mix some clear glaze with acrylic paint and paint over places that you would like to see more colour.

12: Add more layers building up till you are happy with it. Don't forget to cover everything each time with the watered down PVA. It will dry clear.

13: Add a little more paint into the wet PVA in places.

14: Let everything dry.

15: Decide if you want to draw on top, then add the letters and words. Add more fabric if you need to.

That's it, finished. Easy wasn't it?

This picture is of my own original collage, copyright Di McDonald 2012

Art Washes From The Di McDonald - Cute Collage

Mixed Media Collage

Princess by Di McDonald - A Journal Page

Quite often I collage a journal page. I love the way it looks in a journal.

Collage Making TOPICS

Here is a list of topics to help you get started on your collage:








The beach


Giving to others









The forest







Vision Board

Inspiration Board

Collage a wall

Collage a mirror

Global Warming


Rubber stamps









Artist Trading Cards


Law of attraction

Favorite movies

Best rock concert

Favorite band








Goal setting







Make More Art by Di McDonald - LOve the quote!

Collage Art journal flip Pixiedust

Talk About Art By Di McDonald - Arty Friends are Fabulous!

Evolution of a collaged image - Step By Step Visual Instructions

Tips on Finding FREE stuff to use in your collages

Collage Ideas For Everyone - How to make a collage

In Your Opinion Which Is The Best Book About Collage Making ???

See results

Art Is A Way Of Life by Di McDonald - I love to collage

Art journal page: collage with magazine cutouts - WOW!!!

Sanity Begins the moment you realize you are powerless over others by Di McDonald - So TRUE!!!

Collage Art Techniques I

How To Use Your Collage Ideas In Your Home

Make a collage on a canvas

There are many ways to use the Collages you make or even decorate household accessories with your collage.

You can collage around a photo frame or collage all over a jewelry box, there are many creative ways to make a collage work in your home.

Collage pages can be made into art or visual journals. In fact many artists start their days by doing a collage in their Visual Journal.

You may decide like I did, to decorate your home with big collage art works on canvases.They certainly give people something to talk about when they come to visit.

Another fun thing to do with your collages is to cut them up into the size of regular playing cards and make them into Artist Trading cards to swap with other artists.

If you want to be really wacky, I love the idea of cutting them into 1 inch x 1 inch squares and sen ding out a bunch of them to artist friends in an envelope, with the hope that they will send you some back.

Another thing you can do with those tiny pieces is glue one onto the front of an Art Journal and give them away as a gift.

The last idea I have is to cut them up then glue them back together again in a different way to make a completely new collage.

The main idea is to have fun and really enjoy what you are doing. Try not to judge your work at all.

Collage Art Products

Now Its Your Turn To Squidoo!

Now it's your turn....

Make your own Squidoo lens

Squidoo is a fantastic place to create a web site (called a lens). You can share your ideas on gadgets, crafting, arts, food or whatever's on your mind and maybe even make a few $$ along the way....oh and did I tell you it's FREE!

Click here to start your Lens

Grab some paint pens now...they are just the Best for this type of art:-)

Sharpie 36671 Water-Based Poster Paint Marker, Assorted Colors, 5-Pack
Sharpie 36671 Water-Based Poster Paint Marker, Assorted Colors, 5-Pack

A great set to get your started, you will love these:-)

Sanford Sharpie Water-Based Metallic Paint Markers, Assorted, 3 per Pack (1783278)
Sanford Sharpie Water-Based Metallic Paint Markers, Assorted, 3 per Pack (1783278)

I love my Metallic paint pens and use them all the will you.

Sharpie 36967PP Water-Based Poster Paint Marker, Fluorescent, 3-Pack
Sharpie 36967PP Water-Based Poster Paint Marker, Fluorescent, 3-Pack

These ones have fatter nibs....perfect for doing dots and coloring in.

Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Marker, Extra Fine Point, Black, 1 Count - Great for Rock Painting (35526)
Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Marker, Extra Fine Point, Black, 1 Count - Great for Rock Painting (35526)

Everyone needs an extra fine point black pen and this is wonderful for journaling and outlining,

Sharpie Extra Fine Point Poster Paint Marker-White
Sharpie Extra Fine Point Poster Paint Marker-White

Don't forget the white opaque.... one of the most frequently used pens.


So! Whats The Biggest Problem You Have With Your Collages? - How Easy Do You Find It To Make Money With Your Art?

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    • JeffGilbert profile image


      5 years ago

      Having done some of these on the computer, it's interesting to see instructions on how to do it live, without a computer.. :)

    • jnstewart profile image

      John Norman Stewart 

      6 years ago from Cottonwood, CA

      Great lens. I haven't worked a lot with collage, but am inspired now....:)

    • BluKatDesign profile image


      6 years ago

      Great inspiration here, thanks. I make jewelry collages but I really want to make something for my wall!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Funny ideas. I like them and I wished I was that creative. Whow!

    • intermarks profile image


      6 years ago

      This is a beautiful way to create art. I think the biggest problem with collages is to find the matching material and how to put them together beautifully.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow, this really helped! Thank you so much!! My mom suggested for a summer activity that I should make a collage. This had every single thing I needed! I also enjoyed the videos. Thanks again! You're the best!!!

    • biggking lm profile image

      biggking lm 

      6 years ago

      nice collage!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      A collage is a fun way to showcase your creativity and a great project to do with family or friends.

    • curious0927 profile image


      6 years ago

      A wonderful "adventure" to say the least. Thank you for sharing so many great ideas and products I did not know existed! Blessed!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love making collages, but my only draw back is the amount of time that goes into it, especially if one gets carried away! Stunning lens!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi, i like it this lens... great info

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I did a I Spy collage just a few days ago... It was very fun and I really love making them! Good lens!

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 

      6 years ago from Kansas

      I love doing collage work. Such fun.

    • jayceehaynes profile image


      6 years ago

      nice lens :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Sounds like fun. I think I will give it a try with my 9-year-old daughter.

    • Winter52 LM profile image

      Winter52 LM 

      6 years ago

      You know... I don't think that I have ever made a collage... ever! Every one seems to be enjoying it, so maybe I should give it a try!

    • Scotties-Rock profile image


      6 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

      I enjoy creating collages and you have given me some great ideas. Nice Lens.

    • themeanviolets profile image


      6 years ago

      I'm in LOVE with collage-making. But I'm still in the beginning stages. This lens is just what I needed to get rolling. Thanks! I will pin this page on the board!

    • publicdomain lm profile image

      publicdomain lm 

      6 years ago

      Wow. there are some beautiful collages! I always just associated collage with the big mishmash of jumbled images we did in grade school, but these are so much more exciting!

    • LivRiley LM profile image

      LivRiley LM 

      6 years ago

      Have been wanting to do a digital collage in PS. Inspiring lens!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I've made a little money with collages over the years - both 3D assemblage wall pieces or boxes and jewelry... but it's very hard to let people know about it. And harder to price the work to reflect the time involved!

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 

      6 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      I used to make collages when I was a child and a young adult -- somehow I just stopped. Maybe I will start again.

    • CCTVwebmaster profile image


      6 years ago

      I think I will give collage a go after reading this lens!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow! There are some great ideas here! Blessed!

    • karMALZEKE profile image


      6 years ago

      I bookmarked this lens because it is filled with great information

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 

      6 years ago

      What a fun page, I love collages and making them is so much fun, Blessed***

    • eilval profile image


      6 years ago from Western Cape , South Africa

      Love your lens . Thanks for the tips!

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 

      6 years ago from California

      A great wealth of information and sources. Thank you. I needed some good resources. Bear hugs, Frankster

    • FunNaturePhotog profile image


      6 years ago

      Very informative lens with lots of fantastic eye candy! I'll be passing this along...

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      To me, the hardest thing about collage is knowing when to stop adding to it! I can take one collage and continue to add all the things I love until the background barely shows through. There is definitely an art to knowing how much is too much. I don't find it easy to make money with art, but if you happen to make money doing what you love---the pleasure is in the process of creating, not in how much money you can make! (spoken by a true starving artist!)

    • dewaji lm profile image

      dewaji lm 

      6 years ago

      great lens: full of ideas and excellent tips

    • jholland profile image


      6 years ago

      So many great ideas. Thanks for sharing. Will have to come back and really study this lens. Have not started selling my art yet - but I do sell my fabric creations.

    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 

      6 years ago from US/TN

      I used to do digital collage and really enjoyed it. I would collect images from catalogs and combine them with elements from royalty-free stock photos. It was time consuming but fun.

    • i Dia1 profile image

      i Dia1 

      6 years ago

      These are great gift ideas that you can do with children too. Very nice.

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 

      6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      I don't have a sense of what a finished collage should look like. Therefore, I never know if its done correctly. I struggle with collage.

    • LotusLandry profile image


      6 years ago from Southern California

      Nice lens! from a collage jewelry lens maker.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Not done too much collage but I must give it a try!Great lens!

    • nelchee profile image


      6 years ago

      I missed my favorite book in the poll - Ann Baldwin: "Creative Paint Workshop for Mixed-Media Artists" - there is no mention of collage in the title, but the book is really about collage-based mixed media.Anyway, I'm more of a painter so I don't do collages much, I usually just decorate my folders and notebooks with collages, but I did a few for fun and enjoyed it.

    • orangerubberduc profile image


      6 years ago

      I can't finish them!!! I get started and I have had one going for like a year now and it's still not finished!!!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      6 years ago

      This is a great resource and I think I would love to try this. Angel Blessed, and pinned to my board Arts and Crafts I love.

    • Blonde Blythe profile image

      Blonde Blythe 

      6 years ago from U.S.A.

      I've never done a collage. I enjoyed this lens, though. Thanks for entertaining as well as informing us! :)

    • vetochemicals profile image


      6 years ago from Pittsburgh Pa

      I've never made one but, think it would be a great idea to use with my vision boards. Congrats on the front page, loads of wonderful ideas here. xo

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Believe it or not, I've never thought to even do a collage, which is surprising since I love to do creative things. Thanks for inspiring me. I think I'm actually going to try collaging; then maybe I can take pics of my collages to sell on Zazzle. Good idea, methinks!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice lens! I love making collages from old magazines, like National Geographic, and hanging the pictures on my wall. They're always a conversation-piece when people come over to visit.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image


      6 years ago

      I love making collages! You have some great ideas here.

    • pennyhart lm profile image

      pennyhart lm 

      6 years ago

      I love all of these collage ideas. I got stuck with a ton of magazines from airline miles that were about to expire (from United, I think) and now I know what I can do with them! I knew I was saving them for a reason... thanks!

    • dann7trdro lm profile image

      dann7trdro lm 

      6 years ago

      Great lens!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have made collages before but not as elaborate as this. What a great resource this is.

    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 

      6 years ago

      I haven't done an collage so far. So maybe that's my biggest problem :) Great lens.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Since I can't draw a stick figure, I always prefer a collage. Great stuff!

    • MelonyVaughan profile image


      6 years ago

      What an excellent lens: full of ideas and excellent tips! Thanks for sharing.

    • DaveGSE profile image


      6 years ago

      A collage is what you make of it, you shouldn't need to be told 'how to' or 'what to' make a collage. It's completely up to you and the more origional and individual you are, the better. Nice lens even so :)

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Great ideas here. I've made a few collages but need to play with this medium more!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      @juanita: try silicone caulk. It's very thick, but creates an extremely tight bond, and it's waterproof. A less thick alternative is Golden Gel Medium. It comes in Light, Medium and Heavy Hold, and it is awesome. Either of these would an idea for you to try. Good luck!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I am new to collage and would like advice from anyone who has experience with doing collage in the tropics. Most glues perish quite quickly here, and I'd love some ideas on what to use to make my projects last longer than a year!! Someone suggested using rubber cement to me. Anyone used this? Grateful for all ideas.

    • whitneywpanetta1 profile image


      6 years ago

      You have so many great resources on this lens! Thanks for sharing! I have a visual journal lens and blog and I'm glad you mentioned altered books and visual journals as options for collages! They are a great way to practice collaging and keep them all in one place!

    • BarbraSundquist profile image


      7 years ago

      I really enjoyed your lens. You have lots of great collage ideas, some of which I've never seen before.

    • clemency lm profile image

      clemency lm 

      7 years ago

      Fantastic lens. I love making collages - all that cutting and sticking is very therapeutic.

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Great lens. Thanks for all the new ideas.

    • dwnovacek profile image


      7 years ago

      Incredible lens that I'll be visiting over and over again. Thank you for all the information and free resources. Angel Blessings!

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 

      7 years ago

      I keep coming back and checking out your collage page, you have such a variety of information and ways to help people get started with collages, you deserve another Blessing!....:)rwjr

    • MelissaInTheSky profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens!

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 

      7 years ago

      I love collages, I use it a lot in my graffiti art, great lens!!!..:)RWJR

    • CrossCreations profile image

      Carolan Ross 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I love creative collage and this lens is one of the very BEST I've seen about it, great examples and how-to, ideas and interaction. *Blessed by a Squid Angel* :-)

    • Michelle77 LM profile image

      Michelle77 LM 

      7 years ago

      collages are like idea storms~everyone has a different one...i LuV all your info.!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I've created digital collages for my Etsy shop by layering photos and textures, but I love the ideas you've included in this lens for a hands-on approach. Collages make me look deeper than most art forms. LOVE this lens. Thank you!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      How lovely! Teesha Moore is my favourite mixed media artist!

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 

      7 years ago from UK

      Wow , a great ideas lens. Love the amount of information you have assembled, I have added this to the featured lens section of mu lens on collage in fine art.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Some of my favorite Etsy shops are collage art, so it was a real treat to bump into your lens. My mom and grandmother loved scrapbooking and layering their pages--collage artists without knowing it. Thanks for a great lens!

    • fashionality lm profile image

      fashionality lm 

      7 years ago

      I make it available on etsy. Best place to sell.

    • jojokaya lm profile image

      jojokaya lm 

      7 years ago

      very informative. Great lens

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have so much material, and so much I want to create, it can be be challenging to be selective. Much of my collage work is made using wood engravings from 1850-1922 that I scanned and fixed up. So much art, so little time...

    • MoonandMagic profile image


      8 years ago

      This is a really great lens, I've just gotten back into collaging and I'm finding it very entertaining. I like the idea of making one at the start of each day to get ideas going. Thanks for the tips.

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 

      8 years ago from UK

      lots of information, presented in an interesting way. Enjoyed the lens.

    • ArtConscience profile image


      8 years ago

      Fantastic Lens... really informative. Thank you. I've had a series of failures trying to sell art with online image libraries, but finally found success selling some of my art on tailcast.comwhere buyers can create wall art and greetings cards with it.

    • BetsiGoutal1 profile image


      8 years ago

      Amazing lens, adding it as a favorite for sure!!

    • perpersky profile image


      9 years ago

      Hi! Eggshells can be used as collage material!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      awesome and interesting....

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      excellent. i think collage is so funny. i want a collage on the world of politics

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      collages r awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      lovin this site!!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Wonderful information. Very inspiring!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      wow...great lens. I just starting making collages and this is great information!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      GR8 really collage is a wonderful art. me also very keen to learn this!!!!!!!

    • taliamurphy lm profile image

      taliamurphy lm 

      10 years ago

      I love making collages. What a great lens and full of great information. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge!Talia MurphyUnconventional Woman

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 

      10 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      Love your lens. Collage is a challenge for me to do, although I love to look at good collage. I am working on increasing my skills in this area.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Neat lens! I gave you 5 Stars and a Squid Angel Blessing!

    • JackieLee LM profile image

      JackieLee LM 

      10 years ago

      Wow. great lens. I think collage is so interesting, but have never really tried it~ Great resources.Jackie


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