How to Make a Collage – Learning from Each Other

How do you make a collage? What materials do you use?

swatton collage
'Prayer to Forgive' by Cecilia Swatton

I'm often asked these questions, usually right after I tell people what I do. People who don't do art or who aren't familiar with the kinds of art we create here are genuinely curious. So I feel kind of bad when I answer them. Because the answer is very long.

After all, there are so many different kinds of collage art, from a simple paper collage to multi mixed-media collage to collage assemblage. And really, who's to say what you can and can't put in a collage? Not our community members, that's for sure.

I took a little tour of our artist galleries here on the Cloth Paper Scissors community, and I found a wide range of methods, materials, and approaches. Here are five I especially wanted to share with you.


neubauer collage
'Anatomy of the Artist' by Crystal Neubauer.
krawczyk collage
'Remnants Collage 8' by
Lynn Krawczyk

"Prayer to Forgive," Cecilia Swatton created on 18" x 24" gallery-wrap canvas, started with the addition of pieces of foam board that I'd cut into geometric shapes. Cecilia then painted these with the same mix of pastels that cover the entire base. What a great way to create texture!

In "Beeswax Collage," VintageK was inspired to try encaustic collage as part of her artistic journey. "My word of the year for 2012 is explore. I'm setting sail on an artful adventure and trying new techniques, materials, and ideas! I've always loved the dreamy, mysterious quality of beeswax collage, but was a bit fearful to try it. I'm so glad I did! The beeswax adds a wonderful layer of patina and fuses all the elements of a collage together beautifully!"

Anatomy of The Artist" by Crystal Neubauer combines digital collage with paint and gel medium. The images from the digital collage just peek through the painting, giving the piece depth and an ethereal feel.

vintagek collage
'Beeswax Collage' by VintageK
tairyland collage
'Farmgirl with Cat' by Tairyland

Tairyland calls "Farmgirl with Cat" a "kitchen sink project." In addition to collage, she used  I used stencils, canvas, paper, water colors, acrylic paint, and oil sticks. She used the stencils to make the flowers digitally and the cut them out and decoupaged them to the piece.

"Remnants Collage 8" is part of a fabric collage series by Lynn Krawczyk. Lynn created this series by incorporating various kinds of fabrics and sections left over from completed projects. This kind of collage art is either a wonderful way to use up scraps and odds and ends–or a terrific excuse to keep hoarding them! Regardless, I love how Lynn turns them into art.

If you get stuck for inspiration on how to make a collage, I highly recommend a virtual stroll through the galleries on the Cloth Paper Scissors community. You can also find a treasure trove of ideas and techniques in back issues of Cloth Paper Scissors, now conveniently housed on Collection CDs.

P.S. Have you uploaded an image of your art to one of our galleries? Why not give it a try!


Blog, Collage, Mixed-Media Techniques


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