A question about making collages

Hi, I have a question for those of you who enjoy making collages. I only started a while ago making my own postcards and I’m having a lot of fun with it, but I would appreciate some advice from you more experienced collage-makers:

How do you go about creating a new collage? Do you have an idea in your head and then start leafing through old magazines (and other stuff) until you find the right pictures and materials?

Or do you cut out interesting pictures, quotes, words etc. from old magazines and store them somewhere for later use? Maybe even roughly sorted by topic?

I find that I’m slowly getting overwhelmed by my cupboard full of old magazines, catalogues etc. and I’m wondering if it would be better to start looking through them for interesting items.

Thanks for any advice and suggestions! :smiley:


This. I love paper. So any kind of magazine, unwanted/damaged book, ticket, receipt, business card, envelope, packaging, napkin, teabag, tea tag, or similar that catches my eye is going to be saved for later :joy:

Over time this meant a huge pile, of course.
I now sort them as I go.
When I’m cutting up a magazine I’ll put stuff in piles as I go and then when I’m finished, I’ll immediately sort them to where they belong. Otherwise it gets overwhelming for me.

A few pockets

I save stuff I want to cut up in a pile.
When I feel like cutting stuff up (sometimes I don’t want to collage I just want to find new stuff and use scissors)
I’ll just take a few and go through them.
I tear out any pages I like and then when I’ve gone through it all I will start cutting.

When I collage I often don’t have an idea in mind.
I’ll sit at my desk and I just want to make something so I’ll look through my stash (I keep my cutouts in plastic sleeves lol, in a huge binder) and I’ll just flip around until I start getting an idea. Most of my collages have a similar feel since I’ve been junk journaling many years :sweat_smile:

I pull out a bunch of images or scraps of paper I think will look nice and then I just lay stuff down until I kinda like some of it.

A good fren of mine picks a color before she starts. That’s fun too.

Edited to add image and sort my thoughts a bit.


Thanks, this is really helpful, especially the idea about the binder - I think I’m going to givt this a try as I have many unused plastic sleeves and old binder sitting around. A binder is also easier to store than all those boxes…

And I know what you mean about just wanting to use scissors… :smiley: Since I neither have a room nor even a desk to myself in this house I often lack the peace and quite to actually sit down and put together a collage from start to finish. However, there’s always some spare time to cut up old magazines or good through some old stuff and to fool around with paper and scissors! :slight_smile: So I often to just this, but I now have to get myself organised to save myself from going through every box and old magazine over and over again.


Collage for me is mostly a meditative process, so ideas come while I sift through my stash.
I do plan before I glue, though!

I’m also a big paper hoarder. Mostly I sort by size and material rather than topic.

And I’m contemplating taking up the art of paper beads to keep up with the materials :grin:


Slow and steady!
You can pick themes like me or like @/Nadjafee sort by size/material.
I think if you don’t have space you should think of a theme first, for example, flowers, and go through all your boxes searching just for that. Then put it into a sleeve!
That way you won’t be making huge piles and then you have to put them all back? :thinking:


I have calendars and animal books I like to cut up. sometimes I add fabric and stickers. I keep it to a theme. But I do like to find beat up books that no one will read and use them up.


3 posts were merged into an existing topic: Glue & adhesives for mailart

I just bought this organizer for all my paper and scraps I’ve been collecting over the past decade. So far its made my collaging so much easier.


I have the same thing, it’s great! :grinning:

The only problem is that I’m accumulating stuff so fast I could already do with a second one… :see_no_evil::upside_down_face::sweat_smile:


Oh nice! I read reviews about them being weighted down too much and not working as well so I’m strictly only going to use it for paper
I hadn’t done collages in a long time but had a lot of good stuff that had been accumulating over the past decade so I started again and doing a collage journal its been super fun so far.


It’s better to collect collage stuff before starting.
Don’t think too much, just browse thru the papers and then choose with a gut feeling.




Important: collect mini clippings (Schnipsel), they always come in handy as a finish.




Collage is one of the art form that I love to work on! I think the best advice I have done so myself is to stay off Instagram or any social media. Even though it is a great way to gain inspiration, when I was running my art account, I was more concerned about gaining a following and likes than creating art itself. It is okay to create art only for yourself because you know the effort you put in and validation starts from self. I also like to watch “collage artists” and “collage with me” videos on Youtube. It is amazing to see how other artists create an art piece and how their studio looks like. There are three types of collages that I often come across - made from stationeries (etc. memo sheet, design paper, scrap paper, washi tape, sticker), made from advertisements (etc. magazines, flyers, brochures) and made from art (etc. an artist who only uses their own art, art schools will only allow such work)

Tip : use a scalpel for more precise cutting
(this has made my life easier)

Another advice is to let go of the fear of creating and not hoard all the pretty cutouts but make art out of it. If you are having trouble getting started, start small. Take a few pieces or maybe two pages from an advertisement source and see what you can do with it. This is an example from my collage journal. (I keep two of such journals - one for stationeries and another for advertisements) Have a focal (main) point as well, make sure it is theme or colour based.

And sometimes… you will create decent art pieces like this! Another example…

And sometimes… your collages will somehow land on your wall! This is an old art wall of mine. There is no rule to Collage, it can happen anywhere and everywhere!

(this is a good channel)

Lastly, it does not matter if your art does not appeal to the mass audience… you made it, be proud of it! :blush: