A collage is a themed grouping of images artfully arranged on poster board or mat board. This clever piece has a camera “lens” in the center of photographs placed in concentric circles. Although it’s a visually interesting composition, the individual photos would be difficult to view, especially since the majority are sideways or upside down.
Themes can include anything from vacations, family photos, nature’s beauty, or anything else that inspires or brings you joy.
The first rule of collage making is…there are no rules! Anything goes! The background can be white or any color you prefer. You may want to overlap the images in a freeform design, or divide the board into a grid, showcasing each individual photo.
When you travel, you often collect magazines and postcards as souvenirs, which typically end up stuffed in a drawer. Why not create a collage? Every time you walk by you’ll relive your vacations.
Collages don’t have to be limited to photographs. Here’s an example of a fabric collage in the shape of an adorable elephant. The blue mat board complements the fabrics and brings a cheerful element to this playful character.
You could also use silk flowers, leaves, feathers, or seashells. When using heavier materials like seashells, be sure to use a strong backer board for support.
If you prefer more organization, the geometric precision of a grid can be created using a T-square or a ruler and triangles. In the above example, white space around each photo defines the composition.
For a freeform collage, lay the photos out upon the board, make adjustments until you’re satisfied with the arrangement, and then glue the photos down one at a time with Elmer’s Glue Stick.
Usually poster board, mat board, or collage board serve as backing, but you could also use a wood plaque, a shadow box frame, or a framed slate board. Whatever you choose will personalize your creation. If you plan to frame the finished collage, be sure to select a board size that will fit into a standard frame.
Scrapbooking paper can be used to add colors, patterns and textures (e.g. faux wood grain), to an otherwise plain background. You could also hand paint details.
If cutting out pictures and gluing them down seems like too much work, the simplest and quickest way to create a collage is by using a collage frame. Place a few photos in the frame and your done. No muss or fuss!
If wall space is limited or you prefer a more portable option, a scrapbook collage (vision board) can be developed over time. As your dreams and goals come true, there are plenty of additional pages for future inspirations.
How to Make a Collage / Vision Board
A vision board is a collage with goals and dreams to be manifested into your life. It gives you a daily reminder to focus your thoughts upon making your dreams come true.
Photos, postcards, color copies
Elmer’s Glue Stick (All Purpose is permanent, or the Washable formula is adjustable)
Poster Board or Mat Board
Poster Frame (optional)
Collect brochures, magazines, photos, and color copies of your wishes and dreams. Carefully cut out the pictures. It’s fine to have an assortment of various sizes, because these will fit together like puzzle pieces with overlapping edges. Lay the images upon your board. Move them around until you feel the composition is coming together. Think about the colors, contrasting textures, and patterns. It’s okay to have empty spaces.
This photo is a progress shot showing the initial photo layout. Glue each image in place. Now fill in the gaps with smaller photos or inspirational words.
Layers were added to enrich the composition, which completely covered the background. After leaning this vision board against a wall for a few weeks, it was inspirational, but the poster board was starting to bow. I had a new 24” x 36” gold metal poster frame, and decided to use it for the vision board to protect the images behind glass and to give it a more finished look, ready to hang upon the wall. I had to add approximately 8” to the length of the poster board on the right side to fit the oversized frame. Additional images were then added to blend with the existing. Now that it is framed, this simple project has become an attractive piece of art.
What kind of collage are you thinking about making? Do you have a theme in mind? Please share your ideas in the comments section.