Top 5 Recycled Items You Can Use in a Collage


Metal Items

Metal is a magnificent material for collage art.
Metal is a magnificent material for collage art.

Metal is a great material for collages. With a little imagination, old bake ware, forks, spoons, belt buckles, thimbles, pet tags, jewelry, candy tins and foreign coins can all be repurposed into art.

Muffin tins, pie pans and miniature loaf pans can act as a natural frame for an array of tchotchkes you can glue inside including photographs, little dolls, plastic animals, costume jewelry, broken watches, bobbins, board game pieces, alphabet letter, marbles, dollhouse furniture and tiny perfume bottles [source: Hunot]. Other metal materials you may consider include old typewriter keys, zippers, cuff links, service pins, jacks and bottle caps.

If you're going to be gluing a metal object to a metal background, you need to roughen up the surfaces first. Use sandpaper to scratch each piece of metal. And if you want to work out the arrangement of your collage before you start gluing, you have two options. You can put all the pieces in place temporarily with removable adhesive like scotch tape and then permanently affix each piece one by one [source: Hunot]. Or, you could take a photo of your temporary arrangement and then use it for reference when gluing everything together.

Belt buckles can become picture frames by cutting the belt off the buckle and using pliers or a jeweler's saw to remove the prong. Then all you have to do is trim a photo to fit the buckle frame and glue it into place [source: Hunot]. The same concept could be used on old metal bangle bracelets, large hoop earrings and large metal washers.

If you're low on belt buckles but have a cache of bottle caps, create bottle cap frames. Find the photos you want to use and, using the bottle cap as a reference, cut out several tiny images and set aside. Next, squirt a dollop of craft glue into the middle of a cap and spread it around using a toothpick or the glue nozzle. Finally, place your tiny photo in the center of the bottle cap. If you want, you can sprinkle the photo with a little glitter, which will adhere to the excess glue around the edges of the photo [source: Hunot]. Now you can add these bottle cap frames to a collage -- dot them around individually or add in one large cluster.

Besides the metal you have lying around the house, you can also find unique pieces at second-hand shops, antique stores, flea markets and estate sales.

Read on to discover the beauty of paper as a collage medium.