Top 5 Recycled Items You Can Use in a Collage


Paper Items

When people think of collage art, they often envision a paper collage, which makes sense since paper materials come in all kinds of forms, colors and textures. Paper is simply great for collage making. Photographs, magazine clippings, newspaper articles, shopping bags, tin foil, can labels, matchbooks, old letters, historic documents, discarded textbooks, maps, wallpaper, doilies, postcards, sheet music and playing cards are all fantastic collage materials. And that's just a start. There's almost no end to the paper trail. For variety, you can incorporate unusual materials like sandpaper or blurry photos. Or stain the paper with tea or walnut ink to give it an antique look [source: Grant].

You can also experiment by trimming the materials in rounded or wavy edges and irregular shapes, or use pinking shears to get zigzags and other edging patterns. You can cut out words or letters to make phrases or merge two different photographs together [source: Grant]. You can cut out a whole picture or just a portion -- a nose, half a leaf, a dog's tail or a doorknob. You can tear the paper to make jagged edges, or fold or crumple the pieces to create a different texture. And remember, not everything has to be glued flat because when it comes to creating a collage, there are no rules.

Using a cutting mat can help protect your table and help you make smooth cuts with a utility knife or scissors. Using an adhesive like rubber cement can keep the paper from crinkling. Glue sticks or Mod Podge will also work.

When you're done, you have a couple of options for protecting your collage. You can frame it under glass, get it laminated at a copy shop or apply a light coat of Mod Podge to the surface with a foam paint brush or spray some varnish on it to act as a sealant [source: Love To Know Crafts].

For more crafting fun, see the links below.

Related HowStuffWorks Links


  • Beal, Janet. "How to Make Collage Posters." eHow. (Accessed 4/12/09)
  • Britannica. "Collage." (Accessed 4/12/09)
  • Collageart. "Sources of Tools, Supplies & Technical Information for Collage Artists." (Accessed 4/12/09)
  • Collage College. "Starting Collage." (Accessed 4/12/09)
  • Global Collage. (Accessed 4/12/09)
  • Grant, Joanna. "Live Studio: A Lesson in Collage." EBSQ. March 2005. (Accessed 4/12/09)
  • Hunot, JoAnne. "Muffin Tin Collage and Recycled Metal Frames." (Accessed 4/12/09)
  • Love To Know Crafts. "Make a Collage." (Accessed 4/12/09)
  • Meenaghan, Anna. "Amazing Ideas for Making Collages." Gossip Barf. (Accessed 4/12/09)
  • MoMA. "Louise Nevelson." (Accessed 4/12/09)
  • National Collage Society. (Accessed 4/12/09)
  • The International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction. (Accessed 4/12/09)


Raid the Recycling Bin: 10 Recycled Crafts

Raid the Recycling Bin: 10 Recycled Crafts

Are you looking for some fun recycled craft ideas? Check out these 10 recycled craft ideas in this article.