What is a Collage and How to Make One

A collage is an art form created by combining various printed materials like magazine pages, book illustrations, photographs, papers and even fabrics and arranging it in a new and creative composition. Found objects like dry flowers, lace, feathers, beads, broken tiles or pottery can also be used. 

A collage can be colorful or monochromatic, flat or 3-dimensional, symmetrical or totally abstract even thought provoking.

The term originates from the French word "coller" meaning "to glue" - the materials are cut to shape or size and then glued into a new composition expressing a story, evoking a feeling or creating a study in pattern, color or texture. 

To start, you'll need to gather a few supplies:

- Cutting mat - get a large one if your collage is going to use large motifs, we offer a variety of sizes, including 24x36" self-healing cutting mat which is great for larger projects

- Hobby Knife with a new blade 

- Glue

- Scissors

- Magazine tear sheets, illustrations, wrapping paper, wallpaper and any other printed material that inspires you

Don't run out of blades get out 100-pack pf No.11 Replacement Blades

To start, narrow down the items you'd like to use in your composition, cut them out using either scissors or the hobby knife. Hobby knives are more precise for cutting out the small details. Excel Blades' K71 Index Finger Hobby Knife offers precise control when cutting the smallest of details. 

Start arranging the cut-outs on your background, but don’t glue anything yet. Play around with the layout and add or take away as needed. Once you’re happy with the final arrangement, take a photo for reference in case you have to remove parts of the collage to glue down the pieces. 

To glue, make sure that you cover the edges of your cutouts with a thin layer of glue so that they do not curl up and away later. Follow the instructions on the glue packaging for application. Each adhesive may be slightly different and react differently on the medium, so test on scraps first. 

Let the glue set, then frame and display.