A fun way to explore your creativity alone or with your kids is to make a collage. Collages are great because anything goes. They are a great way to recycle old magazines and newspapers and to think about materials in new and different ways. Collage as an art movement was popularized by the cubists, but don't let that scare you. Just because there are collages hanging in great museums doesn't mean collage isn't a humble art. It can spark your creativity and get you thinking about color, texture, shape and design in ways you never have before.
Getting Ready to Make a Collage
It's very easy to make a collage; you are only limited by your imagination and the things you have around the house. The first thing you will want to do is pick out a background for your collage. You can make a collage on a piece of posterboard, cardboard, even a large piece of paper or sheet of yesterday's newspaper.
Second, collect the supplies you will need to make a collage. There are many, many possibilities, including but not limited to:
- old magazines and newspapers
- family photos
- markers, pens, colored pencils
- glue (regular and glitter glue, if desired)
- paint pens
- crafty odds and ends, such as buttons, ribbon, rick-rack, beads, sequins and scraps of fabric and yarn
- other "stuff" lying around the house: go through your junk drawer, or the box where stuff ends up that you don't know what to do with but can't throw away. You might find things like game pieces, old playing cards, bits of wire, screws, who knows?
Collect all these items together and make a big pile on the kitchen table or the living room floor. You might want to cover the table or floor with newspaper or a drop cloth if you're working with lots of messy stuff (which is half the fun, really).
How to Make a Collage
There are no rules that dictate how to make a collage. If you're doing this project with kids, watch what they do and try to bring the same sense of play to your collage work.
If you haven't done something this unstructured in awhile, you might find it difficult. There's no right or wrong way to do it; every result is perfect. That can either be freeing or scary, depending on your personality.
If you're at a loss for where to begin, open a magazine randomly. Pull 10 to 20 images or pages out of the magazines in your stack. Don't question why you are drawn to an image, a phrase or a color, just pull out the pages that speak to you.
Once you have those images, look over your other materials and decide what else you would like to add to your collage. You can make it simple or include many layers. Just use images you find in magazines or include pictures of your family and friends.
A great way to remember your travel adventures is to make a collage of pictures and other mementos. Start with color copies of your favorite travel snapshots, then add things like your airplane boarding passes, tickets from shows, a matchbook from that great Italian restaurant, the lucky penny you picked up on the boardwalk or the perfect shell you found on the beach. This is a perfect way to keep all your memories together and to be able to see those things every day.
It is great fun to make a collage with your children, but even if you don't have kids you can have fun with collage. Use it as a therapeutic art when you feel burned out on other projects or have had a bad day at work. It brings a wonderful sense of play to your crafts and can make you feel more creative as well.