Creative Collage Ideas

The most common collage ideas have been in use for centuries. But today's artist has a few new ideas up her sleeve.

By today's standards, making a collage is similar to the art of scrapbooking. In both cases you start with a background, add a few photos and a few embellishments and, presto, you have a collage. Collages also no longer rely on the 20 to 100 photo requirement. Instead, a scrapbooking collage generally consists of one to four photos-if photos are being used.

Another new development is that most of today's collages focus on one solid focal point, which might be a flower, a quilt pattern, a piece of furniture or an assortment of color-coordinated panels that match the room the collage will be hung in. Add one to three accessories or embellishments to the collage, and you have a wonderful piece of artwork.

The beauty of this type of collage is that it has simple lines. It's quiet. It doesn't monopolize the room, and it doesn't place a strain on the eye. To create a simple collage that will complement any room, you can try any of the following items:

Decorative Scissors: Decorative scissors can be used to create designed borders, cut out the focal point or add a fun look to any photo you might be using in your collage.

Embellishments: Any embellishments you can purchase in the scrapbooking aisle that apply to your project should be added to your arsenal of art supplies. Small scrapbooking signage is particularly delightful in a collage, as are the miniature accessories.

Fish Scales: The scales of a fish can add dimension to a collage. To keep the collage from becoming overwhelmed with color, try not to use more than 3 colors of paint. While the colors don't have to coordinate, it's often best if they do.

Paint the fish with one, two or all three colors at once, and then slap it onto the background once, twice or as many times as you want. You can go in a different direction or simply overlap the image. Add in some netting, and glue a few images of fish in the net. Or, glue other items around the sides of the fish scale prints so that when you are finished you have created a long, slender woman's leg, all gussied up in "fishnet" stockings. You might also want to add the fish scale pattern over the top of a completed collage for a different effect.

Foil: For a futuristic feel, use a variety of colors of foil, as well as other glittery wrapping paper or wrapping paper that is shimmering with stars. Start with a large poster of the galaxy as your background.

Paper: Paper comes in more thicknesses, colors and textures than you can image. Using onion skin, newsprint, scrapbooking background sheets, construction paper, brown paper bag material or tissue paper in a collage can be both stimulating and calming, depending on how you make the different textures come together.

Rubber Stamps: Rubber stamps come in so many designs it makes sense to have at least a dozen of your own rubber stamps to fall back on when you begin doing any type of craft. In collage-making, rubber stamps can be used to emphasize the focal point or to create a border or a background.

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