Collage: a new method of healing that combines art, writing and creativity

A collage is whatever you want it to be. By combining pictures, cutouts, and other materials, you can create amazing works of art that make you smile from the inside. There are many types of collages, but the one discussed here would be the generic collage.

Collage is for everyone. If you are still hesitating to try it, let me, a passionate collagist, convince you.

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How Collages Can Help You Heal

Like writing, collages help us convey our thoughts and emotions for which we don’t have the words. We may just be exhausted, or we may want to convey our thoughts in pictures. At the heart of it, the collages are more or less the poetry of our minds. All the mess in our minds is represented on a blank canvas with some pictures and glue. We all project personal meaning onto everything we see. If we have trouble verbalizing how we feel, we can mirror our emotions.

Instead of spending time in a way that only distracts us from how we feel, we could instead tap into our inner strength and creativity during our alone time.

Choosing images spontaneously, and then seeing what feelings and ideas arise, can prompt a new understanding of how you subconsciously think about yourself and how you feel about your life. Whenever you experience strong feelings that you don’t fully understand, take a few moments to spontaneously choose pictures from an old magazine. Cut and paste your photos without thinking too much. Then take a few minutes to contemplate what you have chosen.

(Quote from Shelly Klammer)

The history of collages

Collage techniques were first used when paper was invented in China around 2200 years ago. Since then it has been a popular hobby among scrapbookers around the world. Collage techniques are said to have entered the world of fine art when Picasso released “Still Life with Chair Caning” in 1912. By the 1960s, collage was used as a major form of pop art. Collage making was popular with teens in the 90s and is still popular today.

make a collage

You will definitely need scissors, good quality glue and a piece of paper or canvas. Now take old magazines, tabloids or newspapers and cut out whatever you want. You can still print pictures if you don’t want to cut pictures from magazines. Personally, I like cutting magazines because it takes more work, which makes the end result all the more satisfying.

Things you can add to make your collage stand out

  1. Pressed flowers and leaves
  2. washi tape
  3. Stickers
  4. Leaf and piece prints (to do this, place the object under the paper and shade it.)
  5. Tear paper or cutouts to add texture.
  6. Ribbons or string
  7. To paint
  8. Colored or handmade paper
  9. Portions of other illustrations or text (like your favorite poem)
  10. Items found
  11. Sequins
  12. old homework
  13. Your photos and drawings
  14. Stamps
  15. Receipts
  16. Ticket stubs
  17. Notes from your friends
  18. Polaroids
  19. Use markers and pencils
  20. Fabric samples
  21. Aluminum foil or cellophane


Also known as decoupage, decoupage is essentially the opposite of gluing. It is created by tearing, cutting and removing pieces of an original image. Carving dates back to Asia before the 12th century.

Make digital collages

If you want to create digital collages and you don’t know where to start, don’t worry! I will share what I think is the best way to make collages online.

First, you’ll need a website or app to create your collage. I have tried many websites and apps to create collages and so far I would say Canva is the best out there. Canva has both basic and premium features but it has much more features in its free version compared to other apps and websites. If you are not satisfied with Canva, you can always try Fotor or BeFunky. Whichever website or app you choose, be sure to experience all the features available. It takes time to get used to a certain interface, so the more you use it, the easier it becomes.

Then you can upload images and start creating! If you are looking for aesthetic images, Pinterest, Weheartit, Unsplash, Wikimedia Commons, Nasa images and Google images are good sources. You can also print images for your paper collages from here.

If you need to remove the background from images, use an online background removal tool. I usually use this one.

Whether you’re making digital collages or traditional collages, it’s important to keep all of your materials organized. With traditional collages, make sure you have a binder or box to store all of your materials. Believe me, it can get really messy if not stored properly.

Here is a recent digital collage I made for a friend:

You can also search for mood board materials online. You can use them for your collages because mood boards and collages are almost the same.

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Some collage prompts and inspiration

Here’s a list of some basic paste prompts to get you started! Try making a collage on:

  • Your favorite album/band/song
  • Your favorite book or movie
  • Your ideal outfit or aesthetic
  • Your family
  • A vivid childhood memory

If that didn’t inspire you, check out these 10 unusual creativity prompts or these collage collections from Pinterest and Weheartit.

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I hope this was a complete guide to the art of making collages. I wish you luck on your collage making journey!