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Magazine Collage Art
Collage: An artistic composition of fragments (as of printed matter) pasted on a picture surface. — The Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Beginner's Collage Techniques : How to Magazine Collage

Magazine Collage: How to Create Collage Art with Magazine Elements

Creative Cut and Paste

By Chris Dunmire

Magazine collage is a great place to begin experimenting with the exciting world of collage. As a beginner, using predefined elements from magazine sources will help you to better focus on the elements and principles of design in your composition.

A Quick Word about Copyright

The collage examples in this tutorial utilizing magazine elements, photos, or artwork by other artists are for illustrative purposes only. It's important to remember that any collage art you create using other people's copyrighted photos or artwork should be for personal, experimental use only. It would be a violation of someone else's copyright to incorporate their creative work into your own artwork without their express permission whether or not you intend to publish or profit from it in any way.

Best-case scenario: If you intend to create collage (or any other) art for other than personal, experimental learning purposes at home — create, photograph, or design your own original elements; or use items in the public domain so infringing on someone else's copyright will never be an issue.

For now, leave behind all of life's rules and regulations. Get ready to explore the fascinating world of collage, and play in your own experimental world of artistic expression.

Part 1: How-to Magazine Collage

Materials Needed:

  • A variety of colorful magazines with images of food, animals, landscape, flowers, or anything else that appeals to you
  • A glue or adhesive: white or clear glue, Mod Podge, glue stick, or rubber cement* (see tip below)
  • Paint brush
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper
  • Illustration board, wood panel, or other thick support that won't warp when wet
  • Paper towels
  • Water
* Tip on Glues and Adhesives: "White glue and Mod Podge brushed on the back of magazine pictures wrinkles the paper a lot. It's better to use Rubber Cement. Glue Sticks dry and paper that it's applied to tend to easily lift off. Magazine collage may be a beginner's art form, but it still requires some degree of skill if the artist wants it to last. Magazine collaging can be a kind of soul collaging. It can be very healing, as with all art forms. Using magazines makes for very intense collages because of the great variety of pictures and words." (Submitted by Kay Genio)

Set Up

Set UpClear a workspace for yourself on a table. Spread out the newspaper and place your support on top. Get all of your materials together and place them within reach of your workspace.

Step 1

Step 1Look through your assortment of magazines and cut or tear out pictures, elements and shapes that you like. Notice the colors, textures, and designs of your elements.

Step 2

Step 2Arrange the pieces on your support in a design you like. Experiment with several variations and notice the different effects of your designs. Add, subtract, tear, and cut your elements until you're satisfied with your composition.

Step 3

Step 3Apply glue to the back of each element (one at a time) with a glue stick or paint brush and position them on your support.

Press down firmly and smooth out any air bubbles. Immediately wipe off any excess glue with a damp paper towel or it or will dry and leave shiny spots.

Step 3Repeat this process until all pieces are glued down.

Step 4

Step 4After all pieces are glued down, allow your collage to dry completely and then your collage is finished.

Congratulations on successfully creating your own magazine collage!

Want to take your magazine collage a step further? Move on to Part 2 where I'll add some found objects to my collage to make what artists like Marcel Duchamp dubbed an assemblage.

Continue to Part 2, Magazine Assemblage »

Creativity Portal® founder Chris Dunmire wears many creative hats. More »

Updated 12/25/13