Layered Paper Collage in 10 easy steps (for children between age 7-11)

If you like collecting pretty patterned paper, tickets, maps, stamps, leaflets, stickers, magazine cut- outs and pretty gift tags, then paper collaging is just for you!

Layered paper collages can be used to decorate your travel journal, nature journal, letters, envelopes, notebooks, bookmarks, gift tags and any project you are working on at home. A collage adds an instant colour, texture and interest to a journal page or a topic project.

There is something nice about a layered paper collage, text and pictures in overlapping patterns.

With our 10- step guide, you will be able to start collaging in no time and start using up your stash of paper ephemera.

1. Make or find a journal

You can easily make your own journal at home using some A4 printing paper and a piece of sturdy card. Fold the paper and card in half to create an A5 booklet. Get a length of string or a large rubber band and put it around the middle of your journal’s spine. Decorate the covers or leave it plain.

You can also use a notebook, sketchbook or a diary you may already have at home. You can decorate the covers or leave the journal plain.

It is important that the journal is sturdy enough to work in. Blank paper is best for creating collages, but any paper will do. The main thing is that your journal should be easy to use and that it is not too small and flimsy.

2. Materials you will need

· A diary/ journal/notebook

· Scissors

· Glue stick

· Scraps of coloured paper or card

· Cut-outs from old magazine/ book

· Patterned paper (wrapping paper or scrapbooking paper)

· Old birthday cards (optional)

· Crepe paper (optional)

· Tissue paper (optional)

· Stickers (optional)

· Washi tape (optional)

· Pressed flowers/ leaves (optional)

· Lace (optional)

· Ribbon (optional)

Tip! It is recommended that you keep a small box file or a shoe box with all of your collage journaling supplies inside it. This way, the supplies are easily accessible and all in one place when you decide to sit down and do a collage project.

3. Collage theme/ topic

If you are working on a topic, adding a small paper collage will complete your theme. You will be able to find pictures and colours to suit your theme in old magazines and books which are no longer needed. But before you go cutting up a book or a magazine, please ask an adult for permission, in case it is a cherished antique!

Some of the topics you may want to work on, can be nature, travel or history related:

· Dinosaurs

· Animals

· Botanical- plants and flowers

· Birds

· Insects

· Sea and oceans

· Mushrooms

· World or specific country

· Seasonal collage- Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring

· Holidays- Christmas, Easter

· History topic such as: WW2, Titanic, Ancient Egypt, The Victorian Era

4. Drawing, writing and collage

It is entirely up to you whether you would like to include writing and drawing into your collage. It is nice to combine drawings and written text with your collage. You can also write and draw on scrap pieces of paper and include as part of your collage. It is also up to you if the focal point is your writing or the collage itself.

5. Page layout and size of collage

A double page spread layout gives you enough space to make a collage, creating a stylish layout. It is a good idea to use the same or similar colours on both pages, so they look like they belong to the same theme.

It is up to you how big to make the collage. Some people cover whole pages with collages. But sometimes, one can use small collages with great results. A small collage in the border of the page will give you space to write your own thoughts and the collage will remain a nice background feature.

6. Different styles

It is worth experimenting with different materials and styles. If you would like to explore layouts which are unusual, then your journal is a good place to try new styles, techniques and layouts.

Would you like your journal to be bursting with colour? Or do you prefer a black and white look? Are you a fan of a vintage/ antique look?

Try different styles and decide on your favourite. There are no rules and one doesn’t have to stick to one style. There are so many different styles to try:

· Monochrome

· Minimal

· Vintage

· Pop- bursting with vibrant colours

· Neutral

7. Other items to include in your collage:

· Flat sequins

· Stamps

· Tickets and gift tags

· Maps

· Paper clips with ribbons, wool and embroidery thread to hold loose items in place

· Small envelopes to create “pockets” for keepsakes

You can use anything flat. If you use bulky items such as buttons and puffy stickers, your journal will end up really bulky.

8. Tips and techniques

Make sure you lay out your collage pieces before you glue them down. This will ensure sure it all fits neatly on your page and that nothing is hidden out of sight by mistake. Play around with different layouts until you are happy with how it looks.

If you don’t have enough space for all of your scraps, simply create another collage by carrying on to the next page, or save the pieces for your next project.

Make sure you don’t apply runny glue. A glue stick is best for collage projects.

If you are going for a rustic or a vintage style, then hand tearing your paper scraps would fit the theme better than cutting items with straight edges.

You can also pre- decorate your journal pages with small collages for future journaling.

9. Collage everywhere

One doesn't have to stick to collaging in a journal. One can use the same collaging techniques on journal covers, on a box file, to create art for your bedroom wall or in a scrapbook. There are many possibilities.

10. Secret Compartment

At the back of your journal, paste in an envelope on the inside of the cover. In this envelope you can keep useful things such as a small stencil, stickers, stamps, scraps of pretty paper and anything you might want to keep safe. If one envelope isn’t enough, paste another one on the front inside cover. You can use decorated paper clips to hold in place small items such as cinema tickets and notes.

Summer holidays are the best time to start a new hobby. Let summer of 2021 be the year you start learning how to collage in your journal. Start a project today and share your work with friends and family.

If you need some more tips and ideas, please feel free to email us and we will gladly help you!

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