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How to Make a Collage

How to Make a Collage
Creating a collage is the perfect art project for at home or in the classroom. The process helps kids engage their imagination and build their fine motor skills with intricate designs. And best of all, you can create fun collage art with materials found around the home.

Using items found around the home, Barbara Mason teaches students how to make a collage. The lesson explains the difference between warm and cool colors in art, along with the concept of foreground and background. Additionally, Barbara gives viewers a simple example of a collage that can be created at home.

Materials Required for Making a Collage

The materials required for making a collage include paper, scissors, old magazines or newspapers and a glue stick.

Learn to Make a Collage With Barbara Video

Follow along with Barbara as she creates a collage using household objects. Learn about creating new art from existing materials.

Making a Collage Lesson Plan

Making a Collage From Household Items

As you watch the lesson, you can read the video transcription below to understand the process of making a collage. Begin to understand important art concepts like the difference between warm and cool colors.

Artists along the Golden Road experience the northwest through its art and the artists who live here.

Hi everybody, this is Barbara Mason. Welcome back to Golden Road Arts. We are going to do some fun stuff in the studio today. We’re going to talk about warm and cool colors and we’re going to make a collage.

Collage is a French word and I think it just means glue. We have a lot of words for glue, but collage is one of them. I’ve made a sample for you, and what I’ve done here, let me show you this- this is my sample and you can see that this is a giant ice cream cone. I have got funny papers on the back and then I’ve cut things out of magazines for the rest of this. Some of it, I’ve torn, and so this is an example of a collage and I’m going to show you how to do this.

I want to talk a little bit about the warm and the cool colors. You know, color is an amazing thing. We’re so lucky in our world that we have color everywhere. Color is very exciting for us. When you think of something warm, you think of the fire, well, that’s really hot, not warm. And you think of the radiator or the furnace, or you think of the sun. You being outside sitting in the sun and feeling how warm it is on your face. Well, the sun is, you know, bright yellow, so it’s definitely warm color, and the fires orange red. All those beautiful warm colors. Definitely warm colors.

And then when you think of cool colors, if you think of the water of the ocean, of the rivers, of ice, those beautiful blues and maybe even the green of the trees. Those are cool colors. We need to know the difference between warm colors and cool colors.

One of the things I’ve done here to get this started is I’ve got a bunch of magazines, and I just tore them up. But how I tore them up was I put them in little piles of things that I thought were warm colors, and things that I thought were cool colors. So these are all warm, and these are all cool, green, blue, little bit of maybe just a little dark purple. Then in this pile, I’ve got yellow, and I’ve got you know some yellow and some kind of an orange. So these are warm colors.

One of the things we’re going to do today is, we’re going to make an underwater image, and we’re going do fish. I thought it would be easier to have something that you could uses as template to put your paper on. So I just cut out these fish and I have a sample here of the fish, so we’ll put that on the Internet, something that you can use if you want. And also I’ve got a sample of the ice cream cone. So you just need to get a piece of paper for your background.

Because we’re doing fish, I’m thinking to do something underwater that looks kind of cool. Because if you are a fish and you were swimming underwater, wouldn’t you want to be blue or green? So I’m going to start with this. A lot of people like to cut their paper and you can certainly cut it. I just like to tear it, mostly because I’m usually in a hurry and I don’t want to take time to find the scissors.

So what I’m going to do is I’m just going to start making my underwater. I want to start with the green there. So I’m not going to use the part that’s got warm colors on it. This part is a hamburger, I’m not going to use that part. But I am going to use the part that’s really green. I don’t care that it’s got some words on it, that isn’t kind of bother me. When I get done you properly won’t see them much. And it makes it kind of interesting.

You know, what are the things about your artwork? Which I have said over and over again is it can be any way you want it, so it’s your work. If you want to have it with warm colors or cool colors, or any colors you want, you can.

What have I got here? I’ve got some more of this kind of green color right here. I can tear this out. In our last video. We talked about having a piece of paper that you could use to do your gluing on. Just a piece of scrap paper so that you could be sure that you didn’t get glue all over everything.

OK, now we’re still making the background here. I need some more blue. Somewhere green. Maybe I just get a strip down here that hardly has any yellow on it. Little piece for that corner. As you go through and do this, you can just pick out anything you want that you think might look good. And if it sticks out a little bit, we can cut it off later. Or we can just fold it over the back like that, which is fine too.

So we got a nice edge. So we’re going to make a nice little undersea area for our fish. This is a lot of fun. You know everybody likes to paste. Everybody likes to cut and paste. It doesn’t matter how old you are. Cutting and pasting is a lot of fun. And see if I got some more green. Here’s a good green car. Good color for the under the water. And it doesn’t matter if things go over the top of other things. Because when it’s all done, it’s just like our ice cream cone where I just tore stuff out and cut it down, pasted it down, when it was all done, even though the things are kind of strange and they aren’t really the same. They look OK.

Now we’re just getting a little white spot here that I want to cover up, so we’ll just put some glue on this and cover up this white spot right here. There we go. Alright. Find some more blue. There’s a good blue right here. Put that here. Let’s see.  It is kind of going the wrong way, isn’t it?  Idea is we want to get our background all completely covered.  I could just done like the other one, I could just take a piece of something that maybe was like the funny paper, or just a piece of the phone book, or piece actually of any magazine. I  could glue the whole thing down on here and it probably would have been fine.

OK so I got the corner, and we do this. The reason as I said I like to tear the papers just because it’s faster. It’s not better, just faster. I need a little piece right here, so the idea is that we want to cover all the white. So that you don’t see the paper underneath that you just see our collage piece. OK, there we go. Almost all of it. Piece right here in the center that kind of doesn’t have anything in it. Just get a piece of this blue for this center. Is this be big enough? Yeh. OK, so now we’ve got our background done.

Now because we’ve done all these really, really cool colors on the background. I think it would be fun to do a few cool colors, but some warm colors on our fish because after all we want them to really stand out on the background. So. I cut the fish out just because I thought it would be easier to do it and then we can just glue them on, so I’m thinking that because these are really beautiful fish. We wanted to have a lot of beautiful colors.

I had somethings here that has lots of colors on it, so I’m thinking this is going to make it pretty cool looking fish. Well, that worked pretty well. So when you do this at home, If you need some help tearing. or if you need help cutting, you can get some help from people in your family. And then if it sticks out, you can just fold it around the edge, which works just fine. So maybe that’s what we’ll do here. We will fold, Because we don’t want it to look like something other than a fish when we’re making a fish.

OK, so now. We got to have our fin. I want to make sure you get that little fin there.

I think I’m going to have to resort to using the scissors here to get the fin. It is pretty small spot there. So if I’m using something that’s on the background, it’s not going to stand out as much as if I use a color that’s not in the background. OK, so we got that fin. There we got that piece. The thing is that it’s your fish and you can do it just any way you want. It’s a great thing about glue. And pieces out of magazines. And if you didn’t have magazines, you could sure just use colored paper for this. It doesn’t have to be a magazine. I just use these magazines because they came in the mail to me and I thought that would be something that we would all like to use. Especially since they were free, they didn’t cost anything.

So the nice thing about having this shape cut out is it makes it really, really easy. It makes it really easy to fold your edge around it so it’s really easy to get the shape of the fish. If we were just using pieces of paper, it would be a lot more work because we’d have to either cut or tear it to get it to that shape. But because we’re folding it around. This is working pretty slick.

OK, we will use some of this, It looks like a carrot. But once it’s on our fish, nobody will know it was a carrot. OK, so let’s see if we get his little fin down here. Now we need his tail. So we can find a nice bright color for his tail. Maybe we’ll do this. Oh, these are actually goldfish. How funny is that? Perfect thing for a fish tails goldfish. Don’t realize those are goldfish. That was a lucky accident, wasn’t it? That those are goldfish. Everybody likes to paste. I like to paste. Pasting is a fun thing to do. You can hardly do it wrong.

OK, There is our fish. OK. I am going to glue my fish down to my background here. One of the things that that I don’t see on my fish is I don’t see an eye, and I don’t see a mouth that make it look like a real fish. Maybe I’ll just take a crayon, or a marker, and I’ll just draw that in. I really like glue sticks. They work so well. Nice thing about them is, they’re not very messy, messy enough, but not horrible.

So there’s our two fish on here. Now I want to make sure those are stuck down really good. So if I had a piece of wax paper which I have here somewhere. Oh, poor Artie is laying on the floor. Oh my gosh, he has a tough morning. Get up here fella.

OK alright so I’m going to take my piece of wax paper and I’m going to lay it over here and I’m going to push really really hard with my hands, so the glue probably isn’t going to stick to the wax paper, so I’m probably OK to do this. And then if I really wanted to make sure this was glued down, I would take my wax paper, and I would lay it face down like this, and I would probably put a couple of books on it and leave it for an hour or so till I was sure it was glued down. But this looks pretty good.

So now in my pocket I have a magic marker. I’m just going to make a little eye in my fish, and then I’m going to make a little mouth. I don’t know if fish really smile, but mine do. OK, so there is our collage. So we have our collage with our fish, and our collage with our ice cream cone.  and both of the samples are going to be on the the Internet, so you’ll be able to look at them. This is really fun thing you could do, it kind of makes a mess, but it’s an easy mass to clean up. Anytime you can cut and paste, tearing and paste, it’s a good thing. Again we have these samples that we’re going to put on the Internet. These are very simple drawings. Maybe you could do something out of your coloring book, something that you like that’s a nice shape. I used a piece of a funny paper for the background of that one. But you could use a piece of the phone book, just glue it down or a piece of any anything really a whole piece. You wouldn’t have to tear it up like I did, but I think for under the sea that looks pretty good.

And I think I could maybe make some grass, or maybe some other kind of an animal and put in there. It would be very fun and you can just make these as exciting as you want them to be.

So thanks so much for joining me at Golden Road Arts and I hope that you get a glue stick in a couple of magazines and that you make some really great collage. Have a good day, and I’ll see you soon.

Artists along the Golden Road draw energy from the organic sensibility and rustic beauty of the Majestic lands we call home. We extend these gifts to schoolchildren through art education. Golden Road Arts, celebrating art, empowering artists today and tomorrow.

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