Blog Post

Collaging with Kelsey


Kelsey Griest is a teaching artist working at the Ewing School in Marietta, Ohio. This lesson is easy to do with materials around the house and has the potential to keep students (and grown-ups) busy for hours.

Kelsey wearing a black turtleneck with rainbow stripes, blue bib-overalls, with a butterfly pin on the pocket of the overalls.
Kelsey Griest, Teaching Artist

How to make a multi-media collage using supplies from home!

What you will need:



Photos, Magazines or Newspaper

Paint or Permanent Markers

Miscellaneous art materials 

Construction Paper or any thick paper, but normal printer paper can do too

Step 1: Collect a bunch of random materials! Find things like old magazines or newspapers, family photos (that you don’t mind cutting and pasting), markers, paints, ribbon, tissue paper, glitter glue, googly eyes. Basically, I suggest you tear through any craft bin you may have at home, the more options the better. 

Art supplies including magazines, paint, stickers, pens, glue, gems, google eyes, post it notes, yarn spread out on a hard wood floor.
Here is a picture of some of the supplies I found around my own house!

Step 2: Once all your materials are collected it’s time to start putting together a picture. Start with creating a picture from the photos and magazine and/or newspaper cut-outs. Let your imagination run wild with it. You can cut out letters to make new words or put no words at all and only use pictures. You can also cut funny shapes out of the materials, and that could be your picture. You shouldn’t have to feel limited by what you find! 

collage of Black man with a gold crown, hand, mushroom, saturn, and postcard of a painting
Collage of mechanical black hand holding a cartoon of a woman sitting. Both are on a red background surrounded by words cut from a magazine that say this planet is greater with art and music
These are a few ways you can go about collaging, get creative!

Step 3: Paste your picture onto a piece of paper using a glue stick or squeeze glue. Construction paper is preferred because it will be sturdier. Don’t fret if you do not have thick paper! Any type of paper will work! Give your piece some time to dry (typically about 10-15 minutes). You can start brainstorming what colors of markers or paint you would like to add while your piece dries. If you’re using paint: start mixing some colors!

collage with Black man in a crown, yellow mushroom, hand, art museum postcard now with purple and pink acrylic paint swirls added
This one is made with acrylic paint.
collage on pages of text with a tree, whale, owl, elephant, and garbage truck cartoon with a black bear with the words Animal Friends cut out in magazine letters across the top.
Try different styles.

Step 4: Once your piece is all dry, it’s time to add another picture over top your original one. You can paint or draw anything you’d like, such as lines, squiggles, people or animals; it doesn’t have to make sense. Like the second step, just let your imagination run free. If you’re using paint, make sure to allow some more time to dry once you’re done with this step before moving on the next one!

Step 5: Now it is time for the really fun part. Using all of the random craft materials you found, create another picture on top of the last one! You can use ribbon or yarn to make shapes or lines. You could make tissue paper flowers or tear off pieces of tissue paper and paste them. My favorite idea is to put googly eyes on everything; words, people, objects, you name it! If you have materials that I didn’t mention, that’s okay too, get creative with ways to add them in!  You can use the materials to make your artwork 3D like it is popping off the page or keep it 2D if you prefer!

collage of Black man with a crown now with glitter, sequins, and some google eyes added across the collage
Materials used: Yarn, Google Eyes, Sequins, Plastic Butterfly, Glitter Glue

Step 6: Once you feel like step 5 is done to your liking, you are all done! Make sure to show your family and friends and ask them to hang up your masterpiece on a fridge or wall where everyone can see it. You deserve credit for all your hard work! 

Animal Friends collage now with acrylic paint added and google eyes
Materials used: Glitter Glue, Sequins, Google Eyes
Mechanical hand collage with glitter and gems added
Materials Used: Sequins, Glitter Glue