10 Must-Have Materials for Collaging

Want to start collaging but not sure how to? Handmade Collage gives you tips, tricks, and inspiration, including this list of the 10 must-have materials for collaging.

Portrait collage, Handmade Collage

It’s important to work with tools and materials that you feel confident and comfortable with, to experiment with different types, and to work out what best suits your style. Below are various implements that Seiko uses to achieve her final artworks.


You can use various types of scissors—Seiko’s favorite is a small pair of curved nail scissors, which give a more precise cut.

Hands collage, Handmade Collage


For more intricate areas, it is sometimes easier to use a scalpel, which has a finer, more pointed blade than a pair of scissors. To cut larger areas and remove the elements pages from the book, you may find it easier to use something more substantial like a utility knife.


For picking up and placing elements, it can be easier to use a pair of tweezers with a slanted or angled edge; however, you may want to experiment with a straight edge, too.

Butterfly collage, Handmade Collage

Glue Stick

You may wish to try out a few types of glue to see what works best on the paper you’re using. Seiko works with a popular brand of glue stick and, when she is working with really small, delicate elements, sometimes just dabs the blade of the scalpel into the glue. This ensures only a fine amount of glue is used and that it is applied nice and smoothly.

Background Paper/Cardstock

You can create and stick your collage onto whatever surface or background you wish. You may want to create the collage on a plain piece of paper or cardstock first and then affix or mount it on thicker cardstock or a different colored background when it is finished—choose whatever best suits your design.

Collage space, Handmade Collage

Storage Boxes/Containers/Trays

It can be really helpful to store your found elements in trays, drawers, little vintage tins, or anything else you may have around the house. It is also useful to group elements in the tins or drawers by theme. This will help to keep them safe and organized.

Cutting Mat

You will need a good-quality cutting mat or piece of hardboard to work and cut on. The mat or board should be firm enough to withstand the blade of a scalpel.

Vintage Illustrated Reference Books

Vintage books offer a wealth of unique royaltyfree images that you can use to help take your collage to the next level. It is worth checking the paper before cutting, however, as it is often very delicate.

Sticky Tack

Seiko uses reusable sticky tack when mapping out a collage. This helps to keep all the elements in place, gives her freedom to move pieces around, and also to adjust the collage before affixing for the final artwork. When you have decided on the final arrangement for your collage, you may wish to stick the elements down with a more permanent adhesive.

Desk Easel

Cleverly designed and a helpful tool for artists, desk easels enable you to create a workspace from just about any area.

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Handmade CollageGet to know the simple and therapeutic pleasures of cutting and assembling beautiful, harmonious images into your own, unique collage.

Author and artist Seiko Kato has drawn up 15 unique collage creations for Handmade Collage with Seiko Kato, and with this vast collection of nearly 500 images to browse, cut out, and create with, you too will design and assemble your very own pieces of art.

Getting started is simple. All you need is a stick of glue, some paper or a card, a small pair of scissors (plus Seiko’s inspirational ideas) and this array of evocative images, ready for you to cut out.

Designs include:
Tropical Utopia
Butterfly Paradise
Esther’s Exotic Garden
Priscilla of the Sea
Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo
Crystal Kingdom
Magical Menagerie
Mouse’s Mushroom Forest