An artistic composition of fragments (as of printed matter) pasted on a picture surface.

step 1

For the focal point, choose 1 or 2 main images.  The whole image does not have to fit onto the page; you can choose an interesting part to include. More papers, textures, and drawings will be added.

step 2

Look through the assortment of materials and cut or tear out pictures, elements and shapes that connect or “go” with the main image.  Notice the colors, textures, and designs of your elements.

step 3

Create a background by laying down large areas of color with materials—like paper, fabric, newspaper, or an abstract image.  It’s possible that not much background shows when you are done layering adds extra dimension.

step 4

Experiment with placing the main images.  (Slightly off-center can make compositions more interesting.) Try tearing edges or cutting very closely to the image outlines or having images interact.

step 5

Compose the elements by arranging the pieces on your cover in a design you like. Experiment with several variations. Add, subtract, layer, tear, and cut your elements until satisfied with your composition.

step 6

Glue down complete collage set up. Apply glue to the back of each element (one at a time from background to foreground) and position on paper.  Press down and smooth out bubbles. Immediately wipe off excess glue with a damp paper towel or it will leave shiny spots. Repeat until all pieces are glued down.  Trim elements that hang over the edge of the background paper.


Story Boarding, Collage, and Accordion Fold Book activities can be combined to explore themes of narrative, progression, movement, and perspectives through extended visual arts activities.

Art Making

Variety of papers, xeroxes, fabric, newspaper or magazines
White or clear glue, Modge Podge, or glue stick
Adhering surface (paper, mat board, card stock, etc.)
Paper towels + water