Sam's Guide to Collaging

Ok, I know what you might be thinking - collaging is what I did in middle school to cover my notebooks with *NSYNC and disposable camera pictures of my friends, and decorate my bedroom walls from scraps cut out of Seventeen Magazine.  Well, this is the fun, grown-up lady version of that with benefits! SO KEWL!!!  Consider making yours as a 2018 visualization of your hopes and goals!

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Collaging is a great way for me to work with my hands and make something beautiful that is just for me.  It helps me process what is going on underneath the surface of my life, thoughts, and emotions, and discover a new theme of things that I am enjoying or am hoping for.  I love the visual design in magazines and catalogs, so I have fun flipping through and, without any agenda or expectation, see what words and images stick out to me.  

Curating the bits I clip out in a visually satisfying way is super relaxing and totally noncommittal - I enjoy tossing clips out that I like, but just don't fit in with the vibe going on, kind of like cleaning out my wardrobe for the season.  The result becomes a visualization of things that I might not have been able to put into words - my feelings, my hopes, my daydreams, beautiful colors and textures that make me feel present and hopeful.

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First, gather your materials:

  • Magazines and catalogs that have been sitting around for a while
  • scissors
  • stick glue
  • a sturdy blank sheet of paper
  • Music or a show you love going on in the background
  • a fun beverage and some snacks! (or a pet!)

I enjoy sitting on the floor so I can make a mess and spread out as needed.  Plus I tend to think a lot more clearly if I'm sitting on the floor!

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Then, just start flipping through.  Without an agenda or an idea that it has to be "perfect," pay attention to the images or words that stick out to you.  You don't have to love a whole image, maybe just an aspect or part of it.  If you're drawn to something about the page but just can't tell which part, rip the whole thing out and save it for later.  Start clipping as much as you want, and set those clips on the blank paper at random.

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Once you start clipping, you should start to notice a vibe or feel that's coming out.  You might not be able to explain what exactly it is yet, and that's right where you wanna be!  Keep following that trail.  Look for textures (wood, knit, clouds, trees) as well as actions (laughing, gardening, working out), along with words and portraits.

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Once you have more than enough clippings to cover the page, start arranging!  This is the fun part of the process.  Try out a few different arrangements, subbing out clips that don't feel quite right, and moving your favorite ones around a bit.  You'll start to notice some anchoring pieces that you want to go in a specific place, but don't glue just yet.  Once you have a basic idea of placement, take all the clips off that paper and set to the side.

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Start with your anchor points and begin pasting them to the paper.  Remember, you don't have to get it "just right" - just do what feels right as you go!

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Edits happen, so don't be afraid to peel pieces and re-place them as much as you want to.  I choose stick glue because it's easier to peel up, and not as messy!

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Once you're done, put your collage in a place you'll see regularly.  You can washi-tape or thumb-tack it to your wall in your bathroom, bedroom, office, or stick it on your fridge, or you could even put it in a frame (you'll be surprised how much cooler it looks in a frame!)  I switch mine out every season to keep it relevant to my heart at the moment.  

As you start your 2018, think about making a collage to visualize all that you hope for in this year. I'm cheering you on!  Do you like to collage?  I'd love to see yours!  Email me or comment below!

LYLAS!! xoxox

Sam