Make: Magazine Collage Patterns

I've always been a bit intimidated by collage - great collages are really great, but not-so-great ones are more like visual clutter.

Wanting the final product to be something that I wasn't embarrassed by has always stopped me in my tracks when it came to trying collage... but part of my year long doodle challenge is trying different mediums and learning not to be afraid of art... so I took a deep breath and convinced myself it was time to try.

I love seeing collage pieces that cleverly use vintage images... but I don't love sourcing materials before I know if it's something I like doing. Test then invest, if you will. So, I decided that the best place to start was with what I already had - magazines... a bit of a mine field though if you're trying to avoid the crafty dream board look. But then I had a bit of a revelation...

As I flipped through magazines looking for inspiration or a starting point, it hit me...

Don't look AT the pictures. Look IN them - for interesting patterns, textures and colour combinations. Suddenly I had a starting point I could work with and went through ripping out interesting bits and pieces to play with.

But what to do with all these magazine pages? My conclusion - build patterns!

Susan (a fab artist I follow on Instagram) suggested sticking with a limited palette... so that's just what I did. Picking a narrow range of colours and then cutting them into small pieces.

Whenever I work with a repeating pattern, I like to first create a template out of card stock or cardboard and then use it to cut all the pattern pieces. I cut heaps of shapes - I find it easier to start with too many than to wind up scrambling to find more or using pieces which are just okay at the end.

Next, I arranged the pieces into the desired pattern and, once satisfied with the combinations. started sticking. This was not my favourite part and had me proclaiming that I was sticking with tape - no sticky fingers - but I'm a sucker for a pretty pattern, so went back for more!

Pink, coral, red and orange herringbone pattern.

Blue scallop pattern with a touch of hot pink. My favourite!

And diamond pattern in neutral shades.

All in all, I loved this first toe dip into the deep pool of potential that is collage. Will I be back for more? Maybe! I feel like this is a nice starting point - and I really am smitten with the blue scallop pattern.

Are you a collage lover? Any tips for me? 
Is this something you would try in your own sketchbook / art journal?


  1. Wow...I am so loving these patterns you've created. Each one is gorgeous. Each one has very interesting pieces in it. I want to try this as I have tons of magazine pages I've pulled out and have wanted to create something with them. For years I created birthday cards for friends with my magazine clippings. I can't wait to try what you've done here.

  2. Wooow! I love making these my self, but was getting tired of the good og triangle.. Your post here gave me the inspo I needed! They are so good, Im really fond of the blue one as well, great job :) x

  3. Hermosas Ideas!! Muchas Gracias :)

  4. I love your patterns. The scalloped and neutrals are my favs. I love collating and I like to create a story with it or collage miss matched "parts" to create animals that look similar to people. I will definitely try a patterns collage in my journal.

  5. Beautiful! Hoping to make new covers to re-purpose piles of unused booklet pages. Keen to reuse yet want to make pretty first!

  6. Had seen some collage at exhibitions that were almost photographic with tiny pieces - amazing. Do you use a punch for the shapes? I think I will try that myself. I had my share of collage failures but some good work too. You are really onto something and there is a vibrant and lively quality to what you have shared with us.