Torn Paper Collage for Beginners


Paper collages are simple for beginners to make because they don't involve a lot of tools and supplies. Collages can be made from construction paper, newspaper, tissue paper, scrapbook paper or any other type of paper. Use glue to affix the paper. You can make any type of picture; there's no real way to mess it up.


  • Use whatever paper you have to begin your collage. Tissue paper comes in many vibrant colors and makes for an inexpensive collage. Cut magazine pictures are also a cheap medium. Scrapbook paper comes in many different styles and designs. It's a good paper to use when making a themed collage because you can find many different sports papers, child-like designs or specific colors. If you're making a collage for an office or study, consider making the collage from newspaper or handwritten letters. Any type of paper is fair game when making a collage.

Cutting vs. Tearing

  • To get your paper into small, manageable pieces, you can either tear it into small pieces with your fingers or cut it into specific shapes with scissors. Tearing is easier and gets a rougher look to the edges. If you're layering the paper on top of each other, the torn edges blend in easier with each other. Scissors make for more precise shapes and sizes of paper. They can come in handy when you need a certain piece to finish your picture. Use scissors with scalloped edges to get a different look to the paper edge.

Background Paper

  • Your collage must go on a background paper. If you're making a very special collage, buy a painter's canvas for your background. If you're doing a basic collage, go with plain paper or construction paper. If your collage medium is tissue paper, the background paper is very important, as it will show through a little bit. A dark paper will make the tissue paper look dark; a white one will make the tissue paper brighter.

Gluing the Paper

  • White glue can be used to affix the paper to the background. Smooth your paper so it doesn't get wrinkled -- unless that's the look you're going for. Spread glue on small sections of your background paper, then place your collage paper on top. Layer several pieces of collage paper on top of each other for a 3D look. Don't get too much glue on the collage, or it will start to get messy. The colors on your paper may run as well.

Finishing the Collage

  • Once your collage is complete and dry, protect it from normal wear and tear. Spread a thin layer of Mod Podge over the top of the collage. Once dry, it provides a clear, protective coat over the collage. Hang the collage on the wall or place it on a table to be viewed and admired.

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