Essential Tools and Materials for Collage Art

Collage art supplies including scissors, Mod Podge, brushes, and printable kits


Collage art is a fun and creative way to make art by gluing different materials like magazines, colored paper, and photos onto one surface to create a unique design. The word ‘collage’ originates from the French word ‘coller,’ meaning ‘to glue,’ emphasizing the process of gluing different elements together . This method lets artists play with various textures, colors, and patterns in exciting ways. Whether you’re an experienced artist or a beginner to collage art, having the right tools and materials can make a big difference. In this post, we’ll talk about the essential tools and supplies you need for collage art, and also the specific items you’ll need for our printable collage art paper samplers and kits

At My Collage Art Studio, we’ve created every design for the printable papers and templates in our kits, making it easy for you to create beautiful, harmonious pieces. 

Let’s get started with everything you need to dive into the world of collage art and mixed media!

Materials and Equipment for Printable Collage Papers and Kits

Printer, paper, and printable designs for collage art projects

For those using our special collage art samplers and kits, these tools will help you get the most out of your printable materials:

  • Printable Files: Access and download the printable designs from our Collage Art Samplers and Kits to get started.
  • White Copy (Printer) Paper: We recommend using 28-32 pound white copy paper for best results. This paper weight provides a sturdy surface that handles printing and cutting well, making it perfect for your collage projects.
  • Printer: Use a good quality printer, preferably one with refillable tanks, to print your collage papers. This allows for vibrant colors and repeated use without the fear of running out of ink quickly.

Essential Collage Supplies, Tools and Setup

To get started with collage art, you’ll need a basic setup that includes the following essential tools and materials:

Different types of scissors for collage art

1. Scissors of Various Sizes

First up, let’s talk scissors. You’re going to want a few different types to tackle all those intricate cuts and big snips:

  • Small Detail Scissors: Perfect for those tiny, detailed shapes.
  • 8-inch General-Purpose Scissors: Your everyday go-to for most cutting tasks.

2. Mod Podge

Mod Podge is a versatile adhesive that serves multiple purposes in collage art. It not only glues down your pieces but also adds a protective layer when applied to the top of the collage. This protective layer brings out the brilliance of the inks from your printer, making your colors more vibrant. When you apply Mod Podge to the top and let it dry, you can add doodles and designs with acrylic paints and markers. If you make a mistake, these additions can be easily washed off, allowing you to experiment freely and perfect your artwork.

Brushes for applying Mod Podge

3. Brushes for Mod Podge

You’ll need a few different brushes to apply Mod Podge smoothly:

  • Flat Brushes: Great for covering larger areas.
  • Small Detail Brushes: Perfect for applying Mod Podge to small pieces of collage paper, ensuring that every bit is securely adhered.
Different types of scissors for collage art

4. Substrates

Now, let’s talk about substrates. Your substrate is the canvas for your collage – the surface where all the magic happens. Here are some great options:

  • Copy Paper: Awesome for practice pieces.
  • Card Stock: A bit sturdier, perfect for greeting cards.
  • Chipboard: Thick and durable, often made from recycled materials like cereal boxes.
  • Cardboard: Strong and eco-friendly, ideal for larger projects.
  • Canvas Panels: Professional look and feel, great for pieces you want to sell.
  • Stretched Canvas: Durable and flexible, awesome for large-scale pieces.
  • Wood Panels: Super durable and perfect for high-quality art.

For more on these substrates, check out our Guide to Choosing the Right Substrate for Your Collage Art.

Wet and dry cloths for clean collaging workspace

5. Wet and Dry Cloths

A wet cloth is essential for keeping your hands and workspace clean. It stops glue from getting everywhere and keeps your collage looking neat. You’ll also need a dry cloth. Keeping your hands clean and dry prevents dirty spots on your collage and reduces the risk of pulling up pieces if your hands are wet or sticky. Trust us, it makes a big difference!

Partially rolled silicone mat for a cleanable workspace in collage art

6. Easily Cleanable Workspace

Creating a comfortable and efficient workspace is crucial for your collage art. Use a plastic tablecloth, craft mat, or smooth contact paper to protect your table from glue and paint. This makes cleanup quick and easy, so you can spend more time creating and less time worrying about the mess.

Additional Collaging Supplies and Tools for Precision

Precision tools and supplies for collage art, including a ruler, tweezers, X-Acto knife, self-healing mat, and paper trimmer

These additional tools can help refine your collage art process and add more precision to your work:

  • Ruler: Useful for measuring and creating straight lines.
  • Tweezers: Fantastic for handling those tiny, delicate pieces. They give you the precision and control to place every little bit exactly where you want it.
  • Tools for Pressing Paper Down: To make sure your paper sticks perfectly and to avoid those annoying bubbles, you’ll need a good tool for pressing down the paper. The least expensive option is an old credit card. It’s handy for smoothing out paper and removing air bubbles. If you want to explore other tools, a rubber brayer or a silicone catalyst wedge are also great options for ensuring a strong bond to the substrate.
  • X-Acto Knife and Self-Healing Mat: For those super detailed cuts, an X-Acto knife is a must-have. It lets you cut fine lines and intricate shapes that scissors just can’t handle. Plus, it makes you feel like a true artist!
  • Paper Trimmer: A paper trimmer is a game-changer! It’s your best friend when you need straight, clean cuts. No more wobbly edges or endless frustration trying to cut a straight line.

Additional Collaging Supplies for Details

Stencils, stamps, acrylic paint, and acrylic pens for adding details to collage art

These supplies can add extra details and enhance your collage art, allowing for more creativity and personalization:

  • Acrylic Paint: Use acrylic paint to add bold colors, textures, and layers to your collage. It’s perfect for creating backgrounds, adding accents, or covering larger areas with a solid color.
  • Stencils, stamps, and textured items: Great for adding layered patterns and shapes to your collage. They make it easy to achieve intricate designs and repeatable motifs, adding depth and interest to your artwork.
  • Acrylic Paint Pens: Ideal for adding fine details, doodles, and intricate designs. They offer the control of a pen with the vibrant color of acrylic paint. As long as your collage has a dry coat of Mod Podge,  they can be easily washed off if you make a mistake, allowing for endless experimentation.


And there you have it! With these essential tools and materials, you’re all set to create stunning collage art. Whether you’re just playing around or creating a masterpiece for sale, having the right stuff makes all the difference.

So gather your supplies, unleash your creativity, and let the art-making begin!

Happy collaging!


Stunning Peacock Collage Art designed with printable collage papers, featuring an array of vibrant and intricate patterns.
Colorful Frog Collage Art created with printable collage papers, featuring a mix of orange, yellow-orange, yellow, green-yellow, and green patterns.
Charming Cat Collage Art made using printable collage papers, featuring a mix of intricate and colorful patterns.
Creative Giraffe Collage Art crafted with printable collage papers, showcasing detailed and colorful designs.