Get Creative With Collages

Collages are another easy art therapy idea to implement. If for some reason you’re not familiar with collages or you need a quick refresher on some different types of collages, here’s a little explanation as to what they are.

The term collage originates from the French word coller, which means “to glue.” The collage is a form of the visual arts and is created by gathering many different pieces or chunks of things. After you’ve gathered a variety of pieces you can then assemble the pieces into one, collective piece of art. This usually achieved by placing the individual pieces and gluing them onto a canvas or piece of paper, for instance, essentially creating a unique piece of artwork.

Some examples of things you can include in a collage:

  1. Pictures or photographs
  2. Bits of newspaper
  3. Ribbons and/or bows
  4. Other pieces of paper – can be different colors for example
  5. Pictures or images from magazines
  6. Pieces of other artwork
  7. Old clothing or fabric
  8. Comics
  9. Food labels
  10. And many more!

There are endless ways to create a collage. You can pretty much create a collage from anything. You’re only limited by your imagination and, well, I guess the availability of the pieces you need.

Collages of a certain type can include the following:

  1. Paper collage – One of the more basic forms of collage. Various pieces of paper gathered and put together to create a unique collage strictly from paper products.
  2. Photomontage – whether done by hand or with the help of a computer, a photomontage is a collage of pictures or photos.
  3. Painting collage – Gluing pieces to a canvas and then painting over and/or around those pieces on the canvas, thus creating an original and unique painting.
  4. Collage & architecture – Less about the technique, more about the concept of infusing different ideas into architectural design…probably not as much use in an art therapy sense as some of the others.
  5. Wood collage – Create from pieces of wood, whether it be from scraps, old furniture, crates, barrels, house parts, driftwood, branches, sticks, bark, etc.
  6. Digital collage – Using a computer to gather the visual pieces and put them together.

As you can see, one of the great things about collage as an art therapy idea is there’s really no barrier to begin. The ideas and activities for creating this type of art are only limited by your imagination.

I’ll add some different types of art therapy activities based on this art therapy idea in the near future. Here are some activities┬áto get you started:

Jungle Animal Collage
Any Animal Collage Art


  1. says

    What a wonderful way for self expression, especially for those who have no inherent artistic ability. This is a wonderful way to stay focused and creative. Thank you.

  2. Shannon Miller says

    I am just trying to find as much material as possible to help the children within the program in which I work that deal with drug problems,anger problems,and various other difficulties that will give them an outlet to express themselves and what better way to be expressive,”Art”.

  3. Sarah Atkinson says

    Hi there,
    I am a registered dance/movement therapist and looking for art therapy ideas for a group I am putting together for some aboriginal communities. Topics related to parenting issues and addiction.

  4. casandra says

    I am so excited after reading about your ideas! I am a retired special ed teacher, hoping to develop a program to address issues relating to self expression. Thank you.

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