Making Photo Collages

Dana Hinders
Photo collages can be simple or elaborate.

Making photo collages can be a fun way to add a stylish touch to your next scrapbooking project.

Using Photo Collages in Your Scrapbook

There are many different ways to incorporate photo collages into your scrapbook album. Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • A collage title page makes a great way to introduce an album while using up some of the prints that didn't make it into the rest of the book.
  • When you want to get caught up with your scrapbooking in a hurry, make a series of collages for a fun "Year in Review" theme album.
  • If you recently took a long vacation, a layout that includes a photo collage is a great way to show the activities associated with your trip.
  • Children grow up amazingly fast. Illustrate this fact by making a collage of baby photos for your child's scrapbook. Arrange the photos in sequential order so you can "see" how your son or daughter changes as your eye travels across the page.
  • Use index prints to make a tag that's a mini photo collage. This thrifty embellishment works well for almost any type of layout theme.
  • A collage border can be a good accent for a layout that is primarily focused on your scrapbook journaling.
  • If you're having trouble finding patterned paper that fits your needs, make a photo collage background for your layout. Cover the entire collage with journaling printed on white or pastel colored vellum for an elegant and sophisticated look.

Tips for Making Photo Collages

Making photo collages is a fairly easy process if you follow these simple steps:

  1. Choose the images you wish to use for your collage. Do you want your collage to be a collection of random images or photos from a particular event?
  2. If the colors in your photos clash, consider converting the images to sepia tone or black and white for a more uniform look.
  3. Crop images as needed. Since a photo collage often includes overlapping images, a certain amount of background clutter is fine. However, cropping is often a good way to enhance the composition of less than perfect photos.
  4. Collect memorabilia to be used in your collage. Ticket stubs, maps, newspaper clippings, brochures, and other types of memorabilia may be incorporated into your photo collage if you wish.
  5. Choose any supporting embellishments you wish to use in your collage. For example, a sheet of "ABC" patterned paper makes a good accent choice for a collage featuring photos from your daughter's first year of school.
  6. Arrange the items on the page. If you prefer clean and contemporary layouts, keep the elements of your college aligned to a rough geometric grid. For a more whimsical look, however, you can experiment with tilting and overlapping various elements of the collage until you've created a pleasing design.
  7. Starting at the top left hand side of the page, begin gluing down the items in your collage. An acid-free glue stick will work for adhering both photos and patterned paper, but thicker embellishments such as chipboard shapes or ribbon bows may require glue dots or strong double-sided tape.
  8. Wait for the glue to dry completely before adding inserting the finished layout into your page protector.

To learn more about making photo collages, LoveToKnow Scrapbooking recommends the following helpful resources:

A Digital Alternative

If you think the traditional approach to making a collage is too messy and time-consuming, you may want to consider using image editing software designed to help you quickly create digital photo collages. The collages you create with these programs can be added to a digital scrapbook layout or printed onto acid-free photo paper for use with your traditional scrapbook supplies.The following programs offer various options for creating photo collages, as well as a free trial period that will let you see if the software fits your needs before you commit to a purchase:

Making Photo Collages