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C R E A T E: Landscape Book Collages

November 13, 2017 | By Annie Rogers

At Arts For Life, we love collage lessons because collage is such an approachable medium. Unlike painting or drawing or sculpture, which are often daunting for young artists, collage requires no special skills or materials. Even the youngest artists at our tables know what to do with a glue stick and some paper!
This lesson is a little more complicated than what we might offer a young student, but many of the concepts and skills are the same. And! We’re not using just paper — but paper ripped directly from old books! (An art lesson is always cooler when you get to start it off by doing something taboo;))  If you don’t have books on your shelf that you’d like to get rid of breathe new life into, you can always find used books for sale at your local library or thrift store. Newspapers also work in a pinch.

Time Frame: 30-60 min+

Age: 2+VirginaT_17_paintingpaper_WS2017


  • To learn about elements of composition and design through the medium of collage.
  • To practice skills relating to collage including cutting, tearing, arranging, and gluing with precision.
  • To promote the re-purposing of materials we would usually throw away or recycle.


  • Old books or textbooks, newspaperVirginaT_17_cutting_WS2017
  • Watercolor paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • White or colored cardstock
  • Black Fine Tip Pen
  • Scrap Paper + Pencil (optional)


  1. Tear 5 – 7 pages from an old book or newspaper (1 -2 sheets.)VirginaT_17_tearingpaper2_WS2017
  2. Think about different landscapes.  Would you like to create a seascape (does it include a boat, lighthouse, birds, waves, island, etc), countryside (rolling hills, barn, cows, horses, trees, etc), or a landscape of your neighborhood or favorite place?  You could also create an underwater scene or sky scene. Sketch your landscape, if desired, on your scrap paper.
  3. Think about the colors you will need to create your picture.  Paint your book pages, filling them with color.
  4. Once your pages are dry, begin cutting out the shapes you will need to create your landscape
  5. Arrange your shapes on the cardstock. When you are happy with your composition, glue your shapes down using a glue stick.
  6. To add a finishing touch, trace around the edges of each shape with a black fine tip pen.


    Virginia, age 17, with her finished collage, Bee and Lady Bug.