How to create a collage in vintage style?

Not necessarily be able to draw well to decorate the house with original and beautiful paintings. Little imagination, good taste and scrap materials, and now in front of you is a unique architectural collage that is perfect for the style and color of the interior. Collage technique not only allows you to show maximum creative freedom, but also retain fond memories of memorable events, travel and people.

To create a collage in vintage style you do not need expensive materials or special skills. Objects around you will serve as an excellent source of inspiration. Old postcards and photos, beads, ribbons, clippings from newspapers and magazines, paint, dried flowers, lace and shells… Everything vould be useful. In addition, each collage – absolutely unique product that can not be repeated.

There are two basic approaches to creating compositions in this technique. You can build on existing materials on hand, and you can proceed from the theme and style you want to create.
Let’s look at the basic techniques that can be useful to create a collage in retro style, characterized by the use of vintage or artificially aged materials and objects, and well into the interior style of Provence, country, rustic or classic.

Basic rules for creating collages:

  • Collage – it is not scattered pile of items. The basis of any successful collage is designed, harmonious composition
  • You need to decide on the main theme and the main way of the composition. Usually it is located in the center, but even if you move it to one corner of the work, the focus should still be focused precisely on the primary
  • Pay attention to the color scheme, it will help highlight the central image. Choosing a color scheme collage, it makes sense to refer to the color wheel, which is used by most designers
  • Colors may be monochrome, that is based on close to each other shades or bright and contrast. In any case, try to confine 2-3 basic colors to look harmonious composition
  • Do not be afraid to use the unexpected and bulky items, because the collage does not have to be flat
  • Use symbols, signs, quotations and allegories, it will deliver a great richness and depth of the work
  • If in doubt about their abilities, make a preliminary sketch on paper collage, preferably in color
  • Move the items on the composition, selecting the most spectacular of their location. If possible, take pictures of the most successful version, then focus on it

List of materials for collage always is conditional. You can replace some of the options the ones that have at hand, however, the recommendations on the selection of bases, glue and other technical issues should be taken carefully.


  • primed canvas as a basis
  • acrylic or gouache paints for painting
  • colored paper, old books and sheet music, wallpaper, wrapping paper for decoration
  • postcards, photos, stickers or magazine clippings
  • tapes, ribbons, beads, buttons
  • cutting fabric, thread
  • natural material twigs, shells, dried flowers


  • sharp scissors
  • stationery knife
  • Glue-All for sticking background
  • Hot glue gun or special reliable type of glue to joining heavy workpieces
  • self-healing mat cutting, protect the surface from damage or become an analogue
  • special mascara with the effect of aging and a sponge
  • pastel crayons or colored pencils
  • brush for paints and glue

Past is an inexhaustible source of inspiration in the work on the collage. You can artistically old family photos or old postcards. Create a collage of volume or compose of the findings discovered at the nearest flea market or a grandmother’s chest.

Getting started with the selection of the background, theme and suitable materials. I recommend using as a basis primed canvas, preferably on a stretcher. Canvas is convenient to paint colors or decorated paper, besides, it looks good, if it hung on the wall in ramie or without.

That the work was more dynamic composition can be asymmetrical. For example, I used a variant of the diagonal composition with a focus in the center.

For vintage collage, of course, it is better to use the old, yellowed paper, old postcards and photos, clippings from old magazines.
Old notes, cards and posters can also be a source of inspiration.
For this work I used an antique postcard of the early twentieth century with the image of a girl sitting in a boat. The theme was inspired by the pond brownish-green color scheme and decor in the form of various plant motifs

Of course, you probably will use other materials, it is just an example of how the decor and color scheme can support the main theme of the composition to be directly related with it.

If you do not have the fear of materials, paper can wear out artificially, for example by printing liked old image on the printer and give it a consequence of shabby appearance.

Methods of artificial aging of paper

• brew black tea and pour it into a bowl or a small saucepan. Put it in the paper. The longer the paper is stored in the case, the darker it becomes

• Take an ordinary tea bag and just rub them paper

Background of collage can completely seal the selected decorative paper, and can be colored by paints. For work, I recommend using acrylic paints. They are sold separately jars and tubes, have a rich and lasting color and fit well on the canvas. Convenient to apply them wide and flat brush made of synthetic fibers, virtually without wetting and mixing with water, if necessary, on a palette.

Apply the paint should be smooth, opaque layer, if necessary, adding to the main color, the desired additional shades. Once the canvas is completely covered with paint, it is necessary to give it to dry completely.

Easy Photo on a colored background looks boring and not expressive, if you add to it the elements of the application papers will surely get much more interesting. Begin to pick up the paper.

In stores with goods for scrapbooking techniques, you’ll surely find a lot of interesting options paper with various patterns, which can be useful in their work.

At first nothing stick is not necessary. Apply a variety of elements and look to how they interact with each other. When the location of the major components identified, photograph it, or schedule a neat pencil edge details. The largest part (notes in my case) can be glued using Glue-All. The adhesive is applied evenly with a thin layer, glue paper by gently smoothing it from the center to the edges to avoid bubbles and wrinkles.

Бумага для фона не может быть резаным только ножницами, но и может быть тщательно развернулся, оставив нарочито грубой края. Кроме того, антикварная бумага может быть немного раздавить, он будет также подчеркнуть влияние времени. Это простые, но очень характерные детали старинных композиции.

Feel free to experiment with the materials in this case, it is clear that the old, tattered notes quite organically combined with new stickers. Elements of textiles, also fit well with the vintage style, especially if you use already yellowed fine lace or braid (similarly, you can soak in the case of new material).

Note the interesting effect of the use of special brown ink, designed to underscore the illusion of aging. Using a soft foam sponge they can be a bit of an edge to the song or highlight some accents. Acquire such ink can be in the shops with goods for scrapbooking.

A similar effect can be achieved, crumbled chalk pastel shades of brown crumbs and gently brush or soft cloth.

Collage is usually multi-layered composition. In this photo you can see how work is continuing in different layers. Once the background was painted and pasted notes to create a diagonal composition, and can move on to the finer details – have elements of applications and stickers, corners toned canvas. I decided to highlight the central image, therefore stressed the edges tinted.

For vintage style rather characterized by the use of old beads, copper parts, worn buttons etc. Since my collage also operates natural subjects, the volume of natural elements will also be a great addition for it. Even those found on the shore of the sea and peeled pieces of glass found its place!

To twigs, copper stripes or other heavy items, well kept on the basis, they should stick with silicone glue gun or transparent reliable adhesive.

Details collage should be interesting to examine up close, but it is important not to overload the composition to the main emphasis is easy to read. Periodically move away for a short distance to the part to evaluate your composition.

When the collage is ready, it can be placed in a frame or hang on the wall in its original form.