Tutorial on How to Use Magazine Pages in your collages

I wanted to write a tutorial on how to take magazines pages that you cannot use in your work due to copyright issues and make them usable. Finally, I am sitting down to get this done. It may not be new to some of you, I actually started doing this and wrote it up 5 years ago. There have been lots of people change it up a little and use it, and that is just a-okay with me. I am for finding ways to use what we have on hand. It does use up some of your dye inkpads and your chalk inkpads (or you can substitue regular pigment inkpads also), but you can control how much or how little that you apply.

The first picture is of a regular b/w and a little color magazine page. I did blur it out, it is not your computer. You can also use colored ads, but I didn't because they are too easily distinguishable.

The second picture is the very same magazine page slathered in gesso. You can do the whole page, leave some areas showing (especially if you use an ad that is full color) as long as it will not immediately be recognizable as somebody's ad. By the way, I used a yellow cheap sponge roller to put on the gesso. I usually just use a brush. It gave it a cool texture.

Next, I used an Adirondak latte dye inkpad and just smeared it all over the page. No heavy hand, but just skimmed it across the paper.

Next, after the first dye inkpad dries, you can add as many others as you want. I added a little Espresso by Adirondak and a little Mushroom Adirondak. Be sure to click and see the larger picture, I think this one looks dull. I am not crazy much about my choices of colors on this one.

I pulled out some old sheets that I had done which I will show you at the end. I do think that I do not like the effect that I got with the sponge roller nearly as much as when I applied the gesso with a brush. From now on, I will just be brushing my gesso on.

Once the dye inks that you have applied are dry, time to bring out the Chalk Inkpads (or any pigment inkpads). Chalk inkpads by Clearsnap are hybrids. You can if you want, emboss with them just like straight pigment pads, or not. For this, if you do not have chalk pads, use what you have. I used Chalkpads in Yellow Ochre, Creamy Brown, and then I used another pad at the very last to tone it all down--called VersaMagic in Cloud White. You don't have to use all these pads. If you want, you can use ONE dye inkpad, followed by one Chalk pad. When you are happy, stop.

Next, as you can see above, bring out your rubber stamps and black Stazon inkpads. Stamp all over randomly.

Here are some tiny pieces of other colors that I used and I did want to show you the differece on black magazine pages and also using a brush for the gesso.

Tear up your sheets and use them in your collages. A little piece or a larger piece.

Have Fun


  1. You are one clever lady...thanks for this tutorial :)

  2. Thanks Glenda! this is the kind of article I love to see. I'm still a beginner when it comes to collage, and simple instructions help.
    I have so many magazines, what a great way to reuse some of the pages!

  3. Very Clever!! I like how you prepaint and then tear up...I've been doing it the opposite way and definitely think I need to change it up :) thanks for sharing!

  4. This is awesome, Glenda! I don't have very many stamps at all, and I'm not inspired by those that I do have. Might be time to do a little investing! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Excellent tutorial, Glenda. Thanks so much for sharing. I really appreciate the clear and concise directions, and learning a technique that can be applied over and over again. What a great addition to our "toolbox".

  6. how clever - thanks for sharing

  7. OOO loved this Glenda lord knows how many magazines we have laying around when your a paper artists. Thanks for the lesson I have way to many stamps that having been napping around here that need to come out and play~Rayann