make your own collage sheets
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Today I’m super excited to share my solution for how I finally organized all of my words + phrases cut out from magazines by making my own collage sheets and a tutorial for how you can make your own!

make your own collage sheets

In this post I’ll share the supplies you need to get started and some tips for making your own sheets where you can easily see all of your words and use them any time you want in your art journals, junk journals and more!

Here’s an example of what we’re making in this post!

collage sheet example

See how you can SEE all the words in one place? It’s so nice to know exactly what words and phrases I have cut out!

For a very long time, I simply cut out my words and threw them in an Iris Photo Case. It worked great, until the Iris Photo case got so full I needed a bigger container – so I put them in a pencil case.

And that worked fine for actually holding them – but to be able to see what I have and easily find specific things? Not so much. It looked like a giant jumbled mess:

word scraps
This is a LOT of cut out words and phrases!

I needed a way to see all of the words at once, without it being complicated to actually use them when I want to put them on a journal page.

I thought it would be nice to keep them all in a binder, but I couldn’t quite figure out HOW to keep them in a binder. I definitely didn’t have the patience to put each and every word in its own pocket on binder pocket pages!

But then…I had an idea, and I tested it, and it worked!!! And so that is what I’m going to share with you in this post!

In this tutorial I will walk you through exactly how to make your own collage sheets for magazine word cut outs and clippings.

I am planning on only using these for words – but this would work for any kind of paper cut-outs you want to use, especially small stuff!

collage sheet example1

How to Make Your Own Collage Sheets

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

To make these collage sheets, you only need a few things.

Three Ring Binder: You can use any sort of 3 ring binder – I like the 1 inch binders and of course they come in all kinds of designs and styles. You can find them pretty much anywhere, even the dollar store!

Transparency Film Sheets: The transparency film sheets I used in the video are no longer available, but any kind of transparency film that is typically used for overhead projectors will work just fine.

You can find these at most office supply stores or of course you can purchase them online, like these Apollo Transparency Film sheets. Also keep your eye out for them at thrift stores – that’s where I bought mine!

Of course, if you don’t want to use the film sheets you could always use just regular paper, which would make it easy to cut them out + glue into other projects – you could even stick them onto sticker paper!

Heavy Duty Hole Puncher or Crop-o-dile: I used this heavy duty hole puncher by Office Mate to cut holes into the transparency film sheets. You can also use a Crop-o-Dile punch which can go through plastic.

heavy duty hole punch
This is the hole punch I bought that can punch through transparency sheets no problem!

Blank sheet of paper: Totally optional, but I find it helpful to have a blank sheet of paper underneath the transparency film so you can see it better. You can use any kind or color of paper – I just used basic card stock.

Your magazine word clippings: I had a huge pencil box case of magazine word clippings.

Cheap WASHABLE Glue Sticks: This is VERY important – if you are using transparency sheets you want CHEAP, washable glue sticks that don’t stick very well.

Do NOT use your archival quality scrapbooking or permanent glue sticks for the transparency pages unless you are making these with paper or sticker sheets to cut out later. Using something like these inexpensive Elmer’s Washable Purple glue sticks works well. Generic and store brand glue sticks that are washable would probably also work great too.

Now that we have all our supplies gathered, we’re ready to start organizing and making the collage sheets!

Step 2: Decide How to Organize Each Sheet

Before you start gluing everything at random, it’s a good idea to think about how you will use your magazine word cut-outs and whether you want to organize them by theme or design.

As I’ve said in my blog post about organizing paper ephemera, I don’t really put things in too specific of categories but there are all kinds of different ways you can categorize and classify your word clippings.

Some ideas for ways you might want to organize:

By Color – For example, all text on a blue background on one sheet, all text with a red background on another sheet.

By Theme: I decided to organize my word clippings by theme for a few specific projects. For example, I put all of my holiday words in one pile, because I only use holiday stuff seasonally. I also made some piles for specific journal projects I plan to make in the next few months: A garden themed journal, a recipe/cooking themed journal, etc.

Totally Random: Most of words I decided to just put on each sheet totally at random. I like this method because you can just browse through the sheets and maybe see something that would work well for a page. It’s also super inspiring if you ever need a journal prompt!

What you decide is totally up to you and what works for the type of art journal pages you like to make!

It is generally a good idea to sort stuff before you sort gluing it all down, but of course you can also sort + glue as you go.

Step 3: Making the Collage Sheets

finally collage sheet example

Now that we have a plan on what we’re going to glue down to each sheet, we’re ready for the fun part of making them!

The first thing to do is take your glue stick and dab on a VERY light, small amount of glue. 1-2 dots is all you need. The less glue the better!

Next, lightly stick your paper to the sheet where you glued it down. Don’t worry about it sticking permanently – you don’t want that! You want the things you glue to the transparency sheet to be able to easily come off later!

Keep gluing down different words and phrases until the page is filled. Don’t worry about all of the different things you glue down being in the same direction – you can always flip them perpendicularly and glue them in sideways if you have more space for them that way.

Step 4: How to Use and Enjoy

After you’ve made a couple of sheets, put them in a binder to keep them easily within reach and ready to use!

Before you try to lift off any of the words on the transparency film, you’ll want to give it some time for the glue to dry and start to basically stop working as glue. {Sad but true: Washable glue sticks don’t last that long!}

I’ve found if you wait at least 4 hours, maybe even 24 hours, it’s WAY easier to remove the different cut out words.

When you are ready to use a word, simply press on it and lift gently off the page. Now you can use the permanent glue to stick it any of your art journal or junk journal pages!

Update 11/2022 : I’m happy to say these sheets are still working great, but I’ve found some types of paper, such as very thin newsprint or other thin papers don’t always come up easily – hitting them with your heat gun from about 12 inches away (we don’t want to melt the plastic!) or even just keeping the sheet near a heat register or in a warm, sunny spot will make them come right off if you find any stubborn ones!

If you’d like to see step-by-step instructions on how I made these, be sure you check out the full length video on our YouTube channel: How to Make Collage Sheets With Magazine Words Video

These were so much fun to make and I hope they work well for you! If you have any questions about how to organize your magazine words or need help with making these collage sheets just ask in the comments section below!

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  1. What a great idea! I’m definitely going to make my own collage sheets now. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Great idea! I like having card stock words ready to go so Iā€™m going to try permanently gluing magazine words on them and keeping them in a file folder to cut out as needed!

    1. Hi Mary, look for magazines that have a lot of advertisements and headlines. Women’s interest + Home decor magazines are usually good places to start!

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