Take Charge - Four of a Kind - Collage

Step 1: Choose a shape


Choose a shape


  • Choose one of the shapes from the selection above and print off in the 3 sizes available. These templates are available on the downloadable PDF.

Step 2: Select your four papers

  • You will need a variety of different papers for this activity to select from
  • Look around and see what interests you. You can find interesting patterns in newspapers or magazines as well as pictures and text; you can recycle coloured wrapping paper, wallpaper and greetings cards, etc. and you can combine these with craft papers if you wish
  • When you have gathered your materials, choose four different types of paper for your collage


Step 3: Create positive and negative shapes


Negative and positive shapes


  • Drawing round your chosen shape in the three sizes and cutting out carefully you’ll find that you have one positive shape - the shape you have cut out - and one negative shape - the space left in the paper you have cut the shape from
  • For this activity cut three shapes out in various sizes and also create one ‘negative space’ shape so you have four pieces in total from your four different papers



It is most effective to use contrasting colours and textures and using some ripped edges often looks good too, as you can see in our example below.

Contrasting colours and textures


Step 4: Arrange your design


Arrange your design

  • Create a composition by laying out the shapes you have prepared on a piece of coloured card, cartridge paper (Note: the colour of the card will be part of your design so try out different coloured backgrounds if you can)
  • Arrange your shapes, overlapping them until you create a pleasing composition. The above image shows different compositions (layouts) using the same elements (shapes)
  • When you are happy with your design, glue the shapes down using a glue stick or thinly applied PVA glue
  • When you have done this you’ll have a finished collage

Step 5: Create an abstract artwork



  • The last stage of this activity is to create an abstract design from your collage, using a viewfinder
  • A viewfinder is simply a piece of card with a square or rectangle cut from it that allows you to select your preferred area of the design
  • Print off one of the viewfinder templates or cut your own from a piece of card, (cereal box card is fine although dark coloured card will show your design off best) The templates are available as part of the 'Four of a Kind' downloadable PDF
  • When your viewfinder is ready, place it over your finished collage and move it around until you find a composition you like. This will be an abstract design as not all of each of the shapes is now visible.  See below


Viewfinder example

Abstract artwork example gallery:

See our gallery of examples below.




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