Portable Studio: Organizing Collage Papers

July 20, 2008


   I hit on this idea for organizing collage materials and I have to say that I haven’t found a better way yet.  It’s been about 3 yrs. since I started doing this.  I had been saving those great cellophane or plastic bags with the gummed flaps on them from things I’ve bought.  I kept thinking that there must be a good second use from these great bags. You know the ones – nice and clear, kind of flimsy but everything is being sold in these things now.  It finally occurred to me to use them to organize my collage papers.

Collage papers sorted into a bag.

Collage papers sorted into a bag.

  So I sorted my collage papers into color ways or by category (travel, ethnic, plain, patterned, etc.) and put them into these bags (no larger than 8.5″ x 11″).  Then I slide all the papers to one side and three hole punch the bag.  Off it goes into a notebook!  The smaller bags I use for scraps from previous sessions because I always end up with some that I hate to throw away. Those bags slide into a page protector in the notebook and I can “organize” the scraps by bag, too. I try to sort them by color but  I do have bags of “potpourri” scraps, too – not organized at all, just bagged.

  Now when I am mobile, say  meeting up with people to make stuff or going to the beach and I want to do some work there, I just grab the categories or color ways that I want to work with,  pop them into a notebook, grab a glue stick, some base paper/ poster board and clip board for a work surface and I’m off!  The papers won’t blow away, I can see what I have easily and often because the “pages” are clear, combinations of papers end up in juxtaposition and I find surprising things that way. Like fire engine red and lime – colors I would not have put together as the dominants in a piece but I might now!

  In the studio it’s a lot nicer to find what I want by browsing through the notebooks and pulling the pocket pages of what I feel like working with instead of being visually overwhelmed by scads and scads of mish-mash in front of me.  This has made collaging more approachable and definitely more productive for me.  Maybe this will help you, too!

Collage papers stored in a notebook.

Collage papers stored in a notebook.

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4 Responses to “Portable Studio: Organizing Collage Papers”

  1. Cate said

    *smacks forehead* Such a simple and practical solution—thank you thank you thank you, Meredith!

  2. meredith11 said

    Glad this idea helped you! =)

  3. The Notebook is of course one of Nick Sparks best tear jearker novel. Nick is really very talented guy ‘,.

  4. Delores Haugland said

    I’m going to try this! Thanks Meredith!

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