Mindful Collage & DIY Glue

Step 1 in creating a mindful art practice? Gather the supplies so you can get going! Read below for a DIY-glue recipe that works wonders when white glue or a glue stick isn’t nearby.

Getting a group of people together to collage and journal is definitely my idea of a good time — I recently had the good fortune of facilitating a mixed-media/collage-focused activity; but when I asked the participants what barriers to “mindful art making” they have experienced, they shared that they sometimes didn’t have the necessary supplies, particularly – glue.

It’s true a lot of us don’t have glue on hand — but even without it, I have a great recipe for homemade collage glue. Most of these ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen!

Starting a mindful art practice can feel a lot easier when the materials & supplies are easily at hand.

Here is what you will need:

  1. Old magazines or newspapers
  2. Glue or wheat paste (DIY recipe below!)
  3. Scissors
  4. Something to stick your collage onto, maybe a piece of cardboard or perhaps a blank/new/used notebook

STEP ONE: Make your glue

  • Mix equal parts wheat flour and water together, slowly, stirring to remove any lumps, add more flour to thicken or more water the smooth out as needed. For a small collage, you maybe need 2-4tbs to start.
    • Tip: Use warm water, it helps the wheat paste mix more smoothly

STEP TWO: Cut out images, words, colours, photos or anything that calls to you. You don’t have to start with a plan or an outcome in mind, you can always just start gathering images and see what speaks to you.

STEP THREE: Use the wheat paste to adhere your images to your surface or notebook. The wheat paste needs to be exposed to the air to dry completely, otherwise there is the risk of mould or a stale smell.

TIPS & TRICKS:

  • TRY: Layering Images
    • Don’t worry about covering over or hiding other images, this can make your collage more interesting!
  • TRY: Grouping like-colours
  • TRY: Making shapes and patterns with the words and images you have cut out
  • TRY: Assembling words into new phrases or mantras
    • …but…sometimes cutting out individual letters to spell things can end up looking like a ransom letter…
  • TRY: Making this a daily, weekly, or monthly practice…
    • In my recent session I began with a conversation about self care, and how we might be able to incorporate artistic activities. These artistic activities, used over time in a mindful practice, could possibly increase positivity and positive feelings, mental health benefits, and deep focus & relaxation!