Art at Home: Paper Collage

Derek Fordjour’s paintings were created from years of experimentation. The artist developed his unique process using humble materials, chosen for their affordability: charcoal, newspaper, cardboard, foil. To make his paintings, the artist begins by creating a base layer of tiled colored cardboard on canvas. He then wraps the canvas in newspaper and tears away at the surface. This process is repeated several times before Fordjour adds small pieces of paper to the surface to create his figures from paint, pastels, and acrylic.

If you’re looking for a new project this week, watch Fordjour’s Artist Talk to hear more about his process, and try your own interpretation at home!

Or for a beginner-friendly alternative, follow along with our simple paper collage tutorial inspired by Fordjour’s process and devised by CAM intern Alice Nguyen.

Paper Collage Tutorial


  • Cardboard pieces (can be cutouts from boxes)
  • Magazines 
  • Newspapers
  • Scissors
  • Glue/stapler 
  • Markers/Crayons/Colored pens (optional)


  1. Cut out newspaper pieces and wrap them around the cardboard. You can attach one large piece to fill the entire cardboard surface, or layer several to add visual interest.


2. Go through your magazines and rip out pages you find visually interesting. You may want to choose images with compatible color schemes, those that fall under a common theme, or simply those that catch your eye! Put these pages side by side to generate creative ways to combine them.

3. Once you decide which images to use, cut them out and try placing them on the cardboard piece in different ways. While cutting out pieces, experiment with creative shapes to transform a familiar pattern into a unique new object. While arranging the cutouts, try overlapping them or framing one within another.

4. Paint, color, or draw on the newspaper background to coordinate it with your images. You may choose not to do so if your cutouts already contain vibrant colors and would benefit from a simpler background. 

5. Finally, glue or staple the pieces together. Congratulations! You may now behold your finished product. Pat yourself on the back. Reward yourself with more snacks. Show off your art on social media and tag CAM!