Assemblage: Collage Taken To a New Dimension

Want to make something but can’t think of what to do? Then creating an assemblage may be the perfect solution for you! Not only is it fun to make, but it can be done for free by using materials that you may already have.

What Is an Assemblage?

An assemblage is basically a 3D or mixed media collage.

Types of Assemblages

Assemblages come in many different forms and shapes, as mentioned earlier. Below are the various types of and forms that assemblages come in:

1. Boxes/Containers: I don’t know about most people, but when I think of an assemblage, this form comes to mind. The assemblage is inside of the box or container.

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2. Triptych: A triptych consists of three panels that are connected together by hinges.

Image result for triptych assemblage

Image result for triptych assemblage

3. Diptych: A diptych is similar to a triptych except there are two panels instead of three that are connected together.

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4. Frame: This one, like boxes and containers, is self-explanatory, with the assemblage being within and/or around the frame

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5. 3D Collage: This type of assemblage is not contained within a confined space, making it a true 3D collage.

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6. Multiple boxes or containers: Some assemblages are made using several boxes/containers instead of one. Louise Nevelson (whose works I love), was known for her assemblages which were made out of multiple wooden boxes.

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Image result for louise nevelson

How To Create An Assemblage:

Creating an assemblage is fun and easy. All you need are some materials (some or all of which you may already have) and your imagination.

What’ll You Need:

  • Glue or any necessary adhesive to make your objects stay
  • An object to put your assemblage inside of (it can be anything: a container, frame, book box, shadow box, or the back of a canvas)
  • Objects or materials that will make up your assemblage (it can be photos, found objects, paper, fabric, etc)
  • Cloth to clean up any excessive glue
  • Paint (optional)

Making Your Assemblage:

1. Before you can make an assemblage, you have to have an idea of what you want to do. You can either go by what’s in your mind or sketch it out. If you can’t come up any ideas, check out the section below for a list of ideas.

2. After coming up with an idea, gather your materials and start gluing your pieces together. If you are using an object to put your assemblage inside of, make sure that the objects are glued in place, especially objects that stand up on their own. If you want, you can paint your box.

3. That’s it! It’s as easy as that! Now, you just have to wait for your assemblage to dry. Depending on the materials and type of glue, it can take anywhere from several minutes to a day for your assemblage to completely dry.

Assemblage Ideas

If you are having trouble coming up with ideas for your assemblage here are some ideas:

  • Theme: Choose a theme to base your assemblage on. For example, your assemblage can depict an underwater scene, planets in outer space, a mood, or anything that interests you.
  • Famous Assemblage Artists: Look at the works of famous artists who have created assemblages such as Louise Nevelson (mentioned earlier), Robert Rauschenberg, Pablo Picasso, and Man Ray. Even if their works are not your style or taste, seeing their works may be enough to trigger an idea. For example, seeing Picasso’s Maquette for Guitar may give you an idea to create an assemblage based off of musical instruments or to create something similar with a different instrument.
  • Things That Describe You: You can create an assemblage consisting of things that described who you. For example, if you are a psychologist, you can depict images and objects associated with psychology like a brain or an assemblage that resembles the DSM book with the inside containing objects. For this, you can use a shadow box or diptych, which is two panels or plates attached by hinges and can be opened or closed.
  • Things That Describe Someone You Know or Admire: Going back to the above bullet point, you create an assemblage based on someone else and things about them. It can be a real or fictional person, a family member, friend, or even a historical figure.


I hope these ideas and images help come up with an idea of what you want to make. Have fun and keep creating!


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